Sunday, July 1, 2012

So, how hard is it?

Remember me saying, "gosh, it doesn't look all that hard..." and I'm sure many of you gave me furtive looks through your screens. Well, it isn't all that hard, it's just frustrating. And it's frustrating because once you learn any given skill, there's always someone showing you some way you could be doing it just a hare better. And that little hare ends up tossing you back to square one.

Like forward crossovers. I got those. I could do those with some fair amount of proficiency last year, so I felt like I was walking into this year in pretty good shape.

Heh. Nope. I came into my first class, did a few crossovers, stopped in front of Coach Shape (Stitch had said he looked like Snape, not me...) and smiled, thinking I was ahead of the game.

"That's nice, not bad," says Snape, and then belts out a few Champion style crossovers and says, "But they need to be more like that. Push with the blade of the back foot, not the toepick."

And from that moment on I was forever aware of the constant, nagging, *cross*pick*cross*pick*cross*pick.*  And I tried. Lord knows I tried to banish that pick push from my life, but my brain stem had taken over and was stuck in this mode of, "Get that foot out of there before you hurt yourself."

See, your brain stem is the primitive part of the brain. He's concerned with self preservation. When you're at home, packing up your skates and getting ready to practice, and you think, "Yeah, I'm gonna own this bitch today!" That's your gray matter talking. When you get on the ice and you find yourself hunched over in this quasi ball of fear, sweat and self conciousness, that's the brain stem. He's saying, "You can't be serious."

So, when I was trying to hold an outside edge, leaning over into oblivion where there was no foot to throw down and save me, my brain stem was screaming, "AHHHHH!!!NOOOOOO!!!!STOOOOOP!!!" But I knew holding that edge was pretty critical, so I managed to talk him out of his panic, and now I can hold that edge. Fairly well... well enough to throw my free leg back. On my right side. My left side is constantly playing catch up. Anyway.

Once I could hold that edge, I tried getting rid of the pick, but it was still proving to be quite the challenge. My foot kept ducking, and picking out, well beyond my control. It wasn't until I started taking semi-privates with Master Shifu that the light went on. Master Shifu says, "Do this exercise where you swizzle out," he does the half-pump thing, "then bend your leg forward and let the free leg roll out behind you."

I did that for awhile, and that got easy enough, but when I added that to my Forward Crossover Equation, it just didn't work out. For awhile I'd just stare at my skates thinking, "What the hell.." I knew what it was supposed to look like.  I had some fair grasp of how I was supposed to do it. But I just could not get my body out of Panic Mode, and allow that free leg to just roll out of the way like so much butter.

Around and around I went, carving circles in the Studio Rink, getting caught in my own edge tracks or whatever, my past self tripping up my present self, cursing and sweating, until finally I got some slight roll out.

Proud of myself, I headed to class and showed Coach Snape. "Not bad," he said in his usual unimpressed tone. "But you need to stand up straighter."

And so I tried again, this time standing straight, and all my extension was shot.

Back to Square One.

1 comment:

  1. Gosh I could totally hear that unimpressed voice! You are looking awesome out there. Crossovers get improved over time, no doubt about that and do not stress!