Saturday, December 24, 2016

Winter's Work: Gearing Up for March 11

In skating terms, December has clearly been the most wonderful time of the year.  For the fourth year in a row, I got to join my friends in a fun group number at Leddy Park Holiday skating show.  The first time, four years ago, I had just started taking group lessons. Our group searched high and low for the tackiest holiday sweaters we could find, and I struggled to keep upright through the number. This year we were Blues Brothers skating part of the Rhythm Blues ice dance as part of our performance.  Big fun, but alas, our unofficial videographer, Jon, had technical difficulties, so no video record of our performance.
The Blues Borthers (Patsy, Anya, Donna, Russ, Melody, me and Mary) take to the ice.

The other big December skating highlight was a week earlier on my birthday.  Blatantly stealing from my wonderful skating friend Patsy, I copied her idea from a few years ago and rented out the Leddy rink for a Birthday on Ice.  It was awesome.  Some of my skating friends were in the middle practicing fancy jumps and spins and others took to the ice for the first time since childhood, or for a few, the first time ever.
Jon's contribution to my skating goals are manifold: attending my(and my skating friends') tests and performances; taking pictures and videos of the same; and at least once a year getting on the ice. On my birthday he donned a magical no-falling hat and took to the ice.

Four of my skating friends (all of them light-years ahead of me): Jackye, Sharie, Melody (who is also one of my coaches), and Toria.

Siham got Best Sport award for trying skating for the first time ever.  Here, Crystal and Julia offer a helping hand.
Now as the year is coming to a close, my sights are on 2017, and the goals I've set for the year between December 10, 2016 and December 10, 2017.  I set a whole bunch of goals, but there are some obstacles in the way.  First, there is my right knee, which seems not to have gotten the message that it needs to be on its best behavior, and full range of motion right now.  I'v started seeing a physical therapist a week ago for that one; here's hoping that it works.  Then there is another major obstacle that will strike in late March.  Every year the Leddy Park Rink closes for about six weeks in May and June, and there is a scramble to find substitute ice.  But this year, the year I've committed to put such a focus on skating, it will be closed for April, May AND June.  Gonna need to do some serious planning to figure out ice time at other area rinks. And finally, there is one that is all my own -- my own fear.  I am way too afraid of falling, particularly when jumping.  It's just a reality that getting better involves a fair amount of falling, and I just need to get over it and take some falls.

So, keeping these obstacles in mind, my next big goal date is Saturday, March 11, 2017.  The way that many skaters progress is through a series of tests.  Since I'm an adult, I get to test in the easier Adult Series, rather than the Standard Track used for kids and teenagers. Right now I'm working on three tests: my Pre-Bronze Ice Dances (there are three of them, and the easiest of the three is the Cha Cha); my Pre-Bronze Free Skate; and my Silver Moves in the Field (this one I've only barely started and will be working on for a very long time, probably well past this year). The March 11 test is the only one set between now and June, or possibly July or August, so I hope to use it.  My hope is to test the Cha Cha Ice Dance and my Pre-Bronze Free Skate.  The Free Skate test includes the following elements: forwards and backwards crossovers; a spiral or lunge, two half or single jumps and two spins -- two footed and one-footed.  The big question is whether I will have two jumps and two spins ready in time, but my coach, Melody, is optimistic.  I'll have to make a decision in a few weeks on whether to apply to test, so will make the final decision then.  In the meantime, right now I'm writing from Virginia and having a one-week hiatus from skating.  Once I'm back in Vermont, I'll head back to the ice and see where I am skating-wise.

For anyone in Vermont looking to do some skating this winter, here are three invitations I'll throw out right now:

Skating is definitely a more-the-merrier pursuit.  Here's the crew that laced up for Birthday on Ice.  The winter has just begun, and skating opportunities abound now!

1. The outdoor rink outside the statehouse in Montpelier!  This is an awesome new initiative this year, and I can't wait to try it out.  If you want to as well, let me know.  Let's make a date and get a bunch of people together to go.
2. Nordic skating on Lake Morey.  Did this a couple years ago with some friends, and it was awesome. Nordic skating is very different than figure skating, but very fun, and the long blades that you put on cross country ski boots glide right over bumps and cracks in the ice.  Assuming the lake freezing this year, who wants to go.
3. Public skating sessions at Leddy and Cairns.  I do a lot of practice skating on early morning ice at Leddy, and Friday mornings in Waterbury.  But Leddy has public ice from 9-11 am M-Th, and 2:15-4 on Sundays, and Cairns has ice from 10-12:30 T-F, 2:40-4:10 on Saturdays and 1-2:30 on Sundays.  While I do unfortunately have a slight complication in the form of work on most of the weekdays (though Monday and Wednesdays are more workable), the weekends are a possibility. So, if people want to set up some skating plans, please let me know!

No comments:

Post a Comment