Archive | January, 2007

Forgot the backspin

24 Jan

Forgot to add that lousy a** backspin… grumble…
I’ll add it cause I have to.

6. Learn a super fast “Fumie Suguri Backspin” or a change spin.

Ok my duty is done here.

Back to work…

T minus 1 hr till coffee alchie meltdown! Hmmm I wonder if I just happened to bring a cup of joe with a teensy bit of Kahlua, would it improve my flip?

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No Sectionals this year……..

24 Jan

Well, we are in the middle of a crises at work so I will make this quick.. blech. Pretty soon I will have to add a work Blog so I can just blab about work issues. Apparently my one coworker is quitting and the other is retiring. As a small department this really really effects everyone. And.. I thought I had escaped having to do anything different but that is just not going to work out. So much for laying low.

Anyways, I had a little reality jolt last night. Being on a budget I realized I would be stretching myself to go to sectionals with traveling, hotel, and competition fees plus I would like to do the extra things like sightseeing. It all costs money which is in short supply. For me at least… ha ha. I cant believe I am saying this but lately I have been trying to be better at the money thing. Cause I suck at it.. if you can’t tell by my other posts 😉 I spend and spend and I have student loans and bills out the butt. Anywho…

I realized I would have to work my butt off to rearrange my program and then add jumps that just arent consistent and while I don’t necessarily need to win, its nice to know that you are ready for a competition. And truly, after running it by my coach with my money issues we decided to let it pass this year.
Yep.. after 10 flips with 3 landed and a couple of lutz attempts I think it sunk in that my freestyle needed work and I wouuld rather shine a bit more with a consistent program. Plus if I am going to spend money it might as well be worth it! (not that it isnt but I cant afford to go based on just pure fun 🙂 Wish I was Paris, well actually, I don’t.. ok I wish I was Michelle Kwan or a Tara (just cant help myself there!) but I’m not…

So as of right now here is my list of To Do’s for the year leading up to 2008 sectionals:
1. Land a lutz. (ha ha.. my big one!)
2. Relax and have a big consistent Flip
3. Learn a Layback
4. Faster Camel that is consistent.
5. make harder combinations consistent. (like: sal-loop, loop-1/2 loop-sal., Flip/ loop)

Sniff Sniff… now I am going to go off and cry in the stinky lounge area….ok, well not really, even though I am bummed!
This has given me a whole new perspective though.

I am going to go out tonight and drink a whole lot of Coffee with some potent baileys or Kahlua to spice it up!

Or maybe a bloody mary… I’ll think about it.. whew.. it was a tough day.

I Passed Adult Bronze!!! Woohoo

21 Jan

Yep, I passed the Adult Bronze Moves in the Field test and the Freestyle this past thursday.
I am so relieved I passed because now I can go to sectionals and compete at the Bronze level. So… mission accomplished!!

That morning I woke up at 5:30am and drove to the rink. It turned out to be an hour and 45 minute drive which wasnt really that bad.

My coach told me not to eat before the test- or at least not to eat anything heavy. But I did. I cant help myself! I stopped at a gas station a block away from where I live. (hehehe- I didnt even last a block!) They had this great sandwich – a French toast and sausage sandwich. I really love eating and I knew that if I ate something now, at least 2 hours before my test then it would probably be ok when I tested. So I gulped that down. Well 3/4 of it! No coffee though. I was good on that point. I already had passing jitters so I knew that would not help!

The rink had two sheets of ice. They were using one for practice and one for tests. So I had enough time to get on the practice ice for like 20 minutes. I was dressed in my sausage blue velvet dress for a pre-teen. Ha ha.. thats what I like to call it. Never Ever order a dress from a catalog without reading a description of the materials. It didn’t look like Velvet in the pic!! So, I am doomed to wear that thing at least a few more times cause it was so friggin expensive that even I (miss spendthrift) cannot just toss the boob squashing velvet out the door! Another note for adult skaters that are well-endowed: Do not buy from GK Elite. I don’t think their designers realize some people even have boobs!

Ok, so I got off topic there.
I was able to practice for maybe 3 minutes before my coach showed up. I ran though the first two moves which she made me do twice. By the time I was tired. Mornings= no stamina. I needed to conserve. I jumped a little, waltz, waltz/toe (very tight). Sit spin was fine but the ice in this rink was very different than at home and it was very hard. You could hear every thing! Plus you needed to really dig in your edges. Not good for me on jumps. I was tentative. I could tell. The ice made me go faster than usual since I felt like I was skimming the surface. I knew I should have sharpened my skates two weeks ago for this! I just wasn’t pressing into the ice at all either.

