Sunday, 28 April 2013

Sometimes it's good to just... Skate

So, I'm still skating on weekend publics, and haven't had a lesson in a few weeks. I planned to have lessons, but then the session would be crazy busy come lesson time and y coach and I would both agree that it'd be impossible to get anything productive done. I'm still practicing everything though, so when I do finally have a lesson, hopefully I'll get some stuff signed off. 

So, anyway, before I get into yesterday's skating session, I thought I'd share something. I am currently on a mission to lose weight. I am following Slimming World and have decided that for every half stone (7lbs) I lose, I'm going to buy myself a skating related reward. I've lost 5.5lbs so far, so I'm getting close to reward #1. Only problem is, I don't know what that should be - I'm thinking some new soakers or colourful laces for my skates. I think when I hit my main target I'll be buying myself either some new boots and blades, or if I don't need them yet, maybe a Zuca bag (I carry a LOT of extra stuff, haha!). 

So, yesterday I went skating, and was going to meet a friend at some point during the session. I had planned to have a lesson, but again, it got crazy busy, lots of kids with penguins and no supervision having races all over the ice, coach and I just looked at the chaos and decided it'd be better to wait. 

My friend and her family arrived and we had a nice couple of hours just skating around, which I haven't done for a long while. In fact, this was the first time since our rink opened that I'd just skated around. I did do some practice before my friend arrived, and showed her my attempts at a spin, which she loved, she thinks it's awesome, even if it's not up to passing Skate UK yet. 

Sometimes it's just nice to relax on the ice and not worry about practicing :) 

I skated near enough 4 hours yesterday, and am very pleased that my boots are now comfy enough to allow that. My blades do need sharpening though, must get that done next week... 

Monday, 1 April 2013

Mental Blocks and Rink Karma

So, after a break of one week due to the wedding of two very good friends (which was an amazing day, by the way) I was back on the ice this week.

You know you've been skating too long when your first thought upon realising you have a Friday off is, "I can skate on quiet ice!" OK, it wasn't totally quiet with it being Good Friday, and the schools being closed, but it was better than it has been on Saturdays when I've had my lesson. With it being so busy, and not having my coach to spot for me, I just stuck to doing all forward facing moves, so lots of edge work, a few crossovers and gliding on a curve. It was just nice to be able to skate on a weekday again, I'll be honest. 

Saturday was my lesson and although progress is being made each week, it's painfully slow at the moment. It's all because a lot of the moves on Level 5 involve going backwards, and for some reason, I have issues with that. I'm sorry, humans were not meant to go backwards, it's scary and I'm not overly fond of it. But, as with everything else so far, I'll keep practicing and eventually it'll all fall into place. 

One thing we did work on, was getting my forward crossovers up to scratch. They're almost at Level 5 standard, so my coach began teaching me the figure 8 pattern I'd need to do them in at Level 10, in the hope we can sign that off nice and early. It's actually really fun, and she taught me how to push the free leg to the side so that there was less distance to cover when crossing over. You get up a serious amount of speed during this pattern, so I'll have to choose my practice times carefully for that! We did some work on my 2 foot spin too, again it's nearly there, just needs a little more work to consistently get the 1 revolution I need to pass.

We also had a go at improving my backwards skating, and backwards one foot glides. Coach pushed me backwards and got me to lift one foot, but I think I need to do this at my own speed, because the speed she had me going, just scared me, haha! This was when she discovered I make a high pitched "eeeee" sound when I'm scared. Apparently everyone makes different noises when the fear factor creeps in, so it's nothing to be ashamed of, good thing I don't really care what the public at the rink think of me!

What was weird, was at one point skating to an audience. Because I'm in a lesson, I'm allowed on the ice as soon as resurfacing is done, which is 15 minutes before the public. So as I'm in my lesson, working away, I spot lots of people who are getting their rental skates, or food from the concession stand watching me. It was actually kind of cool, and really didn't bother me. 

So, after my lesson I decided to practice on the public session for a bit. It was a pretty quiet session, for a Saturday, but there were still lots of people. We have rink guards, but they only have one even on a busy session, so they can't be everywhere. I was skating along and saw this little girl fall, she was only about 5 and was with another girl, either an older friend or big sister. She was on the ice crying, so I went over to try and help her up, I tried teaching her how to get up but I think she was too little to "get" it, but I was saved by the rink guard who was bigger and stronger than me, who pulled her onto her skates again. 

She was clinging to the boards, and was still upset, so I thought I'd try and cheer her up. "Wanna know a secret?" I said, which got me a nod. "Did you see the lady who was teaching me earlier? Well, even she falls sometimes. And you know what? Falling over just means you're trying really hard, so keep going." It got a smile out of her, she went off happier than when she fell. Made me feel really good too, I have to admit. Then I helped another lady and her daughter who had fallen.

Why do I do it? Well, I think those of us who can skate should look out for the beginners. We were all there once, and it leaves a lasting impression, that your rink is a really friendly place.  Another reason is I'm a believer in karma, you know, what goes around, comes around? So hopefully if I fall, which obviously, I will from time to time, someone will be kind and offer me a hand up, instead of skating by. 

So I'll leave you with that thought, until my next lesson, which will be 2 weeks from now, after the ice hockey Play Off weekend.