Goth on Ice: A rough Day

Just under one hour on the ice yesterday. Had planned to try to do at least a full hour only at about 57 minutes of skating in, they told everyone to clear the ice so they could run the Zamboni. I wasn’t going to wait until they were done resurfacing the ice to skate an additional 3 minutes.

The bad: when I got off the ice I found one of my skate guards where I left it. I leave it sitting on the wall next to the entrance to the ice (common for folk to leave their guards here). I like to wear the guards whenever I’m in skates off the ice. The floors at the rink are padded to protect the blades but there’s always the chance of stepping on something which can nick the blade and ruin your edge.

Now sometimes one of the guards will fall off the wall. I then find it on the floor next to it. Not this time. It was gone. G O N E gone. Brand new guards and I have to buy another pair.

The good: While I was sitting on the floor (the benches and chairs were packed) removing my pads and changing from skates back to my shoes, a couple of young women (early 20’s maybe) approached me and asked where I got my mask. (I was wearing the spiked pleather mask in black and painted to look like blood spatter.) I said “Amazon.” They said that they liked my style (I was wearing a ruffled shirt, a paisley vest in red and back, and dress slacks. And they liked my earrings (little “dragon claws” holding a milky white orb–cheap costume jewelry bought at Hot Topic). Okay, they were a third of my age but it was nice to hear.

The frustrating: Forward change of edge, outside to inside, on a line. That is one of the techniques I need for Adult 6 and it’s proving…a challenge doesn’t begin to cover it. I find it harder than the Consecutive outside and consecutive inside edges that my instructor had me learning shortly before the COVID shutdown stuff. The consecutive forward edges is normally learned in Free Skate 1, which is two levels “higher” than Adult 6. I’m thinking this is actually more challenging than the spins that I’ve been attempting to learn.

This technique, required for “Adult 6” is proving to be my kryptonite.  I swear it’s harder than consecutive forward outside and consecutive forward inside edges even though those aren’t required until Free Skate 1.  While I was struggling with them in practice my instructor skated over from her own class (we have practice time at one end of the rink when the other class is in session) and gave me two suggestions:

1: Don’t try full half circles, just go for shallower “half ovals” for now.
2: Do the outside edge on one foot, then go ahead and glide on both for the other, just to get used to the movement for now.

I was told in another case that the flailing my arms around when I make the edge change was “throwing off my balance.” However, the causal arrow is reversed.  I’m flailing my arms around because my balance is already off and I’m just trying to stay upright.

I start with the “skating foot” side arm forward, and the other arm back and to the outside.  When I make the edge change, I have to move the trailing arm down and to the outside (of the new curve) to keep from falling over, and within a few inches to a couple of feet I have to put the free foot down.

It’s very frustrating.  At first I reminded myself that the consecutive edges were equally frustrating when I was just starting, but it’s not coming together like the edges (and the swing rolls they led to–necessary for Adult 5), so I’m particularly frustrated here.

For other techniques I’ve been able to use YouTube tutorials as an added assistance when I was getting stuck.  They sometimes provide either a different approach from my instructor that “clicks” better for me or a reminder of something that I forgot or didn’t catch when the instructor was teaching it. (Example, the back to front two-foot turn is done on the back of the blade where I’d been trying to do it on the front, on the “spin rocker”.) However, I’ve been able to find nothing on this technique.

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