Yesterday’s practice hit a snag when the rink was taken over by 100 schoolkids, and instead of trying to squeeze in practice while also squeezing in and out of their paths, I headed to another rink not too far away. I skate there occasionally, but not primarily because the ice isn’t that great and the facility isn’t as well maintained. For instance, I was the first skater of the day and the ice was freshly zamboni’d, but felt bumpy and uneven anyway. Still, for backup ice it did the trick.

The downside of that is that I didn’t get to video my practice, since of all the practice sessions I usually go to that’s the one that’s most conducive to self-taping. I’d been looking forward to videoing my program, but I’ll have to wait on that.

Today I had my lesson at my regular rink, and the program is finally starting to feel like a whole package. Not that I’m performing it well, mind you, but it’s ever so slowly coming together as more than scattered steps and pieces I have to memorize, and I’m feeling more comfortable with the transitions between elements. Coach A seemed pretty pleased, too, and for the first lesson in weeks we didn’t spend the whole time on run-throughs (coach moved on to other elements for the latter part of the lesson).

My helpful realization of the week was in figuring out that one of my biggest problems is trying to stick too closely to the music for certain elements — so when I get behind or ahead, I get flustered and it messes up my timing. That makes for rushed spins (which means I fall out of them) or jumps (which get even tinier because I’m not properly setting up) or general sloppiness. I know that musical interpretation is the goal so I shouldn’t be trying to avoid skating to the music, but I should probably allow more elasticity in the moves so that I’m not always thinking, “Oops, missed my cue” or “I’m too far behind!” The biggest casualty of this is my camel – when I’m hurried, I almost always fall out of it. When I take my time, I can hit a few revolutions. Must remind myself to give myself the necessary prep time.

I’m starting to feel less freaked out about the prospect of performing — it’s scary, but I’m slowly warming to the idea. Yes, I am a big old wimp who partially wants to chicken out (and Coach A did say we could always scratch at the last minute, just in case). But I figure there’s got to be a first time for everything, and if I want to keep doing programs, I’ve got to start getting used to the prospect of actually performing them. Especially since I do enjoy skating to a routine, trying to interpret the music. I’m just antsy to get better so that there’s actually decent content to that interpretation!