Monday, December 29, 2014

2015 Skating Resolutions

Last year I didn't make any Skating Resolutions. I simply wasn't in a good enough place to do that. Unhappy, miserable, lonely and unsupported, I think my only goal for 2014 was to simply stay on the ice. Anything else I did was secondary.

But this year has been a complete Turnaround. I'm more confident and a hell of a lot stronger than I was back then.

Armed with that newfound strength, I unpacked all the Bad Baggage associated with my spins. I sincerely believe a huge part of the problem was Anxiety. Having been beaten about the head and shoulders repeatedly about it, I simply freaked out and tried too hard, and the bad vibes just snowballed themselves into a complete mental block. So, I backed up. I looked at where I was as a whole, how far I'd come, and the entirety of the process so far.

I've really been seriously Skating for just under 3 years. That's not very long. And yes, I had a lot of flow and power, but that's because I spent a lot of time doing what I could do, as I wasn't being pushed to do more. True, at this stage of the game I *should* be able to, but also I hadn't really been taught to spin until the FS1 Test came due. Only then did I spend an agonizing amount of time, entire lessons, trying and failing at spinning, literally under the gun. And I couldn't do it. I got hung up on what I couldn't do, which sapped my confidence.

So I let the anxiety go. If I spun, great. If not, okay. And I focused on what I could do instead. I worked on extension, edges, lifting my free leg higher, keeping my head up, those kinds of niggly details. And in lessons we still worked on spins. A lot. Sometimes they worked and sometimes not, and we never spent an entire lesson on them. Most of the time I traveled pretty far, but sometimes it worked. And Coach repeated himself a lot, but I thanked him for his patience every time. When I started getting those anxious vibes in practice, I stopped spinning and did something else for awhile and then came back to it.

At my lesson this week, Coach asked me to spin. And I did. And it was perfect. Seven revolutions, perfectly centered. I pulled out of it, checked the tracing, and nearly cried. Coach laughed, folded his arms and asked me to try a sit spin.

Needless to say, that didn't work too well. But it worked better than it did last week. Still, we backed off the one-foot idea and tried it on two feet again.

I told Coach I was going to push to get up to Bronze this year. Bronze Moves are happening. They are not perfect, but we're working on them. Jumps are happening. We worked hard on Salchow, and Toe Loop (not a Toe Waltz!) is something I've determined to master. Sit Spin is Bronze, and having gotten a handle on my Spin Anxiety, I believe this can happen.

So, my Skating Resolutions for 2015 are:

Pass Pre-Bronze Freeskate

Pass Bronze MIF

And if Bronze Freeskate happens, great! If not, that's OK, too! I sent Coach a really fun bit of music to put together another program, and he seems to like it as much as I do. He wants me to cut it right away! I listened to it again this morning, and debated the wisdom of this particular piece... it's really fast and Coach indicated there'd be a lot of toepick action. Yikes, but YES!! So, with two programs (a "Serious" one and a "Fun" one) and a lot of work, we can make the Skating Resolutions happen.

2014 was my Turnaround Year. 2015 will be my Success Year.

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