At some point in the last week I probably would have sold my soul to go back in time and not pick up skating as a hobby. Between the misery of being over invested in the state of Japanese skaters after the quake and tsunami as well as figure skating World Championships which were to have occurred in Tokyo, and the misery of being unable to sleep because I hurt myself sort of badly skating, I was ready to wash my hands of it.
Beyond that I was also experiencing a major crisis of faith. Kate and I are toddling up to our first full year of skating and lessons. With the exception of a two-month break from classes, we've been making a concerted effort at this for a long enough time that everyone is expecting some results. On my birthday a few months ago, my sister who had not yet seen me skate at all asked me if I could jump. I suppose I can, a waltz jump has the word "jump" right in the title, but my waltz jumps leave something (everything) to be desired. They're about as timid as they can be without never having both feet leave the ground. My sister smiled encouragingly at what I managed to show her, but didn't exactly express any awe. It was okay, I wasn't that impressed myself.
A month later I'd learn the lead up to the half flip jump, but after being taught how I never received any follow up on why it didn't feel comfortable. It's not my instructors fault really, there was just too much else to teach. I was still struggling with some aspects of 3-turns, my spins, my spirals, my lunges, and pretty much everything. I've already had to dial down my expectations a lot from where I'd started, but I never would have believed that mastery of a Basic 5 skill would still be just out of reach after a year of trying.
It was beyond frustrating. Even embarrassing. What an obvious, and overly advertised waste of time. And all this after posting about how Bright Girls give up when things get hard. It was right there in front of me, "Keep working, keep practicing," but still I was pouting. In an effort to prove the article and everyone wrong, I went to my practices and spent an hour and a half on the ice each time. By last Friday I was still frustrated, still half-thinking about quitting.
Yesterday I went to the rink with Kate and at the end of an hour and a half I realized I could do a LFO (left forward outside) 3-turn, LFI (left forward inside) 3-turn, and LFI mohawk on a circle. I did a RFO 3 turn, RFI mohawk, and an RFI 3-turn on a circle. During my last class we were taught twizzles and the choctaw step. As of yesterday, I can do an ugly example of both going one direction.
For those of you keeping score at home: 3 new types of turns that I could not do last month (inside 3-turn, twizzle, choctaw). I also completed a pretty good looking LFO spiral. I think we can all be proud of me.
Last Thursday I skated by myself and practiced my waltz jump and, while they're not going to win any medals any time soon, by the end they started feeling like actual jumps. My lunges and spins are... improving. A little. Too little if you ask me, but horrifyingly the paragraph right above this one seems to indicate that I will still have keep to skating, and keep trying to improve them because they may, in fact, get better.
PS- A shout out to everyone who reads and the few that comment. I get beyond excited about each comment, but I can't figure out who to reply directly to you. No matter, just know I'm thrilled about you.