Wednesday, August 5, 2015

More Open Freestyle; Doing the Hard Thing

I have an Audition Program. We put it together in late winter to use for my ISI FS1 test and Spring Show auditions which never happened. The format changed and I got a solo without doing an Audition. But I had this program, and I did consider just using it as it stood for Holiday Show auditions. I looked at my drawing in my little notebook and then I skated the steps. Too Easy. I'd improved in the six months since working with this program, and it didn't reflect my current skill level. If I skated this, it would be more than enough to meet the stated requirements for an Adult Skater Solo. While I could most certainly do that, it wouldn't follow with my Mantra of Do The Hard Thing. Plus, I want to impress Coach Fab a little when he gets back. So I added a few things.

The Lunge - I made it into a slide and turn lunge. I have about a 50% success rate with these, and only at a controlled speed. When I put it into the program, I hit the lunge about 100% faster than what I'm comfortable with. The trick is to lower the knee to ensure that the blade doesn't strike the ice upon turning to backward. And commit. If it fails, it fails, but commit either way. And frankly, I need to fall when I've got judges on me. If I fall on this, I won't fall far.

Waltz Jump/Mazurka - I want to make this a Waltz Jump/Toe Loop combo. Even if I botch the toe loop a little, I will have put my entire jump repertoire into the program. Plus it will make a nice slower step forward into the Bunny Hop.

Back Edges: I don't need these anymore. So I'm replacing them with a Back Outside Spiral. The problem for me with this is Control. I lean too far and make too tight a circle. So right now the program is never ending in the same spot, or a twenty foot radius of the same spot, ever.

With the Back Edges gone, I'm replacing the final Waltz Jump/Spin with a Salchow, stepping forward into a RI3 and a Back Outside Pivot.

Ideally, I would love for the Spin to be a Sit Spin, but I know not to hope for too much.

My success rate with these changes? Not too great. I'm having trouble with transitions, breathing space and timing. But I want to work through this myself and see if I can solve the problems on my own. If I get really stuck, I have Blanket Permission (from Coach Fab) to work with whoever I like. But I'll give it another day or so and see how I do.

I also pulled up the FI/FO3 pattern from the Old Adult Pre-Bronze test and worked with that a little. It makes no sense that FI3's got abandoned by the Pre-Bronze test, only to resurface as far away as Silver MIF. I realized I hadn't worked with these at all since Delta, and they have a nasty habit of leaving me from time to time. So I am working to solidify them before we start work on Silver MIF.

Also Back Outside 3's. These are coming easier, the trick is knee bend. "Soft knees," as Coach Fab said while watching a skater on her MIF test doing back threes. So I worked to make my knees soft. Knee bend, turn to the point of pinch in the waist, commit and bend again. And get off the toepick. GET OFF THE TOEPICK.

I worked on a few other things, enjoying the relative freedom of doing what I wanted for a little while. I saw my penchant for being lazy, working only on things that were easy for me, and decided to make a list of harder things I remembered from lessons.

It occurred to me that just two years ago, Ice Show auditions were the biggest thing on my skating radar. I remember the sheer terror of having my name on that signup sheet, and the horrible pressure I had been under to skate perfectly. I realized that this year I'm planning to use the Audition Process to challenge myself in a relatively safe environment. Can I fall catastrophically out of a lunge and save the rest of the program? Here's to finding out!