Backward threes, I have them! Rejoice!

Er, I have one. ONE of the four varieties, with the others in varying stages of progress. Still, I rejoice at getting the one, because I wasn’t sure I’d ever figure it out.

I’ve been working at the back 3-turns for months now, faithfully running through the various drills Coach A taught me. On a circle, with crossovers, from mohawks, in attempted double 3’s, you name it. But I wasn’t making much progress, and as a result I probably wasn’t practicing them nearly enough.

Of the four backward types, Coach A started me on inside 3’s first, way back when I was struggling to learn the salchow. After the LFO3, I used to get stuck trying to swing my free leg around into the jump while my left skate did nothing, and she suggested that learning the LBI3 would help. It seemed to me that the LBI3 was the hardest of all 3-turns, but if it would help, I’d give it a go. As it turned out, though, I learned the salchow way before I learned the LBI3.

The next time we spent extended time on them was when I was struggling to figure out the loop, and she thought getting the RBO3 would help. (I know you don’t 3-turn into the takeoff, but it was more to get me over my fear and to learn how to rotate and use the knees to initiate the jump.) Again I landed the loop before I got the knack of the 3-turn, but this time I could really feel it coming along. I could feel the loop helping the 3, and when I got the 3 it would probably help the loop.

This week I finally managed one (the RBO3) that didn’t skid or stop as soon as I turned. It actually kept moving after the turn! It even had glide! I was shocked, and also super excited. I had never managed to skate out of the exit but now that I knew how it felt, it helped improve the other back 3’s. It almost feels like I’m slipping, but with enough control to catch the exit edge. (On the left foot, which is less controlled, it still feels like I’m slipping which is a little scary.)

Anyway, I practiced that RBO3 over and over till I was certain I had it, though admittedly I was a little nervous that I’d go home and forget how to do it. Today I went to the rink and attempted the RBO3… and lo and behold, it was still there. Huzzah! I even managed to add a forward 3-turn out of it, and into another backward 3. Three in a row is all I can manage without losing all speed, so now I’m working on sustaining speed on the exit.

And also figuring out the LBO3, the RBI3, and the LBI3, of course…