Sunday, March 30, 2014

Pacific Coast Adult Sectionals 2014

I apologize for the late post regarding sectionals.  The day I got home from Sectionals I found out my Dad had a severe stroke.   I didn't have a chance to even unpack from Ontario.  We jumped in the truck and headed back to Oroville, CA where he lived.  Sadly he passed away, but he had a good long life living on his own in his own home until the end.  We just got back March 29th as we had so much to attend to.

I have been off the ice ever since the competition in Ontario.  In theory - I leave for Boston on Sunday April 6th for Nationals …. All I can say is my skating will be interesting at best.

Here is what happened in Ontario:

My friend Penny and her coach Maria Murphy from Kingskate Figure Skating Club came to support me and have a "girls weekend".  I would have been all alone at practice and getting on and off the ice if she had not come.  She got a coaches credential and was my rock all weekend.  Even so, there was no way to calm down my nervous legs.  My practice went great.  I wish my free skate had been judged that day - I completed my program on time to the music, landed my Lutz, Waltz-Loop, both Flips and felt like.. ok, I can do this! Next day … competition day ….. the nerves set in.

One thing I learned about competition is that everyone ….(well 99%) get nervous.  It's what you do with your nervous energy that counts.  Had I not tripped on my blades it might have gone better.  My first jump was a Flip.  I slightly two footed the landing and that got my legs really shaking, so my spiral was not great and then my RFO edge lean was weak.  When I did the Mohawk I tripped.  When I got up (after sliding) I knew I would be in trouble on time, so I skated forward and tried to do a Flip.. two footed that…anyway, you can see for yourself how shaky the program was.  Nevertheless I placed 5th out of 9.  Wonders never cease!

If you received a tossie from me … you have my friend Penny to thank.  She was up there on the balcony hurling all my special made tossies for everyone in the Bronze category she could.

Bronze Ladies FS4:

Skate #2 went so much better, but the program isn't technically that hard.  There is only a Waltz Jump in it and a Camel/Scratch spin and a Sit/Scratch spin.  I placed 2nd out of 9.  I was thrilled and really surprised!

Bronze Ladies Dramatic 4:

The Light Entertainment skate was fun.  Still I wish it were more polished.  I have trouble ending my programs and holding still … gotta work on that.  There were only 2 of us competing and I placed 1st!

So we went out and celebrated at In/Out Burger

Bronze Ladies Light Entertainment 4:

Friday, March 7, 2014

Practice Ice - Ontario PCAS

Arrived in Ontario yesterday.  Met my friends here and we enjoyed a nice lunch, then went to check out the rink.  The session going on was CRAZY.  Super busy public/freestyle session with a few high level skaters mixed with some medium level skaters and a few tots!  My first impression is that the rink was cold.  Cold like my home rink.

This morning I skated a practice session at 10:15 am.  It might as well have been the competition itself as my nerves were horrible.  I had the shakes ... wobbly legs just trying to warm up.  I didn't plan on it but they let us run our programs with music.  I was able to run my entire FS program and it went REALLY well ..  in that... 1) I didn't fall  2) I landed my Lutz - Waltz - Toe sequence, a Loop Loop combo and 2 flips ... I think I two footed one of the flips.  My camel-sit at the end turned into a weak sit spin only and I did get rather inventive with my footwork and choreography.

We will see tomorrow how it goes.  I have another practice session at 8:15 am (yikes) then I skate around 11:35.  I am #4 out of 8 or 9 skaters ... good place to be, not first, not last.

My (skating) friend Penny from Seattle came to support me and she brought her skating coach with her: Maria from KingSkate in the Seattle area.  She was my rock today ... she really helped to calm me down while I was practicing .... THANK YOU !!!!

Off to bed to get some rest for tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

I'm Off To Ontario

Busy packing and getting toenails painted today.  Tomorrow I am off to Ontario.
Missed 2 days of ice time this week, but with how my nerves are acting, it's just as well.
Nothing is really going to change or improve with 2 more days of practice.  Now I have to rely
on my inner strength (anyone seen it?) and stamina (know where I can buy some?).

My goal this weekend is not to win or even get on the podium.  My goal is to try and remember why
I love skating and enjoy the moment.  It would be real nice if I executed every jump and spin perfectly to the best of my ability and don't fall and start and end my choreography with the music… but in the end it's about trying and realizing that skating is not something everyone can do and few can do really well.  I'm already a winner!

Wish I knew how to tweet ….   #2014PCAS

Monday, March 3, 2014

M-m-m-m-onday. Me? N-n-n-n-ervous?

No way.  I feel confident.  Strong.  Ready.

…….  hahahahahahahaha

Skated twice today.  Public session where I video captured 1 run of my free skate program.  I ran long and slapped another piece of music on it for fun.

2nd skate was a few hours later.  Free style session on our rink #2 … colder, a bit smaller and it was crowded with club skaters today … the ice was great however.  Since it was so crowded we moved back to rink #1 after the hockey players were done practicing.  They cut the ice, but the hockey players left it really narly ….. I fell 3 times - it felt like skating on a pond.  We worked on some "presentation" issues I have … like looking up toward the audience and the judges … stiff neck and shoulders ….
This has been an issue for me since childhood skating….  to quote my first childhood coach "you skate like a linebacker for the Rams" ….. he was trying to get me to relax my neck and shoulders and be GRACEFUL …. I wasn't privy to all the dance and ballet classes the other girls took.  Obviously I don't have a natural ability as  a dancer.

I figure … hey… I am a Bronze level skater… as I move up, so will some of this technique.

Anyway, here's my snippet from the public session.  Time for me to start packing for Ontario!

Re-Working the Free Dance

After last weeks lesson - my coach made some changes to the character step sequence and now she is changing the opening poses and the ending...