I had the best time skating tonight. I finally decided that I'm bored with dance already and I want to do freestyle (known in the ice skating world as singles). I told my coach Mary, and we looked at the competitive requirements for Novice (18+). The classes have changed since I competed back in the day -- used to be Beginner and Advanced Beginner categories, plus the age/experience categories. Now it's just age categories, subdivided into skill/experience levels. I'm technically in Esquire (35-45 years old), but there's no such thing as Esquire freestyle, so I'd be skating Novice. The categories are divided into A, B, and C levels.
Novice C, where I'd likely start competing, only allows jumps of 1 rotation or less, one footwork sequence, 2 minute time limit, and no sit spins or camels (boggle). Mary's husband George tells me that it's because no one can do sit spins anymore. There's a limit of the number of jumps and spins I can do, too; something like 3 jumps, one of which can be a combination of no more than three jumps, and two spins, one of which may be a combination... but I can only do upright spins. This is supposed to level the playing field, but they don't say that I can't do a layback or a jump change combo upright (where I change feet by jumping from one to the other. Hey, I'm pushing 40, and I want to compete against kids nearly twenty years younger than me. Gotta do something to stand out.
It gets a little more interesting at Novice B: Maximum of 5 jumps, one of which may be of double rotation. The remaining jumps not to exceed 1-1/2 rotations, 2 jump combinations, maximum of 3 jumps (no double rotations). Maximum of 3 spins, in which 2 may be a combination (may use camel and sit positions). No repeated items (spins or jumps) unless used in the combination. One sequence of primary, secondary, or advanced footwork must be included. 2:30 time limit.
So let's break that down. If I can do doubles, I can only do one. The maximum rotation on the other jumps can only be 1-1/2 times around, and I once had solid 1-1/2 jumps on all my toe-off jumps. If I'm reading it right, of the five jumps I'm allowed, I can do two combinations with a maximum of three jumps each, so really, it's more like nine jumps. The spins are described better -- I can do a grand total of 3 spins, and I can combine two of those in combination, and I can do sit and/or camel spins. The footwork is easy to describe: primary footwork does not use turns as an ingredient, secondary footwork uses two-foot turns as an ingredient, and advanced footwork has one-foot turns as an ingredient. Easy... or it was. It will be again.
My upright spins are coming right back. My left outer forward (LOF) upright is gorgeous. I got compliments from a national competitor on them tonight. And my right inner forward (RIF) upright is stronger than it ever was. Wasn't able to flip it over into an outer back, though (pout). I did a few waltz jumps -- the easiest way to describe it is that you enter it like an axle, but only jump from front to back (half a turn). I was too chicken to try a mapes (aka toe loop). I actually fell and got a little friction burn on my knee because I didn't block out of the waltz jump properly -- made me laugh, actually, because it was a rebaptism of sorts. George did tell me that I have to wear knee pads, and I told him that if I can find any to fit, I will. I never have before, and if they piss me off, we'll have to negotiate, but it sets a good example for the younger kids, apparently, so I'll (grudgingly) comply. They'll probably come off when I work on sit spins, though.
I'm better than happy tonight; I'm content. The universe is back where it belongs as far as my skating is concerned.