2 Years of Skating: My Progress

This is my progression with skating over the past two years.  I'm not the most disciplined skater.  I tend to take long beaks (weeks at a time), but the past few months I have tried to skate at least once a week.  

I used facebook posts and messages to help me remember events and dates...

February 11, 2011: I tried skating at a public session  for the first time in 10 years.  I was able to skate super fast!  My back crossovers were much more controlled than my forward crossovers.  I was able to do a one fit spin, but I went up on my toe pick a lot.  I could do a tiny waltz jump.  I attempted a flip jump over and over again, but I kept hammering huge holes in the ice (oops!), and I couldn't land on one foot.  Mohawks and Three turns came back naturally (Thank goodness!).       

February 12, 2011: I went to a 30 min. learn to skate class that was for adult skaters freeksate 1 and up.  I thought I was going to awe the other skaters with my skills.  That didn't happen.  The instructor asked us to do forward lunges across the ice.  Apparently, I was so out of shape that I couldn't even lift my leg up to stand up from my lunges.  I fell over again and again.  I felt like a beginner that had never been skating before.  We then moved on to jumps.  The instructor gave everyone a jump to work on.  She had me working on bunny hops in the corner.  I did a couple little ones, and quickly got the hang of it.  I asked the instructor if I could try some real jumps.  She asked to see my waltz jump....I two footed it.  But, she told me that was okay and told me to try a salchow?!?  I had to ask what a salchow was.  It's amazing what you can forget in 10 years.  She had me watch another skater demonstrate one, and surprisingly my body remembered how to do them.  I could also do toe loops.  Both jumps were very tiny, but I was satisfied with what I accomplished that day.  

February 19, 2011: This was my second group lesson, and I was humiliated once again when I found out I was not flexible enough to do decent spirals.  I couldn't even get my leg level.  The coach was a lot more helpful during this lesson.  She helped me with my one fit spin, and I was even able to do a scratch spin.  Yay!  I tried a flip jump at the end of class just to see if I was closer, but I still hammered and landed on two feet.

March 2011: I was able land a loop jump from an inside three turn.  Moves in the field came back naturally.  Yay!  

May 2011: I got fitted for new skates!!!

June 2011: I could finally land a loop from back crossovers.  It happened all of the sudden and remained consistent.  I also landed my flip jump for the first time at the end of June.  My flip was tiny and not consistent, but I was making progress!   

My husband caught me landing my flip jump for the first time in 10 years on video.

July 2011:  My backspin started to actually look like a spin with actual rotations.  I had a good group of friends forming.  We practiced on Thursday evenings and Sunday afternoons. 

August 2011: My new skates were FINALLY ready.  I tried out for synchronized skating and made the team!!  I also found out it was going to cost about $3000 a year to be on the team, so I couldn't join after all.

September 2011: My spins were amazing in my new blades.  My scratch spins and back scratch spins were really good and fast!

October 2011: My flip jump comes and goes.  I set a goal to be able to land a flip/loop combo by my one year anniversary. 

November 2011: I had my first adult skater social!  All seven of us went to an evening public session one Friday and had drinks and snacks at one the skater's house.  We chit-chatted until 3 in the morning.  We had so much fun!  I love my skating family. 

December 2011: Still had amazing forward and back scratch spins.  I tried a lutz jump for the first time and some how managed to land two.

January 2012: The lutz jumps were a fluke.  I started working on them in group lessons and I couldn't even do a full rotation in the air.  I kept popping out.  I tried a camel spin for the first time in 10 years, and it was pretty awful.  I felt like a fool.

January 2012: My flip jumps were finally consistent!!!  I could now do a loop/loop combo, and I could do 3 rotations in my camel spin.  My back scratch was not as good as it had been.  I could only do a few slow rotations.  I have no idea what happened to that spin.

February 8, 2012: I met my year goal!  I was able to land flip/loop combos!  They were super tiny jumps...but I landed on one foot!


New Goal: Lutz/Loop Combo

February 22, 2012: I passed my Freeskate 5 (Learn to Skate not USFSA) test!  

March 2012: The only thing I liked about Freeskate 6 was the five-step mohawk sequence.  My split jump looked like a sad attempt at a half flip, and I couldn't do a lutz jump at all.   I was basically spinning instead of jumping.

Here are some video clips of me skating during spring break.

May 2012: I felt like I was gaining a lot of bad habits by trying to "self-teach" myself things I could do 11 years ago.  I was getting frustrated having different coaches tell me different things about technique.  I never knew what was correct.  So I contacted the only coach that seemed to help make my skating elements better.  He was the only coach in group lessons that broke down things for jumps, spins, and footwork.

June 27, 2012: I had my first private lesson with the best coach!  I was really nervous.  I even forgot how to do a salchow at first.  I kept setting up for toe loops instead.  I know it sounds ridiculous.  Even my coach asked me if I was nervous.  There was a lot going on...it was a packed public skate with a lot of private lessons and a news crew filming the special Olympic athletes.  Once I remembered how to properly set up for a salchow, my nerves were much better.  I did freak out when my coach gave me a hula hoop to use with my flip and lutz, but it ended up helping my posture a lot!  My coach also gave me the best advice for my lutz jump.  He told me to stop thinking so much about it and just flick myself in the air.  This actually helped!  I was able to get a full rotation.  It gave me hope that I would have my lutz landed before my two year anniversary.  

July 2012Private lessons were going well. I was getting a lot of technical things fixed with basic jumps and spins. I was also getting my butt kicked. 30 minutes of non-stop skating is rough.

August 2012: I had to go back to work (I'm a teacher), and my coach did not have an available time for me on the weekends until late Fall. 

October 2012: I started private lessons again.  I think I only had one this month.

November 17 2012: Worst lesson ever!  Public skate was extremely crowded.  My scratch spins were awful.  They used to be amazing!!  I could barely jump because it was so crowded, and a coach's kid ran into me and we both fell.  I helped the kid up and asked if he was okay (even though it was clearly his fault!).  His mom (a coach) skated over to us and asked her kid if he was okay.  She didn't bother to ask if I was alright.  I'm sure she assumed it was me (the clumsy adult skater) that ran into her kid.  I am in fact not a clumsy skater.  I actually have really good balance.  I was even able to maneuver my spin around a kid earlier during my lesson.  My coach complimented me on my traveling skills. ha!  That same day, my friend fell and broke her leg because a kid ran into her while she was spinning.  She was off the ice for four months!

December 2012: My lessons were canceled until further notice because the public sessions were so crowded.

January 2013: I joined a gym!!  I started taking classes that helped strengthen my core, flexibility, and endurance.  I also started my private lessons again, and even with the long 2 month break from skating, I was actually better!  My jumps were bigger and I wasn't as tired during my lesson.  I could do amazing camel/sit spins, and I could land my lutz jump!

February 2013: I met my goal and landed lutz/loop combos!   I also started working on my axel walk through.


March 2013: I started working on my axel a lot off ice and in the harness.  My coach also had an opening for Thursdays at 4:30 pm when the rink is empty.  I'm one happy skater!

New Goal: To land at least one axel jump.

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