Archive | February, 2009

5:30 am SKATE WAKE UP

27 Feb

When I woke up this morning, I thought-I really don’t want to skate.
When I got to the rink, I thought- I really don’t want to get on the ice.
When I saw my coach, I thought- Oh, Please don’t torture me
When I got on the ice, I thought- This is going to be painful
When I started the lesson I thought-This isn’t so bad
When I was done with the lesson, I thought-that was actually a good practice!

Lesson? Even if I don’t want to skate, because I am stressed, tired or physically not feeling well skating always makes me happy.
It’s been pretty true for the last 8 years so I’m thinking its a pattern of happiness I probably should follow.
Work and the side business has been stressful and I am preparing for a 2 week trip to New Zealand. Yay! Fun! But before the fun, I have alot of loose ends to tie up and loads of works (that seems to never end) to do. The winter has been long and cold and I think I am ready for a break. I have not been skating very well and my knees have been hurting so progress is minimal.
So this morning I was not in a positive frame of mind and the last thing I wanted was to be at the rink at 6am in the morning to practice camel spins that never quite spin correctly.

I was pleasantly surprised by how calming and unstressful it was to just be out there on the ice.
I completely focused on whatever move or jump or spin I was practicing and before I knew it – the session was over and I felt so much less stressed.

THAT is what I love about skating. Yes, It can be challenging and no I will never get close to Sasha Cohen flexibility or Michelle Kwan ability BUT its worth it to just try and move on the ice without thinking of everything else going on.

I feel so much better, sigh.

Now, of course, this does not mean my flips were perfect, my camels spun without a bent leg and back spin wasn’t on the wrong edge 😉

Today’s lesson a variety of skills.
1. Went over footwork for recut second half of program
I now will ballet hop to a inside three turn with some pretty bended arm movements.
right now? It looks like a one foot stop with the pick in the ice and a bear hug in a crouched position.
2.Camels.
We worked on unbending the free leg, and going into the spin from a standstill with the left arm in front. I am going to repeat hold that left arm to myself for years to come in everything skating related! I continuously practice going into the camel on a half circle. I should look like superman with one hand stuck out instead I look like crouching tiger about to face plant into the ice (again)
3. Flips.
Softly pick in the ice. Don’t slam it, jam it or bend the knee. Issues. I have ISSUES!
all landed, just not a pretty jump.
4. Sit change sit.
The back sit is coming along. My coach is wondering why I can make 3-4 very nice revolutions in a back sit position but consistently have issues with a standing back scratch.
FEAR. Its fear of falling backwards from a height of 5’8″.
I am to work on getting into the back sit position from a stand still rather then from the forward sit.

I think that was all. The program is moving along slowly. I really like the footwork, I just wish my feet and body would work together. Don’t we all?
Happy Friday.

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Program Cut, Finally!

14 Feb

The program is officially cut. Thank goodness. Granted, I may have to tweak it a bit more but the music has been shortened. It was very hard to cut that piece of music.
Friday morning, during the 6am skate my coach and I worked on the program. So now I will be hightailing my butt down the ice after a flip jump to do footwork. Its definitely going to take some time to be able to skate just half of the program. I am VERY out of shape.

Big surprise.

This week’s 6am session included:
1. Camel exercises
in particular this one exercise should provide hours of amusement and painful swelling of the knees and elbows (don’t everyone hurry out on the ice all at once!)
From the sit spin, you check out and then step onto the left outside edge (or right, depending on your spinning leg) to go straight into a camel spin.

Its supposed to teach you a couple things.
1. Control of arms and legs in sync
2. Using your edge to get into the spin
3. Fear of whiplash as you spin out of control and face plant into the ice
(just kidding on the last one)

If you are bored and want to test your camels try this exercise. Its super fun.

Other exercises of the 6am session include:
Camel spin exercise 2:
The holding of the sacred glove
Yes, the sacred glove (this one was pink) is held in your right hand as you enter the spin, then as you go into the spin you will place this sacred (pink) glove in the crevice created by your hip and leg. You should be on a bent leg going into the spin and then rise up into it. For those of us who are spinning correctly you will no doubt be pleased to notice that the sacred glove will remain in the crevice between your hip and thigh. For those of us who are more camel challenged the “sacred” glove will fall to the ground and you will either stop spinning because you realize you lost your glove OR you will run over said glove and come to a grinding halt anyway. 2nd one much more painful 😉

All fun aside, this exercise is helpful in achieving the correct spin position. I like it alot.

