Last week’s lesson was all about jumps, and this week’s focused on spins. Oy, did I need the lesson.

My upright spin is very slowly improving — it’s enough that I no longer think I’ll NEVER get the hang of it, but not enough to be very encouraging. I still struggle with getting the right hook into the spin from the backward crossover entry, but I’m going into them with more speed and can feel the spin getting a little more stable. There’s a little less abject fear when drawing in the arms causes that sudden increase in speed, so that’s promising.

Coach A told me to start getting the feel for my backspin by changing feet mid-spin, so I’ve been trying that whenever I can get one going properly. But getting there is a challenge already, so backspin progress is likely to remain slow for the forseeable future. One tip that did help quite a bit was to imagine a pole driving down through my spinning foot and into the ice — so while my free hip is lifted up, the skating foot should be pressing down into the ice. For some reason that really worked in centering my weight properly, especially on the backspin. As soon as I hit the part in the backspin where my body goes backward, most of the time I’d stumble out of the rotation; my body was blocking myself. But thinking of my right foot driving down into the ice helps keep me in place for at least a full rotation.

We’ve been working on spirals for the past few weeks, in preparation for the camel which Coach A just started me on. There’s a tricky moment when I’m rising up to the spiral position and my weight shifts forward toward the pick, but I actually think I’m getting close to initiating the camel spin. I didn’t manage it in lesson, but while practicing afterward I could feel myself getting close — I just need to go into it faster with a stronger push, because I’m going way too slow and putter out of speed. I actually find camel spins marginally easier than the upright spin, but we’ll see how they progress.

Then it was on to shoot the ducks and the sit spin. Which, OY. I’ve read a lot about how tough sit spins are for adults, and I can see why. Every time I tried to get down, I felt like I was just initiating a fall, not attempting a spin. I’m working on squats and wall sits at home to get my muscles stronger, but right now the bigger issue is (as always) finding the proper spot on the blade and not rocking up (sccccrape!) and back (oh holy hell I’m falling). Ugh. This one is going to be a pain, I can feel it.

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