Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Lake Placid Day 2: Jump Lesson

First thing Monday morning I'm standing in line at the box office to purchase the first round of tickets for group and private lessons. The lady in front of me buys over $600 worth of tickets. OMG! I wish I could do that. Instead I walk up to the window and get 6 on ice group lessons, 2 private lessons with Robin and 3 stretch class tickets. This cost me close to $100. The group classes run around $13 for 25 minutes but the private lesson depend upon which coach you have the lesson with. Just before I leave the window I take a quick look at the lady behind the desk. If you have ever watched the TV show Reaper she reminded me of Gladys, the demon that works in the DMV. This made me smile. I think my mom said she is one of the nicest people that works in the box office.

I make it to stretch class early and it turns out I am in the wrong corner of the rink. Since the Lussi rink is under construction, they moved the ballet mats, mirrors and bars up into one of the corners of the 1980 rink. Turns out that the stretch class is in the temporary ballet area rather than the awards room where it used to be held. I have one hour of stretching. I seem to be more limber than some of the kids in the class but I have been doing this for many months now on my own. I have been making a point of stretching before I go out on the ice even if it is for a quick ten mintes. When I have time I try to do about half an hour. One of the ladies in the class is amazingly flexible. I can tell she practices yoga on a regular basis.

Stretch class is done and I run down the stairs to the rink to throw on my skates for my private jump lesson. I go around the rink a few times to warm up and start doing MIF until Robin shows up. We start with the waltz jump. Just like Joanna, my regular coach, she doesn't like my waltz jump. She says my free leg is swinging around too much and I am rotating my upper body before I even take off. She backs me up and starts me jumping over a hockey line. When my jumps straighten out she has me do one with a regular entry, a Mohawk and two backward crossovers. When she likes that one she has me do three in a row. The first one is nice but by the third one I am back to swinging my free leg and pitching my upper body forward on the landings. "What was that?" I hear from across the ice. "Do it again." This keeps up until I can jump three good waltz jumps in a row. She then has me try my half flip since it is going to be on my test Friday. When she was happy with that one she had me do a waltz jump and then a half flip. She then had my mom come over and watch me jump just to add some pressure. I managed to do both jumps fine so she was happy. Then she found out that I hadn't been doing Salchows so she started me on them over at the boards. I mumbled something about falling and she just looked at me, smiled and told me "You're not going to fall" and had me go out into the middle of the ice. She had me stand up straight, I did my three turn entry and I jumped and landed a good Salchow!! I was amazed! I have learned that it is a matter of trusting the coach. If I put all of my body parts the way the coach tells me then I can do the stunt or damn close to it. Robin also gave me my word of the day "Patience!" She uses it when I am trying to launch into a jump too fast and I end up twisting up before I even leave the ice. Once I started using some patience I got my timing right and I went on to land three good Salchows. Not much height but hey I jumped good Salchows!! I was so happy!! Time ran out before we even got to do toe loops. Oh well. I have all week.

Mum and I took our skates off and ran up to the coffee shop for tea and snacks. Just before noon we were back down at the rink for the patch session. Mum and I ganged up on Robin for a semi private patch lesson. I set the scribe and made an 8 for me and a slightly smaller one for mum. One of the other ladies came over and asked to use the scribe and I made her a circle as well. She had never done patch before and wanted to give it a try.

I started my FO 8s. Robin came over and helped Mum with hers. She then came over and completely rearranged my upper body. Apparently during the past year I had started to twist things up. The present method has you square to the tracings with your palms flat to the ice and pressing downwards. The old method had you twisting up which makes it really difficult to maintain a single edge. I found the 8 much easier to do but didn't have a chance to check my tracings to see if I was staying on one edge. I'll have to take a look later. When Robin was done with my Mom she came over and had me do inside eights which she was happy with. She then had both of us start doing backward three turns. I found out that it is a matter of having the free foot in front, the upper body twisted around so you are looking in the direction that you are going and poof I could do a backward three!! I was amazed!! I had been trying to do these buggers for months with limited success. She then showed us a really neat figure eight that makes you practice all of your three turns. It isn't a traditional one so it isn't in any books I've ever read. You start at the top of the eight instead of the middle, and do a forward outside 3, once you reach the center you switch feet and do a back inside three, at the other end you switch feet and do the forward inside 3 and then switch feet at the center and finish the pattern with a back outside 3. After a few go arounds you turn around and do the same thing in the opposite direction on the other foot. Way cool!! While she is helping Mum I go off in the corner to practice my back inside 3s and I have my first fall of the week. Of course since I was doing patch I wasn't wearing my crash pad and I land hard on my right hip. Robin looks over at me and I yell "I missed" which makes her laugh. Mum and I have been driving her crazy during the lesson. Apparently we have many of the same mannerisms and she is so used to teaching my mom that it wigs her out when I use the same expression or body language. When she was showing us the 3 turn figure 8 Mum and I just looked at each other and smiled. Robin found this hilarious and scolded us between giggles. The lesson was over much too soon.

We had to take our skates off fast since we were meeting my sister for lunch. When we finally got back to the condo we both ended up taking naps for about an hour. It was a great day! Salchows and back 3s in one day!! And my waltz jumps are much improved! Yeah me!

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