Friday, June 26, 2009

Lake Placid Day 3: Spins, Counters and Brackets


Three Turn


It is only Tuesday and I am already falling down tired. I haven't been sleeping well for the last several weeks. Excited about coming up here? Nervous about my upcoming skating tests? Worried about sewing my costume for my test? Some combination of the above? No matter what the cause I was pooped. The alarm had to get both of us up. We weren't about to get out of bed without being forced. I made it to the rink in time for the morning stretch class; so I was a little late... When we got to the seated part it struck me how lucky I was to be here. The sun was shining and a few puffy clouds were drifting past the window. When I did the stretches using the windowsill as a prop I was looking out over the Olympic speed skating track, the flags of nations and the ski jumps with the lovely Adirondack Mountains along the back. What a wonderful sight. I had been waiting for this week for months and I was finally here. How exciting! How extraordinary!

Stretch class was over and down to the rink I went. MIF practice. I did one lap and was instantly breathless. What the heck is wrong with me? I also noticed that my legs were like jello. I'll just have to take breathers between laps and go slow. After all this was only Tuesday and I had the rest of the week that I needed to be able to skate as well. Despite being winded and a little off I had a good practice. I swear I was fitting in an extra lobe in some of the patterns. Was the rink longer? Mom wasn't sure.

11am time for coffee break. Off with the skates for our run up to the coffee shop. The reason for this daily endeavour at exactly 11am is that only group classes were allowed on the ice at this time. One was for adults and the other was for kids. Most of the 11am adult classes I wasn't interested in. Mostly spins which I took last year. I preferred to have a private spin lesson with Robin than a coach that taught a totally different technique than what I would be using back home. Last year we had two ice surfaces so we had almost non-stop open ice on the 1980 rink with the groups being taught on the USA rink with pairs and dance on the 1932 rink. No such luck this year. There was no ice at all on the USA rink. I mean melted down to the concrete no ice. So, off with the skates and up to the coffee shop.

Noon time patch session. I set up the eights for me and my Mom and the new lady asked to borrow my scribe again. I set the right length for her (1.5x the skater's height) and let her do her own tracing this time. I did forward outside and inside eights. Then did some serpentine patterns (3 lobe eights). Finally I tried the 3 turn pattern that Robin taught me the day before and I couldn't do the back 3s anymore and I couldn't figure out why. They had mysteriously disappeared from my repertoire. Oh well. This happens. They will come back on their own time.

1pm Counter class. This is an advanced single foot turn that used to be part of the figure eight tests and is now in the advanced kids moves test. They are not in the adult tests but I always wanted to learn how to do them since they look cool. The coach was telling us that she loved loved doing figures and was disappointed when they stopped testing them in 1990s. She asked who had ever tested in patch and I was the only one that had. I passed my prelim in 1976! Ugh. She did a wonderful job explaining how to do the turn and I managed to mimic her closely enough that I did a turn that resembled a counter on the first try!! I kept practicing and after a few trys did a respectable counter. I heard her yell "the new counter queen" at me from across the ice. Another proud moment for me at adult week. I also manged to do them on the other foot but not as nicely and did some respectable inside ones before the class was done. Yeah me!! I was very very happy!

2:30 private spin lesson with Jack Devitt. My mom and I doubled up on him for this one. We took turns doing scratch spins. I learned a new entry for it that doesn't have me doing the karate chop arms which was kindof cool. However, I still wasn't centering them well. He also called me out on not pressing the heel of my free foot downwards. "I have been getting lazy with that" I confessed. Then he told me about Dick Button that would click his free heel to the toe pick of his spinning skate just before exiting the spin. This showed that the feet were in the correct position. The coolest thing I learned is a history of famous spinners. One of the things he said off hand stuck with me "you have to like spinning to get good at it". Luckily I love spinning.

Off the ice for a few hours so time for lunch with sis. It is about 2:30 at this point. We are to meet her at the local diner which has wonderful food. However, it is closed. The restaurant next to it is closed also. We go around the corner to Lisa G's one of our other favorites and it is closed as well. WTF? It is Tuesday at the end of June in a resort town and you can't find lunch anywhere? What is up with that? We finally end up at Downhill Grill where I had a nice chicken fajita salad. The place was packed and no wonder. I think it was the only place near the rink that was even open. I recognized a few people from the rink there.

Time to run home and put on some dry clothes. Not only had I sweated out what I was wearing but we also got rained on trying to find an open restaurant. Back to the rink for a 5pm 3's and double 3's class and bracket class with Robin. She showed the class the three turns which was now review for me from Monday. I found out why I couldn't do them this morning. I was committing her cardinal sin in double threes; swinging my arms around instead of sliding them past my body. What this does is make the entire upper body swing around which stops you from executing the three turn properly. Ah Ha! That's where my back threes went. Mystery solved! I was now happily doing double threes ( a forward three turn immediately followed by a back three turn all done on the same foot without putting the free foot down: they can be started with either a forward outside or inside three). After the class got that hang of it she lined us up at one end of a hockey line. We were to do them on alternating feet along the hockey line for the entire width of the rink. Since I was feeling a little ballsy I went first and started even before she was finished with the explanation. The first one went very well. The next few were a bit more shaky. They were steadily getting worse but I was almost at the end of the rink. Someone was applauding me and I came around and considered quitting the pattern but made a split second decision to do one more. What the heck. I was doing great so far. I stepped onto my right foot, did a forward inside three, moved my arms and free leg and setup for the back three, executed the three and immediately caught my pick and started to fall. I put my left arm back to catch myself but my arm got stuck behind me and the weight of my body was ripping it apart like a turkey wishbone. I had searing pain in my rotator cuff and couldn't roll off my arm fast enough. Mind you this is my bad arm that I have been getting moxa burned on to repair my rotator cuff. I was sitting on the ice with tears in my eyes, swearing my head off. Good lord that hurt. Everyone came over and made a big fuss over me. Robin sent someone for ice and an emt if one was around. They got me up and off the ice and handed me a bag of ice to hold on the shoulder. I kept telling them to continue with their class and that I would be okay. I don't like being the center of attention. Robin banned me from the bracket class. She told me that bracket falls are the most painful. I told her she had to teach it near the hockey box where I was sitting so I could listen in. Truth be told I don't remember anything of the class now. I just remember sitting there in pain with the ice pack on my shoulder. My mom was in the other rink having her private dance lesson so I somehow managed to get my boots off one handed. I packed everything up and hiked over to the 1932 rink. I sat up in the stands with my coat draped over my shoulders. It was too painful to try and put it on. I was seriously worried that this would end my skating for the week. I knew how bad my shoulder could get. I was worried about driving home one handed. That wouldn't be fun either. Ugh.

It wasn't long before we were home. I took some aspirin and put Traumeel on my shoulder (this is wonderful homeopathic gel that gets rid of pain topically; I've used it on my knees in the past). Mom went to bed and I laid down on my blow up bed and instantly fell asleep: in my clothes, with the lights on. I woke up at midnight and crawled out of bed, brushed my teeth, put on bedclothes, turned out the lights and collapsed on a pile of pillows in bed again. I was so tired my sore shoulder couldn't even keep me awake!

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