Sunflower Skates

Tracking my goals and progress as an adult figure skater

January 2020 - New year, new goals

The Christmas break helped me to see my progress in a positive light, and return to skating refreshed and ready to set new goals in January.

Sunday 5th January
Private Lesson
That was the best lesson I have had in months! I thoroughly enjoyed it and was shocked when I looked up and found we were already halfway through the lesson without even noticing. What a fantastic start to the year. For the first half we focused on practicing basic skills, which included my Forward Runs and Backwards Crossovers. It was really great to just work on the Crossovers alone, instead of it being 'Crossover into...'. I was amazed at how fast I've actually become at them, and how my pushes are strong enough to carry me a good amount of distance before the next one. Anthony was really pleased with them too.

We then worked on chasses, including a quick run-through of the Crossed Chasses which I passed on the intensive day (I just really wanted to show him them!) and then moving onto Slip chasses. They were really scary to start with as you have to full with a 'thud' onto your free foot whilst slipping off the active foot, but I think I picked them up pretty quickly. I'll be needing them for Gold Dance.

The final half of the lesson was spent on Free elements. We started with a Bunny-Hop into Drag, which I was very pleased with how far I'd come with it. My mum has videod it and I've popped it on Instagram. I can get down very low now and just need to try and streeeettcch out my front foot further (try this ended up with me toppling onto the ice - hello bruised knees!). Next up was the Waltz jump. A little bit of progress with this as I start to feel safer in my new skates, but nothing major. I will try and practice it off-ice. Finally we tried Spins. I have really started hating spinning again as I just can't find my outside edge any more! Hopefully it's something that will come with time.

A super long entry today because I had such a great time!

Monday 6th January
Skate UK Star Bronze - Ice Dancing
Happy New Year! For my first group lesson of 2020 I decided to give Dance another shot after my success in the intensive day. I'm glad I stayed in Dance. It was a difficult lesson, but I'm determined to stay positive this year! We started with the Progressive Runs, so i was pleased with my forward ones as they have improved again even since yesterday, I can really feel the 'slide' under for the second push now. The Backwards Runs were where I struggled. I just can't figure out the rhythm of the movements, but I know that as soon as I try them with Anthony holding my hands I'll figure them out! Another point of difficulty was the Closed Mohawk sequence, I just can't bend my foot that way yet! I'm going to practice holding the crossed position and pushing off from it, as that's the bit that's tripping me up. A good first lesson that's helped me to set small goals for the month.

Sunday 12th January
Private Lesson
A super tiring, but satisfying session today! I got the the rink an hour early so that I could practice and get my feet and body warmed up before my lesson. I also wanted to try out how my new FitBit worked on the ice - I am determined to try and lose weight and getting there an hour early each week is sure to help me in both my skating and weight loss.

For this lesson I made a list of everything I specifically wanted to go through - Backwards Runs, Mohawk Sequence and Spirals - alongside the usual of practicing basic skills and elements from Free (mainly the Waltz jump and Spin.) We managed to get through everything in the lesson, however my skates were getting mon my nerves! I had untied them during the resurface so I could rest my feet, and no matter what I did I could not get them feeling comfortable again. Next week I won't take them off in-between skates, and I will try and keep walking around and moving so that they don't get numb.

My Spins were good in the lesson today! I still haven't recovered my outside edge properly to go into them myself, put I did some pretty good ones with Anthony flinging me into them. One that must have been at least five revs and made me really dizzy afterwards. Not much else to say - The lesson went very quickly and he was pleased with my crossovers and runs (even if I did keep screaming whilst attempting backwards runs!)

Monday 13th January
Skate UK Star Bronze - Ice Dancing
I am so sad :( I couldn't make it to the lesson tonight. It was stormy weather so my dad was going to drive me, however the wildest and heaviest rain was beating down on us. We couldn't see a thing on the road and only made it out of town before having to turn back. My dad has been driving for over 30 years and has never seen rain like that in England. Absolute craziness! And such a shame to miss my lesson too.

Sunday 19th January
Private Lesson
Useless, stupid, useless, stupid, useless, stupid.

Monday 20th January
Skate UK Star Bronze - Ice Dancing
A little explanation for yesterday. I felt like my lesson went terribly. I couldn't do anything Anthony asked, he kept showing me and explaining over and over and I just couldn't grasp it, and my feet went so cold and numb that I had firey shooting pains through them when I finally took my skates off. I left the rink crying, vowing that I was going to quit.

Clearly, I'm just a drama queen that was having a bad day, as tonight's lesson was fantastic. Anthony signed off one element on Bronze (only 1 left now!) three on Silver, and even one on Gold. Although I don't think I should have had the Mohawk signed off on Bronze as I truly can't do it, but he has faith in me (or it's an oversight, lol.)

I also figured out my skates at long last, and it's a little embarassing. I was tying them too tight. AGAIN. The exact same issue my Graf's had all those months ago. I truly am an idiot. I tight them a lot looser and they were lovely and snug, and I felt really confident in them. I also wore my sparkly skating jacket instead of my hoodie to cheer myself up, and I overall had a really great lesson. People are also noticing that I've lost weight! Hooray!

Thursday 24th January
Practice Session
Dammit, why am I so awkward?! I couldn't shake the feeling of wanting to skate from Monday, so I went to The Dome tonight for a little practice. The ice had just been done, it was almost empty, and yet I felt so self-conscious that I didn't dare do anything until I'd been there almost 45 minutes. I'm still really struggling with spinning and jumping, it's as if my outside edges don't exist at all on my new skates. It makes me so mad as I was so close with my spin a few months ago in my old skates. I think I'll take them to be sharpened this weekend and see if that helps at all.

Sunday 26th January
Private Lesson
A great lesson to end the month! Both my mum and dad came to watch me today, and my dad films a lot of my lesson for me so I'll be pleased to look back over the footage in a few months time to see how far I've come. We did lots on silver and gold today - the serpentine chasses, silver Mohawk sequence, crossovers in a figure eight, then went on to spinning and jumping. I did my first ever little Salchows! Anthony was pretty surprised that I managed a tiny one - I told him how I have been practicing jumping over the dog! I also managed my first ever double twizzle, which I was so pleased with that I posted it on Instagram. Great lesson and I can't wait for tomorrow night.

Monday 27th January
Skate UK Star Bronze - Ice Dancing
A perfectly fine lesson tonight. We went through everything in Bronze. Even though I've passed almost all of it (the only thing left is the Spirals, which we didn't actually do) but it was nice to go through everything again. It annoys me when different coaches have different ideas of what the curriculum means, I was told that I had to do the spiral on both legs, even though I've checked and was also confirmed by Anthony that it's both edges, and can be either leg! SO annoying as I definitely can't stand on my left. But I'll figure it out on my right and have a practice when I can.

A good month overall!

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