Sunflower Skates

Tracking my goals and progress as an adult figure skater

October 2020 - Sparkles, spins & new skates!

A breakthrough month with Bronze Freeskating! I finally got my Waltz jumped signed off, I started learning to spin on my left foot, and I got new skates!

Thursday 1st October
Public Skate
A fun skate tonight to start the month off well! Shigh brought me my present early in case she didn't see me before my birthday. I'm dying to open it early but I will refrain! They hadn't resurfaced (what a surprise) so we did the best we good on the surface we had. We spent the majority of the time practicing dance elements such as Progressives, Closed Chasses and Slip Chasses. It makes me sad that Shigh isn't enjoying herself in Ice Dance. She's planning to quit if the lesson doesn't go well on Monday, which is a real shame. I hope she can figure things out!

Sunday 4th October
Private Lesson
I'm not sure how I feel about today's lesson. I did some nice Twizzles and Crossrolls, but it makes me mad that I was just getting my Double Twizzles before lockdown and now I'm struggling with singles. My Dance elements are the ones that haven't really come back, so I'm glad that I practiced them with Shigh on Thursday otherwise I would have struggled today. More work on the Waltz and Salchow jumps. My Waltz is finally starting to get nice, we did a lot of work on the positions for it today. I like having everything broken down piece by piece so that helped a lot. I'm not happy with spins. Once again, we spent ages trying to just spin from an edge, and like every week it seems brand new to me. It makes me so frustrated that I want to cry! I hate it. I really hope that it's these Chorus boots and a new pair might fix things. I can't wait to visit Al's skate shop next week!

Monday 5th October
Skate UK Star - Bronze Free Skating
A good last lesson before my birthday! I collared Jess right at the start and asked her to go through a few things with me. I'd made a list of elements which I felt I was there or very close on (Crossovers, Bunny-Hop into Drag, Teapot, Waltz Jump) and we went through them all together. She signed off my Bunny-Hop/Drag and gave me pointers for the others. I'm certain I'll get them next week! For my crossovers my left side is a little scrapey, which I think I can improve just by concentrating a little harder. My Teapot is fine, I just need to be able to hold it for longer and a little further onto the boot rather than my leg, and for my Waltz I need to focus on swinging the free leg through and jumping up as well as long.

Thursday 8th October
Public Skate - Cancelled
Cancelled as I'm in Blackpool, visiting Al's Skate Shop!

Sunday 11th October
Private Lesson - Cancelled
I'm still travelling home from our holiday, so my lesson today was cancelled. I hope I still remember how to skate tomorrow!

Monday 12th October
Skate UK Star - Bronze Free Skating
Despite not having skated for a week, this was the best lesson I'd had in ages. My boots felt like a dream for the first time ever (always happens whenever new ones are ordered apparently! Typical.) I enjoy being in much smaller groups, it meant that Sophie had more time to spend with me properly and she signed off both my Crossovers and my Waltz Jump! Now that was a shocker for both me and her as obviously I hadn't been able to practice it was last week, but it was magically really nice tonight, needing only one reminder about swinging through the free leg. I think it was just good for me this past week to get out of my own head with no private lessons or practice, have a weekend off, then come back totally fresh. Anthony will be pleased with me I'm sure. I love my lessons with him and could never give them up for good.

I'm really proud of myself for what I've achieved in only 4 official lessons in Freeskating! Next up for me on Bronze is the Spirals (gulp) and a proper Spin (no lunge entry!) so I do think they will take me a while longer. I'll probably start working on Silver and Gold stuff in the meantime.

Thursday 15th October
Public Skate - Cancelled
Ugh, I'm really missing my Thursdays with Shigh! It's my sister's birthday today so we're out for a meal. Hopefully back to normal next week.

Saturday 17th October
A visit to Al's Skate Shop!
New skates today!!!!! Have a read of my full post here for all the details!

