Tag Archives: 2015 adult eastern sectionals

Adult Eastern Sectionals and The Joy of Competition

17 Mar

Fiance (doesn’t he look enthralled?) and I after the Freeskate competition

The last time I competed it was at 2008 Adult Nationals and in that time adult competition has not really changed but, oh man, my body definitely did!

Seven years ago I did not have to conserve energy on practice ice an hour and a half before I competed. I did not have to stretch and restretch before and after practice sessions and again, just before the competition. And I definitely did not have to carefully monitor the swelling behind my bad knee just before I went on warm up. With all this though, one thing did not change about competing. I loved it. I absolutely loved stepping on the empty ice to compete in front of a crowd of people (small but nevertheless a crowd) and of course, the judges. The judges in a competition are incidental to me, they are part of the crowd, another area of the arena to impress. Unlike a test, where the goal is to pass, in a competition I’m essentially trying to outperform myself and others as well as interpret the music to the absolute fullest. It’s why I love skating so much. That exhibitionist part of me just loves, loves, LOVES, putting on a show, pretending that I am better then I am and exceeding my physical limitations. This time was no different, it wasn’t a perfect performance by any means but the feeling of just pure adrenaline and enjoyment as I stepped out on the ice to challenge myself to not be afraid, perform and to really put my skills to the test is exactly why I wanted to compete again.

Overall, I placed 4th in the Bronze Freeskate and 2nd in Bronze Compulsory.  I think it was a good showing considering I didn’t start training for it until 6 weeks ago. I had a few “uh oh” moments during my freeskate which I wish I could take back but overall it was a solid skate. I shoved my toe pick in the ice coming down from the camel into the sit spin and I had a very wobbly catch foot spin from my sit. My flip was probably the tiniest flip I have ever done without actually falling on it and I was so annoyed by the missed sit spin that I forgot where I was for a second in my foot work. That aside, the performance was good. I remember thinking during the program that if I smiled anymore my face would break. I just could not stop!

I actually saw two skaters that I had competed against in 2008 in the locker rooms. Skating is such a small, small world.  I also met a few new people both in the stands and while waiting to take the ice for competition. I met another skater up in the stands throwing rubber duckies at the sweepers ( for the skaters ; ) and sipping wine from the bottle. My fiance was slightly disturbed, I thought it was hilarious. They were rubber ducks, no one was going to get hurt except for maybe the ducks!

My grandparents, friend and fiance were all in attendance and we had a great time celebrating afterwards. Maybe a little too much, because the next day for compulsories I was just a tad bit wobbly ; )

For anyone, who has not competed at any adult competition I would encourage you to try it out just for fun. Not everyone enjoys exhibiting themselves in front of a crowd but the camaraderie among the other skaters as well as the chance to feel just a tiny bit like your favorite skaters on tv is definitely worth it. There is no pass or fail in a competition and I can honestly say that it will probably make you a better skater overall. Plus, you get to wear a really sparkly costume which obviously makes everything better! I promise it’s not at all like testing and the worst that can happen is that people pelt you with a rubber duck. How can anyone say no to that?

Till next time….Happy Skating!

 

 

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Lutz Fake Out

19 Feb

It’s been awhile since I’ve updated and while I did take a brief break from skating back in November following my Silver moves test (one pass and 2 retries, boooo! more on that later) I’ve been hard at work on some of my freestyle elements.

I decided it was time to have some fun and do something other than just moves for awhile. Make no mistake though, I will be back to the grind again on those patterns to retest and I’ve even incorporated some of those moves in my warm up, but for now, it’s all about improving my basic skating skills and linking the freestyle elements together.

In addition, I’ve also decided last minute to compete at eastern sectionals in the bronze freestyle and compulsory category. My original goal was to compete at silver but since I still have to retry the silver moves I figured I would give my old bronze program one last hurrah. Kind of a final farewell and hello at the same time. The last time I competed was 7 years ago at the Adult Nationals in Lake Placid so, it’s hello competition again and farewell bronze because after this I will be solely working on finishing my silver program. In the meantime, I’ve added my camel sit change sit to the program as well as my layback and lutz to test out the elements for silver. It’s going to be interesting to see if my body holds together (aka knees) long enough to practice freestyle on a regular basis!

So, let’s get right into today’s lesson, lutz and flip! My two not favorite jumps. If you are a toe jumper I really, really envy you and… I may hate you a teensy bit ; )

On to the lesson:

Flip Jump (left 3 turn entrance with push):

These were ok today, I still have a tendency to draw my picking leg in at the last minute as well as to hesitate. I need to work a lot on bending my skating leg before picking in.

1. Strong entrance push from the right leg to turn the 3 turn.

2. Hold arms still and open to the right.

3. Extend free leg and bend very deeply on the left leg (skating leg). Bend even more than you think you can bend when backwards and then pick in with more force.

4. Keep right arm up and don’t let arms drop on the landing.

5. Strong check on the landing with arms up and out.

Lutz or as I like to call it “My fake out jump”:

So, this is my fake out jump because I have a small pause just after I pick in which allows me to turn on my toe pick and do more like a loop rather than a lutz. Bam. Fake out! Eh. It’s definitely a work in progress. My coach says I should be happy with this progress though since not too long ago I could barely do a good flip let alone a lutz so she feels this is moving along ok even with the delay in picking.

1. Work on the entrance edge, always start crossovers from behind the blue line on the other side of the rink (the one on the other side of the circle from your lutz corner)

2. Crossovers behind the blue line should start closer to the side of the rink. Two cross overs and then skate close to the boards for a right inside edge sweep (I’m not sure what to call this?) then lift left leg high, look to the inside and straighten out for preparation for the jump.

3. Arms held straight out over the left side, head looking slightly left, right foot to the front of skating leg as you slowly bring your arms to the front (keeping the arms up, do not drop them by the sides!) while the free foot slowly moves to the back of the skating leg with the arms moving eventually out to the right side (again, do not let them drop to the sides).

4. Head should face forward or slightly to the left just before you jump.

5. Very strong pick in on straight free leg.

Here is a good example of the lutz entry set up I’m doing by MK, just picture it being a single and slower!

All in all, I think my lutz was much better today than 2 weeks ago. I was dropping my left arm to my side instead of keeping it straight out in the beginning and I was also looking way to the right. My coach does not want me to look to the right behind me because much more advanced skaters will do this when they are very sure of the jump. She feels looking to the right makes it harder to jump to the left (further to rotate). So, I’m working on looking to the left because I was looking way to the right just before jumping.

So far, so good. Now, I just have to put it into practice!

Happy Skating!