Thursday, March 28, 2013

Check Out!!

I had a good lesson today!

I learned that I've been going into my three-turn for the flip jump wrong this whole time.  I have been toeing behind my left foot to push myself in the three-turn, but I need to toe in front. It's supposed to help with something...but I don't remember what??  The jump still felt the same to me, but at least now I have a correct entrance!

My backspin was really fast and tight!  I still couldn't do as many rotations as my forward scratch though.  I need to work on that.  I spin super fast for 4 to 5 rotations and then the spin just dies down and I have to check out to keep my balance.  My coach gave me homework to practice hopping out of my backspin and land in the check position.  This is supposed to help my axel.  I've been told to work on this before...but I only practiced it a handful of times.  I am going to force myself to work on this on Sunday.

I tried my axel (still on the harness) with a toe tap entrance today.  This is how I practice axels off ice and I was also taught to do an axel from toe taps as a kid, so it wasn't completely new to me.  I think the toe tap helps me get better knee bend and lift on the takeoff.  I still need to work on my posture, and I need to have a strong check out.  Right now, I'm not checking out soon enough.  At one point my coach had me fix something (I don't remember what haha) by going back to waltz, back spins (still on the harness).  After I did a few walkthroughs, my coach then told me to fix something else.  For some reason I did the whole jump instead of just a waltz/back spin walkthrough...and it completely threw my coach off.  My coach had to quickly save me from a fall.  I was held up in a sitting position thanks to my coach pulling me up at the last minute. BUT :)  He shouted, "KELLY!!, You have an axel!!  You can land this if you just check out sooner!!"  Because my coach didn't realize I was actually jumping, I did the full rotation in the air by myself.  :) Yay!  He told me I was going to make all of the other girls jealous, because I'm actually going to be able to land an axel soon, even though I just started working on it.  Now, I know I will not actually land this jump anytime in the near future, but it makes me feel good to know that I'm closer than I thought I was.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

No More Happy Hour the Day Before a Lesson

I got to do moves in the field today for the first part of my lesson, because I told my coach I was tired.  :)  I assume I was more tired today because I went to happy hour yesterday. (I desperately needed HH after a super stressful day at work).  My coach knows adult skaters well.  He told me he could see the alcohol floating inside of me.  At the end of my private he told me, "No more happy hour the day before a lesson!"  He said, alcohol makes you slower and tired.  I agree, and I like going to the gym on Wednesdays anyway.  Happy hour can wait until Fridays!

Anyway, I love doing MIF!  I love doing jumps and spins too but, I don't get as tired doing MIF.  I guess I'm just lazy. Ha!  While doing moves, I noticed that my left inside three-turn didn't feel very natural.  I feel like it's too quick.  Maybe it's because I hardly ever do left inside threes.  My coach said it looked a normal three turn, but I felt like a clumsy fool.  Maybe I need to bend my skating knee more!  That's usually the trick with those, right?

After moves, we moved on to jumps.  I started with the waltz jump.  I always have to tweak it a bit.  This week I wasn't bending my knee enough (more knee bending!) on the take off.  Last week, I wasn't holding my hip high enough on the take off.  The week before that, my arms and leg weren't in sync for the take off.  AND the week before that, I was jumping out instead of up.  I'll get that waltz jump perfect one day.  haha

I only had to do my loop jump once.  Yay!  I don't know why, but loop jumps scare me.  Even my coach noticed that I get really tense with my arms during the loop jump.  I like doing them 2nd in a combo though.  Waltz/loop, flip/loop, lutz/loop...even loop/loop!  The first loop in a loop/loop is still scary. ;)  I wasn't always scared of loops.  I fell pretty hard doing one about a year ago and ever since then I can't help but hold my breath.  Awful habit, I know!  Anyway, I then did a couple waltz/loops.  My first one wasn't as big.  I jumped out on my loop instead of up, because I threw my arms around to the left instead of just scooping my right arm.  This is another really bad habit I have with a lot of my jumps.  I really have to think about my right arm scooping or I'll swing my arms around before I even jump.                

After that, I got to fly in the harness!!  I know some people hate that thing, but I think it's super fun (once I get past the awkwardness of it)!  Maybe I like the harness because it's still new to me.  It's only my second time using it as an adult skater, at least.  First, I did a few waltz jumps to get used to it.  I felt a little overwhelmed doing those because my coach kept telling me to jump straight down the line of the harness, and I totally thought I was doing exactly that!  I couldn't figure out how to fix it, but it eventually got better and all was good. :)  I then got to do the axel!!  I absolutely love doing this jump.  Even when I'm doing the jump off ice, I feel like I'm flying.  I hope my feelings don't change when I start attempting it without the harness (which I hope to try soon!!).  I didn't want to try today, because I didn't have my hip and butt pads on.  I bought peace pads last week.  They were pretty expensive ($99 for 2 hips and one tailbone), but Jo Ann Schneider Farris from wrote an article about peace pads and gave them a good review.  She also said they were less noticeable, so I figured I'd give them a try.  I'll post more about them after I actually try them out.

Back to the harness...The main thing I need to fix on my axel (hehe even just typing, "my axel" makes me smile) is my posture.  I tend to lean forward during the backspin position.  When I stand up straight my jump is much higher and a lot easier to land.  My coach said he was barely pulling on the harness.  He was just stepping on the rope to keep my back straight on the landing.  I'm pretty sure he's helping me a lot more...but it's fun to think I can almost land an axel. :)  I think I need to pull in tighter with my leg too.  I'll try that next time.  Although it's easier said then done of course!

After my lesson, I did a few more waltz loops and then worked on some spins and alternating 3s with my left inside 3-turn.  I feel like my waltz jumps are more powerful after using the harness.  I guess I get a little more daring after flying in the harness.

My spins were alright.  I seem to have my scratch spin back finally.  My camel spin is much faster all of the sudden.  Last week, my coach told me to push in to the spin with the same amount of force I have winding up...DUH!  Why didn't I realize this a year ago?  I'm STILL only averaging about 3 rotations though. haha  My sit spin in my camel/sit was good.  My sit spin is much better in that combo than on it's own.  Maybe I have more control with whipping my leg around from the camel position into a sit.

Well that's it for now!  I'm going to try really hard to write after each of my lessons.  I realize I wrote a book tonight...hopefully, all the details will help me remember critiques and tips that my coach gives me.

Saturday, March 16, 2013


I created this blog to keep track of my progress and to share my love of figure skating.  I have also been stalking other adult figure skating blogs all day today! I didn't know these blogs existed!! 

A little about me...I skated for about 4 years when I was younger.  I was even on a competitive synchronized skating team!  I quit when I was a freshman in high school, so I could join my school's dance/drill team.  Fast forward ten years, and I spontaneously decided to take figure skating lessons again.  I've now been back at it for two years!   I'm not quite where I was twelve years ago, but I'm really close!

I will try to post about my private lesson this coming Thursday.  I hope I get to try my axel off the harness.  I purchased some new crash pads and I'm curious to see how well they work.  

Until then, here's a video of me skating last year (sorry it's vertical).  I am doing a waltz/loop, a really bad sit spin, flip jump, and scratch spin. 

More About My Skating:
How it All Started: My Figure Skating Story
2 Years of Skating: My Progress