Hello once again folks!
So as I'm quickly learning as of my latest lesson (I'm a day late writing this. I was absolutely wiped after my lesson yesterday) my backwards game is in need of work. Is it something that most skaters struggle with? My body is having a hard time wrapping its head around doing most backwards skating techniques. I won't lie, I ended up flat out and on my butt more than a few times. While that might discourage some people I find that the falls really motivate me to try harder and do better.
As I told my coach, many people learn from their falls and I'm no different. By the end of the lesson I was doing fairly well and I really feel like I came out of it with better form and technique in skating backwards. Before I just kind of moved my legs about to try and figure it out, but now I can actually pick up some speed and get moving a bit more confidently.
Going backwards has been a very interesting experience, mostly because as a whole, people generally tend to always be 'forwards' in everything they do. Everything we do is in front of us and now suddenly I'm doing things in reverse and have to rely on myself to be confident in doing so. It's definitely a hard egg to crack into. I find my brain tends to go into overdrive and telling me that this isn't 'safe' or 'right'. You know brain. You're a jerk.
Alas, let us get into the meat and potatoes of what I did in my last lesson:
Skating Forwards: We did plenty of forwards based techniques but generally speaking. Going forwards and just basic skating is not an issue for me. Now that I've gotten a bit more used to the presence of toe picks and how to move my feet and be aware of how they move this is hardly ever an issue anymore. In fact, I find I'm using more and more figure skating techniques just in general as I move about. It's fun how they seem to translate to just general moving about.
Switchbacks: This is one of those 'techniques' I find myself using here and there. If I know I have to reset after trying something and I have to be the other direction. I push my feet together and spin about. I'm pretty confident here although nowhere near perfect or 'pretty' in a figure skating sense.
Skating on Inner/Outer Edges: This is where I'm both confident and a bit shaky at the same time. Inner edges are fairly easy although I definitely have to work on my 'control' when going about them. We're doing them up and down the length of the rink now. As for outside edges, I'm struggling to keep my feet in the right spot and not be so shaky when I go into them. My coach did say the outer edges tend to be a bit more of a struggle and come in time. So I'm not overly concerned. Practice makes perfect!
Balance: Like last time, I feel like my balance is improving. But I still struggle to not lean forwards in either panic or to try and find my balance. Like my horseback riding, I tend to lean forward and it is a terrible habit I'll have to break. I'm sure if both my different types of lessons drill this into me, it'll come with time!
Mohawks: Now these are where I'm figuring things out a bit more. I managed to do a few fairly good ones and I'm happy with how these are coming along. It's the first bigger 'technique' that I'm getting the hang of. I do have to work on keeping my momentum through these however as I have a habit of losing it long before I can make it through two sets.
Three Turns: Now that I actually remember the name of them, we have been doing some three turns. Which is more or less changing direction on one foot. I've just learned during these lessons about finding that 'sweet spot' on your skate. Admittedly, I completely forgot it existed and now that I've discovered it, I'm managing to pull off things much better including three turns. I still can't get past one three turn as I tend to fight the edge I'm riding but this will come in time!
Skating Backwards: I won't list all the individual techniques we worked on here but the lesson did focus a bit heavier on upping my backwards skating abilities. I can now get a lot more speed and stability when going backwards although many of the techniques we worked on are rough to say the least. Like I explained above, getting my body to accept moving backwards as 'normal' is difficult to wrap my head around. We did attempt to learn backwards crossovers but I didn't even manage them in the slightest. Next time I shall do better!
So that sums up most of what we worked on. All-in-All I feel I'm improving and doing better within my means. It's been a LOAD of fun up until this point and the only downside is that I now have to wait a full two weeks until my next set of lessons. The downsides of working a crappy rotating set of shifts in a factory job that you work 6 days a week at. Sometimes doing an adult job just sucks! Oh well. Responsibility ho!
Now, that's not to say my next two weeks will be packed with no skating. I've researched and figured out a good schedule for all the nearby public skates/adult skates that I can make use of to practice in between. Some of them don't allow figure skating, but that doesn't mean I can't just up my skating stamina and such. I'll make just as much use of these. The main hurdle I'll have to get over is again; anxiety. It's a lovely beast that loves to spite me. I have to get comfortable enough to practice with people watching. Hopefully I'll be able to get through this over time.
Well, that's about all I've got for today! That was my most recent lesson and both my successes and failures! Hopefully you've enjoyed reading my journey as much as I've enjoyed living it!
Ciao for now!