So here's my goal for the 50th year of my existence: to become a better figure skater. More specifically, from December 10, 2016 to December 10, 2017 I am going to commit to steadily and consistently working on my skating, and to weekly tracking of what happens when I do.
I should note at the onset two things: first, I am not a highly skilled figure skater and second, I have no illusions that I will become one. I did a lot of pond skating as a kid and some more intermittently on rinks as an adult. About three years ago I started taking adult lessons consistently and learned some humbling lessons:
- There are some skills that are way easier to learn as a kid. Figure skating is one of them.
- Adults skaters (especially this one) are scared of falling. Kids are like rubber bands when they fall. Adults (like me anyway) are whatever analogy encompasses brittleness and easy bruising.
- To be an adult figure skating is to learn patience. Tons and tons of patience. One of the classes I am taking is an old-school figures class, where we basically skate on one foot to trace figure eight patterns (or some variant of them). It took me almost the entire year last year to learn to do the first outside and inside forward eight pattern. This year, I'm working on doing it backwards, and I strongly doubt I'll get it before the year is over.
- On the plus side, the satisfaction of learning or mastering a skill is timeless. It may definitely be frustrating that it takes so long to learn skating skills, but it is simply great to be able to do something I couldn't do a year ago.
|And here's our Beauty School Dropout (from m the show Grease) spring 2016 number. I'm sitting in the middle between two much better skaters, Jennifer and Jackye, and my coach Melody, was Frenchie, with Alan (who began ice skating after he retired)|
- To pass the next (Pre-Bronze Level) three ice dances in the US Figure Skating sequence: Swing Dance, Cha Cha and Fiesta Tango
- To pass my Pre-Bronze Free Skate test
- To be able to skate three of the six elements of the Silver Moves in the Field test
- To learn and perform my first solo freestyle program
So, the plan is to post a weekly update, and do a quarterly check-in on how the four goals listed above are going. I try to go skating at least four days a week, and am hoping it increase that in the coming year, so if there are people who've been needing a nudge to get your skates out, or join an adult class, or try it for the very first time, this is your invitation. I hope to see you at the rink (or help you get there). If you want to come skating let me know!