I was somewhat nervous at this point but nothing like I was for Prebronze. I was oddly somewhat calm with just a bit of apprehension. The woman running the test ran over and told me the first two little girls weren’t coming so I was first. And if I passed my MIF then I would be up again 15 min. later.
One warmup for both MIF and Free since both of my tests were during the same session.

I breathed. So that was fine, I would just get it all over with. I tried to tell myself, just go slow and then maybe I could control my edges because I was definitely tightening up. Coach tried to make me do my backspin. I refused. Absolutely refused to try on practice. If I fell I knew I would only think about the backspin. So I didn’t. As it turns out, I guess if you are that nervous to try an element before a test then you probably shouldnt test it cause you do know that the element really isnt yours yet. W

I went on warm up after practice. It was fine. I just did stroking and such. Actually I cant really remember what I did cause I was starting to get freaked.

They called my name, I went up to the judges, they asked me if I knew the order of the Moves test. I said Yes.. I think so… (in my head: ha haaa, I was laughing because I knew I just might forget!.) They said- if you need help just ask.

I skated to my spot and began….. and was ok. It was not the best I ever skated. It was not my absolute worst. I was not fast but it wasnt completely shaky. It did feel very long. In my eyes I did ok. Not great but ok. I have enough trouble realizing which edge I am on in a particular part anyway let alone trying to understand if I was on one in the actual test. I did add one extra set on my backward outside edges. Which freaked me and my five step which I normally enjoy was like a race to the finish. I just wanted the heck off that ice. I was starting to shake a little. My coach was mouthing things like Extend… and Hold… and I was just trying to complete the edge or turn.

I breathed a sigh of relief when it was over. I waited to hear if I passed for my freestyle test. I went out to the ice when the judges signaled that I passed and I skated to the center.

I was happy with one pass…. I wanted the freestyle pass badly but quite frankly I was nervous that I wouldn’t be able to hit my waltz/toe or backspin under testing stress. When I stood there waiting for my music I thought.. I just want to enjoy skating. I’ll just try my best and perform. Knowing it was going to be difficult.

Right off the bat, backspin…. nope.. didnt happen, darn! Went on with a slight sigh and a grimace. Waltz toe, barely hit it, done… went into crossovers and outside spiral- best part. I hit it and tried to smile and use my arms to go with the music (which happens to be from ice castles!)
Then mohawk and speed with one crossover and I set up for my loop. Completed! Small but completely rotated, then three turn into a sit with my variation, hands behind my back into the scratch. Then into the step sequence. Sometimes I am very disoriented at this point and I have to really push to start the steps. This time on the second step I stumbled. This has never happened in practice or competition. Wierd. I recovered shakily and went on. Crossovers into sal. My best jump of course, and into side hop, three turn, one foot spin, with arabesque(wasnt in the program.. go figure- I dont have time to do the full scratch so I do a variation usually a foot to the side with a hand to the heart and the other arm out but I just pulled my leg to the back.)

After that.. 3 strokes into toe loop…. the dinkiest little toe loop ever. Crap, total crap. It is a hard set up out of the spin but still.. it was so tiny! Then I attempted my last back spin. Nope. So bad, worse than the first. I totally don’t know how I stood up. Then the end.

Darn that backspin!! lol

So, they asked for a reskate of the backspin. I calmly tried to skate slowly to the middle of the ice and breathe all the while mouthing “backspin reskate” to my coach.
It thought, “I can do this right? I came all the way here, worked hard, and practiced and spent the money so I was going to do this!”
So I stood facing the judges and from a pivot I barely held onto three rev’s and pushed out of the backspin.

PASSED!!

Most of the judges comments were pretty negative, like strikes on the wrong edge, and only did 2 xo’s around the end. Which in my insanity I probably did. In MIF 2 judges passed me and one circled retry (well.. nice way to say fail!) Well 2 over one wins but woh.. I cant believe I did that badly! Although one judge complemented me on my posture and back outside edges.. woohoo!

Freestyle comments were way harsh. Well.. it was without a doubt the worst showing of that program I ever did!
One judge wrote “The program was barely passable you need to work!” My thoughts on this.. hmmm something like, I spend way over my budget skating my butt offand I already work every single moment of spare freestyle ice into my work schedule. And no I am not Tara Lipinski nor will I ever be! But Hey… you know I guess I could work one more 6 am session in! Wow.. I mean I am not perfect by any means. But truly, I am an adult, with limited time and I do work really hard. Meanie. 😛

On the flip side one judge wrote….”Very musical, very graceful and good use of arms” Ok… that mollified me. Must have been the spiral section.. ha ha, I smiled just for that judge…

So, that was my Bronze test experience. Fascinating I know, but thank goodness I dont have to do that again for awhile!!
I am just not a test taker. Even in college.. it was very difficult and all I had to control was my brain and hand. Eeek… controlling your whole body in many ways is so much harder!

