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hands out, head up - when you don't know what to do...
do the next thing
hands out, head up
I had my first skating lesson on Thursday. darkwolfie even came with me, and I think he was suitably impressed, even though I didn't think I was that impressive. We worked on progressive runs (left-right-left, right in a circle -- 3 steps of 1 beat each and then a two beat hold), cross fronts (crossing the left foot tightly over the right and then pulling the right foot out), and backwards stroking in a circle. I discovered that the style I was taught back in 1985 has changed, and that I don't have to turn out as much as I was trained back in the day, which is nice, because my hips don't turn out that well. I also carry my hands too high, which is probably a throwback to skating freestyle, and I tend to face my circle more than is strictly necessary for dance. I need to work on keeping my free leg in line with my hip when I push off, and when I stroke backwards, I have to keep the plane of my shoulders parallel to the plane of my hips, which is not easy, because I can't feel when they're off.

We also worked on mohawk turns, which is a two-footed turn from front to back (or back to front). At its simplest, you glide forward on a right inner forward edge, turn the upper body to the left and open the hip while bringing the heel of the left foot in the touch the heel of the right foot, and set it down, continuing the rotation and gliding backwards on a left inner back edge. I need to work on keeping the rotation of my body smooth and keeping my core and free leg firm, so I don't wobble. (Skating terminology: mohawk turns are edge to same edge: inner to inner or outer to outer. Choctaw turns are edge to opposite edge: inner to outer or outer to inner.)

My skills are coming back, I can feel it, but I can also feel where I'm lacking. I need to be a lot stronger in my core and my legs to keep up with what I want of myself. Mary, my coach, is encouraging me strongly to compete; she is of the opinion that my previous experience will give me a leg up on the competition, even though that experience is twenty years old. We'll see how things shake out. I don't know where I'll be in the fall, but wherever I end up, I'm taking my skates with me.

i feel: tired tired

shoot the rapids