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whitewater consciousness -- the journal fellow travellers itinerary meet your guide whitewater consciousness -- the website upstream upstream downstream downstream
follow the bliss - when you don't know what to do...
do the next thing
follow the bliss
How cute is this?  (I succumbed and bought a nano a couple of weeks ago.)  It's adorable, and if I was going to use it at work, I'd probably be all over it, because I mean come on... you plug the headphones and the docking cord into the butt!  What's not to love!  But I'm using it for working out and skating, so not so much with the kitties.  But still, squee! 

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.

i feel: happy happy
i hear: Bear McCreary - Battle On The Asteroids

5 trips or shoot the rapids
skittl1321 From: skittl1321 Date: May 3rd, 2006 10:50 am (UTC) (base camp)

Freestyle is known as freestyle in the ice skating world too.

Okay- that just sounds awesome!

It also sounds like the skating world has a bit of an easier time for the re-beginning adults. It doesn't affect me because I didn't skate as a kid, but from what I've read the USFSA requires you to compete at the highest level you tested. Apparently the high level adult competitions consist of lots of adults who are currently at that level and lots of adults who can no longer dream of being able to do the required elements because they tested 40 years ago. I don't know how the judges handle it.

Your skating entries are so much cooler than mine because you can actually do things. So jealous.
tashabear From: tashabear Date: May 3rd, 2006 10:56 am (UTC) (base camp)

Re: Freestyle is known as freestyle in the ice skating world too.

After 20 years, no one cares where I tested, but also, some skaters never test -- it has no bearing on what grop you compete in. Winning in some divisions mean that you either move up, or that lower divisions are closed to you, though.

Don't feel too bad, sweetie. I put in hundreds, possibly thousands of hours to build this muscle memory. As a result, I had NO LIFE in high school.
(Deleted comment)
tashabear From: tashabear Date: May 3rd, 2006 08:44 pm (UTC) (base camp)
Oh, come on. It's not like it's a firecracker. More like it swallowed string.
(Deleted comment)
tashabear From: tashabear Date: May 3rd, 2006 09:07 pm (UTC) (base camp)
Happy to help. *smug*
tashabear From: tashabear Date: May 3rd, 2006 08:45 pm (UTC) (base camp)
Also, I understand =/=.
5 trips or shoot the rapids