In other areas, we worked on a stroking exercise where my coach followed me around the rink in a pattern of back crossovers with a little extra addition.
Hops in alternating landing positions.

Ok 6am. Backwards. Hops kinda like jumps. Arms up. Opposite directions = other than usual landing leg = scary.

So, backward crossovers on right side (we will say 2) into a hop on one leg with arms out and free leg extended at the top of the lobe. Then switch directions and repeat.
Oh, I can’t tell you how small, teensy weensy my left hops were. They were more like invisible mind hops. In my mind I was hopping but in reality my coach thought I was ignoring the hop.
It was alot like self preservation – not to do the hop on the left. But, yes, crazy person I am I eventually achieved one perfect little hop that actually left the ice. Sigh.
Beautiful. Just a couple thousand more and it will be perfect.

Any other practices that morning? Nope. Thats it. Hope these exercises help.

and.. Happy Valentines.

Skate for the Heart and other fun lessons

7 Feb

I did have a lesson last week. I am doing a lesson every other week. I find that while it probably doesnt increase my skills, it does help me appreciate the lesson more. Plus, as usual, its more affordable this way. I was feeling like I was wasting lessons on weeks when I was so busy with work and my business on the side. Some weeks I had a lesson but I hadn’t been on the ice but once since the last lesson. Somewhat pointless to spend money that way.
Although I do want to increase skating time, as usual, finances and real life jobs get in the way- bah hum bug that!

So, on to last weeks lesson. What did I do?
We went over spins mainly. My favorite although on this particular icy cold morning at 6am nothing was working the way it should of!
How many times have I said that one! Truly, 6 am sessions are typical for any skater at any rink so I shouldnt complain. 🙂 But I will never get used to them!

So- spins. We worked on my sit spins, back spins and camel spins. I definitely have a left arm and shoulder that operates by itself- and on its own. No- it does not like the rest of my body, it just swings out any ole’ time it wants to.
You can bet that was the issue with every spin. From reading this blog- y’all will know that I have a pretty reliable sit, OK- a NICE sit. However, even on that spin I let my left arm go and then the rest of me catches up. Eventually.
I let the left arm drop in sit, camel and the back spin. And oh yes. I even do it on my scratch. I can still do the sit and scratch pretty well but dropping my left shoulder and letting my left arm drop halfway into the spin makes for a rocky start until I can recenter myself.

So we practiced keeping the left arm straight into the spin. Also, stepping into the spin by stepping back to where I came from on the circle. Does that make sense? Alot of times I just step a little out of the circle when I enter the spin which also makes for a rocky start and sometimes dooms the spin from the beginning. Thinking about holding my left arm and stepping back to the circle on the entry of the forward spins was very helpful.

Backspins are disastrous. Well, actually I can rotate a backspin from a standstill but the entry sucks. I cant hold that inside edge long enough. I anticipate the turn into the spin and cut it short and I drop my arm and I lean over the circle. I look like I am all hunched over. Issues, I tell you. If its not actually spinning in the back spin, its the entry. So I am really trying to think about holding my left leg behind me and holding that right inside edge without hunching and mantaining my left arm in front.

Camels? Oh god.
Well. I actually have been turning out ok camels lately. Rotating them on freestyle sessions and such. Not that morning. We started doing exercises on the line. Like a really short left inside spiral with a hook. I start from a standstill and try to mantain my left arm in front and straight legs on a deep curve. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesnt. I called it torture.
I’m like a broken plane. Sometimes my leg is bent. I lied. One of the two is always bent but I cant feel it. Lol. Hey, they feel straight to me! I think they are naturally curvy. Sigh. One day I will have a gorgeous camel. My spin learning curve is usually 3 years of intense concentration. So after 3 years of trying a spin I can usually rely on rotating it in a decent fashion. Its about 3. So maybe it will click soon. Although, my good spirals are all on my right leg so this was challenging for me from the beginning. I still cant do very good spirals on the left. Yeah, I got issues!

We also added some more steps to my program footwork. And if I ever get the music cut we might actually finish choreographing the program! The rest of the footwork consists of: mohawk, 3 inside power pulls (changing legs) to a small backwards hop to the left foot with a crossover into 2 continuous three turns on the right foot. I hope that makes sense. Maybe I’ll bring the camera this week so you guys can see it.

