Sunflower Skates

Tracking my goals and progress as an adult figure skater

Month eight - Stop, drop & crossroll

September was a breakthrough month! I passed BOTH Level 6 and 7, and started working on the Level 8 curriculum.

Monday 2nd September
Skate UK - Level 6
Not a great start to the month! I had a really horrible day at work and ended up skipping my lesson tonight as I just couldn't face another week of not passing level 6.

Wednesday 4th September
Public Skate - Adults Only
A disaster of a practice session tonight. I ended up with only half an hour on the ice as I didn't want to go to work early so I could leave on time. I seem to have lost all the good progress I had made on my Inside 3 Turns, which is absolutely typical. I did some Crossrolls tonight and really enjoyed them. I seem to find any kind of footwork easy, except for these bloody 3 Turns!

Part of me is considering sneaking into Level 7 as I know I could pass it almost immediately, but another girl did that last week and everyone is really disappointed in her for being such a cheat. It'll only hurt me in the long run, but I've now spent 8 lessons on Level 6 over the course of 3 months (I'm not including my time off) and I'm starting to become frustrated with myself, the course and the coaches. I really need to buckle down and just spend a few hours practising them over and over - it's quite impressive in a way that I've got this far without any 'real' time spent practising outside of lessons.

Sunday 8th September
Private Lesson
I really, really enjoyed my lesson with Anthony today. We worked through all of the Level 7 curriculum for the first half an hour, then started on Level 8 for the next. He taught me a small step sequence of 3 Turns and Steps to Forwards which I loved. It made me feel really free and it was a lot of fun (even if I was incredibly dizzy). We had a little bit more practice on the dreaded Inside 3 Turns, and he gave me a few more tips for my lesson tomorrow. I might just end up begging and pleading with Jess to pass me on them in the condition that they're in, as I really can't wait any longer to get to Levels 7 and 8! I tried to have a short practice on the Public Session before my lesson, but the ice was just so carved up and nasty from so many people being on it that I couldn't get anything done at all.

Monday 9th September
Skate UK - Level 6
I DID IT! Well I almost did it! I have figured out the Inside 3 Turn and passed it on my right foot at least! It felt so amazing to have finally 'got' it and I was so pleased and proud of myself the entire night. Now all I have to focus on is my left, which I am determined to pass next week. I can do this, I know I can. Hilarity ensured tonight during the last minute of the lessons when I pushed myself a little too quickly on my left foot and toppled straight over. I lay there spread out like a drama queen laughing at myself - What a great lesson. Big smiles today.

Wednesday 11th September
Public Skate - Adults Only
Not a great practice. I ended up going on my own, and practicing is so boring when you're alone. I wasn't really able to even do my 3 Turns on my right foot, so it seems Monday was a lucky fluke that I passed them. I really want to get them on my left ASAP so I can go into 7.

Sunday 15th September
Private Lesson
I had another great lesson with Anthony today! I told him about passing the Inside 3 Turn on my right foot, and he reckons that if I concentrate and believe in myself, I could easily pass both 6 AND Level 7 tomorrow. As much as I know I am capable of this, I must not beat myself up about if I don't. There's lots of factors that could affect passing - The coach not getting to me, not coming around quick enough, not being allowed to move up. But I'm glad he believes in me, and I need to work on my confidence in myself too.

I learned Twizzles for the first time today, and I was really pleased to achieve them straight away! We also tried the One Foot Spin again but I was so terrified when he let go of me that I nearly cried - I wasn't expecting him to grab my leg and swing me! It was traumatic. But once again he had some lovely words of wisdom for me at the end of the lesson that I hope to carry with me on Monday.

Monday 16th September
Skate UK - Level 6/7
I DID IT!!! I passed it! I am so unbelievably proud of myself! The rest of the lesson was a bit of a cock-up as the Level 7 coach had hurt herself and wasn't in the lesson... nobody had told Jess and she was having to try and teach both on her own. So really I was only messing about in 7 this week (but I did practice my Mohawk) - next week will be my first proper week. I am so excited!

Sunday 22nd September
Private Lesson
A difficult lesson with Anthony today, but a lot of good progress was made. I tried the Continuous 3 Turns for the first time, and noticed my Insides were definitely improving, especially after last week! I need to be able to do 3 in a row for Level 8, and I'm very sure I can manage that. My mum filmed some for my Instagram, which I've uploaded. I did fall over and land on my knees, which hurt a lot, but somehow hasn't bruised (hooray!). Chubby knees are a blessing it seems! Anthony was full of praise as always, I love how he has so much confidence in me. I'm slowly working on the One Foot Spin - it's not quite as scary now I've tried it a few times and figured out all of the motions. We also worked on a short step sequence which included Toe Steps, Twizzles and 3 Turns. I don't have a very good memory for routines, so I'll need to practice and write it down quite a bit to remember it all.

Monday 23rd September
Skate UK - Level 7
Despite being unwell and missing work today, I dragged myself to my first Level 7 lesson, and I'm so glad that I did! It went exceptionally well and I really enjoyed it! As Eleanor is still injured, we had Lucy teaching us. I really like Lucy as she's very down to earth and pushes for perfection, rather than 'good enough', but without being harsh. She said my Mohawks were very good!!! That shocked me. Irritatingly my details hadn't been passed on to be on the register, and I truly believe that if they had been on then she would have passed me tonight. All I need to work on from her comments is my left Landing Position, which I'm determined to get next week. Finally things are going well for me!

Wednesday 25th September
Practice Session - Cancelled
No practice for me tonight as I'm still sick! I'm still glowing from Monday's lesson and dying to get back on the ice, but I can't risk making this cold any worse.

Sunday 29th September
Private Lesson
A horrible lesson, and a horrible day in general. I could not do anything that I learned last week. I was stuck in traffic getting to the rink which made me 10 minutes late for me lesson. This resulted in me forgetting my step sequence, losing any kind of movement resembling a Twizzle, and messing up literally everything else. To top it off, I landed heavily on my pocket of my jacket and snapped my bank card in half. To say I cried would be an understatement. Anthony was lovely as usual, trying to reassure me that I'm not a complete loser, but even he was getting frustrated that I'd somehow gone completely backwards in the space of a week.


Monday 30th September
Skate UK - Level 7
I passed Level 7!!!! Had a fantastic second lesson which resulted in an overall pass on all of my elements, even the dreaded Left Landing Position! I am so excited to get started on Level 8, but it will have to wait another week and I'm missing next week for my birthday! Hooray, a much better month overall.

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