So when I was little, we lived at the top of a really steep hill. It’s hard to imagine now that I live in the flatlands, but this must have been at least 2-3 blocks of a really steep grade.
I’m not making this up. Wikipedia says that North Bergen, NJ, is the US city with the second-most hills per square mile–and second only to San Francisco.
Anyway, my sister and I would be in the backseat of our family car, our ’66 (?) Plymouth Valiant. As the car would make its way laboriously up the hill towards home, we would pretend to step on our imaginary gas pedals and yell “Put up more speed!” We thought this was hilarious.
Anyway, you’d think that growing up on those hills I’d have the strongest legs in the world. Wrong! Skating demonstrates that I indeed have retained my imaginary sense of putting on the gas. I am doing much better in terms of lining myself up over my blades, but I am going putt-putt-putt-gasp rather than cruising along at warp factor one.
Ari told me that I had to try to go at least 5 mph. I’m not quite sure what that means, so I’ve been looking at the speedometer when I’m driving through town. That doesn’t seem to help.
No magic needed here. I think what I need to do is just, well, go faster. Bend my ankles and try to push into the ice whenever possible. Resist the temptation to just hang out over my skates.
Luckily, rinks are not built on hills! So here I go–5 mph or bust! Good thing I have plenty of fuel (a.k.a. pies) and friends to share the hilarity with.
Okay, and music! I seem to be on a “Broadway productions I’ll never see” kick. Here’s Kelli O’Hara in a revival of a Cole Porter classic. I love her voice, but it seems a touch slow. Dare I say it? Put up more speed!
- ankle bend and shin action. Progressives are good!
- back crossovers–emphasize push on outside edge
- three turns–free leg pushes out to side.
- inside mohawks–turn out on forward inside hip so that new edge can be set onto same circle
- outside mohawks–remember “J” curve and be careful about the placement of the new foot (not outside circle)
- alternating forward inside change to outside, cross stroke–remember to bend and rise (push into ice to get more power)
- back inside change to outside, cross in front, step forward, inside mohawk, repeat on other side–turn free leg in on inside edge (to really get over that edge), bend and rise (more power!)
- forward mohawk, back outside three, toe through to repeat on other side–SPEED, PUSH!
- forward inside bracket, back inside, step forward outside, repeat on other side–think about the axis of the bracket turn, use core twist and heel to turn (not flinging), watch posture.