Sunday, 12 March 2017

Fear and Anxiety used to hold me back: Lessons #4, #5 and Public Skates Galore!


WOW! Has it been a while since I did an entry. (Admittedly...I did several and haven't published them because they were sub-par in my opinion. Not much meat and potatoes to them.) It's mostly because my ventures during afternoons in skating are limited to the adult public skates. Whiiiich I only got to attend two of because of wedding planning. Not a bad tradeoff though. I wouldn't have done it any other way.

So today I'd like to talk about myself a little bit. I'm a 25 y/o male. I work full-time at a factory and my hobbies include Writing, Horseback Riding and Skating. (I did gymnastics for a while, but it has fallen through many a time so it's kind of on the back burner at the moment.) Now, the latter two hobbies are what has become a big change in my life. I've explained before that I get anxiety when doing just about anything but I've noticed over the course of time (With some pushing from coaches and otherwise) that with these activities, my anxiety drops significantly. Instead of worrying what people thing I find myself actually getting excited to get out there.

It's strange, because less than a year ago I was freaking out about going out to get on the back of a horse. Now it's the reverse, I can't wait. I owe a lot of this change to my coaches, fiancée and few family members that I've told before. As per the title, there was in fact a time when fear would hold me back. Not anymore. At least with my hobbies. I still don't do crowds well.

Enough about my personal issues though! I need to combine my last two lessons, as well as all my public/adult skates into this singular post before I get back to posting regularly! It's been both crazy, fun and filled with plenty of interesting bits! I was going to write this in paragraph form but I think I'll roll with bullet-points to make it a little more manageable and readable. (And so you can skip any boring or repetitive bits. :D):

Skating Forwards - Forwards techniques are always included in my lessons. We've worked on all of them and I find myself getting more and more comfortable simply moving forward and around the ice. Its interesting to be able to look back to when I first climbed back on the ice, to now. I hold myself a little bit differently than I did five lessons ago and I'm certainly more confident with my foot movements! Forwards goes well!

Switchbacks - This is kind of becoming second nature when I need to turn around now or reset. Quick and easy and I haven't really messed one up much in a while. So I'm happy with that. Not really much to say about these other than we've been segwaying into more advanced techniques using this technique which Ill elaborate more on shortly.

Skating on Inner/Outer Edges - Forwards, I'm confident. I can do inside and outside edges decently now, but when it comes to the reverse I am still very shaky. Although the positive side is that I'm learning to keep my momentum and where to place my feet which helps a lot. An odd thing I'm noticing is that I'm less confident doing my right outside edge when skating backwards than my left. I tend to not be able to lean/turn it nearly as well as the other. Do skaters have dominant feet? To google!

Balance - Balance is DEFINITELY improving. I noticed this especially when I potentially wipe out and catch myself a lot differently than I used to. I don't go into panic mode as much now and try to catch myself with my hands on the ice (PS. Hand+Ice does not equal a good way to stop a fall!) I tend to re-find my balance and stop it before it happens. It's awesome! I'm no pro, but I definitely find I have a lot better balance now. I also tend to not lean nearly as much now.

Mohawks - I can do about two sets of these now confidently. I have a hard time keeping my momentum, but I am getting more confident in placing my foot down and still gliding along whatever edge I'm making use of. My coach makes it look WAY too easy for its own good! These are a lot of fun. I say that a lot don't I? It's all fun. Seriously.

Three Turns - Still kind of riding the basics on these. I have yet to really get too far past a single turn. I CAN stay upright after one turn now, but keeping my momentum and setting up for the next one I still struggle with. I think as we develop my other skills I'll get better at these as I figure out that 'sweet spot' as well as improving my balance.

Crossovers - Before I say anything, I still have yet to get a backwards crossover down. But my forward ones I am fully confident in! I even use these during regular public skating sessions and stuff now when I'm circling the arena. Instead of just relying on one outside foot to get me around the end of the arena, I go into crossover mode and skate around the end, it also keeps/gains me some momentum as well which I believe is the point of crossovers.

Skating Backwards - Like last time, I won't list all the individual techniques on what we have done skating backwards. It basically all the same as forwards except in reverse. I still struggle with a lot of them but I have improved my backwards skating in general. I can get a fair amount of speed and skate around backwards easily enough now. It's nowhere near perfect, but I'm not ending up flat on my backside every few minutes now! It'll be nice when I can skate backwards confidently and do things in a steadier way.

Brackets - So we busted open this skill the other day and much like switchbacks, I CAN do them, but I fail to keep my momentum going through more than one or two. I have to figure out how to give a bit of a push-off during these turns that'll keep me going. It was actually this skill that made us give the next skill a try in my lessons!

Twizzles - I swear that's the real name. I googled it. This is basically tucking everything in, spinning and then letting everything back out to stop the spin. Then doing it the other direction. It's kind of hard to put into words but after a few tries I found I did pretty decent at these!

I can't say too much though about twizzles however because I actually broke my skate during my last lesson attempting these. I imagine it's because we've been fairly hard on my skates since I go tthem, and the fact that they're used, but during my last lessons end the 'heel/blade' part essentially separated from my skate completely. Luckily I felt it before I tried something else. It's a shame because the skates were actually starting to fit really well and I was really getting comfortable in them. My new ones are just a solid, cheap pair I got from a local store that will hopefully last me until I save up for a good quality pair.

My only gripe with the new ones is that they feel more 'recreational skate' rather than 'figure skate'. They do have figure skate blades, they just don't feel as secure on my feet as I hoped they would be. Hopefully they will last for now and then I'll be good to go!

All in all, my lessons have been going extremely well. With a friends help and advice I've been doing a lot less procrastinating with things and forcing myself to 'get out there' more lately, and it's been doing me good. I've enjoyed every aspect of my lessons and I can't sing my coaches praises enough, anyone who can teach me to be balanced and even slightly graceful has talent in my books!

So there isn't much more to tell. I've got a lesson coming up tomorrow which I'm excited for. The only bad thing is with each lesson the end of the season/session grows closer very quickly. And that kind of sucks, hopefully I can find some form of skating/lessons during the summer! If not I guess I'll be focusing on horseback riding for the summer. Time will tell!

Anyways, thanks for reading!

Ciao for now!


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