Well! Two weeks ago I was like “no, for real, I’m going to update the blog EVERY SUNDAY and stick to a schedule because I am a responsible grownup” and then last Sunday I went to Hamilton Pool and swam and hiked and swam some more and then went to Resa’s to watch Be Good Johnny Weir and was so tired when I got home that I was like “fuck it, I barely even skated this weekend anyways and I was full of fail.”
THIS Sunday, I’m all responsible and awesome. My laundry is done, my bathroom is clean, and oh WHAT I skated for two HOURS yesterday without falling. Candice and I made a deal that we would skate until we fell and we finally hit the point where we were so tired we were trying to fall so we could just go home already. We finally gave up. I was cold, exhausted, and my legs were killing me. I felt like a BOSS. These are some of the cool things I have managed to master:
Backwards half-swizzle pumps: basically, I keep one foot straight and use the other foot to push myself along.
Backwards one-foot glides: I literally go in a straight line backwards and pick my foot up and skate along on one foot. This is very hard and scary because I always feel like I’m going to fall. I’ve only mastered it on my right foot, which is stronger because ol’ lefty got broken last year.
Going from backwards skating to forwards without losing momentum (two-foot turn). This one was surprisingly easy, you just have to find the sweet spot on your blade where it’s easy to whirl around.
Two-foot spins: I can do three revolutions easily now. BAM. I also picked up my foot on a spin, but I have not yet mastered the one-footed spin. That’s next on the list.
Spiral: You skate on one leg with your other leg extended behind you either at or above the level of your hip. I can get my leg about to hip level so far and am working on getting it higher. It’s fun and difficult and excellent for showing off while skating.
I’m really working to master outside and inside edges (basically, a figure skating blade has two edges and a hallow in the middle. You use your edges to help you with different moves), which is also pretty tough.
Candice and I have been practicing tandem stroking (basically skating along together and pushing off our blades in a certain way) and tandem crossovers. It’s really hard because she’s so tall - she has to shorten her stride and I have to concentrate to keep up. It’s really fun and silly, though. We always end up getting the giggles and almost knocking each other over. Yesterday we were messing around and decided to go with one of us skating backwards and the other was skating forwards. Whoever was going forwards held the hands of the person going backwards to support them and watched out for small children in hockey gear and we went really, really fast around the ice. It was scary, but also really fun and helpful because it allowed me to become more confident with picking up speed when skating backwards.
Speaking of small children in hockey gear, they are both adorable and a major hazard on the ice. I’ve almost mowed down like nine million of them.
So, there you go. A brief recap of the fun things we are learning to do. I start my next class on Saturday and I hope to master backwards crossovers (I did some yesterday but I can’t keep moving when I do them. I always panic and stop myself with my toe pick). Apparently I’m supposed to start learning a very basic jump soon, which I am over the moon about. Candice and I are picking up skills so quickly. We’re a long way from actually learning a death spiral, but we’ll get there!
In closing, I leave you with a link to a video of my favorite pair of all time, Ekaterina Gordeeva and Sergei Grinkov. This number, done to Rachmaninoff’s “Vocalise”, was inspired by Rodin’s sculptures. They are absolutely incredible, and if you’re wondering what the hell we’re talking about when we yap about learning a death spiral, you can see these two perform a gorgeous one in the video at 2:01.