Sunflower Skates

Tracking my goals and progress as an adult figure skater

February 2020 - Silver linings


February was a wonderful month! I passed Silver Dance, prepped for my competition, and even learned to spin again!


Sunday 2nd February
Private Lesson
A perfectly fine lesson, all things considered. I wore my new practice dress for it, and that combined with having just had my skated sharpened led to me feeling quite self-conscious and unsafe on the ice. I even said to Anthony before we started "I'm terrified today." Not a lot of progress, if any was made today. Forward Runs were fine, Backward Runs were horrible. Bunny Hop into Drag without any issues. Waltz Jump still consistently non-existant with incorrect take-off, and Salchow is still baby-steps. I also seemed to have backtracked from all the great Twizzle progress made last week. We didn't even try Spins. However, I now have a good idea of where I am at with everything, having remained the same for a few weeks, and I am determined to up my practice time to hopefully twice a week to give myself a good shot at improving.

Monday 3rd February
Skate UK Star Silver - Ice Dancing
I won't be entering the competition :( A really bad lesson today. I thought I'd have a go at Free again so I could learn how to Spin, but I struggled so much and felt so useless. I went back into Dance and struggled with that too! So I just ended up sitting out on the side for the last 15 minutes, watching everyone and trying not to cry. A few bad days recently, but I'm sure the good ones will come again soon.

Tuesday 4th February
My First Skating Anniversary!
I stopped off at The Dome tonight for a quick practice session in my dress to celebrate my 1 year skating anniversary. It wasn't a great practice and I only stayed for half an hour, but my dress looked lovely and I got a really nice photo for this post. The rink was almost empty again, which will be good when I get a little more confidence to practice more often there. I can't believe just how far I've come in a year. I've had ups and downs, but overall I have made fantatsic progress and I am incredibly proud of myself. See this post for my full feelings on my first year.

Sunday 9th February
Private Lesson
What a FANTASTIC lesson! I had such a great time today, and Anthony seemed really pleased with me too! We started the lesson with some basic Forward Stroking, and I'm quite impressed at how powerful my strides are when I focus on them properly. Next was Crossrolls and Slaloms, which was surreal as when I first started my lessons with Anthony I was working on Slaloms! It was cool to remember how much I've improved in under a year. Straight afterwords we tried One Foot Slaloms, and I was scared but I just made myself try them, even on my bad foot (which wasn't as bad as I thought!) This set a good precedent for the whole lesson, trying new things and ust not allowing myself to be scared. Feel, the fear, and do it anyway! I made progress on my positioning for the Spin, did a Waltz jump where I actually went into the air, and completed my first tiny Salchow unassisted. Next week he is going to teach me a Toeloop! I'm so excited and pleased. We finished the lesson with learning to Foxtrot, which I really enjoyed once I figured out the rhythm. A great lesson, I loved every minute.

Monday 10th February
Skate UK Star Silver - Ice Dancing
Another great lesson!! I really enjoyed it again - Anthony is such a great coach and that definitely helps me enjoy the lessons so much. We were working on Gold today, and so started with Forward Runs into Slip Chasses, which I already have signed off so I was pleased I could do them and show others. Next was Backwards Crossrolls (terrifying, but I tried my best!) and then Twizzles. I got my Twizzles back! A few were still a bit scrapey, but I managed one amazing one that I celebrated :D Same as yesterday, we finished with the Foxtrot and I already noticed a huge improvement. I really enjoyed it, and felt like the movements flowed really nicely (especially with proper Run instead of Crossovers.) A fab lesson and I can't wait until the next one.

Thursday 13th February
Practice Session
I had so much fun tonight! The Dome is so much better when you have a friend to go with. I met Shigh there tonight, and even though it was slightly busier than normal, it was still completely dead compared to iceSheffield. I'm hoping we can make it a regular thing. I practiced lots of Drags and Spins, I think I'm finally getting there with my Spin position, I just need to hold the edge for a touch longer before flinging my arms round. I worked on (and showed a young lad how to do) Three Turns, however I still don't feel comfortable with them on my left for the Salchow. I'll get there, I know I will! The end of the session was hilarious. Everyone left the ice so we thought it was a great opportunity to try a long drag along the edge of the rink. Nope. Got halfway round before my back leg spun out and I landed on my elbow and knees. Oops! I just lay there laughing. It feels good to fall sometimes, when you know you were trying something new!

