Practice Thread

bladesofgorey

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Sorry to hear about the forced time off the ice, @treesprite and @misskarne.
This is my first practice report because today I had my first lesson since around 1989.
I'd still skated recreationally into my thirties until around 1999 and at that point was skating 1-3 times a week and could still do simple double/double combinations (toe/salchow etc.). But I took the intervening years off completely and hadn't stepped on the ice again until a couple years ago. Some things came back really quickly (proper back crosscuts at speed) and some things took a full year (simple hockey stops without faceplanting-no really, a single salchow/toe loop, forward crossovers on my weak side etc.).

As of a couple months ago more things have come back- loop/loop combinations, flip jumps, change sitspins, (very tentative) change camels, and forward scratch spins. Many things still have not- for example waltz jumps scare the bejeezus out of me because I "waxel" on them. I fall backwards on back upright spins and when I don't fall I get about three revolutions in on the wrong edge. I can only do back right outside three turns. Etc. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to the things that seem unattainable, many of them are very basic. I also go like 80 mph into all of my jumps because otherwise my old muscle memory timing is off, but that means I'm dangerously out of control half the time (see: my issues stopping).
(last month's practice video is here for reference if you are curious): https://vimeo.com/270875722

So I am getting Fridays off during the summer now so even though I only can skate one or two days a week due to the position, I finally have some $ to pay someone to help me. Anyway, by chance a coach was at a Friday freestyle I showed up to last week at a rink I don't usually skate at and I approached her about starting privates. I recognized her as someone who was a national competitor way back in the day when I was skating, and I'd heard really good things about her coaching/personality. Anyway, she was *great* and within the first 10 minutes got my waltz jump a lot less scary, fixed my timing on my flip jump, and got me trying half lutzes for the first time since around 1992 (when I was skating in the 90s even though I was still doing axels and doubles it was during public sessions so I stopped doing lutzes completely). The timing still needs work so I'm not getting enough height yet for a full single but I take every little new breakthrough I can get. Also at the end of the lesson we worked on back upright spins and she fixed my entry enough that although they aren't true scratch spins, I'm getting at least 7-8 rotations and checking out on one foot. Yay! Also she assured me my current technique and height for single salchow and single toe loop is solid enough to turn into doubles so I plan on working on those again, probably after my waltz jump take-off is solid enough to start back relearning axels.

It feels really good to be making this kind of progress and the confidence I have right now from having someone whose opinion I respect tell me that getting back doubles at my age (51 eek) isn't an insane pipe dream feels amazing. I stayed for two more sessions and skated hard for 3 hours of freestyle (even with a lingering respiratory illness) because I was so fired up. :)
 

Per

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Sorry to hear about the forced time off the ice, @treesprite and @misskarne.
This is my first practice report because today I had my first lesson since around 1989.
I'd still skated recreationally into my thirties until around 1999 and at that point was skating 1-3 times a week and could still do simple double/double combinations (toe/salchow etc.). But I took the intervening years off completely and hadn't stepped on the ice again until a couple years ago. Some things came back really quickly (proper back crosscuts at speed) and some things took a full year (simple hockey stops without faceplanting-no really, a single salchow/toe loop, forward crossovers on my weak side etc.).

As of a couple months ago more things have come back- loop/loop combinations, flip jumps, change sitspins, (very tentative) change camels, and forward scratch spins. Many things still have not- for example waltz jumps scare the bejeezus out of me because I "waxel" on them. I fall backwards on back upright spins and when I don't fall I get about three revolutions in on the wrong edge. I can only do back right outside three turns. Etc. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to the things that seem unattainable, many of them are very basic. I also go like 80 mph into all of my jumps because otherwise my old muscle memory timing is off, but that means I'm dangerously out of control half the time (see: my issues stopping).
(last month's practice video is here for reference if you are curious): https://vimeo.com/270875722

