Sunflower Skates

Tracking my goals and progress as an adult figure skater

December 2019 - Bronze beginnings

December seemed to go by in a flash, consisting of my first Skate UK Bronze lessons, the iceSheffield Christmas Show, upgrading to higher-level skates, and a trip to Nottingham Winter Wonderland.

Sunday 1st December
Private Lesson
Anthony is so kind to me. We had quite a difficult lesson today, learning lots of things for the first time that I found very difficult (closed chassed, backward crossrolls) and I mentioned in passing that maybe I've peaked and hit my limit for this 'ice skating lark.' He brushed over it, but then at the end of the lesson as I was leaving he told me not to get disheartened, that I was amazing and he thought I was doing really well.

I picked up my new skates! Well, the boots at least, the blades needed to be ordered in. I went for the Edea Chorus in the end. They are absolutely lovely and so sleek compared to my current clunky Grafs. They feel quite tight on the toes, but hopefully it's just because they are new. Part of me wishes I'd been able to justify the lovely Concertos as they really did fit perfectly and felt comfortable, but over £300 for the boots alone is just too much!

Monday 2nd December
Skate UK Star Bronze - Free Skating
I was really, really anxious for this lesson. So much so that I almost didn't want to go. But it turns out that I actually really enjoyed myself! The first things we did were crossovers, both forwards and back, on the circle, then we progressed into practicing spins. I really hate how I can't go into a spin without my little run-up, I hope I can figure that out soon.

Saturday 7th December
Christmas Show
I went to see the iceSheffield Christmas Show tonight, and it was absolutely incredible! I loved every second of it and really regretted not putting myself forward to take part in it (however I think you needed to have passed Level 8 so I suppose there was nothing I could have done months ago when it was revealed!) I'm definitely going to take part next year or whenever the next one comes along.

Sunday 8th December
Private Lesson
I had a really fun lesson with Anthony today! We did lots of Dance bits - I was really dreading them but turns out I really enjoyed myself, especially on the closed Chasses once I got the hang of them at last. I also enjoyed the consecutive LFO 3 turns too actually, especially after struggling with them for so long on the insides, it was nice to go back to outsides again. I might try Dance tomorrow.

I also dropped my boots off at the shop today in the hope that my blades come in soon.

Monday 9th December
Skate UK Star Bronze - Free Skating
I have my new skates!!!! I managed to pick them up just before the lesson started, so I was able to wear them tonight. They are absolutely gorgeous, and the blades feel so sharp and strong. I could feel them really cutting through the ice whenever I stoped (which I was pleased to find I could still easily do.) I managed on them just fine for the first half an hour of the lesson, but the last 15 minutes were absolute hell. I just wanted to rip them off my feet as they felt so uncomfortable and cold. I hope I can break them in soon.

The lesson itself was fine. It seemed to go by far too quickly and too much time was spent doing nothing at the start. I hope it doesn't continue in this way. We did a little bit of jumping (I even had a go in my new skates) and then worked on spins again. My new blades are shorter than my old ones so trying to find the right part of them to spin on was really strange. I also nearly kept tripping over my toepicks but got used to that by the end of the lesson. I'm really pleased with them so far, minus the cold feet!

Tuesday 10th December
Winter Wonderland, Nottingham
Tonight I visited the temporary outdoor ice rink in Nottingham with a group of other adult skaters I'd met in through Skate UK classes. I had such a fabulous time! The rink itself wasn't great - Just an outdoor pad on low-quality ice, but I really enjoyed myself and it was nice to spend time with a good bunch of people. We were there for almost two full hours, and it was great fun being the most advanced people on the ice. I was absolutely exhausted by the end of the evening, but I'm really pleased that I pushed myself to go and not be so antisocial!

Sunday 15th December
Private Lesson
A difficult lesson today. My skates were absolutely plauging me, I had to stop the lesson half way and take them off as they just felt so awful. Due to that, we weren't really able to get through much. I did make a little bit of progress on my Forward Progressive Runs, a positive of my new skates in that the come lower down on my ankle, so I found it easier to 'roll' my foot underneath me for the cross. I also started to figure out the Clossed Chasses again which cheered me up a little too. I wasn't able to jump or spin as my feet were killing me far too much by that point, so it's probably better I stick to Dance for the time being.

Monday 16th December
Skate UK Star Bronze - Ice Dancing
For the last lesson of the year, I decided to give Dance a go! It wasn't really a 'proper' lesson for what it's worth, Anthony was teaching the group the Tango (?) so I stuck with Allison to learn the Foxtrot. Either way they were both far too hard for me! So I didn't really enjoy myself until right at the end, when the Zamboni didn't come out for a further 5 minutes after the lesson ended, so we had a bit of time to 'play'! I was trying to show Ami-Lee how to do a Bunny Hop into a Drag, I'm really pleased and how I've managed to accomplish it so far! It probably looks a lot clumsier than I feel, but I'm really proud of it so far. Hopefully I will be able to get a video for my Instagram soon so I can see how it actually looks. I'm also pleased to report that my skates felt so much better!

I've signed up for the Intensive day on the 30th, so I need to make a decision then on whether I want to do Dance or Free for the session.

Sunday 22nd December
Private Lesson
My last lesson with Anthony for the year as I'm away for the holidays next week. We went through everything in the Bronze Dance syllabus and I've decided that's the route I want to go down for the intensive day next week. It was quite a difficult lesson really. I learned a strange Mohawk sequence which I did not enjoy one bit! Looking it up online it's called the LFO closed Mowhawk, which then incorporates a cross and a step before repeating. It seemed more like square dancing to me! He double-checked my Twizzles, which were fine (and not needed until Silver) and I had a go at double Twizzles. They were hard! Tried jumping again but I just can't get it. I also seem to have lost my right outside edge too, and so can't go into a spin on these new skates. Sad times!

Monday 30th December
Skate UK Intensive Day - Bronze Ice Dance
What a great day! I thoroughly enjoyed all of it today, and genuinely feel like I made some really strong progress. Right at the start of the first lesson I was terrified to even come away from the barrier whilst trying the Closed Chasses, however in less than an hour I'd passed them! I am very pleased with myself for those as I was truly afraid and yet managed to conquer them. I also passed my Forward Progressive Runs (although I feel like my clockwise ones weren't anywhere near good enough, so I was very surprised when Sophie told me she'd passed them.) After a short while of still struggling with my Right Outside edge, I finally managed to also pass my Consecutive 3 Turns. All I have left for Bronze now is a Spiral (terrifying) and the awful Mohawk sequence, which I am determined to figure out.

Overall a lovely end to the year! I'm going to work on putting together some proper goals for 2020 as well as preparing a post on my first full skating year for February.

Happy New Year!

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