Goth in Ice: First Session after Quarantine

My quarantine ended yesterday. So, today I went back to Ice Skating class. I didn’t try to do either the Saturday evening or the Sunday afternoon public skate sessions. I figured with two weeks of missing practices and being right on the heels of being sick, it was better to take it easy and ease into it.

The nature of things was such that I didn’t capture any video this time. Maybe next time.

I started with the half hour practice session before class. I worked on a couple of things in there. First, I tried a few two-foot spins. I worked on drawing my arms in more smoothly rather than jerking them in as soon as I finish the “pump” to create rotation. I can’t say how well that worked but I got a turn or two out of the spins. Stumbled and fell once.

I also worked on my consecutive outside edges and consecutive inside edges. I was quite surprised how well those went. I think the issue was that my blades had been getting dull before and that was causing some of my problems. There’s the old saying that “it’s a poor carpenter who blames his tools” but the tools do matter and good, or bad, blade condition can make a difference.

Forward outside swing rolls. Those went rather well as well.

The next thing I tried was a technique that was just introduced in the last class before I was quarantined: Forward changes of edge on a line. In this technique you start on a forward outside edge, do a half circle, then switch to a forward inside edge for another half circle, making an “S” curve on the ice. I haven’t found any good videos of just the forward change of edge on a line but it’s a lead-in technique to forward power pulls, which are shown here:

In the class before quarantine, I was able to complete the first half circle, make the edge change, then go a couple of feet (max) before losing control of it. Today, I was able to complete the full “S”. Again, I think the freshly sharpened skates made the difference.

I then did some practice on the Swing Rolls, and, again surprised myself by how well those went. Those are much like consecutive forward edges except you keep your upper body and arms facing the same direction and you use a more graceful swing of the leg that’s not on the ice from back to front.

Most of the rest of the practice time I just did simple skating around, practicing one foot glides and forward edges–inside and outside in both directions.

Class was the last one of the eight week block and we were doing “progress reports. We covered a lot of stuff with my instructor judging where I was on each of the requisite skills at the levels I’m training at.

Here’s the result:

Adult 5

  • Backward outside edge on circle, R and L (Basic 5) √
  • Backward inside edge on a circle, R and L (Basic 5) √
  • Backward crossovers, clockwise and counterclockwise (Basic 5) √+
  • Forward outside three-turn, R and L (Basic 5)
  • Forward swing rolls to a count of six (Not included in “Basic”) √
  • Beginning two-foot spin (Basic 4)

Adult 6

  • Forward stroking with crossover end patterns (Not included in Basic) √
  • Backward stroking with crossover end patterns (Backward stroking is Basic 6, the “crossover end patterns” is not included)
  • Forward inside three-turn, R and L (Basic 6)
  • Forward outside to inside change of edge on a line, R and L (Not included in Basic) [Ed: I had originally marked this as “done” but that was a mistake. Although I did well during the practice session, the instructor didn’t actually check me on this. On ice practice after this tells me that first practice session was a fluke. I’m having real trouble with this.]
  • T-stop, R or L (Basic 6) R+ L
  • Lunge (Basic 4) √
  • Two-foot spin into one-foot spin (Basic 6)

I’ve marked in bold everything I’ve actually passed. Note, I probably could pass the Outside three-turn, I just didn’t feel up to trying it coming right off illness as I was. The instructor used a “+” to mark things she thought I was doing well above the requisite level for where I’m at.

I am within a hair’s breadth of finishing out Adult 5. If I’m not quite there yet (after accounting for recovery from illness) on the two-foot spin and the forward outside three-turn, I’m close.

For adult 6, I need to work more on backward stroking and that’s mostly a practice thing. The problem there is the amount of traffic during public skating times. I worry about running into people when trying to skate backward when there are lots of people on the ice. And that will leave me just the one foot spin and the forward inside three turn to finish it out.

Can I do that in the next eight week session? I’m sure going to try.

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