jo skates

Thoughts about skating and the practice of everyday life

Delusions dissolve

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So now my free legs are fully extended and my quads are fully engaged!  I am getting a solid push that sends me flying onto a new edge, which feels pretty awesome. It feels awesome, that is, until I release the extension to bring the free foot in. Then waaahh, all hell breaks lose.

Laurie pointed out that I was allowing the now-fully-extended free leg to come in with such force that it knocked me off my edge. She told me that I should think of the free leg “dissolving” into the skating leg. Wow, that made an incredible difference. I now feel like both legs are working together, and it’s way easier to maintain a good lean and keep the weight on the right part of my skating blade.

The new timing on my swing rolls and three turns is way different, and I don’t feel like parts of my body are getting whipped around at lightning speed. As a result, I don’t really feel like I’m actually doing all that much other than just making sure I am engaging those happy ankles.  I no longer have to work so hard to keep everything together.

But in an odd way, I sorta miss that wild free leg. I realized that swinging my free leg around gave me the illusion of power and force. Now my leg comes in so quietly that I can’t even tell how fast I’m going. And even though things have improved, I don’t have to work as hard. It feels strange!

One of the adjustments I’m just going to have to make is to persuade myself that I can accomplish way more with real technique than sheer force of will. I am so done with throwing my weight around!

The brute force method only takes you so far, but it’s a hard habit to break for someone like me.  I will just have to learn to swing something else other than my free side.Mace

I can’t believe that I have never included this trippy video for Elton John’s “I’m Still Standing” on this blog. But it’s good timing for it, since it’s been a really rainy week and we can all use a little sunshine.

Lesson notes:

  • inside mohawk 3 step pattern: hips into the circle, use your lean.
  • back cross, change edge: think about direction you are heading, force into the ice for that change of edge.
  • inside mohawk, back outside 3: work on getting both pushes solid.
  • creepers (forward outside): don’t touch down
  • cross front, tuck behind, change edge, outside three: don’t get caught with weight outside circle
  • progressives: “dissolving” free leg
  • forward inside swing rolls: think about the turnout of the free foot on the end, and on the new edge
  • back inside swing rolls: adjust lower body, not upper body
  • feet together, shift weight, don’t compensate through upper body
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Author: Joskates

Don't see me on the ice? I may be in the classroom or at the theater, or hanging out with my family and friends.

4 thoughts on “Delusions dissolve

  1. I like the phrase to “dissolve” your free leg. It’s so… flowy. I have a Wild and bent free leg so maybe learning to dissolve it will be good for me too! I love all your helpful hints and tips, Jo!

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  2. Thanks, Eva! Hopefully the dissolving free legs will make it so we can express our “wildness” in much more productive ways!

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  3. I also was struck by the description of the free leg as ‘dissolving.’ I’ll have to try it out and see what magic it works for me!

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  4. I hope it’s helpful, Mary!!! be sure to report back on the big “dissolve!”

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