So from here. I will now continue to work on my backspin and try to get that lutz. Hopefully beef up my program so it is somewhat competitive and look forward to sectionals!! So much fun! I really see this test as a milestone for competing as well as a push to be able to focus on more difficult elements as well as perfecting some of the easier ones.

I just got my skates sharpened by an experienced pro after I tested. So for the first time I will have perfectly sharpened skates (not just by anyone like I usually do)
and I can’t wait to go try them out. He did say they were pretty bad and asked me what test I took because he couldn’t believe I could hold an edge the way they were! He was awesome. He asked me if my scratch spins had been traveling. I said yes.. absolutely they have been a bit off and I have been struggling to get them back to the way they were. He said my sweet spot was gone. Great..nice I said. So hopefully I will notice a big difference. He also said one blade was crooked. What the heck?
And he said I probably compensated my left inside edge somehow. Great. Well, thats fixed as well.

So maybe I’ll skate like Michelle Kwan now! lol… yeah in my dreams..

Till next week…onto backspin and lutz

Testing Adult Bronze this Thursday!!!

15 Jan

I have been very bad lately and have not updated for the past month. I skated so much over christmas break though- it was awesome!!
I get an extended vacation from work every year so I always look forward to the wonderful ice time that get!

Granted- yes every single skating kid was at the freestyle sessions but it was still ice.

I have been working on my Bronze MIF and Freestyle program. I test this thursday about 2 hours away from me- since my rink only has tests in the summer.
I am nervous. I have to say that. My stomach ties itself into knots everytime I think of it.
So, I have been running through my MIF’s like a mad women and my coach thinks I still need work on a few things. (ohh wonderful!) But I definitely feel stable enough test. I am not very good at keeping track of how big my lobes are and exactly where I am placing my turns so that is the hardest part about this whole test. It finally dawned on me about a month ago that it really is a little bit like the old figures.

Wow… I would have died back then. I like the flow of moves once I learn them (not that I know more than 5 — ha ha) but its pleasant to glide along on smooth edges and it helps my jumps. However- I dislike having to think about my exact placement of each foot on that darn circle. Not to mention feeling like I’m a geometric measurement on blades.. no I do not how big that lobe is in comparison to that darn dot…ewww

It takes all the fun out of it. So if I happen to not pass this test I guess it will be because of my placement. Its hard enough to hold some of the edges but to think about making the move just long enough and to extend exactly so is enough to drive anyone bonkers!

Anywho… my problem pattern is the three turns on my left foot. I can do them but the rhythm is off and stiff. I have to focus.

And.. if I pass mif them my freestyle problem is the backspin… which has mercilessly left me. Seriously, during christmas it was there. I was rotating and actually spinning decently from a right inside edge entrance no less! Last two freestyle sessions I cannot even get into the thing.
I guess it doesnt help that I have to do it right after my toe loop. I’m like a crazy thing, landing the toe (which is right after a modified one foot spin- for lack of time I can’t do my full scratch.) and then pushing myself into that backspin. As if I am not going to die.
Yeah, I say that to myself during my run-throughs on freestyle ice with the kiddies.

It’s kinda like this: “ok now, push into that spin- come on now- you can do it- who cares if this is the surest way to land on your head sideways..”
yeah, then I get into it and make faces try to align my twisted body, and mantain semi-control over my flailing arms.
Its great fun.

Yeah, I don’t know if its going to make it for the test folks!
We will see. Everything else is pretty strong free style wise.
Nerves make me do Baad things for sure..

The schedule just came in and I am on the ice first thing in the morning. 8:25am
aaahhhh
I think maybe a shot or two in the morning might lead some to think I am an alcoholic but I seriously think this might require it. Oh no, I am not talking about wine or beer either. I think this calls for some wild turkey or some such strong smelling stuff!

Tonight: Battle with backspin entrances-and moves rehash.

On a good note…. my flip is still with me. Yes… it is MINE. The jump has been pretty steady the last month. I have started group lessons again and now that they have split up the advanced group into lower advanced and higher advanced. We are starting with flip and up now instead of sal and on. Which means we started lutz’s and axel prep last week.
I really need that backspin for this!!

Ok wish me luck…. next time I post I’ll either be a bronze level skater or a more experienced pre-bronze skater with a backspin fetish! lol