Since I choke on dance tests, and my coach has no freestyle time available to practice partnered dance with me anyway, I've been looking at Moves in the Field.
I look at the list of skills for pre-Bronze and Bronze adult Moves, and as I go through I check off, Doable. Doable. Doable. Until I get to Foward Figure 8.
Until this week.
I saw some open ice, eyed the crowd and took my opening. I stood at the point where I was going to start my strike.
And then a funny thing happened. It just popped into my head that I should hold my shoulders a different way. So I set my shoulders, drew down my lats, and took a strike.
It was a good outside edge, a good glide. I switched my arms at the 2/3 point and moved my free foot forward immediately after. I was a smooth mover. No jerky moves. Slow and steady.
I made it all the way around the first circle! Then I took the second strike and made it all away around the second circle!
This is the first time I've successfully done a forward outside 8 from a standing start. Just in case it wasn't a fluke, I did it again. And again. Then once more. By this time, the public was building up and I had to move. But I was excited. I'd been working on these for years!
What made the difference? Unlikely to be the blades. I'd just had them sharpened so they didn't have good glide characteristics. Was I a more powerful skater? Yes, but that doesn't always count in figures. In figures, technique rules as much as power. For now I'm going to credit to the upper body changes. I was finally doing what my old figures coach had told me to do.
Forward INSIDE 8?
Well, not yet. All I need is some blades that weren't sharpened THE DAY BEFORE! and I think I'd have it.
Moves in the Field, here I come.