So I am getting Fridays off during the summer now so even though I only can skate one or two days a week due to the position, I finally have some $ to pay someone to help me. Anyway, by chance a coach was at a Friday freestyle I showed up to last week at a rink I don't usually skate at and I approached her about starting privates. I recognized her as someone who was a national competitor way back in the day when I was skating, and I'd heard really good things about her coaching/personality. Anyway, she was *great* and within the first 10 minutes got my waltz jump a lot less scary, fixed my timing on my flip jump, and got me trying half lutzes for the first time since around 1992 (when I was skating in the 90s even though I was still doing axels and doubles it was during public sessions so I stopped doing lutzes completely). The timing still needs work so I'm not getting enough height yet for a full single but I take every little new breakthrough I can get. Also at the end of the lesson we worked on back upright spins and she fixed my entry enough that although they aren't true scratch spins, I'm getting at least 7-8 rotations and checking out on one foot. Yay! Also she assured me my current technique and height for single salchow and single toe loop is solid enough to turn into doubles so I plan on working on those again, probably after my waltz jump take-off is solid enough to start back relearning axels.

It feels really good to be making this kind of progress and the confidence I have right now from having someone whose opinion I respect tell me that getting back doubles at my age (51 eek) isn't an insane pipe dream feels amazing. I stayed for two more sessions and skated hard for 3 hours of freestyle (even with a lingering respiratory illness) because I was so fired up. :)
51? You are in insanely good shape, girl! If I skate 3 hours my body is telling me "what the hell are you doing" with all kinds of aches. Very inspiring story.
 

treesprite

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Sorry to hear about the forced time off the ice, @treesprite and @misskarne.
This is my first practice report because today I had my first lesson since around 1989.
I'd still skated recreationally into my thirties until around 1999 and at that point was skating 1-3 times a week and could still do simple double/double combinations (toe/salchow etc.). But I took the intervening years off completely and hadn't stepped on the ice again until a couple years ago. Some things came back really quickly (proper back crosscuts at speed) and some things took a full year (simple hockey stops without faceplanting-no really, a single salchow/toe loop, forward crossovers on my weak side etc.).

As of a couple months ago more things have come back- loop/loop combinations, flip jumps, change sitspins, (very tentative) change camels, and forward scratch spins. Many things still have not- for example waltz jumps scare the bejeezus out of me because I "waxel" on them. I fall backwards on back upright spins and when I don't fall I get about three revolutions in on the wrong edge. I can only do back right outside three turns. Etc. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to the things that seem unattainable, many of them are very basic. I also go like 80 mph into all of my jumps because otherwise my old muscle memory timing is off, but that means I'm dangerously out of control half the time (see: my issues stopping).
(last month's practice video is here for reference if you are curious): https://vimeo.com/270875722

So I am getting Fridays off during the summer now so even though I only can skate one or two days a week due to the position, I finally have some $ to pay someone to help me. Anyway, by chance a coach was at a Friday freestyle I showed up to last week at a rink I don't usually skate at and I approached her about starting privates. I recognized her as someone who was a national competitor way back in the day when I was skating, and I'd heard really good things about her coaching/personality. Anyway, she was *great* and within the first 10 minutes got my waltz jump a lot less scary, fixed my timing on my flip jump, and got me trying half lutzes for the first time since around 1992 (when I was skating in the 90s even though I was still doing axels and doubles it was during public sessions so I stopped doing lutzes completely). The timing still needs work so I'm not getting enough height yet for a full single but I take every little new breakthrough I can get. Also at the end of the lesson we worked on back upright spins and she fixed my entry enough that although they aren't true scratch spins, I'm getting at least 7-8 rotations and checking out on one foot. Yay! Also she assured me my current technique and height for single salchow and single toe loop is solid enough to turn into doubles so I plan on working on those again, probably after my waltz jump take-off is solid enough to start back relearning axels.

It feels really good to be making this kind of progress and the confidence I have right now from having someone whose opinion I respect tell me that getting back doubles at my age (51 eek) isn't an insane pipe dream feels amazing. I stayed for two more sessions and skated hard for 3 hours of freestyle (even with a lingering respiratory illness) because I was so fired up. :)
I'm happy for you to be getting back to those skills. I started back to skating about 6 years ago and still can't do anything. Every time I start getting back jumps, something happens that puts me back at square one. Keep up the practicing!
 

bladesofgorey

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51? You are in insanely good shape, girl! If I skate 3 hours my body is telling me "what the hell are you doing" with all kinds of aches. Very inspiring story.
Well, at least 1.5 hours of that is spent blowing my nose at the barrier if I am honest.
And I do limp around for hours/days after. But I love to skate and look forward to it all week long at my desk job, so if I only have one day a week to do so I try to pack in as much ice time as possible.
 

