Practice Thread

misskarne

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Skated another half an hour this morning. More stroking patterns and a few more crossrolls. Backwards ones are starting to get back to where they used to be, forward are still a bit wobbly. My back was feeling good and I was feeling good so...I also did five toe loops at the end of the session. So far, the only thing that hurts are my legs. Let's see how I wake up tomorrow...
 

antmanb

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I completely forgot to update after last week's lesson, and it was a really good one!

I think the weight loss I've had has really helped, plus the cardio I've added to my strength training is starting to pay off I did a good full hour with a half hour lesson that was mostly spent jumping and I didn't have to have any breaks or breathers I just ploughed on. I'm skating with a bit more speed and I managed to do waltz, salchow and toe-loop with more speed. I managed to land a couple of loops at basically a crawl, and adding speed killed the jump. But at least i'm starting to land the evil jump again :lol: I did some nice flips that I should have been able to land on one foot, but the mental block meant the left foot tapped every landing, but I feel like i'm thisclose to landing it on one foot again.

Then we played with some combinations and I came really close on salchow/loop but the loop was two footed.

We finished up with some spins and I hit a couple of nice uprights, a camel, and a sit spin that kept dropping to far to the inside and making biiiiiiig circles on the ice. IN an attempted to get lower I seem to drop inside instead of pushing down my bum and staying over the skating leg!
 

Bunny Hop

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Coach said my choctaws were 'real ones' (i.e. on the correct edges). These are of course assisted mohawks (holding coach's hand), but I'm happy with that. Let's see if co-coach agrees on Thursday...
Coach 2 also said 'real choctaw' (one out of the six I did anyway). Now I just need to remember to extend my free leg on the initial push without having to be reminded every.single.lesson.!
 

antmanb

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I had another fairly decent practice yesterday, though it took me a while to get my right boot laced up correctly. For some reason the left always feels fine regardless how I lace it but the right gives me fits, if I don't lace it tightly enough, then after a short time of skating it loosens off too much and I have to retie it. If I lace it too tightly (like I first did last night) then I end up with pain in strange places even just doing simple edges.

After I stopped playing goldilocks with the laces I got myself warmed up and ran through some MIF patterns with varying degrees of success. I'm really concentrating on the push, knee bend, extension, rise and re-bend that I posted about a few weeks ago so I am getting more speed, however, I am losing some control as well. BUt if I don't try at faster speeds i'll never get used to it so I have to persevere.

I moved on to jumps and again kept the speed up in the easier jumps and scared the hell out of myself doing a salchow because I managed to get a nice quick take off, which, from the greater speed, resulted in a much bigger jump than i'm used to which made me panic. In my lesson I worked on it with my coach and managed to control the landing of the bigger jump and it feels nice to get a feeling of doing a proper jump again. When I was about 40lbs lighter I used to have a nice fast big salchow and this started to feel more like that jump. Toe-loop is getting bigger too but it rarely scares me and I always control it well.

Loop was hit and miss - I landed quite a few slow ones on one foot, but skating into it faster resulted in a messy two footed jump that rotates around the left instead of the right side :wall: The one thing my coach notes is that as adult skaters we tend to over think everything rather than just do. I was lingering on the RBO edge too long and psyching myself out so she made me do some skating into it faster, doing mohawk, getting on the RBO quickly and jumping very quickly and sure enough the jump was great with a slight tap with the free foot (for mental stability more than physical!).

We moved onto the flip which was nice and big and fast but two footed as well.
 

Yazmeen

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I picked up my new Risport Royal Pros with Coronation Ace blades today and tried them on the ice at Ardmore. I was very lucky that I was the only one there right after an ice cut. For those unfamiliar, the Philadelphia Skating Club and Humane Society is a traditional figure skating rink (no hockey) that only allows members and their guests to skate during the season. Since I was buying my skates there, I could skate as a guest of Fran, the pro who runs the skate shop and fitted my skates. It's a beautiful rink with ice that is pure heaven, but membership is very costly. Combined with the fact that the rink is over an hour drive in morning traffic for me and I'd never skate enough around work to make it worth it, this was a simply a one-time treat. My regular rink is 35 to 40 minutes away in the opposite direction of work traffic, and far less costly to cover ice time.

