The Ongoing Ice Follies

I know that this is pretty soon after the last one, but I’ve again made some significant progress.  This has actually been a very productive week for me.

In addition to the two-foot turn that I mentioned before as one of the key skills I have to learn to finally complete “Basic 3” there’s a “Bonus Skill” called the Forward Inside Pivot.  That’s a move that’s supposed to look like this:

I fumbled around a little bit with it in the last session but in this most recent I spent a little more time and actually got it a bit better.  But the real thing was that I was able to transition from the pivot to an actual two-foot spin (a Basic 4 technique) as follows:

Now, the girl in that video isn’t actually doing a pivot as a lead into the spin–she’s not up on the toe picks of the foot that’s not pumping–but that’s what at least one of my local instructors teaches.   And I got there.  I only made one revolution (they want two for Basic 4), but it’s a start.

I also managed a few crossovers on a circle and some work on the two foot turn front to back.  Didn’t come to a complete stop this time.  So…progress.  Indeed, in my most recent class the instructor had us do a lap of the entire rink with instructions to use our crossovers in the corners.  Managed actually.   More of a confidence thing than anything else.  She told us that that’s what we should do during public skate–crossovers in the corners.

Next thing, I started working on Backward Pumps on a circle.  This is one of the stepping stones to more advanced backward working.

The second session of the day, the rink was too crowded to do much technique practice.  Some work on my balance in one foot glides (so important for anything I really want to do) and that’s about it.  However, during the session someone took a bad spill.  Hit the ice face first and it looks like he’d bloodied his mouth.  Left a big blood-spot on the ice.  The “Ice guard” was standing there, trying to divert traffic away from it but there was only so much one person could do.  I stopped and asked if he’d like some help directing traffic.  He accepted gratefully and I spend some time standing “upstream” of the mess directing people to go around.  We lasted until some other people could come out with a scraper to clean up the mess and get it off the ice.  Nice to know that I was able to help.

The really great thing was on Sunday’s public skate.  A young lady flagged me down while I was skating.  I stopped and skated back to her and she said she was helping the younger boy with her (guessing her at late teens and the boy a couple years younger) learn to skate and she asked if I could help.  Not a problem.  We went over forward marching and taking several steps in forward marching then two foot glide.  I then showed them how to do a forward swizzle and suggested that once he gets comfortable with the march and glide bit he can try that.  It seemed to be helpful.  I was about at the end of my session–wanting to get plenty of rest between public skate and class–but if they had any further questions to not hesitate to come and get me.

The thing that made it so nice, though, was that out of all the people out there on the ice I was the one they asked for help.  I’m still working on it and really, really need a lot of help myself with this but even with much better skaters out there, they asked me.  Maybe it was the way I dressed?  I mean, the dress shirt and slacks, red jaquard cravat and red and black brocade vest is just “walking around clothes” to me, but an outfit like that wouldn’t look out of place in figure skating competition.  Mind you I’d look quite out of place, but the outfit?  Fit right in.  So maybe I fit their image of a “real figure skater” rather than just some guy goofing around on the ice.

Different vest and no cravat here, but you get the idea.

All told, between the two sessions I spent a good hour on the ice.  And another hour the next dab between public skate and class.  Maybe I can nail down that pivot and spin a bit more.  My plan for this week is to bring my skates into the house (they usually just stay in the back of the car) and practice the crossover movement on the floor (blade guards protecting blades and floor from each other of course).  Hopefully that will help me get the movements down so I can get comfortable with it again like I used to be.

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