Per

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I have been practicing for 9 days in a row now. Getting to the point where I feel something is wrong if I don't skate during the day. Still the skills development is so F%&€#ng slow.
 

Tavi

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Sorry to hear about the forced time off the ice, @treesprite and @misskarne.
This is my first practice report because today I had my first lesson since around 1989.
I'd still skated recreationally into my thirties until around 1999 and at that point was skating 1-3 times a week and could still do simple double/double combinations (toe/salchow etc.). But I took the intervening years off completely and hadn't stepped on the ice again until a couple years ago. Some things came back really quickly (proper back crosscuts at speed) and some things took a full year (simple hockey stops without faceplanting-no really, a single salchow/toe loop, forward crossovers on my weak side etc.).

As of a couple months ago more things have come back- loop/loop combinations, flip jumps, change sitspins, (very tentative) change camels, and forward scratch spins. Many things still have not- for example waltz jumps scare the bejeezus out of me because I "waxel" on them. I fall backwards on back upright spins and when I don't fall I get about three revolutions in on the wrong edge. I can only do back right outside three turns. Etc. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to the things that seem unattainable, many of them are very basic. I also go like 80 mph into all of my jumps because otherwise my old muscle memory timing is off, but that means I'm dangerously out of control half the time (see: my issues stopping).
(last month's practice video is here for reference if you are curious): https://vimeo.com/270875722

So I am getting Fridays off during the summer now so even though I only can skate one or two days a week due to the position, I finally have some $ to pay someone to help me. Anyway, by chance a coach was at a Friday freestyle I showed up to last week at a rink I don't usually skate at and I approached her about starting privates. I recognized her as someone who was a national competitor way back in the day when I was skating, and I'd heard really good things about her coaching/personality. Anyway, she was *great* and within the first 10 minutes got my waltz jump a lot less scary, fixed my timing on my flip jump, and got me trying half lutzes for the first time since around 1992 (when I was skating in the 90s even though I was still doing axels and doubles it was during public sessions so I stopped doing lutzes completely). The timing still needs work so I'm not getting enough height yet for a full single but I take every little new breakthrough I can get. Also at the end of the lesson we worked on back upright spins and she fixed my entry enough that although they aren't true scratch spins, I'm getting at least 7-8 rotations and checking out on one foot. Yay! Also she assured me my current technique and height for single salchow and single toe loop is solid enough to turn into doubles so I plan on working on those again, probably after my waltz jump take-off is solid enough to start back relearning axels.

It feels really good to be making this kind of progress and the confidence I have right now from having someone whose opinion I respect tell me that getting back doubles at my age (51 eek) isn't an insane pipe dream feels amazing. I stayed for two more sessions and skated hard for 3 hours of freestyle (even with a lingering respiratory illness) because I was so fired up. :)
You look fantastic out there - good luck!
 

antmanb

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Got to the rink last night and forgot that my coach is away on holiday :lol: she did tell me, and I would have gone to practice anyway!

Fourth outing in the skates and they are doing well - though I did have to take them off after half an hour and have a few minutes break from them. When I put them back on I laced them up tighter and they started to feel "right" in terms of support, but were hurting in slightly different places. I think this will be a whole process of getting them to a point where they are laced as I need them to be and aren't hurting me. Funnily enough one of the boots came loose and I actually didn't notice too much because it still stiff in most places it was only when I realised that I could bend the left leg much more than the right that I thought to look and sure enough the lace was undone.

