Monday, July 6, 2009

Lake Placid Day 5: Rockers and Flip Jumps



Although I tried we didn't get up early enough to make it to the stretch class. I had a 10:30 spin lesson with Robin that I didn't want to miss so we did manage to get our butts to the rink for the 10am open session. By the time I got my boots on it was 10:15 already. I got out onto the ice to warm up with Mum not far behind me. After a few laps I decided to start tinkering with my scratch spin to warm up for the lesson. Robin was already out on the ice with another student so I just goofed around with the spins. When 10:35 rolled around I started hanging out at the boards near where Robin was teaching. When I caught her eye she came over and told me that her other lesson was supposed to be for a whole hour and could I move my lesson to 4:30pm. "Not a problem" I told her. Mum and I were ganging up on her at 4pm for a silver MIF lesson anyway. We each wrote the new times in our respective calenders and off we went.
I decided that it was time to practice my MIF for my test. I am tired and wobbly by this time in the week. It didn't take me long to realize that I wasn't going to tear up the ice like I did Sunday night. Instead I went slower and paid close attention to technique; making sure that my free leg was extended properly and I was not stepping ahead with my skating foot. Here I am doing move patterns weaving around skaters. I got into the path of a pair skater that won the 2008 adult nationals. I yelled "Sorry!" at him as he aborted his entrance into a sit spin with his partner. A few more laps and I passed close to Lorna and she yelled "sorry Peg, I didn't mean to get in your way". Here is an Olympic skater giving a lesson apologizing to me for being in MY way. I am not worthy! A few more laps and I end up aborting a lobe of my MIF as the same pair skater is doing an entrance into another spin with his partner. I saw him this time and he smiled at me as he yelled "sorry" to me. What absolute fun!! I can't believe the caliber of people I am sharing the ice with. Everyone is taking care to let each other skate and apologizing when they get in each others way. What a pleasure to skate with these people! Way too soon it is 11am and time to do our coffee shop run.

We got back to the ice a little early and while we were waiting I listened in on the camel spin class and had another ah ha moment. The teacher was talking about rotating the toe on the skating foot during the spin. "As soon as the toe points out. You're done. You're not going to recover from that." the teacher says. I have a nasty tendency to rotate my toes out due to years of ballet training as a kid. I still walk with my feet slightly turned out even though I haven't had lessons since I was 13 or so. I am going to have to watch for this on my camel spins. I bet I am doing this.

Finally back on the freshly made ice. Time for rocker class. Rockers are like Counters but the three turn points in the other direction. After all the falls I had I was too scared to do this on one foot. I touched the free foot down right as I turned. Laura McDonald, the teacher, did a great job explaining the turn just as she did with the counter class. When she saw how tentative I was being she came over and took my hands so I could try it on one foot. I did a decent job on the turn and she was very happy with me. I was happy with me! I asked her why I was getting a flat spot the length of my blade just after the turn and she told me with out blinking an eye "you are tipping forward with your upper body". Boy does she know her stuff. I would love to take her home with me so I could take patch lessons from her. Of course class ended too soon and I went off to practice patch for half an hour before my next class.
Robin was teaching flip jumps. She had a very odd look on her face when I skated up to her. Before she even said anything I launched into "I promise I won't jump. I am here to listen and take notes. I promise I won't actually try this." She let me take the class. It was a great class and I took lots of notes and behaved myself and didn't jump. There was one girl in the class that had little problem with it and was landing the jumps right off. I was jealous. Eventually I'll start jumping regularly.
We had most of the afternoon off. We didn't have anything until our class with Robin at 4pm. Again we had trouble finding anything open so that we could eat a late lunch. Unbelievable. Downtown Lake Placid in the middle of summer and there is no where to eat lunch after 2pm. We finally found an Italian place and I had some very yummy chicken Marsala. It was nice walking around in the afternoon sun.
Back to the rink for more lessons. I wanted to at least run through the silver MIF since this is what I need to learn next and my Mum hadn't practiced them for months and this is the tests she is supposed to be working on. We started with the 8 step mohawk. As soon as I figured out the outside edge mohawk, a move I had never done before, I picked up the rest of the move pretty fast. It didn't take me long and I was gliding around the center circle on the ice changing edges and switching directions. It was fun. Then Robin said "Do it in the other direction." This threw me for about 30 seconds and then I launched into it the other way around. Not bad. Mom and I took turns doing three sets around the center.
Next on the list was spirals the length of the rink. Not a problem for me. Mum made it almost the entire length but took two pushes between feet. Robin had us do it again. Mum almost made it the entire length. She is amazingly good at keeping her balance while going really slow on one foot. I was impressed.
We decided to skip the three turns which had caused most of my falls this week so we moved onto power pulls. I think that these are made to torture us. They are a weird stunt done on one foot. You use the momentum from bending and releasing the skating leg and swinging the free leg in front (going forward) or behind when going backwards. This has to be done in each direction on each foot. Robin did this wonderful thing and had us start with double foot slaloms just like i did during the power stroking class. this made us get the action of the skating leg correct and then all we had to do was pick up one foot and put it in front of us. Ha! Fat chance! This is amazingly hard. It took me a while but I managed to do a few on one foot. I could feel it tweak my knee which is not good. I knew that I would pay for this later. I seriously wondered if my knees would even let me learn how to do this move or if I would be stuck at bronze forever. Mum was doing about as well as me at this. Robin told us that pushing our skating foot into the ice during the hard edge is how to do this correctly. It wasn't simply a change of edge but a deep push to propel us down the ice. It was the end of the hour and I knew I was exhausted and sore but very happy. Other than the power pulls I should be able to do the silver moves with a few months practice. Yeah me! I am going to have to go slow with the power pulls so I don't finish off my knees and end up needing surgery on them.
We stayed a bit longer since Mum had a dance lesson and I tried to take some pictures of her and Mark. They came out badly. I just can't get the hang of taking pictures in the rink with my digital camera. They always come out badly. I was standing at the boards in the 1932 rink stretching out my sore aching muscles watching them foxtrot around the rink. Suddenly they came over to where I was and Mark told me that Mum had asked him to show me how to do a twizzle. He then proceeded to show me how to do one. I'll have to try this when I get home. He told me that while they look easy they are actually quite hard to execute. He told me to start with the forward inside ones and come out of them on two feet. I thanked him profusely. We told him that we had ganged up on Robin and he just looked at the two of us and said "Oh, I would never allow the two of you to take a lesson together with me. I would definitely split you up." We all smiled at each other and they skated off to do practice the waltz. What absolute fun it is to skate here!

No comments:

Post a Comment