Sunday 16th February
Private Lesson
Ouch, a painful day in more than one way! I arrived at the rink earlier than my lesson so I could practice - a horrible mistake. I tried a drag on the nasty-ass, scratched up public ice and RIPPED a CHUNK out of my lovely skate. I am absolutely heartbroken. This would never have happened if I wasn't on the scummy public ice. I am furious and upset all at once! However I have seen a video of Edea skate polish painting over scuff and rips, so hopefully the shop will have some. My lesson with Anthony was good, he is very pleased with the progress on my Salchow, and he is making me enter the competition! He has shown me a different way to do the Spin so that I can enter with it. So yay!

However, I went down again trying a different drag (bastard things!), and it definitely wasn't as funny as it was on Thursday. It hurt a lot, and I felt my knee pop out of place. I popped it back in and continued with the lesson (I was really embarrassed to have wiped out so gracelessly in front of Anthony!) but it started throbbing really badly once I left the rink to drive home. I spent the evening with it propped up with an ice pack, and now the bruising has come out it's not too bad. I should be fine to skate tomorrow and Wednesday!

Monday 17th February
Skate UK Star Silver - Ice Dancing
A perfectly fine lesson today. We started off with Three Turns on a circle, then Anthony showed us the closed Mohawk required for the Gold step sequence. Nope. Don't like that. I was too afraid to even try it! However I have learned the rest of the sequence, substituing the Mowhawk with a turn to backwards. Run, Closed Chasses, Run, Turn/Mohawk, change feet, step to forward and glide, repeat. We finished with attempting the Foxtrot in the tiniest space, so it was much more difficult and I kept getting lost on the rhythm without the space and the music, but I tried. I'm looking forward to the intensive day on Wednesday!

Wednesday 19th February
Skate UK Intensive Day - Silver Ice Dance
A good intensive day today. I was really lucky in the fact that Anthony was teaching it! He must be sick of the sight of me by now haha. It wasn't a groundbreaking day like some of the others have been, but we went through everything on Bronze, Silver and Gold, and signed my book off properly. I have now officially started Gold Dance! I already have my Slip Chasses signed off, I can do the Foxtrot okay-ish, and I have started the 9-step Mohawk Sequence. I will take my book with me on Sunday to my lesson and see if we can get anything more signed off or worked on.

Sunday 23rd February
Private Lesson
Great lesson - we started on my routine for the competition! We started the lesson off with Mohawks (ugh) but then moved onto the routine, and I really enjoyed it! There's a few bits I'd like to change, mainly the Mohawks as currently,I embarrass myself doing them, but I'm determined to learn it and make it look good. Lots of practice for me coming up over the next couple of weeks! Adi also got a video of me spinning - I'm so glad I can finally spin again! I thought it was gone forever after getting these new skates. I'm really looking forward to starting Gold Dance in the group lesson tomorrow. I'm having such a great month!

Monday 24th February
Skate UK Star Gold - Ice Dancing
Ugh, more Mohwaks! I really can't do them, yet most of the lesson this evenikng was spent on them! I know Anthony is doing it to benefit me, which is very kind of him especially as it's a group lesson, but I just struggle with them so much. A few positives, my Forward Runs are feeling lovely going anti-clockwise, clockwise aren't great but they'll do, and I also did a really nice spin whilst messing around. I definitely got 3 revolutions out of it, which I wasn't expecting! I can't wait to build it up more next month and see how I get along with it.
Ending on a high, the wonderful Roaring Mouse sent me a present in the post! A beautiful wrap skirt as a surprise for passing my Bronze and Silver Dance. She really is amazing, I can't wait to try it properly on the ice as it looks lovely on!

Tuesday 25th February
Practice Session
Note to self: Do not visit The Dome on a Tuesday! I was wondering why the ice was so horrible - it turns out that the don't resurface after the previous Hapy hour session! I wasn't able to practice anything, it was practically snow.

Thursday 27th February
Practice Session
Oooh I am annoyed! I was really looking forward to going to this session with Shigh, got there and they hadn't resurfaced, again! However it was nice to have her there for company and just be able to talk away from the settings of a lesson. I practiced spinning a little bit, and I managed to get 3 1/2 revolutions at one point. I really hope I can keep going and get it up to 4 so I can pass Bronze Free when I get there. I tried getting into positioning for Spiral, but something about them just terrifies me so much! I think I need to practice holding my leg up off-ice as it may be a strength issue. It doesn't help that I've just learned that I have hypermobility and my knees hyperextend further back than they should. I need to be careful with that (and my yoga class.) Despite all this, I am with with my spins and how they are progressing after being scared of them for such a long time. I just need to crack that entry edge and I'll be well on my way.

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