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!