Friday, July 22, 2011

Kate: Friends Make Everything More Awesome

Recently, Candice and I have gotten to know a lot of the other adult skaters at the rink. We've suddenly fallen into this excellent community of women and skating is even more fun than it was before. The only drawback is sometimes Practice Time turns into Gossip Time, but hey! It's worth it.

Speaking of practice, Thursday's practice was a really good one. I was there for about two hours and suddenly all these things I was struggling with have improved. It was like magic! I was even doing 3-turns fast, though when I showed my coach he looked unimpressed and told me "Let's see if you can hold it for three seconds before the turn and three seconds after." AND I DID. I was thrilled. I also got some good practice in with my spins and edges, though my jumps were not overly impressive. I never got frustrated, though!

I've started a new round of classes, which I think has helped with my confidence. I'm taking a shadowing class that teaches you pairs/synchro skating skills and several regular classes, and I'm feeling really challenged. On Tuesday, the teacher made me start learning how to go into a spin from crossovers, which is a new and scary skill for me. I suck at it so far, but that's what practice is for, right? I'm also working on improving my waltz jump - I land it incorrectly a lot, which can really hurt my ankle and my jumps are wussy. I want to improve my landing skills and start doing bigger jumps.

A lot of what was holding me back was fear. Fear of falling, fear of looking ridiculous, fear that everyone was secretly judging my skating and finding it wanting. I'm still nervous, but I find that it's becoming easier to overcome my fear and work to learn new things. A big part of that comes from this community of adult skaters - everyone is really encouraging and I feel pushed to work harder and get better.

Maybe I'll actually manage to keep that New Year's resolution and pass that pre-bronze test by December 31st!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Everything! What?

Due to a tragic rope swing plus alcohol leading to stupid choices incident this weekend, I am off the ice for a few days while I allow my poor sad muscles to recover. The lesson here, people, is you should not assume you can do things you did at 21 and recover immediately. UGH.

Anyways! On to talking about skating. I went to class on Saturday and it was one of those days where everything is just wrong. In Power Skating I was slow and I had trouble doing power three turns, which, come on. I learned how to do those more than six months ago. It was ridiculous. Then, in Adult Workshop, I was just a frustrated mess.

Then: random breakthrough. Our coach was helping me with spins, and he was like "Focus on that arm! Now your core! Let's work on your balance!". There were one million small things in each element I was trying that I needed to think about, so we just took it back down to basics and I concentrated on technique, not speed. After months of frustration with spins, I finally, FINALLY am spinning on one foot again. Success! I'm not quite up to the four revolutions that Coach Yoda wants me to be at, but I'll get there.

The thing about learning skating is there are so many things you have to think about when you learn something new. Your arms need to be held the right way, your core strong, turning your head often helps. I tend to drop my right shoulder a lot which is part of why I'm having trouble with basics. Sometimes Candice and I just stand and shout "ARMS!" at each other or stare each other in the face so we remember to keep our heads up and not look at our feet.

This is such a fun sport, but at the same time it's incredibly frustrating. Sometimes I suspect we're all a bunch of crazy people, but hey. Figure skating is a GREAT thing to brag about at parties. I think I'll stick with it.