I will admit I was terrified before I stepped on the ice, afraid that I'd made another mistake like I did with the Edea dance boots and Eclipse dance blades. But I adjusted pretty quickly and was able to do solid stroking and forward edges and some backwards skating before my feet just plain wore out after about 25/30 minutes (these skates will require some breaking in). Overall, it was a good move to have gone back to my Klingbeil's and Ace blades prior to getting fitted for these. The sad part is that the on and off two years in the Edea's caused me to lose a lot of skills. So it's back to basics. Along with $900 plus dollars of boots and blades to unload. Fran told me I may have better luck selling the blades separately, which were only sharpened four times, he described them as immaculate. The problem with the boot is that my foot is so small. I will see what I can do, and I'll be very happy to get rid of them. An experiment that was a near complete failure. Onward and upward!!! Such a relief to know these boots and blades will work for me.
 

gkelly

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The problem with the boot is that my foot is so small. I will see what I can do, and I'll be very happy to get rid of them.
Maybe they would work for some middle schooler whose feet are still growing and temporarily the same size as yours.
 

Theoreticalgirl

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It's a beautiful rink with ice that is pure heaven, but membership is very costly.
Speaking as a member of PSCHS... The club still cheaper than the walk-on rate for any other rink in the Greater Philadelphia area, I have the added benefit of having ice time that works with my schedule and access to sessions that are adults-only. On top of this, the club offers dedicated ice time for compulsory figures (which I partake in) and complimentary weekly basic skills/ice dance clinics, as well as a program dance session on Saturday afternoons.

I was a hold out for a long time because I was under the impression that it was too expensive. I think it feels so pricey because the investment is all upfront, but when I do the math, the overall cost of skating for me hovers around $10 a session. That is a very comprehensive deal the club is offering, and one that is incredibly welcoming to adults who skate.

I don't love that I have to pony up a chunk of cash once a year, but after that, my skating costs are paid for (save for lesson time and sharpenings).

Also, the ice is really nice. Except in the evenings for the session right after the junior skaters leave and haven't patched any holes. :)
 

Theoreticalgirl

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Anyway, my practice update! Some days are great, others not so much, thanks to my failing ankle. I've had to stop Lutz and Axel attempts entirely because of the pain, and limited the number of Toe Loops I can do in the meantime. (The injury is on my left foot, which is my jump takeoff foot.) Had to put ballet off in the meantime, too.

Thankfully I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow and I'm hopeful that I can get a clear diagnosis. Right now my major concerns are that I could have cartilage/bone chip floating around as a result of the multiple re-sprains, or there's a stress fracture.

Either way, the timing couldn't be worse, as I'm competing in ~2 weeks, ahahaha ughhhhhh. I'm not thrilled about lowering the BV for my PPC, but this ensures I won't make the injury worse.
 

Yazmeen

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Speaking as a member of PSCHS... The club still cheaper than the walk-on rate for any other rink in the Greater Philadelphia area, I have the added benefit of having ice time that works with my schedule and access to sessions that are adults-only. On top of this, the club offers dedicated ice time for compulsory figures (which I partake in) and complimentary weekly basic skills/ice dance clinics, as well as a program dance session on Saturday afternoons.

I was a hold out for a long time because I was under the impression that it was too expensive. I think it feels so pricey because the investment is all upfront, but when I do the math, the overall cost of skating for me hovers around $10 a session. That is a very comprehensive deal the club is offering, and one that is incredibly welcoming to adults who skate.

I don't love that I have to pony up a chunk of cash once a year, but after that, my skating costs are paid for (save for lesson time and sharpenings).

Also, the ice is really nice. Except in the evenings for the session right after the junior skaters leave and haven't patched any holes. :)
I'm in Liberty FSC out of Hatfield. With my card, my sessions average $11 each and the card never expires. The club has a lot of freestyle ice and early mornings are quiet. It's a 35 to 40 min drive, mostly on the connector street to mine, opposite to traffic. The ice quality is excellent and very uncrowded in the morning. PSCHS is gorgeous, but I'd have to do mornings on the Turnpike and Blue Route, 70 mins plus even after 9:00 AM. Not a good trade-off although Fran will remain my pro now. I don't skate enough to make it worthwhile.
 

