Wednesday, April 23, 2014

"Let it Go," Please let it go.

As predicted, I am getting tired of "Let it Go." This is how I'm starting to react whenever someone is doing yet another skating program to "Let it Go." Seriously, I start doing random arm and leg things.

Actually, it's more like this.

Kids. Worlds of music out there.  There's nothing worse than every skater at the rink skating to slightly different variations of the same tune. Please let this fad be over by the end of summer!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Terror Tuesday

I spent a portion of an evening watching the Men's Long Program Event from Torino, 2010 on my big TV. I did this because I could, as my husband had installed some neat thing that would take signals from my tablet and allow me to watch YouTube on the big screen, but also because I like skating.

I've gotten to a point where I can see where and when a jump goes bad, when a skater becomes discouraged or frazzled, and how a costume can make or break a program. (Especially in men's events. Yikes!) I watched the fourth skater in the event, I forget who it was, but he seemed shaky right out of the gate. He wound up for a jump, and sure enough, his foot slipped out from under him and he was down in a bad way. But unlike the other skaters who fell, got up, and kept going, this guy got up, put his hands on his hips and his head down and proceeded to chastise himself, like he was on Practice Ice and had just messed this up. Meanwhile the music is going, and it's going to keep going because clearly he is not hurt beyond the capacity to continue, and he's still shaking his head and poking along the boards for what seemed like an eternity. "GO!" I shouted at the skater from four years ago, so frustrating was this behavior.

This morning I was working on spins. For the Record, after my terribly traumatic fall during a goddamn ice show during an attempted spin, I am terrified of spinning. I've been trying to spin for a year now, and it's not getting any better, because I can't find my balance and I'm frightened of the rapid movement. I bail on it. It got a little better for awhile, but now that I'm in my new boots it seems to have gone away again which is beyond frustrating.

But I'm determined, and so I was trying to spin. I got in a few good attempts, but I caught the back of my blade once, pulled forward too late, and went down on my knees and slid into the boards lightly. I was shaking I was so scared. I wasn't hurt, wasn't beyond the point of continuing my session, but I stood up, put my hands on my hips and proceeded to chastise myself.

Wait, I thought. What are you doing? Don't be like that nut in Torino! Skate, damn you!

I pushed forward and mohawked into some fast back crossovers in an 8, shaky legs and all. And then I tried some of the mohawks on a circle in my shaking legs, telling them to function regardless. It kinda worked. So, I made myself fall a few times more, each time scrambling back up as fast as I could to continue in my eight pattern.

Here's what I learned: It's hard to regain balance and speed after a fall. I can see how a Big League skater would be out of sorts for a few seconds after a hard fall, simply because it's a shock. And I was prepared for these falls. I timed and spaced them out so I wouldn't hit the boards or any part of me that I didn't want to strike. I can't imagine hitting an elbow or twisting an ankle or dripping blood like I was, and then going on with it.

But I practiced falls. And I walked away with a cold rear end and with a bit of understanding. Perhaps when I watch the rest of the Men's LP event later on, I'll stick to costume commentary. (Doubtful.)


Monday, April 21, 2014

Motivation Monday

I love Power 3's. Love love love them. I loved them before I could do them, because there was just something cool about them. So, I made an effort to teach myself how to do them, and it was pretty terrible for the first few months. I'd fling myself into the turn, because that was the only way I knew how to do it, then pull into a backwards crossover, hitch up on my toepick in a straight line instead of an arc, and grind myself to a halt before widestepping into a fresh flat to wing into another turn. Anyone on the rink with me would know I was trying Power 3's by the rythmic **Scraaaaaatch**Clunk**scraaaatch**clunk** I made as I traveled.

But I didn't give up on them. Eventually I figured out that back edge, and how to hold and turn closer to the center of the lobe. I still scratch a bit, the left side still wings too fast, and my step into the new lobe is wider than it should be, but my Power 3's are one of the things I'm most proud of. I do them alternating now, along with alternating power mohawks, as a part of my warmup. I have a long ways to go on them, but they are one of the elements that shows just how far I've come.

My current "That is so cool but I can't do it" Skill is Backwards Cross Strokes. I'm sure that eventually I will do backwards cross strokes with proficiency, and remembering just how hard those Power 3's were makes the process a little easier. And enjoying the challenging Process is what makes this fun.


Saturday, April 19, 2014


Sunday is typically a big skating day for me, but since it's Easter, the rink is closed. No Practice Ice to make myself crazy on, no Public Session to Guard at, no Class with children to dodge. I tried to look on the bright side:

1. You can sleep in. (Sleeping in for me has become anything past 6am.)
2. You can watch bad movies that you normally don't get to see all the way through.
3. You can catch up on those skating books you bought.
4. You can go for a nice long run and workout.

Or you can just sit and think about skating.

Nah JK, I'm designing my Test Dress. The boys will be at Baseball game and I'll be hip deep in burgundy stretch velvet and iridescent mylar chiffon, shaking my bead vials like they were crack cocaine.

Maybe I can get to like Holidays after all.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Freeskate Friday

Torvill and Dean's 1984 Bolero.

I've been doing a lot of reading as to why Figure Skating is in such decline. There's been much said about the constant drive for points and the loss of artistry. An essay I read this morning had not much flattering to say about Davis and White, and instead lamented for the days of performances like these.

I listen a lot, and at one point I overheard and Theatre Patron say that she didn't go to the theatre to "feel bad things." Well, feeling bad things is a part of being a person. We all have bad days, deaths in the family, a personal crisis, emotional upheavals, complete breakdowns. Theatre is an insight and exploration of these things, an inroad to our shared humanity. The best of comedies will strike a chord somewhere in the soul. (Ghostbusters, for example.) I wanted to turn and ask her, "Why are you even here?"

I had to agree with the author of the skating essay. Davis and White, while striking in their ability, perform much like a circus act. Go in, do the motions, smile, wave, win. Again, I'm left feeling not much more than awe at their ability, and nothing deeper. Their smiles and longing looks feel like an applique slapped onto a utlitarian piece to try and give it some humanity. I have similar experiences when I get tickets to the "big shows" that tour through town. At the end of "Shrek the Musical" I was thinking about kneepads rather than whatever message I was supposed to have taken home. The movie had been more, well, moving. (I consistently cry at the end of Shrek.)

So, don't throw things at me because I am just kinda "meh" on Davis and White. Something just seemed kinda "off" with me when I was listening to everyone rave about them, and all this reading has helped clarify for me why I was feeling that way. Sure, they're great skaters. But I wouldn't cast them.