Earlier this week, I came across an article that asked, “Where Did Animals With Tail Weapons Go?” In it were descriptions of all kinds of creatures whose like will never be seen again, at least not by us. This included the following:
- Ankylosaurus, “like a dinosaur version of an armored tank,” with a “bone-crushing clubbed tail”;
- Stegosaurus with “spear-like spikes on its tail”; and
- Glyptodons, described as “ancient, boulder-sized armadillos.”
I’ll tell you some other things that I hope will soon be extinct:
- the way I push under on back crossovers (or more accurately, don’t really push under but instead just pick up my foot),
- the way I push onto back outside edges (sending my new skate off in a random direction), and
- the way I grind to a halt before turning those inside three turns (the ones followed by the cross in front).
There are lots of other things, but we’ll just start with those strange habits, okay? As part of my new practice strategy (see my last post), I’ve identified and isolated these problems, and I’m starting to analyze them.
Like the tail weapons on those prehistoric beasts, they developed out of a need to protect myself. My body is great at figuring out ways of keeping me balanced and not going “splat.” They just happen to be ways of moving that don’t work so well anymore.
So I’m working on some new kinds of weaponry (okay, body mechanics) that hopefully will take me past the great Ice Age–or at least keep me busy in my obsolescence! Will report back on whether I become a much more sleek bird-like skater, or remain a lumbering giant armadillo with a scary-looking
free leg tail!
- three turn, change edge, back three “creeper”: don’t use upper body twist to do this–rather, make sure you are completing and pushing through the edge change
- back crossover: push under (make sure you transfer weight and push all the way through that outside edge; don’t be too quick to move to the inside edge)
- loops: “drippy nose” follows the loop all the way around
- swing roll, change edge (this time keeping free leg in front), turn out free foot and bring in for mohawk
- mohawk, back outside three: work on staying farther back on blade to push, push to outside edge at the correct angle, don’t delay so much (be immediately on an edge)
- three turn, back outside three, toe through to repeat on other side. Make sure you really bend into the three turn, and bring your feet together.
- inside three, cross in front. Being on an actual edge helps, as does turning on the bend rather than on the rise.