GarrAargHrumph

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The ice at either place you're discussing is way cheaper than the freestyle ice where I live. When I skated at the PSCHS for sectionals, I was wicked jealous not only of the prices you guys pay in that region, but also of the stuff the club offers. If I lived anywhere near it, I'd join. But the 2.5-3 hour commute one way is *just* a bit long for me... ;) But it's a fantastic club. I wish we had similar here.
 

Theoreticalgirl

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Yeah, the rink is a 20-minute drive from my house, so it makes a lot of sense to join. But if anyone finds themselves in the area, please drop me a line and I'm happy to let you be a guest of mine on a session.
 

antmanb

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As is so typical I was really fired up and looking forward to my practice and lesson last night so of course nothing was working out right.

Skates didn't feel underneath me at all, I had several nearly falls doing nothing more than standing and talking to my coach!

Moves all felt a little off, and jumps took a long time to get going properly. It was very disappointing. By the end of my lesson I was getting quite irritated by a lad who is around 20. He practices on this session a lot and inserts himself into conversations without an invite. I have my suspicions that there are some needs there but i'm not sure which but he generally leaves you alone when you're in lesson. Last night he wouldn't leave my coach alone and kept interjecting himself into my lesson (he's always got "advice" for people who stop and get caught in his chat). I appreciate that my coach didn't want to be rude and she was very direct with him a few times but he just wouldn't take the hint and eff off. I think my coach could see that I was about to explode so we both skated away from him mid sentence to continue my lesson, but he came back minutes later, by then it was the end of the lesson and I didn't trust myself to tell him I had a problem without letting my anger show.

I think I will have to find him next week and explain to him that he should respect the fact i'm paying for a lesson and not try to engage in chat with either me or my coach when we're in lesson.
 

gkelly

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In fact, you could suggest that he pay your coach (or reimburse you) for however many minutes of your lesson time he infringes on.
 

Theoreticalgirl

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@antmanb you could also contact to the director of skating about this person interrupting your lessons. That's how we're supposed to handle it at our place.
 
D

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@antmanb there is nothing wrong with telling him sternly that you are there to skate and not to chat. We have all encountered the "chatty skater" that hovers around like a predator for victims.

I know that some, especially a bit older people, go to the rink for some socializing and that's fine. Many folks out there are a little lonely, and I try to always give them some minutes of chatting and most often enjoy it. But this seems to be an annoying guy who should show respect and needs to be told so.

That said, I'm the guy on ice that don't care to be popular. I don't get scared at freestyle at fast girls buzzing around and WOW sometimes an adult doesn't cede their ice to them (I smile at the annoying faces). I paid just like they did, and I know how to avoid getting in their way and do it, but sometimes they can avoid it too damn it.

If he interjects your lesson tell him to buzz off. "Hey, I have a lesson here" should be enough.
 

Willin

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I skated in a rink in SoCal I'll likely be frequenting soon.

It feels weird to go to new rinks after so long. Now it's time to find a new coach!
 

GarrAargHrumph

I can kill you with my brain
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I didn't end up getting my skates sharpened tonight, due to weather. I did get to my skating lesson, which was great - I have a competition this weekend, so I really did not want to miss this lesson. But then it took 6+ hours to drive home from the rink, due to the highways being a skating rink. I'd have gotten home faster if I'd put my skates back on.
 

antmanb

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I had a great practice last night :cheer2:

I felt properly over my skates, I warmed up with simple stroking and edges and my focus on technique is finally paying off, i'm getting deeper in my knees and having much better control on everything. Turns were working better and I was holding edges into and out of them. For some reason I can't see to stay up on my right foot as well as I can on my left, which is weird since my right foot is my landing foot. I think it's the reason I still don't have a discernible backspin. I'm closer to doing a backspin in my "wrong direction" on the left foot than I am on the right.

