Well, it's been a busy week, skating wise. After testing my new skates out on Sunday, they left a nasty red mark/slight cut in my left leg, so I stuck a plaster on it and soldiered on.
On Tuesday, I decided I needed to go skating again, to help break in the boots. So, off I go to the rink, and find it nearly empty. There were two school aged lads, although they might have been college students, either way, they were there on a free period and were tearing round the ice, carving it up something rotten.
I think at this juncture, I need to point something out: I may make reference to "hockey boys" occasionally, but I have no problem with people (male or female) who wear hockey skates, I wore them myself until recently. What I DO take issue with, is people skating dangerously, and intentionally doing things to create big ruts in the ice. It makes it harder for everyone to enjoy themselves, and can sometimes cause accidents, collisions etc.
Anyway, I managed to avoid these boys, and they eventually left, to be replaced by two nice ladies who were getting back into skating, and just one guy who was tearing around on his skates (again, hockey skates, must be something about them...). I was practicing my basic skating, edges and attempting chasses and crossovers, but it was a bit tricky, the factory grind that was on my skates was starting to fade :( I did, however, manage to crack backwards skating, which I'm very happy about, as it\s been something I've been trying to teach myself for years! It needs work, but it's started to take shape, which is the important thing.
So, today was my next lesson, and it was a lovely one, I have to say. I arrived early, saw the last part of the Ice Tots session (toddlers in tiny skates - so cute!) and, after doing my warmup, got on the ice, while another lady had her lesson.
I was just, again, practicing my basic skating, and overheard one mum say to her toddler (people were still retrieving shoes or simply watching the 3 of us who were on the ice) "Look darling, that lady can do it properly!", referring to me, and my skating. I was quite proud of that!
Then the lady who was in her lesson before me, said "You're really, very good", and I blushed then and said, that really, I'm not! My coach (who also teaches this lady) later told me, "Oh, X asked me earlier if you were a professional. It just shows, although you can't do the fancy stuff yet, doing the simple things well makes you look like you're a higher level than you actually are."
She's right, and she's been teaching me that from our first lesson - get the basics right, and the rest will follow.
So, my lesson today, actually started with a coffee break, where me, coach and X had a chat about various things and got to know each other. Then we got on the ice, and began with basic forward skating. Coach was happy to sign this off in my Skate UK book, so we moved on to 2 foot glides on a curve.
These took a bit of practice, I kept getting confused with which knee needed to bend when, so we went to the barrier and walked through it, before trying again. It really helped, and the glides got a lot better. It was then that coach taught me a new "trick" as it were. If you maintain the glide on a curve, the circle you skate gets narrower, and narrower, until you can pull your arms in, put your feet together, and do a two foot spin!
This kept me entertained for ages after the lesson, and my spins are slowly improving!
After that we did snowplough stops, and these were also good enough to be signed off!
So, I've only got to master the 2 foot glide on a curve, and moving backwards to complete level 2 of Skate UK!
Coach also took some videos for me, to show me how far I've come in such a short space of time. I've edited them together and want to show you all a comparison.
This was a couple of years ago, on hire skates at a local Christmas rink (I'm in the blue waterproof)
And this is from today's lesson:
Well, there's definitely improvement, and I'm sure there will be more, but I've rambled enough for one post, so I'll leave you all to digest that, and return when I have more skating news.