Really stoked about Ice Follies

At ice skating yesterday they didn’t have the regular classes. They had a lot of different things going on: kids playing “ice soccer”, other folk practicing whatever, and the instructors who were there kind of circulating around.

I was mostly off by myself working on my backward skating and circle work.  Some of the same kind of stuff I talked about in yesterday’s post.

For backward work, I was doing backward one-foot glides and backward stroking:

On the circle, I worked forward and backward edges and backward half-swizzle pumps on the circle.

Trevor, the god of figure skating lore in the local area–we have a couple of folk who coach competitive skaters here and Trevor is the guy who coached them–came over to work with my on the two foot turns, front to back, on the circle. I’d mentioned the two-foot turn issue to him the day before. That’s a beginning transition from forward skating to backward, and one that had given me trouble.

It looks so simple but…  So Trevor worked with me for ten minutes or so and by the end of it I was doing the turn. I’ll need practice, but I’ve got the basics down now.

That was good.  Breakthroughs are always nice.  What really had me stoked, though, was two things. After working the two foot turn for a bit, I started to get sloppier with it–fatigue–so I went to try some other stuff.

One was my forward crossovers. I did them a bit on the circle and they were coming together nicely to the point that I could do several in a row.

And once I’d practiced the crossovers a bit, I went to straight back and forth across the ice working on one more technique.  This one is the last of the technique I had learned back when I was 18, which I had “lost” in the intervening years, a T-stop:

This one was a challenge again.  Part of it is being stable enough on the one foot glide to be able to set the braking foot down behind the gliding foot.  Some subtle points include the angle of the blade scraping the ice and keeping it aligned so that you stop in a straight line and don’t don’t end up swinging around in a curve (and then falling on your face).  After a bit of practice, I found I was able to do it again.

So everything I used to be able to do I can do again–and lots more besides.

Add together the results of my diet and exercise program (of which ice skating is a part) and in many ways I seem to be in the best shape of my life. Yeah, my weight’s still up compared to where I’d like it to be but strength and stamina are higher than they’ve ever been before.

Not bad for someone 16 days shy of 59.

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