Off the ice, it has been the kind of weather that keeps us all confused. One day I was tempted to put on long underwear, the next it felt like the tropics. Today I went for a bike ride in shorts and a T-shirt, but I’ve been wearing my flannel pajamas to bed.
At the rink, though, it’s been consistently cold. I’ve been bringing two jackets to warm up with and have only been tempted on one occasion to take off both of them. The first one, though, always comes off within minutes, but hey, those are some long minutes.
Practice, too, has been inconsistent. Sometimes I can’t seem to find my edges at all, and sometimes I feel really on target. Yesterday I made myself practice swing roles for fifteen minutes (which in my practice world is a long time). I have been trying adjusting my body position so that I am able to stroke out on a good edge with my hips forward over my skate, like this (Charlie):
rather than like this (leaning forward, hips behind skate):
I am also practicing how to extend my skating leg fully on the second part of the swing so that the edge just runs naturally (this involves keeping my weight over my arch, which is farther back than it has been)–like this:
rather than like this, with the skating leg bent.
Now I know that Hubbell and Donohue are just doing this for style, whereas I am bending my skating knee as a form of survival. Or at least it feels that way, since I am desperately trying to hang on to that edge. And that’s because (um, er) I am leaning forward too far (doh!) rather than keeping my hips over my skate.
There’s a certain logic here, and at least I recognize this.
But don’t worry, I’m not spending my entire time on swing rolls (though I would if I thought it would help). I have an entire repertoire of stuff to work on, accompanied by an entire litany of complaints to go along with each move.
With each of these moves, there are consistent things I need to correct. Laurie has been trying to get me to use my arms (which I think is another way of getting me to keep my head up, shoulders down, and hips more aligned). Ari spent quite a bit time at my last lesson trying to get me to stop pitching forwards before he finally gave up and then gave me an exercise that can only be done if I don’t pitch forwards (the one with the Quickstep choctaws, described below).
It’s going to be an exciting season.
But the one consistent thing is that I am oh so glad to be back on the ice, and I intend to make the most of every minute out there. The sessions have been quiet but I do see lots of familiar faces.
We are all happy to be there! Love skating!
Here’s some lesson notes:
- Different arm positions on forward progressives.
- Forward inside rolls, work on extension and position of free leg as well as arms.
- Outside three turns, outside edge free hip slightly open, then close for the turn. Make sure you don’t delay turning.
- Swing roll: practice pushing onto a fully flexed ankle; practice coming up all the way on your knee and being on the correct part of the blade (arch); check image in boards.
- Back outside three (turn out free foot in order to move free hip back, look in direction of travel, up and down action of turn) hold inside edge, inside three, back cross over, repeat on other side.
- Forward inside three (make sure inside edge foot turns in all the way) , cross in front , step forward repeat on other side.
- Back outside edge to forward outside edge mohawk (not choctaw).
- Forward outside to back inside (Quickstep) choctaw, push to outside edge, back mohawk, repeat on other side.
- Inside mohawk, back inside three (check body position on inside edge, feet together, make sure you are not falling into or leaning out of the circle) cross stroke, repeat on other side.