Friday, June 29, 2012

2 Weeks Until Doomsday!

Had a miserable first day back on the ice after nearly a week.  Tried 1/2 dozen times to run through my still incomplete program.  Found out this morning my coach is on her way to the Bahamas for a week and my competition is in 2 weeks.  Hmmmm.  Not looking good.

I'm not giving up yet.  Planning on skating daily (even on the weekends) until the date of the event.

No video shot today.

Ran through Silver MIF (still no instruction on these yet) and worked on my Waltz-Toe.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Skating Under The Influence

Ok kiddies don't read this one.  Today I met my friends from Seattle for lunch at Clinkerdagger's in Spokane.   It was a beautiful 1st day of summer.  The sun was out and the river was flowing and having a Bloody Mary just seemed like a good idea.  Lunch was fabulous and we had a nice visit.  I shouldn't have squatted so low in the photo, I look out of proportion.  My friend Penny on my left is also an adult skater going through basic skills.  She told me toward the end of 2011 that she was skating and it sparked something in me.  Now here I am .... testing and potentially competing.  Thank Penny!

By the way.... either the Blood Mary helped... or it had worn off by the time I skated at 3:15 this afternoon!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Technical Difficulty Solved

Since my DroidX died and I got an iPhone my videos and photos haven't been the same quality.  When I take flash photos the pictures were coming out all foggy and the the video shot at high resolution did not seem to be.  Turns out the plastic protector I have on the phone (both sides) is the problem.  I kept the front one on, but removed the back one which covered the camera lens and flash unit.  As long as it doesn't fall from the rail tot he ice ... I am in good shape!

No video today.  I met my friend Sheila at the rink for the last 30 minutes and skated.... well, more like I was gliding along the ice while we were talking.  Didn't get much practice in today.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

My Skates Have a New Home

Ok, it's official.  I must be a figure skater.  Fully equipped now with a much needed Zuca  Bag.  For the past few months I have been toting my skates around in a black tapestry sewing machine bag on wheels.  This is going to be so much nicer.  The bottom wheel lights up when you roll it and you can sit on the top of the frame.  

I added a Facebook Page called WaltzJump today.  Don't ask me why.  Seemed like a good idea at the time.

Today was my first day back on the ice since last Thursday.  I didn't feel up to skating, but one more day off and I knew I would be playing catch - up.

My list of excuses this week:

1. Extremely busy with architect, house builder, bank and escrow needs this week.
2. Sick.  Picked up a cold.  Sore throat, hoarse, cough.
3. School is out - public session is bound to be far more crowded than I am used to
4. Competition (exhibition) around the corner.... if I'm not ready, I can drop out.

Much to my surprise I got to the rink and there were about 10 people skating... and they were all on rink #1: part of the figure skating club.  Public was on rink #2 ... over there only 3 people on the ice.  Another adult skater named Hank .. (he's been to Nationals!) and a couple of kids and their mom.  Within 30 minutes everyone had gone and I got .... can you stand it?..... private ice.  I felt terrible with my cold but skated anyway.  I took some advice from someone on the skatingforums2  and ran my program, then stroked around and tried to run it again.. mistakes and all.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Next Hurdle: Adult Silver Moves In The Field

After passing my Adult Bronze MIF test on Tuesday I headed to the rink today ready to work on my program for the competition I entered in July.

But before I left the house today I got an email from them stating I was the only competitor in my event (Adult Bronze Free Skate) and I have 3 choices:

  1. Get a refund (The sensible choice)
  2. Skate as the only competitor (basically it becomes an exhibition)
  3. Skate "up" or skate "down" to a level where there is another competitor as allowed by USFSA.  (I am already skating "up" from my standing as a Pre-Bronze to the Bronze level... so skating up isn't an option.  Skating down I am sure there are no other competitors either)
When I got to the rink today one of the kids hockey coaches was out on the ice with her figure skates on.  You can see her doing doubles in the background.  Right away I was intimidated and decided instead of getting frustrated working on my program I would attempt to video my first day of practice on Silver Moves.

I have to decide by June 16 whether to bag the competition or not.  We'll see if I talk myself out of it or not. 

And later that day......  I had my blades sharpened.  My skate guard fell off a few days ago and I got a nick on them + it was time for a sharpening and to add another screw.
The 2 screws at the top of my toe are still out.  The boot and blade have not conformed to each other yet.  I wonder if they ever will.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Adult Bronze MIF : Passed!

We are in the process of buying some property, designing and building a new house.  This morning we had to meet with our builder for several hours, so I didn't get a chance to skate the morning public session as I had hoped.

However, I did get a longer than normal warm up session because there was a change out of the judges between the Junior, Novice and Intermediate tests that were taken prior to my event.  