Speaking of watching skating. Did anybody watch Skating from the Heart? I watched it today and I dont normally watch those skating shows, preferring the competitions, but it was really good! Irina was skating and so was Shae-Lynn! I love them both. I have to say though, Shae-Lynn makes everything look good and she doesn’t even have jumps! Its amazing, you dont even notice that she isnt doing them. Its really great dance on ice with her and her hydroblading is always awesome. So I will include a Shae-Lynn clip at the end of this so you can see what I mean…
Till next time… ta ta

P.S This video is of Shae-Lynn’s number Living on the edge at the new years gala but she also skated it for Skate for the Heart

Skate for the Heart and other fun lessons

7 Feb

I did have a lesson last week. I am doing a lesson every other week. I find that while it probably doesnt increase my skills, it does help me appreciate the lesson more. Plus, as usual, its more affordable this way. I was feeling like I was wasting lessons on weeks when I was so busy with work and my business on the side. Some weeks I had a lesson but I hadn’t been on the ice but once since the last lesson. Somewhat pointless to spend money that way.
Although I do want to increase skating time, as usual, finances and real life jobs get in the way- bah hum bug that!

So, on to last weeks lesson. What did I do?
We went over spins mainly. My favorite although on this particular icy cold morning at 6am nothing was working the way it should of!
How many times have I said that one! Truly, 6 am sessions are typical for any skater at any rink so I shouldnt complain. 🙂 But I will never get used to them!

So- spins. We worked on my sit spins, back spins and camel spins. I definitely have a left arm and shoulder that operates by itself- and on its own. No- it does not like the rest of my body, it just swings out any ole’ time it wants to.
You can bet that was the issue with every spin. From reading this blog- y’all will know that I have a pretty reliable sit, OK- a NICE sit. However, even on that spin I let my left arm go and then the rest of me catches up. Eventually.
I let the left arm drop in sit, camel and the back spin. And oh yes. I even do it on my scratch. I can still do the sit and scratch pretty well but dropping my left shoulder and letting my left arm drop halfway into the spin makes for a rocky start until I can recenter myself.

So we practiced keeping the left arm straight into the spin. Also, stepping into the spin by stepping back to where I came from on the circle. Does that make sense? Alot of times I just step a little out of the circle when I enter the spin which also makes for a rocky start and sometimes dooms the spin from the beginning. Thinking about holding my left arm and stepping back to the circle on the entry of the forward spins was very helpful.

Backspins are disastrous. Well, actually I can rotate a backspin from a standstill but the entry sucks. I cant hold that inside edge long enough. I anticipate the turn into the spin and cut it short and I drop my arm and I lean over the circle. I look like I am all hunched over. Issues, I tell you. If its not actually spinning in the back spin, its the entry. So I am really trying to think about holding my left leg behind me and holding that right inside edge without hunching and mantaining my left arm in front.

Camels? Oh god.
Well. I actually have been turning out ok camels lately. Rotating them on freestyle sessions and such. Not that morning. We started doing exercises on the line. Like a really short left inside spiral with a hook. I start from a standstill and try to mantain my left arm in front and straight legs on a deep curve. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesnt. I called it torture.
I’m like a broken plane. Sometimes my leg is bent. I lied. One of the two is always bent but I cant feel it. Lol. Hey, they feel straight to me! I think they are naturally curvy. Sigh. One day I will have a gorgeous camel. My spin learning curve is usually 3 years of intense concentration. So after 3 years of trying a spin I can usually rely on rotating it in a decent fashion. Its about 3. So maybe it will click soon. Although, my good spirals are all on my right leg so this was challenging for me from the beginning. I still cant do very good spirals on the left. Yeah, I got issues!

We also added some more steps to my program footwork. And if I ever get the music cut we might actually finish choreographing the program! The rest of the footwork consists of: mohawk, 3 inside power pulls (changing legs) to a small backwards hop to the left foot with a crossover into 2 continuous three turns on the right foot. I hope that makes sense. Maybe I’ll bring the camera this week so you guys can see it.

Speaking of watching skating. Did anybody watch Skating from the Heart? I watched it today and I dont normally watch those skating shows, preferring the competitions, but it was really good! Irina was skating and so was Shae-Lynn! I love them both. I have to say though, Shae-Lynn makes everything look good and she doesn’t even have jumps! Its amazing, you dont even notice that she isnt doing them. Its really great dance on ice with her and her hydroblading is always awesome. So I will include a Shae-Lynn clip at the end of this so you can see what I mean…
Till next time… ta ta

P.S This video is of Shae-Lynn’s number Living on the edge at the new years gala but she also skated it for Skate for the Heart