Sunday 18th October
First day on new skates
Anthony was poorly over this weekend, so my lesson had to be cancelled. A big shame and I hope he's better soon, however it meant that I got to try my new skates for the first time in a stress-free environment. I can already tell that they are going to be so good for me! I spent the sessions practicing with Shigh. They felt incredibly rigid at first, however I did manage one very good Teapot (and a few not so good ones) which shows that I still have mobility at the ankle at least, despite them being a little higher than my Chorus. Shigh took a gorgeous photo for me showing all the rhinestones I have embedded in the side of the skate, I've popped it at the top of this post!

The most exciting thing about these skates is the potential they have granted me for spinning. I'll explain. Naturally, I rotate to the left. I jump left, and land on my right. However, as I don't feel strong enough on my left foot, I spin right! This is a big problem, and something Anthony has always despaired of. HOWEVER, these new skates gave me the confidence and support I needed to try a few small spins on my left foot, and those first spins were 100 times better than any on my right foot! I'll pop the video in below. The first spin is left, and the second spin is right (the one I've been working on all this time) and the difference is so apparent.

Monday 19th October
Skate UK Star - Bronze Free Skating
A strange lesson. I'm not sure if I enjoyed myself or not. A lot of the coaches are poorly / on holiday and so we just had Rebecca and Lucy teaching us some fun bits this week. It wasn't really an ideal situation for my new boots! It focused a lot on Spirals and doing silly things like Spider Lunges. Not my cup of tea really!

Thursday 22nd October
Public Skate
I have had the absolute best time tonight. Including me and Shigh, there was only 10 people on the ice the entire time. We had so much space! I was worried about going as they're being funny about people from different households attending, however we had a brilliant time and nobody bothered us as we were clearly practicing and not just messing around. I did the best and longest Teapots I've ever done, as Shigh challenged me to a race (and I am incredibly competitive!) so I'm really happy with those. I also did a little more practice spinning on my left, however I made myself very dizzy by switching between left and right spins. It's feeling promising though! and I simply LOVE my new skates!

Sunday 25th October
Private Lesson
A very positive lesson with Anthony today. I showed him my new skates and the video of me spinning on each foot. He agreed that my left is much better, and we have started learning afresh on that foot. He said that I have made more spinning progress today on my left foot than in the last 9 months on my right (however I shouldn't get stressed about that and should just draw a line under it. I will.) I'm really, really happy with it!

We did a little bit of work on jumping, however I was getting quite tired and frustrated with it as I'm struggling with the length of my blades a little on these boots. We switched to Dance, and I'm so pleased to report that in twenty minutes we had gone from zero to almost Double Twizzles on my right foot! Yay! These boots are filling me with so much hope.

Monday 26th October
Skate UK Star - Bronze Free Skating
I didn't really enjoy tonight's lesson either. It's just at such a late time, the ice hasn't been resurfaced, the coaches and everyone else there are clearly tired. It just ends up being frustrating for everyone involved. I did however appreciate Ashley walking us through the Salchow jump step by step (minus a spectacular fall from myself) and I showed Sophie a spin on my left foot and she was shocked at how much better it was than the ones on the right that I've been doing for weeks! So that's a positive at least.

Thursday 29th October
Skate UK Star Intensive Day - Bronze Free Skating
A fun day! The first time I'd seen both Shigh and Ami-Lee together since May! It was so good to spend some time with them on the ice. The intensive day itself went really well too. I struggled on the first session as my spins were completely gone again. I've no idea why Anthony can coax them out of me but I can't do them for anyone else. But the second session after breakfast was much better! I've finally managed to get a Spiral on my left leg! It was difficult and I was absolutely terrified the entire time, but in just one session I managed to build it up from nothing to being passed at the end of the session. Sophie also signed off my Teapot (which I actually managed to stand up from) and my step sequence from Gold, which isn't much as it's the same one from level 8, but I'm still happy I could do it.

A great end to the month, hopefully next month I'll be able to tick more off my list!

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