Sunday, August 29, 2010

Kate: Stroking is not a euphamism.

We've started practicing in earnest for taking the Pre-Bronze test levels. I will make a post on what that means tomorrow. Or later this week. Or next month. You don't know what I might not do.


We're learning things like "backwards edges," "consecutive edges" and "forward perimeter stroking". If you're wondering what the hell those are, here are the links from a couple of different sources: consecutive edges and forward perimeter stroking. I love consecutive edges because once you get the momentum going, they're actually pretty easy and you feel quite graceful as you glide along. I've been working particularly hard on stroking because when you do it, you're only allowed eight or fewer strokes before you have to hit the finish.

Yeah, I know.

So, all of that is hard, but I'm actually enjoying it. It's fun to feel like a baller on the ice.

Trying to master backwards edges, on the other hand, is made even harder by the fact that I had a spectacular fall while working on them two weeks ago. Not fun. I started to skate backwards by doing some half-swizzle pumps for momentum, then lifted my left foot in front of me to try and glide backwards on my right outside edge. Well, I did glide...through the air. Somehow both feet went out from under me and I landed with a jarring thud on the top of my ass, right near the base of my spine. The palm of my right hand took a what impact my tailbone didn't and it felt like my entire spine shook when I hit the ground.

So...that was both terribly painful and embarrassing.

It took me a few minutes to get up and once I did, I was shaking so badly that I was pretty useless for the rest of class. It took almost a week to fully recover from that fall physically, but mentally I'm still totally freaked out. After a week of nanny-goating, today I managed to get over some of the fear and do backwards edges again.

My project for the next week or so will be putting on my big girl panties and practicing going backwards. I'm very slowly regaining confidence, but my dignity is still nowhere to be found. I'm cool with that, though. Dignity and I aren't usually on speaking terms anyways. Who needs her?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Candice: I plan on dying in the middle of a hobby.

Honestly I never know what is going to fly out of my mouth next.

Me: I want to re-learn French.

The World: Okay. Maybe a bit impractical in Texas where a significant chunk of the population speaks Spanish but hey, what's the harm?

Me: And I want to take up figure skating.

The World: What an... unusual hobby for an adult to take up. But you know what, whatever gets you excited about physical fitness is great.

Me: I'd also like to take up pickling. I could TOTALLY be sitting on some sweet and spicy refrigerator pickles right about now...

The World: Wait, what? Pickling? Didn't you just mention learning French and figure skating?

Me: Yeah, but the point is, I'd like to go to more wine tastings.

The World: Wine tastings? When are you going to fit in more wine tastings? Is there a special 3am wine tasting for manic/depressives and security guards that just got off the clock?

Me: It's just I'm able to recognize flavors now, but I can't remember their names. That's it. French, figure skating, pickling, and wine.

The World: I mean I guess that reasonable... with some careful scheduling.

Me: And the tango.

The World: Pardon?

Me: I'd like to be able to dance the tango.

The World: Since when?

Me: Since five minutes ago when I this old couple totally rocking it to Otoño Porteño.

The World: Yeah, okay. But just because you see someone do something doesn't mean you-

Me: I also have a blog. You should check it out.

The World: All right. That's nice. I'm just gonna- I'm gonna go stand over here now.

Me (shouting after them): I make hats in my spare time! Would you like me to make you one!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Kate: No pain, no gain. Ow.

Sometimes (like, all the time if you read this blog), it seems like learning to figure skate is full of good cheer and sunshine and delight. Well, it is all of those things, but I confess that there are days where it is freaking tough. On Sunday I had trouble lacing my skates tightly enough, then my feet were killing me, and I could not seem to make my limbs do a single thing I wanted. My muscles seriously felt like they had no power at all and I was all wobbly, which is very unusual for me.

About 30 minutes into our usual Sunday practice I was near tears with frustration. Now, people who have known me for a long time are aware that I do not like to be bad at things. My default mode is to give up. On days at the rink where it feels like nothing is going right, I don't give up. I skate around the ice as fast as I can, doing simple tricks and concentrating on picking up as much speed as possible. Then, when I've worn out some of my anger and frustration, I go back to trying whatever it was that was pissing me off (currently: mastering those damn backwards crossovers) and ignoring the pain in my feet.

I did learn a valuable lesson on Sunday, though, and that is that I'm not training enough off the ice. I also have done the stupidest thing possible and haven't been warming up before I go out there, which probably explains a lot of my physical problems. The point of this hobby is not to seriously hurt myself, and if I keep on the way I've begun, I will eventually do some nasty damage. Every time I go to the rink I'm so eager to get on the ice and start, I don't know, magically doing the triple axels I can totally do in my head that I just lace up my skates and race out there. Stupid idea which leads to frustration. Hmm. I'm seeing a pattern here that I need to break.

ANYWAYS. On to a list of new things I've learned how to do and am currently working on mastering.

Lunges: You lunge one foot forward and allow the other foot to drag behind you. What's hard is not having the back foot catch and either make you start to turn or fall on your face.

Three-turns: A one-foot turn with a change of edge that results in a '3' shaped tracing on the ice. This one is very hard because I'm terrified to turn on one foot. I can successfully do it two-footed, but that's not how to works. SCARY.

Backwards crossovers: Forever and always working on these. They're hard. You cross one foot over the other while going backwards to pick up speed.

Candice and I learned a dorky ice dancing move that I can't remember the name of right now, but just know it was awesome. Because we are awesome.