Anyway we focussed on jumps in my lesson and waltz, salchow and toe-loop were all great, the loop was working ok except for two footing everything and my flips are really big and easy but landing on two feet so coach decided to take things back to a standstill and try to get them on one foot. It actually exposed all the weird stuff that I do with my upper body on the loop and re-emphasised that I have to keep the checked position as strongly as possible to get it. Slowed right down to practically a standstill I managed to land it on one foot several times.

We then tried the same on the flip. It was much harder to slow this down as pushing into the three turn speeds you up anyway and doing a weak three turn messes up the jump anyway. Eventually I just did a very controlled three turn without much knee bend, picked and jumped and I got it on one foot every time so we decided to leave it there and build on that and slowly add speed again on the next few practices.

I did manage to land a proper full speed salchow/loop combination on the second attempt which I was really happy with, and then a toe-loop/loop which landed on one foot and which my coach and I were convinced I wouldn't land due to the horrible position I was in on the landing of the toe-loop but I managed out of sheer determination.

I'm hoping that this is the start of getting my loop and flip back properly.
 
D

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9 1/2 hours of skating the last 5 days, whoa what a difference it makes.
 

Theoreticalgirl

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I competed over the weekend and placed 2nd in my group. Overall, I had a good skate (though once again, I missed getting a LSp2 because of a dumb mistake of my doing). I had debated on WD only because I am in the process of rehabbing an ankle injury and hip impingement on my left side. It's really hard to do specific elements at the moment because of the pain, and lol, the judges noticed. Hopeful that with more PT and rest I can do these things at full capacity again, but hey, props to myself for even trying.

It's only my fourth competition since returning to skating (after a ~25 year break), so I'm re-learning the whole competitive mindset, which is far more challenging than I expected. Even after all the years of being in a band, going on tour, etc., I never felt panic or dread in the way that I feel in the weeks leading up to a competition. It completely disappears the moment I'm called to the ice, so I guess that's good.

Mostly what I've figured out from this round is that a) I would be perfectly happy with skipping the weeks of anxiety and just go straight to the competition part, and b) focusing on stress management during those weeks beforehand is super-helpful.
 

antmanb

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Practice last night was ok but I can't express how much I hate the loop jump :lol: I've always hated it, but I hate it even more now. Slowing loop and flip down is helpful to get them on one foot, but the loop is just a mess. I do weird things with my upper body with it and find that i'm leaning forward on the landing (I think partly due to not having any speed or run out on the jump).

Flip was working absolutely fine - the slowing down has helped to get me drawing back on the toe pick and getting all my weight over the landing hip and leg. Initially I was concerned that I could go back to my old habit of two footing the take off, but i'm getting a good kneed bend on the skating leg and strong pick straight back with just enough draw back before lifting off the ice. I'm hoping that I will soon be able to add the speed back in and keep landing it on one foot.

Spins are speeding up (as I'm losing weight), and my technique is feeling stronger. On the camel my coach really emphasised the feeling when you step into the spin to feel like you're stepping back on yourself and really sweep the left arm for speed. Well I obviously followed the advice precisely because I've never done a camel so fast, of course I scared myself s***less and had to bail out of the spin and then of course having prepared myself mentally for greater speed, never managed to get that great step into the spin again :lol:

Sit spin was giving me fits - I kept scraping the back of the blade on the spin. I've been trying to stay on top of the spinning leg because I had been developing a bad habit of dropping into the inside too much to get lower (and accommodate my big belly!) and drawing big circles on the ice. In my attempt to stay upright on the foot i'm not getting my arse down and forward in the same way so my weight it too far back. I suspect pushing my arms and free leg more forward could counteract this but I didn't have enough time to try this out.

Now that i'm getting fitter I feel like I really could do with a second session in a week, but there's nowhere else I can really get to on another night sadly.
 

antmanb

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Coach was away on holiday this week so I just practised by my self and little bit with my friend when she wasn't having a lesson.