I felt strong during warm ups and was able to skate my moves in their entirety before hand.  Of course during the actual test, my nerves kicked in.  I was a little shaky and lacked power in all of my moves, but all the judges gave me passing scores of 2.5 or higher.  Below is my skate and the judges comments.

I love my coach Berkley Villard.  She is always so supportive and encouraging.

For my trophy case ... or the sleeve of my club jacket .. if I ever get one!

Here's what the judges had to say:

Monday, June 11, 2012

Practice for MIF Test Tomorrow

Practice run through of my Adult Bronze Moves in the Field Test scheduled for tomorrow afternoon. Wish I had the camera in a better location. You can only see 1/2 the ice.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

"Open" Freestyle @ Bellingham Sportsplex

I'm out of town this weekend visiting family and skated this morning at the Bellingham Sportsplex.
The 6:45-7:45 session was designated for "High" session skaters:  Those working on Axels, double jumps, advanced spins.  "Low" session skaters were described as Basic Skills through Freeskate 3 levels.  My session was described as "OPEN", but all the of the morning high level skaters were still on the ice.

There is a competition next weekend so one of the moms was telling me that it's been especially crowded lately.  I was hesitant to go out there, but I mustered up the courage and paid my $8.25 to skate for 45 minutes.
The video I am posting is just raw footage of the last 5 minutes of my practice.

You can see a boy working on double jumps with his coach in the harness.  Another girl running her program in the background.. and me falling while trying to learn a backspin! You may have to turn your head or your computer sideways, unless I can fix this technical difficulty!


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Slow Unveiling of My Bronze Program

Yesterday I had a crazy idea.  Enter a competition on July 13-14 that I am not ready for!
I discussed it with my coach and she thought it was a good idea.  Not from a competition standpoint, but from a shake-the-nerves standpoint.

My goal is to be able to go to Adult Nationals next April with a solid Adult Bronze program.  Between now and then I need to get in plenty of practice and actually get used to going to a competition.

Adult skating in my area is pretty quiet.  I don't expect to see many (if any) other competitors in July at the Bronze Level, especially in my age category (IV) 50-59.  So I will be competing for the sake of competing; skating to music, choreographed with required elements with a few people watching and of course, judges critiquing.

The video I shot yesterday starts with a few practice spins of my backspin (which is why I didn't want to test my Bronze Freeskate yet... It's not consistent yet).  Then you will see 1:44 seconds of my 1:50 music poorly skated in a rough outline of my program.  Ok, the cat is out of the bag.  I'm skating to the piano rendition of the them from Schindler's List.  I may switch it over to the violin version before next year if I get stronger.

I am pretty "old school" when it comes to what music I like to see people skate to and now ... perform to.  USFSA will allow you to skate to music with lyrics, but it's not for me.  I like mostly classical style music or soundtracks, themes, etc.   I know a lot of adult skaters enjoy putting on some wild costumes and skating in other events like Dramatic and Light Entertainment.  I won't say never, but right now all I can focus on is completing my first program with required elements cleanly.

Adult Bronze Requirement for the Freeskate are:

1. At least three different single jumps of which one must be a Salchow and one must be a toe loop
2. One jump combination consisting of a waltz jump and a toe loop (no turn
or change of foot between jumps)

1. One-foot upright spin (minimum four revolutions in position)
2. One-foot backspin, entry optional (minimum three revolutions in position) 

3. Sit spin (minimum three revolutions in position)

1. Connecting moves, steps and edges throughout the program

Monday, June 4, 2012

Practicing Single Jumps

Usually I hate Mondays.  I was pretty amped up today.  We put an offer in on some property to build a house on and I was skating to take my mind off sitting around waiting to hear from realtor whether or not our offer was accepted.

When I got to the rink I was overwhelmed to see a groups of good skaters and their coach on the ice from another club somewhere in Montana.  They had just competed somewhere on the "West Side" of the state and were trekking back to Montana and decided to stop at our rink and skate.

It was like skating on club ice.  Good skaters going in every direction, everyone looking out for one another.  Unlike skating on "public" ice .. where generally you are supposed to skate counter clockwise.  I am really lucky that our rink is not very crowded and I can do my freestyle in all directions most of the time.  I try to watch out for others and be respectful.

Today I worked on most of my single jumps.  Unfortunately I ran out of space on my camera just before I started practicing the Lutz Jump.  I was able to muster up the courage today to try several 1/2 Lutz Jumps and I attempted a full Lutz, both of which I "two-footed" (which means to land on two feet instead of one).

Getting busy on these Silver Dances

I have been working on these silver dances too long!   Planning to go all in on them until I can test them in the next few months.