How can it be mid-June already? Wow, it has been quite a while since I have posted here. I had to go back and re-read my last entry just to remind myself what I wrote there.
No real excuses–I haven’t left the country, or done anything really exciting. And I am still skating, so it’s not like I have nothing to write about. But as they say, life gets in the way. Family events (son graduating from high school, yay!) Yard work (weeds, boo!) Work projects (hiss!) Gorgeous weather that makes it hard to stay inside (double yay!)
Thankfully the rinks around here remain open, though hours have been cut back and I have to drive around more in search of ice time. Some of my regular sessions have been quite busy, since all the avid skaters are doing the same thing. Last week I was witness to one terrible collision between an adult ice dancer and an adult free skater. Thankfully no serious injuries, but scary. Still, I did find the occasional session that turned out like this:
That’s right, empty ice. Okay, so it didn’t last and soon I was joined by several families with small children. But for the first twenty minutes I was queen of the rink.
So what have I been doing on that empty and not-so-empty ice? Same old, same old. I keep thinking that I should get bored soon, spending so much time on basic things, but in fact maybe the opposite is (too) true. I feel alarmed when I can’t spend the first half hour doing progressives and chassés and back crossovers. Sometimes I come back to those things at the end of the session as well.
Maybe I am too easily amused, but I actually find lots of things to work on while I am doing those basic things. And I talk to myself (not out loud, and I don’t let my lips move, so as not to creep out the toddlers). Sometimes that voice sounds like Ari; sometimes it sounds like Laurie; sometimes it sounds like Justin Bieber (not really, but that song is catchy!) Here’s what I say:
- Bend your ankles (keep pressure into the ball of your foot, and into those laces). Let gravity help you.
- Where is your hip joint? Oh, there it is!
- Really use that inside edge for the push.
- Underpush means your skating hip draws back underneath you.
- Don’t pitch forward. Don’t contract your core for those turns.
Sometimes I wonder whether I am going crazy, but who cares? I’m happy, so it’s all good. And when I get tired of talking to myself, there are other friendly folks to talk to. Sometimes we even wear stripes together.
- back crossover: bend further into the push, lower pushing hip, don’t transfer too early
- forward outside edges: shins pulled forward as if with a stretchy band
- always move hips over your engaged ankles (don’t release back)
- back push, turn foot out, short push from heel, activate quad
- outside edges strike down with foot angled in
- outside three: strong transfer with ribcage over into circle, rise (don’t lose hips) into one big skating leg, feet parallel if need be
- bend ankles
- exercise: three crosses, then hold strong edge in circle with free leg strongly extended and turned out. Forwards and backwards.
- inside and outside mohawks: don’t contract core (or break at hips), think elongated skating hip, look and lean in direction of free leg
- try this sequence: inside mohawk, step forward, outside mohawk.