Doing loop and flip from a standstill is very helpful. I've gotten into some ridiculous habits on the loop and do all sorts of weird things with my upper body and arms. I know that I need to keep my upper body still and checked, and was figuring out just how much rotation you get by bringing the right arm in, but I cannot stop either leading the rotation from the left (like in a forward spin) or doing a weird drop my left shoulder and pulling my left arm down and back. WHICH MAKES NO SENSE!!! No idea why I do this, but I think working on a single rotation back spin and doing the loop from a standstill should help. I did some good small jumps that felt right, but weren't quite round, and few with a tiny bit of speed that got round and were on one foot but had problems with the upper body.

Flip is much better - I think I need to get my weight back on the picking foot a bit quicker because my landings are a bit forward.

Hopefully getting them both done and on one foot will help to get them into my head and my coach can help me next week when she's back.
 

antmanb

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Return to the rink following illness and Christmas break was fairly sedate :lol: I spent a lot of time chatting to friends and just stroking, then did moves in my lesson with my coach which went pretty well considering. I had a very slight niggling pain in my back so decided not to risk any jumps or spins just to be sure I didn't aggravate it.

Hopefully i'll be back to jumping and spinning for next week.
 

Bunny Hop

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Normally quiet early Tuesday session was much busier than normal with skaters who typically come in for a later session which had been cancelled due to hockey camp. We had a pairs team :wideeyes:, junior dance team, guy doing doubles-trying-for-triples, junior lady, two sets of dance lessons (including mine) plus the usual assortment of adults, teens, and kids of all levels, from beginner through to multi-rotation jumps. It wasn't that there was a huge amount of people, but they were all flying about doing their own thing. I'm just grateful the pairs team had moved on to choreography in a small area of the rink by the time I started my lesson.
 

antmanb

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@bunnyhop I used to be intimidated by sheer numbers on our practice sessions, but now I realise that numbers are fine if they are all fairly low level skaters because you can predict patterns when they happen slowly. If there are more than three skaters who are attempting triples it is absolute chaos because they skate so fast that it's impossible to predict and see where they go, and the quieter the session, the more likely those skaters are to just practice all out without giving way which, frankly, is terrifying for me...equally I think they'd be worse off in a collision given that i'm at least twice the size of the skaters at that level :lol:
 

Bunny Hop

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..equally I think they'd be worse off in a collision given that i'm at least twice the size of the skaters at that level :lol:
Agree if they're high level. On the other hand, some of the low to mid-level kids seem to have no sense of self preservation and don't realise that if they make me fall, and I fall on them, they're going to get squished and I will probably escape relatively unscathed. Thinking of the ones who see me coming, usually in hold with my coach, look straight at me and STILL cross straight into my path.
 

antmanb

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Last night's practice was great :cheer2:

From the minute I set foot on the ice I felt over my skates properly, I took a nice long time to warm up with edges and turns and some MIF, really concentrating on the bend of the skating leg and extension of the free leg. I then practised some jumps with a friend before my lesson so I was ready to go from the outset.

I did waltz, toe-loop and salchow without any issues. I did some nice loops that were two footed so we did really slow ones that landed on one foot, the goal being to get that in my head and speed them up slowly over time. Did the same with flip - nice big ones that landed on two feet but the slow ones were fine and on one foot.

I did several salchow-loop combinations where again, the loop was fine in the air and just two footed at the last minute on the landing.

Spins worked pretty well too and all basic positions were good (except sit that isn't a sit so much as a slight hunch :lol: ) but that should get better the more I practice. We tried a few camel-sits but I wasn't getting right at all.

Still a good practice that i'm pleased with.
 

misskarne

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My comeback is progressing slowly, but at least it's progressing. I'm still only on 15 minute lessons and my thigh muscles burn so fiercely that I can't skate much beyond that.

Still, today we did jumps. Waltz jumps, Salchows, and toe loops. And they were actual jumps. That was nice.
 

misskarne

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Short practice today with mainly jumps. Did about twenty minutes. Thighs didn't hurt too much. Main reason the practice was short was because it was 41 degrees outside and the rink was doing a poor job of retaining its coldness. Fortunately, the ice, while wet, didn't have pools of water all over it like it would have before they did the chillers some years ago.
 

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