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at long last, progress - when you don't know what to do... — LiveJournal
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at long last, progress
So I had my skating lesson today (it's usually Thursday, but there was a private party yesterday, and that trumps lessons).  I've been working very hard these last few weeks on keeping my hips directed forward, not so open, and my toe pointed down, and finally Mary said that I looked good.  (She never said I looked bad, but she didn't tell me I'd gotten it right, either.) 

I've actually been practicing with my hands on my hips, so I can feel when I drop my hip back.  It also helps me get my cross-fronts parallel so I don't kill myself.  A cross-front -- aka cross-in-front -- is a dance step, where you cross one foot over the other tightly.  There is a significant danger of locking your wheels together and wiping yourself out, so getting your feet parallel instead of having your feet crossed and toes pointing one another is important.  Also, it helps keep edges true.  So, you know, getting it right is a win-win.

My cross-behinds (come on, you can figure it out) have been weak as hell, though.  Part of it is that I need to be able to bend my ankle to the side a bit, to tuck my free foot behind the skating foot, part of is that my thighs are getting in the way, and part of it is that I need to bend my knee more.  I finally did one today while dancing.  It still felt awkward, but it didn't feel like I was going to kill myself -- like a cross-front, a cross-behind can be a wheel-locking hazard.

I did realize something today, though.  I had about forty minutes between the end of artistic session and my lesson, so I put on my iPod and listened to music and just danced around, playing with footwork.  "Wander My Friends" from the Battlestar Galactica Season One soundtrack is a lovely waltz.  It was fun to play with.  What I realized is that when I skate like a dancer, it kills my back, hips, and butt.  When I skate like a freestyle skater, it doesn't hurt.  Mostly, that's because I have to hold myself very firm when I do dances, and when I skate more for fun, my free leg is firm, but not in the same way.  It's sort of the difference between "rigid" and "waving around in midair like a wavy thing." 

In all honesty, though, it's really cementing my desire to do freestyle again.  I even did a wee little two-foot spin today (it wouldn't have counted, it was only two rotations)... and the weird thing is, I think my hair might be pulling me off balance.  I didn't have long hair when I skated years ago, and I think my ponytail flying out when I try to spin is pulling my head off center and the rest of me off-balance.  At the very least, it doesn't help.  I'll have to remember to put my hair up.

I got three new dances today, too -- well, one new dance and a refresher on two I learned way back when.  So that's seven dances I have to practice, and almost half-way towards completing my Bronze-level dances (well, learning them, if not testing them).  I'm way, way ahead of the power curve, though, because I knew half of them before I put my skates back on.  Some things are just in your blood.  Skating was my first love when it came to sports.  There are things about it I will never ever forget, and I'm so, so glad about that.

i feel: tired tired

15 trips or shoot the rapids
xianghua From: xianghua Date: April 29th, 2006 08:09 am (UTC) (base camp)
Go you!

I'm tempted to start skating again, because there *IS* a skating rink, of all things, in my tiny town- however, I haven't owned a pair of roller skates (blades, yes, skates, no) since I was like 8....

Is a cross in front/in back like a crossover on iceskates? (I was a better ice skater than roller skater. :P) You sound like you're having a blast!
tashabear From: tashabear Date: April 29th, 2006 08:14 am (UTC) (base camp)
Not so much. What you're thinking of is a method of pushing around a corner. That's why I said "crossed tightly" -- the back of one ankle touches the front of the other, whereas with crossovers (and the backwards version, crosspulls), there's like 12 of space between the legs as you move your feet.

Basically, with an XF (cross-front), you pick up one foot and put it back down directly on the other side of your skating foot, either in front or in back. Is that clearer?
xianghua From: xianghua Date: April 29th, 2006 08:34 am (UTC) (base camp)
Ahah! I never knew those had a name. :) (Although I do remember a girl breaking her arm showing off and doing that going backwards on our seventh grade school trip to Galveston. :D)

Very impressive!
tashabear From: tashabear Date: April 29th, 2006 08:36 am (UTC) (base camp)
I wish it wasn't such a bandwidth sucker to post video of some of the folks at the rink doing higher level dances. Your brain would explode.
xianghua From: xianghua Date: April 29th, 2006 08:48 am (UTC) (base camp)
Oh well. :)
goingdriftless From: goingdriftless Date: April 29th, 2006 11:43 am (UTC) (base camp)
I'm so happy for you, getting back into the skating. You sound so HAPPY talking about it all!! :)
tashabear From: tashabear Date: April 29th, 2006 11:40 pm (UTC) (base camp)
When I was three I walked into the kitchen and said to my mom, "Mommy, this is how you skate!" And I moved my feet like I was skating, and I was doing it right. They never had the money for us (my sister and I) to ice skate, but when the ice rink in Leominster was bought out and converted to a roller rink, they could afford that. And so was born a lifelong obsession.
skittl1321 From: skittl1321 Date: April 29th, 2006 03:13 pm (UTC) (base camp)
sounds awesome! I really wish I had a better picture of what these things look like on roller skates, but I love reading your descriptions about lessons.

For ballet I liked my hair in a tight bun, I always felt like it helped my center and my turns.
tashabear From: tashabear Date: April 29th, 2006 11:40 pm (UTC) (base camp)
Someday I'll have Wolfie take pictures for me.
wengeue From: wengeue Date: May 1st, 2006 12:54 am (UTC) (base camp)
The closest roller rink to my house is now closed and for sale. If I could finance $1.8 million I would so buy it. But you know some developer will just buy it and tear it down. AUGH. There are no remaining rinks in Seattle. They are all way out in the boonies. (At least, all the ones with artistic programs. There is a Bellevue rink that is probably technically closest now, but they don't do artistic.)
tashabear From: tashabear Date: May 1st, 2006 04:36 am (UTC) (base camp)
That *sucks*. I'm so sorry to hear that.
wengeue From: wengeue Date: May 1st, 2006 07:20 am (UTC) (base camp)
Well, this particular rink hasn't had artistic for a few years now, either -- though they did have a speed team. It's a historic old rink, though, and if they had had an art team when I was skating I would have been there in a second since it was the most convenient.

It kills me that there are fewer rinks each year and kids say "I skate outside because rinks are BORING." Hey, this is Seattle. You can't skate outdoors year-round. So why aren't we getting more kids into the rinks?
tashabear From: tashabear Date: May 1st, 2006 07:20 am (UTC) (base camp)
Costs money, and there are no half-pipes?
wengeue From: wengeue Date: May 1st, 2006 07:25 am (UTC) (base camp)
Heh, I was also going to mention that the city is now building skateparks for kids... where were the skateparks and outdoor rinks when I was in high school? Back then they claimed that insurance cost too much. Hmph.

There are no ice rinks in Seattle, either. Rink skating has become a suburban sport.
tashabear From: tashabear Date: May 1st, 2006 07:29 am (UTC) (base camp)
You clearly need to move to northeastern Mass. There are four or five rinks within maybe an hour's drive off my house with an artistic program. All that, and the Barony of Carolingia. What more could you ask? (Did you know that the current King of Atlantia used to be an artistic skater back in the 70's?)
15 trips or shoot the rapids