Sunday, June 6, 2010

Kate: Movin' on Up

That is a picture of me ice skating in 1990, age seven. I was going to include a picture of myself skating today, but I can't get the link to work and I want to get this update moving!

Candice and I have been bumped from Adult Basic 1 to Adult Basic 2. We're supposed to get patched for our jackets so we can show off our skills. Whee! I'm excited to move up and learn new things because that's what this whole hobby is about. Stepping outside the comfort zone and trying to be a stronger, more physically fit person.

We had our first Basic 2 class on Saturday and for the first time I really struggled in a skating class. We're learning crossovers, a basic spin, and stroking, all of which are hard. Stroking is very difficult because it involves moving your legs in a way that feels very unnatural, so you have to concentrate and train yourself to do it properly. I practiced it for a long time before I tried crossovers because I want to do things properly. I've always been an impatient person, eager to move ahead and just be good at something already. With skating, I am very willing to work in baby steps. I see what practice does - by the end of class and the half-hour we spent practicing afterwards, I had mastered stroking and could do crossovers with minimal failure. You learn things in bits and pieces in this sport. We learned swizzles, then half swizzles, then stroking, then we combined all of those into crossovers. I was happy with every step. I feel strong and good about myself when I skate. The spin is very difficult because I'm scared of falling, but I'll get it.

Here, also, is a list of what all this blather means for people who aren't figure skaters:

Crossovers: Crossing one foot over the other as a way of gaining speed and turning corners.

Swizzles: A way of moving across the ice on two feet by pushing the feet outwards from a 90 degree angle V and then pulling them together again, forming an oval on the ice. Also known as scissors, fishes, or sculling.

Half Swizzles: Doing swizzles in a circle while keeping one foot steady and using the other to push out.

Stroking: A way of moving across the ice and gaining speed by using the edges of the blades.

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