I practised on the previous things but also dared to jump and spin this time too. On spins - i'm doing careful cross overs in the wind up but really rushing the LFO edge - I wasn't letting the edge really come round and hook the entrance, I basically stepped on the LFO edge immediately skidded it round and hooked the spin in a scary non centred way. I did eventually get a good upright spin and crossed the free leg over too. Camel spin was a mess and that's all from the entrance - I did manage to hit the position after a very skidded entrance and spin but it was not pretty. Sit spin was working well though, not nearly low enough but I was getting into position and getting a little lower each time so all good.

It took me a good long while to get the courage to jump. Waltz jump is still the scariest but I managed to get it going - I need to do several all in a row to really get them working and shake the fear. Salchow took a few abortive attempts to get going and I even managed one (that was a little too pre-rotated for my liking) at a reasonable speed. Toe-loop worked well after a few that scared me because I skidded instead of planting the toe pick properly. I even braved some attempts at a loop - which were round but badly two footed. I suspect if my coach had been there I would have received corrections that may have led to it being on one foot. I walked through a couple of flips but didn't feel confident enough to jump them.

I also think my blades need to be sharpened and I've had enough time in these boots to bite the bullet and get them done.
 

treesprite

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I think that is a common "first spins in new skates" entry, because the way you described it sounds like what usually happens to me with new skates.
 

antmanb

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Practice last night was much better. My coach was back and after i'd finished telling her all of the woes of the previous week I proceeded to do everything a lot better with her watching :lol:

The boots around my foot are now feeling totally fine. Last night I just worked on jumps and spins with my coach. My jumps are generally better with the new boots - waltz jump is best done in a series with lots one after the other - in doing this I find the rhythm of the jump and they get bigger and longer and faster as I go along. Salchow - I've gone back to pre-rotating it too much and dropping the ankle inwards on the take off, I really need to focus on staying out to the left and really bending and jumping much more quickly from the shallow edge and not letting the edge come around on the bend to jump. Toe-loop - i'm leaning forward on the take off and not picking back as far as normal so we generally worked on staying up right and picking as far back as possible.

After several two footed loops I finally landed (a very tiny one) on one foot and I was so happy! I moved onto flip and managed to iron out some problems (like the toe-loop) of leaning forward on the take off and not picking back far enough and I got some really nice high attempts that I really could have landed on one foot, but THE FEAR stopped me and I double footed them. Definitely hoping that next week I get one on one foot.

I even managed a waltz jump/ toe-loop/side hop/salchow after a few botched attempts.

Having told my coach about the skidding awful LFO edge on my spins last week, I did all of the spin entrances well and not like last week at all :lol: I really held onto the LFO until it spiralled in and hooked the spin just right on most of my attempts. She corrected my camel entrance and I managed probably the best camel I've ever done with a fairly fast 5 revolution spin that I managed to control nicely into upright for 2 revs and then pushed out :cheer2:

The session ended before I could try a sit spin, but it was a very encouraging session. The lace bite on my ankles from having the boots laced firmly an jumping a lot was agony...it's still a bit sore today, but hopefully that will be the final part of the breaking in.
 

antmanb

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The boots are basically there :cheer2: They feel like they should do - nice and secure, minimal pain. Every now and again I forgot that the tongue is still stiff and freak out going backwards but otherwise its fine.

I braved BO three turns for the first time on these boots and was generally ok. Coach then forced me to try BI three turns, which I hate on the best of days but we managed to get them working.

I'm no longer scared of the waltz jump and went right into it. For an endurance exercise (my coach knows i'm trying to lose weight) she had me do ten in a row and they were all good quality jumps. I may have needed a few minutes to stop panting after that :shuffle: Worked salchow and toe-loop and then spent ages on loop which I did land one on one foot and then got better jumps that were all unnecessarily two footed. Flip wasn't as good as last week and no one foot landings.

Spins were really good and I hit all the basic positions, sat on the ice trying to go lower in a sitspin :lol: then kept the next few attempts higher (and not callable as a sitspin) but nice fast rotations. Then a spin my coach calls an Arabian - basically upright spin where you bring the free leg in high and cross the free foot to the other hip and grab the leg with both hands. In my version you stick your bum out in an ugly way as you stretch to yank the damn leg up - but I managed it. And then we did a coupe of A Frames too - I think I nearly managed three rotations and pushed out and didn't fall over from the dizziness so these are all good things!
 

treesprite

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I have never heard of a spin like that being called an Arabian. The only "Arabian" maneuver in skating I have ever hear of, is a maneuver that is usually used as a flying entry into a spin.
 

