This week seemed to be a bit…difficult in the skating department. I’m sure part of the problem was that I couldn’t sleep Friday night. I mean, not at all. Ended up pulling an all-nighter as sleep just would not come. Don’t know why. Also, Saturday, when I went to the afternoon public skate session, something felt “off” in my right ankle. No pain, just a sense of weakness.
I decided to take it easy but to continue skating.
The rink was a little busier than it had been, which is a good thing since that means they’re making money and are more likely to stay open. I set up the phone at one end of the rink to record my “basic skating”. Forward stroking into one foot glides and forward crossovers at the ends of the rink. I also included a bit of using the circle in the middle of the rink to practice forward crossovers in the other direction. Was a bit shakier than usual on this.
One thing I notice here is that I am a bit more bent over at the waist than I should be. Going to have to work on that.
Later, I did a bit of work on the circle. Backward pumps in both directions, then backward edges, outside and inside, again in both directions, and finishing with forward crossovers in the clockwise direction. These last ones are weaker than in the counterclockwise direction simply before the general “flow of traffic” in the rink is counterclockwise and so I get a lot more practice with it. I also tried, as usual to do my two foot turn with each change of direction. Backward to forward, I am told, is noticeably harder than forward to backward.
That was actually painful to watch. On the one hand I was getting a bit better with my backward pumps, getting my foot out farther and getting more momentum which helps with holding the edges. On the other, my balance was just off. Part of that, I think, was whatever was off in my ankle and part of it was just “having a bad day”.
I called off the session after about 35 minutes, not wanting to strain too hard and didn’t attend the later session.
On Sunday, I went in for public skate. Ankle felt better, so that was good. And I had been able to sleep Saturday night which was better. Nevertheless, the results were much like the above. Again, I called it at about 35 minutes and sat on the benches to rest and wait for class to start.
Classes at this rink are divided into two groups. The first group, containing the young kids and the Basic 1-3 classes is at 3:15 to 3:45. The second group is the higher classes and all the adults. One end of the rink is marked off with cones and when one group is on the ice the other can use that maked off area for some extra practice. I spent the time in there working on a couple of fundamentals: stopping, both snowplows and t-stops, and backward one foot glides. More work in the latter was recommended to me in an online forum on the grounds that it would help me with the backward edges.
This work made it very clear that I was less stable on my right foot than on my left. So while the ankle felt better, there was still something off.
My instructors are great. I explained that I was having some issues this week and would like to take it a bit easy and so we did. In class, one of the things my instructor had me do, toward the end of class, was to try was when I cross, instead of immediately bringing the back leg around, just hold that crossed two foot glide for a bit. This would ensure that I had both skates lined up the same way and would help me be more stable and fluid when skating. So, I tried it and it seemed to help. Will do more in the future.
Another thing we did was those two foot turns. Part of my problem is that I don’t have the “torsional flexibility” in my upper body to make it work well. On a standing two foot turn I can do it if I give my upper body a bit of dynamic twist and turn just as I hit the limit of body twist. I do much the same thing on the circle but that I’m going around the circle tends to disguise the motion a bit. In class with the standing turns, my instructor said to not worry about getting the skates all the way around. Just get the motion down so the hips legs and feet are turning while the arms stay still. After the standing two foot turns, we tried it on the circle. The other two students (at a somewhat lower level) were on one. I was on another and since I had it to myself I would just go round and round trying front to back then back to front over and over again, then, after a while, reverse and go the other direction, front to back and back to front.
I seem to have made some progress on the two foot turns and, coming in what was a generally bad weekend, I’ll take that as a win.
And that was my weekend at the ice follies.