Friday, 9 November 2012

The Journey Begins...

Why, hello there. You're probably wondering what this is all about, aren't you? Well, this blog is going to document my figure skating journey. The journey actually began when I was a child, around 1996/97 when I took part in some classes following what was then the TESA FunSkate programme. I got to grade 3, then stopped, although I can't remember why.

Anyway, on 6th November 2012, my journey started again. A new ice rink has just opened in my area and I went down to have a skate (I have a pair of hockey skates now, as my old figure skates don't fit), and got talking to one of the coaches at the rink. She offered to teach me, and I booked the first lesson for 2 days later.

So, yesterday, the 8th November 2012, I had my first private lesson. I'd had group lessons as a child, and with the sight problems I have, I don't think it helped my progress. Anyway, my coach and I totally clicked, and I had a great 15 minute lesson.

We did:

My off ice warm up - never had one of these before, but it makes sense, I don't want to hurt myself.

Basic skating - my hockey skate wearing time had caused me to develop a hockey player-esque skating style, which although it got me round the ice, wasn't particularly good for figure skating. So I now have a nice, graceful skating stride, which is good.

Two Foot Glides on a Curve - I'd never done these before, and it was scary the first time, as my coach had me leaning into the circle we were gliding round. I also kept getting my arms mixed up, must remember the inside arm goes behind and the outside one goes in front. But, after we did a couple, I like them, and can enter them from a skating stride.

Forward Chasses - I REALLY liked these, I'm not sure why, but I found them quite easy to pick up. I find them really fun to practice too.

Forward Crossovers - these are trickier, and I'm still not sure about them! But, I think that's partly due to the fact I'm attempting them in very bulky hockey skates. I'll get there, I'm sure, but at the moment they're my least favourite thing to do!

I also got given my Skate UK Record of Achievement, and got Skate UK 1 signed off, which is good. We're not following the levels rigidly, we're doing bits from all over the place, which keeps things fun, and I much prefer this way of working.

I also now have a "practice book" for if I go to the rink between lessons, which isn't possible sometimes, but if I can, I will. The book is basically notes my coach has made for me, to help me remember what I need to do on each element we've covered - things like bending the skating leg on crossovers. So, that'll prove very useful.

I'm also getting some figure skates as a birthday present, which should hopefully make things easier, I just need to get to a skating shop to try some on to find the ones that fit me best.

So, that's the beginning of my journey, and to commemorate that, I shall leave you with this video of me skating on a Christmas temporary rink a couple of years ago, in rental skates. I'm in the light blue water proof coat:

I hope I'm already better than this! I need to get someone to video me again soon to compare...

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