Monday, July 31, 2017

The Ups and Downs of Figure Skating

The rink has installed new speakers, so the music is so loud in the center during public, my coach and I move the lesson to a lutz corner.

I'm really 'on point'. For the very first time, every crossover forward and back, have solid underpushes with extension, from the first to the last one I do. My coach cries out, "Those are wonderful!"

Then an adult ice tourist clinging to the boards next to the lutz circle exclaims , "Wow!" as I skate past him backwards.

My coach and I thank him and give him a couple of quick tips to make his time on the ice more enjoyable, then we move on.

After my lesson a four year old skater (her father coaches her) comes up to me to show her 4 year old stuff: Waltz jump, back inside 3, back spin. I applaud her. Not only is she better than I am, at 4 she has the intense focus of a 15 year old on the short list for the Olympics.

That's figure skating for you. There's always someone below you and someone who is better. I check my ego at the gate.

(But I confess, just once I'd like to make people gasp at my skating-other than when I fall down.) 🙂

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Things Only Figure Skaters Understand #27: Practice Video Photobomb


(Sorry, doesn't work on mobile)

(Source: A loyal fan. Thanks!!)  

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Things That Only Figure Skaters Understand #26: In and Out

When the Half Dozen Regular Figure Skaters show up for Sunday Ice--
Zam broken
Compressor broken
Plumbing problem

And they get on the ice
 Then turn around and get off

But Ice Tourists on Public Skate?
Yeah, it's all the same to them

Just want to say, that I've seen reports of compressors failing at rinks all up and down the East Coast in this extra hot summer.  

Sunday, July 23, 2017

When the Zam Breaks down after a Hockey Game but before public skate (Updated)

It was too rough for even just lap skating with out annoying my sharpener.

Thanks to Gold Skater for taking the video and running the risk of ruining her blades. She told me not to even bother putting my boots on.

Things Only Figure Skaters Understand #25: Male Pair Skaters

When you see a picture of a male pairs skater sans shirt

And your first thought is: "Yeah, he could lift me."

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Introduction to Change Foot Spins

First a timid approach, 
then The Horror of Staying upright Begins!

Friday, July 21, 2017

The Magic Thumb

Miss Bun handed her boots over to our sharpener--"I'm thinking of changing my blade cut when I get my next sharpening."

Our sharpener ran the pad of his thumb over the edge of the blade. "It's got a few hours left."  He does this all the time, with everyone.  Run his thumb over the blade and say 'It's got a few hours left". It's quite a show.

I mean the thumb gets out quite a bit, goes to parties, meets chicks (or at least chick's skates), hangs out with famous people.

I call it the Magic Thumb.

The Magic Thumb Party's Hard

And well deserved!

Monday, July 17, 2017

I go SPLAT!!

For some reason my coach asked me to do a Bunny Hop.  It's been about 6 months since I did one, and I guess she wants to check that I still can. So, I do a FO3,  picked in for a half flip, then did a Bunny Hop.   And it was a nice Bunny Hop too. My coach said, "That's very nice," in that enthusiastic voice coaches use on talented five year olds.

And just because I wanted to show off (ALWAYS A MISTAKE!!!!) I did another Bunny Hop,  landed on a toepick, pitched forward, hit the ice in a roll that can only be identified as a horizontal back spin. And two full rotations--with no feet. Hah! I think I covered 10 feet from the trip until I stopped rolling and slid to a stop. It was pretty spectacular.

I was going pretty fast too

1. Thank God for knee pads.
2. Not having hip pads---ouch.
3. When my coach, SkaterDad and the rink guard got to me, I was already up going "I didn't hit my head!" in a loud voice. 

I'm a little sore today, but I can assure you I've had worse.

As in this picture--a horse going over a low jump was involved
(he balked and I flew)
Hit so hard my helmet cracked,
I was knocked out
Came too with short term memory loss
Had to go to the emergency room

Yeah, figure skating falls aren't near that scary. . . .so far....

Friday, July 14, 2017

Friday, July 7, 2017

When a Coach Who's New to the Rink Takes Over Adult Group

If you've been following my adventures in Adult Freeskate, you'll know that we don't skate 'Levels'. There's no Pre-Free, or Freeskate 1-6. There's warm up skills (which we do as a group to the best of our individual ability), followed by 15 minutes of personal skills we're working on. I've got much better because of this--and I've thanked my skating director for kicking my ass out of Basic into Freeskate.

But this new coach is new to the rink. He's a retired National Competitor. It's his first time running  our Adult Group.

He . Believes. In . LEVELS!!!!!

"What level are you at?" he asks me.

"Pre-Free." I say. I'm a dead solid Pre-Free, maybe a Free 1.

He flips open the chart the skating Director gave him. It says Babbette Duboise "FREESKATE 2". "That's just a placeholder," I say. And he completely ignores that.

He start rattling off the the Freeskate 2 skills.
Him: "Alternating forward outside and inside spirals on a continuous axis ?"
Me: "Yeah, sure, I'm good."
Him: "Basic backward outside and backward inside consecutive edges?"
Me: "Small but steady"
Him (quick like a fox on a chicken): "Why small?"
Me: "Power."
Him: "Backward inside three-turns?"
Me: "I'm working back outside 3's"
Him: "Where are you in your back spin?"

So I guess that's pretty much a "don't have it" answer.

Him: "Jumps?"

Me: "No." Him: "Why not?" Me: "I'm sixty FIVE!"

Anyway, this turn of events strangely puts Mr. Badass and I in the same level. He's a 100 times better than I and working on his lutz, but he's gracious enough to say "I need to work on my back 3's" when the coach assigns us to do them.  And he's on record that his back spin skill is "Sorta", so I don't feel too bad.

 The coach had me practice my two foot back 3's. And my spins. Then when he wasn't looking I did some back outside edges, just to check how bad I was. And wouldn't you know it,  during what was supposed to be a step forward, THIS happened...
One. Just one.

These are going to be like my FI3--lifetime total: 11.

And the next day, I mentioned it to my coach in a scheduling email.

C'mon...some enthusiasm please!!!!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Things Only Figure Skaters Understand #22: Two Weeks Away from Skating

First 15 seconds on Ice
(It's nice to be back. And when I stepped on the ice I nearly did this exact faceplant, but I grabbed the door and saved myself)