Sunflower Skates

Tracking my goals and progress as an adult figure skater

My first year as an adult figure skater

It's my first skating anniversary! February 4th 2020 marks a full year since my first ever Skate UK lesson.

A short while after I first began skating, I put together this list of what I wanted to achieve within my first six months, a year, and in the long term. At the time the majority of it seemed wildly unachievable, until I followed up on my short-term goals after I had been skating for six months and found I'd smashed them all in the timeframes I had set.

Nine months after putting my first goals onto paper (I wish I'd written them earlier!), I have now been skating a whole year and I'm celebrating it by reading through all of my old diary entries, checking off my 'to-do list' of goals, alongside setting new ones, and reflecting on my first year spent on-ice.

Quick facts

Money spent on skating - £2,068.60

Group lessons - £372 
Private lessons -  £750 (and worth every penny!)
Intensive days - £160
Rio skates - £45 
Graf 500 skates - £95
Edea Chorus skates - £395
Clothing - £215 (a lot of mistakes made here)
Certificates - £36.60

I daren't even start to add up the costs of petrol! This is the closest number I could add up to factoring as much in as I could. Ice skating isn't cheap, but it sure is worth it!

Hours on-ice time - 73 hours

Group lessons - 37 x 45 minute lessons
Private lessons - 13 x 1 hour lessons, 8 x 30 minute lessons
Intensive days - 5 days (roughly 15 hours total)

(If I've worked it out correctly lol, I'm not great with numbers!) That seems like such a short amount of time to have achieved so much! I must remember this the next time I feel bad about my skating.

I've also started practicing recently before my lessons (not added in as I think it's only 3 hours total so far) so I'm hoping to increase my ice time next year!

Skate UK Progress

Level 1 - 3 weeks (this should never have happened.)
Level 2 - 3 weeks
Level 3 - 1 week
Level 4 - 3 weeks
Level 5 - 5 weeks
Level 6 - 11 weeks (pesky inside 3's!)
Level 7 - 1 week
Level 8 - 8 weeks

Bronze Dance - 2 weeks
Silver Dance - Current

My original goals (paraphrased from this post)

Six month goals

Pass Skate UK Level 5
Passed in May 2019 (month four)
Learn Backwards Crossovers
Achieved in July 2019 (month six)

Twelve month goals

Pass Skate UK Level 8
Passed in November 2019 (month ten). I struggled with 8 to begin with, but after a great month of passing another element each week, I finally achieved my goal in passing Skate UK in a year! My total time taken was 35 weeks, or just over 8 months on-ice time.

Buy a Chloe Noel practice outfit
I cancelled this goal when I realised that Chloe Noel doesn't actually make adult outfits to fit above a size 8! Instead, I had the most fabulous pair of custom Roaring Mouse leggings made for me, a review of which you can read here AND a custom-made practice dress from Sew Much Fun On Ice (review in progress!)

Learn a Waltz Jump
I started learning a Waltz jump in October 2019, when I was still in Level 8. I still haven't landed it perfectly yet, but I've made a damn good start on it and beating my initial fear of jumps. I've also made a start on my Salchow too!

It feels so good to have ticked everything I wanted to achieve in my first year off my list! As my then long-term (a year plus) goal of passing Gold is now creeping closer to becoming a short-term goal, I have written a whole list of my 2020 goals.

Physical effects

New Year's Eve 2019 was the first time I noticed any physical changes in my body that occured from skating. I walked 2 miles to and from a friend's house, and was shocked to find my legs didn't hurt and I didn't feel out of breath at all. That may not seem like a big deal for most people, but it really threw me as normally I'm the first to complain about walking anywhere!

I've also been using skating as a way of losing weight - I've cut my calories right down to 1200-1500 a day, and spending an hour extra on the ice before my lessons on Sundays. So far I have lost pounds! I know this is also due to the cutting down, but skating has played a huge part in increasing my general fitness levels.

Emotional Progress

The last six months of skating have been treating me very well, and especially since graduating to the Star curriculum in December. Star seems a lot more casual, and there's nothing to keep you back a grade if you don't pass a single element. For example I'm still working on Silver and Gold, even though I haven't passed my Bronze Spiral. I much prefer this approach, as it prevents me from obsessing over a single element that I can't do because there's always more things to try!

I've only had a few wobbles and crisis of confidence recently, and they've all been short lived. On the whole I feel really great about myself and my skating, especially since I've started to make proper friends who support me.

Overall...

I have had the most amazing year. Skating has improved my life, my health and my wellbeing in a way I never thought possible. I now have a reason to love Sundays and Mondays, when before I would be dreading them all week! I feel so full of energy all of the time, and I've made some really great friends.

The stand-out moments for me this year were the first time I 'cracked' skating backwards, buying my first skates, finally passing my inside 3 turns, passing level 3 and level 7 in one lesson each, my first 'real' spin, my first double Twizzle, the first time I ever left the ice on a Waltz jump, buying my Chorus skates, visiting the Nottingham outdoor rink, getting so low on a drag that I fell over, my first Salchow, and ordering my own custom dress!

It's been such an incredible, successful year, and I am SO excited to see what the next one brings me!

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