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Great day of skating today. When I first got on the ice, I thought it might turn out a not-so-hot session, because I may have practiced too hard yesterday. I’d left the rink yesterday with legs that felt like jelly, and they hadn’t fully recovered.

Took my time warming up, did edge exercises, forward and backward crossovers, 3 turns, mohawks. The usual. Struggled with the pivot and 2 foot spin, because I haven’t figured out how to get the feet together close enough yet to keep rotating.

Then Coach A came and I had my lesson, and after stroking and edge exercises, we moved on to landing positions. That got me excited, since you have to be landing FROM something… like the waltz jump, which she showed me next. I’d been shown the jump in Learn To Skate class a couple weeks ago, but back then I couldn’t even do a 3 turn so I learned the motions of the jump without actually trying it. What a difference a few weeks makes!

Coach A (as usual) did a fantastic job breaking down the mechanics of the jump so I could really understand what was going on. My LTS coach is the kind of coach who shows you the moves in slow motion, then tells you to give it a try. I think that probably works much better with kids, but as a fearful adult beginner I find I need to understand every part of the motion in detail before my body will do it.

I did most of my jump attempts on the wall, but I did a few without and got the feel of the jump, even though the landing is super clumsy and bent and ugly. But I can feel the basic movement working β€” jumping off the toe pick, swinging free leg up, landing on toe pick, holding the landing position β€” so think I’ll get the hang of it soon enough. The jump itself is tiny, naturally, but I’m excited about it anyway. Eee! I’ve done the bunny hop and the mazurka which I know are technically beginner jumps, but I feel like the waltz is the first “real” jump.

Coach A said I’m improving quickly; she says she keeps waiting for me to plateau, but I keep moving along. Ha, I wonder if it’s because I just didn’t know any better, and thought I was always supposed to figure out a skill at that speed. If she showed me something in a lesson, I made sure it would be better by the next lesson. Maybe it’s from years of music lessons where my teachers would cluck disapprovingly if I didn’t improve week to week, and somehow magically know that I hadn’t practiced much that week. That sinking sense of shame, the fear of disappointing β€” it’s the same thing that drives me in skating practices. “Must get this better by next lesson, or Coach A will think I’m not working hard!”

Heck, if I’d known I was allowed to spend a week not improving, maybe I would’ve gone easier on myself. Maybe it helps that there’s nobody skating next to me telling me, “Oh don’t worry, this takes months to learn.” Because then I’d allow myself to take months to learn it.