GarrAargHrumph

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I'm doing the adult competition series, which means that I have two events coming up this summer, so I'm trying to skate as often as I can. My goals are to have some flow, and to actually complete three rotations in (at least one of) my spins *during competition*.
 

Lanie

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Jumps are AWOL but I've got a decent sit spin going. I still can't get my foot in front of me for a scratch. Any tips? I also worked a lot on my wind-up. My crossovers are a lot more powerful now that I worked on them more, and I am a lot faster than some of the kids doing doubles which makes me feel smug, bahaha. Been doing lots of speed stuff. I want to get edge work in there and work more on turns and steps so I need to bring it up with my new coach who is amazing. (She is also Mini Lanie's coach. He worships her. :lol: )

Still dealing with boot problems. I was told by Jackson I can have them relasted, if I send them from the pro shop I bought them from, so we're doing that in early August when I am down near Disneyland. I hope it works.

My son just started taking private lessons. He's got a great two foot spin and swizzles, but his favorite thing to do is fall and laugh. :lol: He wants to live at the rink and cries every time we leave.
 

bladesofgorey

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"I still can't get my foot in front of me for a scratch. Any tips?"

I have found a couple of things work for this- first you want to make sure the free hip is closed not open once you bring the leg around from the side and in front. You don't want the free knee to fall open like the number 4, you want the knee pointing forward more than that. It also helps if you feel like your torso is ever so slightly turned toward the standing leg so that you are not turned to the free leg. Pull your belly button straight back to your to your spine- a good scratch spin has your weight slightly in front rather than perfectly straight or leaning back. If your free leg is closed properly it's easier to bring the foot across the spinning leg. Keep your arms and shoulders down a little more more than you think they should be and press slightly forward towards the ice with your arms when you are in the first few open revolutions (in a V shape in front of you), thinking of squeezing a big round beach ball against for chest with them as you pull your free leg in and across. Finally, when you push the free leg down into the "scratch" position, try to push down with the heel, don't point the toe.

Of course, without video it's hard to know if any of this advice would help the issues you are having, but maybe it's a place to start? Sit spins are tough so congrats on that! Also it sounds like you have a budding skater in the making. :)
 

treesprite

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Still dealing with boot problems. I was told by Jackson I can have them relasted, if I send them from the pro shop I bought them from, so we're doing that in early August when I am down near Disneyland. I hope it works.
Do you have backup skates? It is probabaly going to be at least a month before you see the new ones again, after you leave them at the shop.
 

Lanie

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Do you have backup skates? It is probabaly going to be at least a month before you see the new ones again, after you leave them at the shop.
I have some that are really, really flimsy and cut into my foot. I don't have much stability in them either. :/ I thought about using my old SPTeris in the meantime; they had the same problem as the Jacksons, with the custom foot orthotic thing in there, there was not enough room for my foot, but if I got my blades remounted on these it could work okay.
 

gkelly

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I bought new skates months ago but I've been bad about breaking them in. I think I've skated in them 5 or 6 times for 20 to 60 minutes each time.

Yesterday I went to a public session, practiced some twizzles and spins and three turns in my old too-soft skates I'm still skating in.

BTW, I had been doing (RFI 1.5) twizzles with my free foot crossed loosely in front of the skating ankle (like a single loop jump air position), but at last week's lesson I discovered that I have more control with the free foot extended low in front of the other skate, i.e., straight knee.
The landing exit edge is still too curly though.

Then I switched to the new skates for break-in purposes.

I can skate all different edges on them, albeit more shallowly and cautiously than on broken-in skates. I can do good-direction FO threes and FI mohawks and a bad bad-direction FO three. I was able to do a forward circle eight (prelim MIF version) and a Dutch Waltz with shallow edges and clunky crossovers in place of progressives.

