Saturday, May 17, 2014

Brace Yourself--I'm Going Backwards

Going backwards is easy for some people, but like many adult learners it took me a long time to become comfortable going backwards.

So, let me cut this pain in half. My secret of going backward is
  1. Thighs together
  2. Upright posture
  3. Weight on the forward part of the rocker
This means I have to pull my feet close to under my butt, balance on the balls of my feet, sit down, and sit up.  Lots of ankle bend, toe pointing, ab clenching.

This is the story of my development of my back stroking:

In the beginning I really, really didn't want to fall backwards. Not enough ankle bend. Poor posture.

Then I got a little more confident and it got a little better. It was still bad.  Posture not upright enough. Needed to go deeper in the knee, and still need more ankle bend.

Then I got the whole thing together, except for the all important "point that toe"! Pointing the toe tightens the front muscles of the thigh, and supports a strong stomach.

Then finally I got everything together. Posture, knee bend, ankle bend, toe pointing, thigh touching.

The only problem is that my left leg is much, much weaker and much, much less coordinated than my right. So my coach, Miss Bianca, has me doing weak side backward pumps around the hockey circle. On my first attempt it took me 14 pumps to make it around the circle. Now it takes me six.

I'm also getting the little trick of the 'hook' at the beginning of the C-cut  on that foot. Give my lack of coordination on my weak side, this is a major advance. To get the 'hook' I have to twist the blade with a strong impulse, just at the beginning of the C-cut. It's easy on the right leg, harder on the left. It's just going to take a lot of practice.

 Six months! No, maybe like six weeks.....I hope.

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