Two thoughts for the week.
First, whew, I’m really tired! Every practice session lately seems to use muscles that I don’t use normally. Since I haven’t really added any new moves, this must be due to my new practice resolutions (a.k.a. Major Edge Reassessment Goals Evermore, or MERGE–or maybe Major Edges Hello!, or MEH!)
Some of this is definitely because of my week-on, week-off practice schedule (taking some out-of-town trips this month). But some of it is because I am only now figuring out how to do these edges correctly–and I do mean correctly, with all of my body on the optimal part of the skate, nicely lined up on an actual edge (with lean), and maintaining pressure into the ice through the entire edge.
Do it right, and the skate actually works properly. Do it wrong and I’m in the zone of “duh, I think something’s wrong here but I don’t know what,” or worse, “warning, warning, danger, Will Robinson!”
Second, I still seem to have some basic issues to fix, especially on (a) my right side (with ankle/heel/blade placement), and (b) my back outside edges (with not opening my free hip/side in an effort to force the edge–weird how I’ve developed that habit.)
But I do think things are way better than they were before, especially with my right side. Today I tried thinking about my heel placement (shifting it slightly over to the outside of where it was), which seemed to make a difference. I also have been trying to maintain a strong and engaged skating side, which really makes a difference, though it’s exhausting!
I read some of a thesis that my son’s cello teacher shared with me about one of his teachers, the great André Navarra. It had a line in it that went something like this: “Before you become an artist, you first have to become an artisan.”
If you go to around 3:40 on this video, you’ll see what I mean. If Elmo can do it, so can I!
Another fun video–something much newer! This is from the recent Finlandia Trophy: Marie Jade Lauriault and Romain Le Gac skating to Bruno Mars. Enjoy!
- “ice theatre” warmup (forward): really bend (release hips), do arm movements after lunge; get upper back and head in correct shape (not tipped into circle)
- “ice theatre” warmup (backwards): really bend, allow inside hip to displace, ribcage to move into circle (don’t tip in), and outside leg to stretch out
- back outside edges: don’t contort hips to push, simply turn out foot and push, engage turnout muscles on skating leg, don’t allow body and free hip to open (keep hips parallel)
- inside three turns: maintain pressure into inside edge all the way into the turn