Maybe with a couple more hours I'll get to the point of being able to skate passable Pre-Preliminary MIF. But I'll need more time than that to get them flexible enough for the skills I'm still working on getting comfortable with. Which now includes FI threes again because I stopped practicing them for a year or so and now they don't feel natural any more, not even the good direction that I learned as a kid.
 

bladesofgorey

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I am skating in skates that are too big for me (for reasons relating to retrocalcaneal bursitis- it was the only size I tried that didn't aggravate my heel) and although they are not ideal, and I need a skate key to pull them tight enough again to support my ankle after a few minutes in them, I've gotten so used to them that I dread getting a pair that fit me better eventually because my balance will be so far off. I totally relate to anyone who buys new skates and then never ends up using them, that break-in and adjustment period can be a stressful, frustrating, and painful period, especially for those of us who only get to the rink once a week or less. But I am pulling for those of you going through that process! It's worth it in the end.
 

antmanb

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I know they're not for everyone but my experience with Riedells both this time and last time has been fantastic . I know they're not fully broken in yet but after 5 hours in my silverstars everything feels good, if not better than in the old skates.

The weight difference to the old boots is noticeable - all of my jumps are bigger right now, and I'm not quite hitting them as well as I know I can. I'm almost hopeful that I might be able to get my leg high enough to get a passable spiral for our first MIF test. If that is the case then I will maybe finally get a test in.
 

clairecloutier

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I know they're not for everyone but my experience with Riedells both this time and last time has been fantastic . I know they're not fully broken in yet but after 5 hours in my silverstars everything feels good, if not better than in the old skates.
I love my Riedell Bronze Stars that I got a while ago. (Can't remember if it was a year ago, or two years ago.) They're so comfortable but so supportive at the same time. It's my second pair of Riedells & I think my feet are just trained to them at this point.
 

Bunny Hop

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I also like my Riedells, even though I technically don’t have Riedell shaped feet. I’m on my second pair and had a very short break in period both times (although mine aren’t one of the stiffer models as I’m a non-jumper).
 

bladesofgorey

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Another vote for Reidells for my foot type. Back when I was skating I wore Reidells through my Juvenile free and then switched to Super-Teri Deluxe boots for the rest of my tests up through Novice. I'd heard mixed reviews of SP Teris when I started back a couple years ago and based on that and price went with Reidell Gold Stars. I'll probably get the same boot again when it's time (in a slightly narrower split width and probably a half size at least smaller). I am really happy with the boots in general.
 

GarrAargHrumph

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Whereas for me, I could never get Reidells to properly fit my forefoot and arch, no matter how much my pro worked on them. When I got new boots last time (forever ago), he changed me to Harlick in a split width, and they're great for me.
 

antmanb

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Practice last night was a mess. I was so excited to go and build on last week's progress so off course I felt like I wasn't ever over the right part of the blade. Spent most of my tame scraping my toepicks as if I didn't have a clue how to skate.

I still haven't managed to get my blades sharpened so my right inside edge felt a bit skiddy, but not enough to make me skate like utter crap. I threw the towel in after 45 minutes and decided it wasn't worth risking injury from bad skating.

Hoping next week is better....it couldn't really be much worse.
 

treesprite

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I decided not to skate until my cast is off in a couple weeks, so no practice for me. Something interesting happened at my appointment. My doctor had an emergency, and the person filling in was a USFS medical advisor. My orthopedist doesn't know anything about skating, and has not had a solution for me. So Iasked this other doctor while I had a chance,to about the ongoing problem my foot has due to the long ago injury/surgeries. I explained the way my foot acts when I skate (especially going into spins). She said she is certain she can help me find a solution, and told me to make an appointment with her for it. So, after this broken wrist thing is done , I will go to this other doctor just for my foot/ankle issue, and see if there is a non-surgical solution.
 

treesprite

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First time I went to skate after injury, my left blade was dragging and "sticking". I looked at the blade and discovered a big nick, right in the spot where I can't avoid skating on it. I guess it is from whatever made me fall. Either way, I now don't want to risk skating until it is fixed. I sent an email to ask for an appointment; I hope there is an opening this weekend.
 

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