So, all respectful disagreements aside, skating goes on. Stitch and I were up with the dawn, on our way out the door for clean, soft ice and an hour of solid practice.
Well, almost an hour. Negating break times and a bad fall, it amounted more to forty five minutes. In all, a success. Backwards stroking continues to improve, three turns look good, those one foot spins are coming easier, and Stitch just needs to learn that the point of spinning is not to make yourself dizzy. There were a few more souls on the ice today, young coaches and little girls preparing little programs for the looming competition. I got some dirty looks from the young female coaches, but I didn't really care.
We headed home for a few minutes to rest, then back out for Group Lessons. Stitch got eager once he saw the ice, chomping at the bit to go out and do something. I warmed his skates, laced them up, and off he went. He was bunny hopping and jogging, much to the consternation of the Pre-Alphas still struggling.
I love listening to the parents, really. The Pre-Alpha Parental Squad was face-mashed to the glass as though this were an aquarium. They haven't learned that the kids can't hear you, so there was a lot of yelling right up at the glass, at eye level of the kid being yelled at. Kids, in turn, paid more attention to their screaming parents than the lesson at hand. I think some Coaches were about to hurl a few mittens and epithets at the offending parties. A mom behind me was griping that her daughters had "forgotten everything they learned" last time. Never mind that last time was two weeks ago and it didn't seem like they'd been to Public at all.
I just watched Stitch. Our sign language has devolved to just a "thumbs up" for doing good and an "OK" sign for a fall. (The OK sign must be returned to indicate OKness.) He was doing good, his interim coach having a bit of a time getting him to slow down and actually do the maneuver correctly. But his back crossovers are steadily smoothing out. I'm pleased. The Betas are kept far from the Parental Peanut Gallery, perhaps an indication of the decreased level of parental involvement required.
Afterwards, a mom came up to me and asked, "Is he yours?" pointing to Stitch.
"He's really good! How long has he been skating?"
"Uh, since March."
"Oh my goodness! Just that long? He looks like he's been skating for years!"
"Well, he skates a lot... " I try to go into the hours involved.
"You might have a champion on your hands!"
"No, you see, he skates about six hours...."
But she was off and gone. Ah well.
Tonight the In-Laws are visiting, so I banished Stitch to his room for some much-needed rest. They're going to want to skate tonight.