Monday, October 31, 2016

Things Only Figure Skaters Understand #9

That moment after a new sharpening 
when your blades wear down so 
they are the perfect mix 
of sharpey and glidey

Sunday, October 30, 2016

When My Coach Wants Me to Work on My Back Threes

How I Feel--Internally

What I Show--Externally

Then I Go Get My Helmet


Saturday, October 29, 2016

Multi-Rotation One Foot Spins!---Sort Of

In the category of Small Wins, I can now enter a one foot spin (Small Win: consistency) and go into a multi-rotation spin without fear (Small Win: Well, without fear, it's hard to categorize this one). The only problem is my consistency of the number of rotations.

And the number of rotations?
What? You're underwhelmed? What if I told you it was a solid one foot  2, not one of these wussy twos where you count the two foot rotation as part of the 2 rotations?  AND WITH SPEED! And on the right part of the blade!

What's your reaction NOW?! Huh? Huh?

Yeah, you are just like my coach.

Anyway, I get so excited that I look down, and damn, there goes the spin.

However, I've lost my fear of circular rotation! Now if I can just train myself to not look down!

Friday, October 28, 2016

The "Rollercoaster" Spin

There's this thing about spins: you go around, tall and short, standing and sitting, and new arm position or leg position is treated as if it's the reinvention of the wheel. Which in a way it is.

So, I'm going to introduce you to a new spin position. The RollerCoaster.

You're going to get in this sit spin position, with one change--one change only.

Instead of tilting your head so you're looking at your raised hand, look straight ahead, and sort of thrust you head away from your body. Don't tuck your chin in other words.

When I did this, my reaction was like I was on a rollercoaster--the kind where they take your picture on the 'fun' part of the ride. It's not just dizziness, there was a sense of rolling over the top of the coaster to the "Big Drop".

 I don't know how I got up again. I think I leaned out of the circle and curled into a fetal position until all motion stopped.

I got one other skater (Silver) to try this and the reaction was much the same. So, it's Not.Just.Me.

Sadly, not much audience appeal. So no points for you, just the experience of hanging on for dear life!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Small Wins

When I'm learning a new skill I try to look at the "small wins" along the way.

What's a small win? It's the successful development of a small skill that fits in to an over all Big Skill.

Let's start with a Big Skill like a scratch spin. What are the small skills to master to make a small win?

Getting a decent two foot entry.

Getting the toes pointed together.

Getting the arms and upper body positioned.

Building speed and getting comfortable with the rotation.

Lifting one foot!!!! SMALL WIN!

Single Rotation !!!! Small Win

One foot entrance!!!! SMALL WIN!
                                                               <------I AM HERE---
Multi-rotation Spin Upright Spin!!! Big Win! 

And I this point I think I would be ready to go for the Big Skill of the scratch spin....which starts with its small wins of its own. (Like crossing that leg over---that's going to be a long time coming)

I know, it does seem small, but the other day I realized I was willing to try two foot spins sitting, and then with weird arm positions, and then lift one foot. These weren't great spins. But there was a Small Win---I wasn't afraid to try them!

I guess Yoda is looking forward to the back spin.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Pity The Coach

When A Coach Gets a Perfect Music Cut 
for the Choreography

When the coach realizes the skater will 
never be able to skate the choreography


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

How Much Does it Cost? 2016 Update

Here is my annual estimate of my skating costs. I haven't done this since 2012!

Rink Club membership (all the publics I can skate, plus group lessons for the year) $600

One 1/2 hour lesson a week (minus 6 weekends a year I'm out)  $1150

Skate Sharpening ($20 apiece) ~ $100

Skate gear (replacement bunga pad, knee highs, laces, soakers, tape, tights)  $75

Driving Expenses  (gas, wear and tear on car using federal estimates)  $2100 

Trip to Lake Placid----man I prefer not to think about that--maybe $2000? It's the only vacation I take all year.

Being able to pass for 50?

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Who's Special? I'm Special.

I had a boo boo Sunday when I fell and tapped the side of my head. So I pulled out my Ice Halo, and I wore it to Group tonight.

The Basic Skills Coach for Adults pulled me aside and used me as an example for the adults in her class. They "scare" her, I guess because they're always a heartbeat from a fall. I did a little twirl while she explained the Ice Halo, and how important it was to use head protection as a beginner.

Really, I've never been used as an example before--not even a bad example. First time!

Then not 20 minutes later the Freestyle Group coach had me demonstrate my (two-foot) sit spin position--cause I may be looking old age and Death in the eye, but by God I can get all the way down and hold a good position.
Originally this was going to be a picture of Kanye West but ... meh.    
Well, what can I say, it's all downhill from here!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Things only a Figure Skater Understands #8

Our minor league hockey team players don't wash their gear.

When the hockey team walked by,
my coach pulled a bottle of Febreze
 out of her skate bag and sprayed the air after them

It's not just her, apparently several coaches do it

I can't wait to see how this escalates.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Fun At Group Freestyle

The ice dancer who also sharpens blades sat down next to me in the lobby to put on his boots. For a few moments we caught up on the hurricane, the goings on in Group, and so on. Then I said, "Hey, check my blades. I think I need a sharpening." I set my foot in its boot on my knee, so he did a combination of bending down and pulling my foot up to get it into view.

He ran his thumb along it and glared meaningfully at my edges. "About 5 or 6 hours." he said. So, I'm good.

Then the woman skater seated on the other side stuck her booted foot up in the air towards his face, "What about mine?"

It's beginning to look like this at the rink...when the consulting sharpener shows up.

Anyway,  I fell during group on a waltz jump. I'm not kidding, the class stopped and everyone skated over to help me. Either this means they're terrified I'll break something because I'm elderly and fragile, or they wanted a break from skating.

I'm going with...they needed a break from skating!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Things only a figure skater understands #7

When your coach spends the evening in a frenzy of re-cutting your music


Saturday, October 1, 2016

Raising The Bar

I was doing mohawks around a circle for my coach today. That's 'do a mohawk, turn forward' repeat.

Really, it's Forward mohawk-backward mohawk-repeat.

I was feeling such confidence. Decent speed, nice body position, etc.

"Well, that was okay, except for the rhythm," my coach said. "It should be 1..2..3 but you're doing it 1...2.3......1...2.3."

"I have to start somewhere."

My coach waved her hands above her head. "I'm just raising the bar."

My Coach
I hate to tell my coach I quit ice dance was because I have no sense of rhythm.... I think the bar is going to stay in place for awhile.

Anyway, spins coming along nicely. Now it's crossover, mohawk, spin entry, spin, spin exit, side toe hops, skate forward.