Saturday, March 3, 2012

Mar 3 Lesson: Coach's Eye ^2

I haven't skated in two weeks, and when I stepped on the ice straight into lesson, I was all over the place. Stiff legs (even though I did warm up and stretching), unsteady, and a load of lacing issues.  But on the supergood side, the rink is now offering freestyle on Saturday mornings so I can get some time in ice dance with the music. Maybe I will be ready for my April test after all!

So let's get the Disappointment out of the way. I may love swingrolls, but I look awful doing the inside ones. Dance Coach told me to get down in the knee more. He started waving his hands and talking about kneebend and flow and blah blah blah dance stuff. I just can't translate this into action. Deeper kneebend where? When?  I said, "Here just video me." and pulled out my iPhone with Coach's Eye on it. This is an app that allows coaches to mark up video and send it to their students. So Dance Coach videos me doing inside swingrolls. When he's finished I go to the View section and see the static thumbnail of my skating. "Oooh, I look good with a ponytail," I say.  That's my last moment of happiness.
Once I view just seconds of the video, I can see the problem. I need to 'sit on the edge'. I'm leaning too far forward, and man am I slow....but my edges are nice. We don't really spend much more time on the inside swingrolls, but my eyes are burning from the memory. The good thing about my skating, is that I don't have to look at my skating.

Kneebend! Kneebend!

Due to the mid-winter public sessions I've been taking lessons on, it's been impossible to do any dances. I've forgotten stuff over the last couple of months and had to go through the dances a few times to recapture the muscle memory. I've read, and know it to be true, that to get muscle memory as you get older it takes a lot more repetition to build it. Stupid  old age.

So we do the Rhythm Blues and the Canasta Tango several times with music and without. I finally get the dances together both in my head and my body. Dance Coach must have been driven to despair,  but when he gets all bossy I just roll with it. This was one of those days where I was satisfied to be on the ice and not falling down. I'm not slacking. I'm skating as good as I can. It just takes me longer to get it.  I'll practice tomorrow and see if I can get those swingrolls where he wants them and get the side pattern on the Rhythm Blues. But he did say the Evil Step Behinds were nice.

My one brief moment of happiness was when I caught a look at us in waltz hold in the glass. I was finally skating in the upright position.  Not a lot of grace. Not a lot of flow. But there was no sniping about my posture, no quibbling about my arm and hand positions in hold.  I did take a shot because when I'm back stroking in waltz hold I should be stroking with my foot pointing directly at Dance Coach--pretty much aiming between the legs--but tell me once, and it's fixed.

So I rate this as a Recovery Lesson. I've been off the ice a couple of weeks and this is the lesson where I recover my skills.

I just wish recovery involved a chocolate prescription from my doctor..

It's the middle of Lent. I'm jonesin' for some chocolate.

The student after me is the best boy skater at the rink. Dance Coach looks so relaxed. I guess in the end the best and the oldest, it balances out.


  1. Even now that I'm regularly skating at least a couple times per week when I first step out on the ice I feel very wonky for the first few strokes. If I miss more than a few days the ice is most unkind for the first 20 or 30 minutes. Two weeks off and I'd probably need one of those plastic pipe EZ skater thingies that I rant about!

    I give up "guilt" for lent.

    1. Slow to warm up is pretty typical of mature skaters. I'm only a few years younger than you, and I need a solid hour of warmup and stretch. This means testing is a pain since at the most I only get 5 minutes on ice.

      And I also gave up bread for Lent. It's a lot harder than the chocolate.

  2. Oh when, oh when, will they understand it takes a lot longer to get warmed up after a certain age?

    I tried to give up coffee for Lent. I timed to start the week the husband would be away on business, figuring if I would be turning into a raving bitch on account of caffeine deprivation he had better be out of harm's way. I barely lasted the week, then abandoned the idea altogether because it was more Christian to be Nice Person instead of Raving Bitch.

    1. Caffiene is one of those things you need to gradually reduce your daily intake on. I learned the hard way.