I know it has only been one day since my last post, but I’ve been so excited about keeping my feet and ankles in strong positions that I had to write again. I’ve been watching the video I posted of Scott and Tessa’s Viennese and marveling at how strong their feet and ankles are. Their lower extremities are like skating fortresses, I tell you!
I love how Tessa just carves out those forward outside edges. You can tell their depth of edge by the angle that their shins are making with the ice. It’s really impressive to see how far over they get on some of those edges. I don’t have a still picture from their Viennese, but here’s one from their wonderful short dance at the Sochi Olympics (probably my favorite program of that entire competition).
I also had a lot of fun today trying to “surge” my feet and knees forward ahead of my body on each new stroke forwards. I have the tendency to simply drop down onto my edges and then try to balance, which simply doesn’t work.
Today I thought instead about landing each new edge in front of me, so that I could bend the knee forward into the skate rather than dropping the weight down. This seemed to work really well; it allowed me to keep weight farther back on my blade and maintain a better body position. I especially liked doing this on my left forward inside three, a move that has been giving me trouble; this “best foot forward” idea really helped.
Just for fun: this reminded me of the way cats land from jumping, with legs stretched forward to maximize that shock absorption.
This video also shows cats eating and drinking in slow motion, which is less applicable to skating (I think).
Speaking of cats, I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that I have recently become addicted to the game Neko Atsume, which I started playing after reading a confessional article, “Why am I Obsessed with a Cellphone Game about Collecting Cats?” in the N. Y. Times. (and you thought it was just about the health-related articles).
After a hard practice holding my ankles strong, tilting my shins, and surging my feet forwards, it’s very relaxing just to sit and watch those electronic cats playing in an electronic yard. And you know, each cat seems perfectly content to do whatever it wants to do, kind of like the folks at the rink.
There’s a lesson in that somewhere, but I’m not going to try to guess what it is.