I wasn't expecting to skate well this evening. I have had lots going on lately and haven't been able to practice at all this week. Instead I got on the ice and just emptied my head and buckled down to work. I have practiced the moves in the field so much at this point that they have become completely familiar. My coach is at the point where she is refining things rather than correcting outright mistakes. Out of all five patterns I only skated one half of the three turn pattern badly and had to skate it a few times over before I managed to incorporate her fixes. The other four patterns were just a matter of holding my arms up higher, bending my knees at the right point and crossing my arms over my center line when I take my back edge. It is nice because I am so used to skating these patterns I relax into them which enables me to concentrate on the details. It is almost like dancing a familiar waltz. It feels quite wonderful to be gliding around the rink and being quite sure footed doing it and going fast all at the same time.
What surprised me was a couple of her comments. I accidentally two footed a start and she told me "come on. You're a much better skater than that. I want you to pay attention and just push." I got the warm fuzzies with the "you're a much better skater than that" bit. The other one was for my back outside edges otherwise known as pattern four. It is a short crossover with a long edge all skated backwards. I held my arms up and off I went. When I got to the boards she told me that "I haven't seen that skated any better at this level." It made me smile. She doesn't hand out compliments lightly.
I am quite happy with my skate. I just wish I didn't run out of breath so easily. I am going to have to ask the judges to give me a minute between patterns so I don't end up passing out on the last one.