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With the competition out of the way, I’ve been turning my attention more to the next moves in the field test. I have been practicing the patterns for a while, so although they’re not at test level yet, I feel pretty comfortable that I can get it ready for the next test session. The date hasn’t been announced yet, but looking at my club’s testing schedule from last year I expect there’ll be one or two over the summer that tend to be packed, and then another in late fall. Late fall seems, well, late so I’m hoping to do Bronze MITF at one of the summer sessions.

After that, I’m still undecided. Bronze FS, Silver moves? I’m not very interested in dance or figures so those are my options. If I were to keep competing, I would need a lot more work to get to Bronze level — a flip and/or lutz, a backspin, and a sit that looks like a proper sit. Those will take time. The Silver moves aren’t easy, but I’ve been working on some of those patterns too so it’s possible those will be test-ready first.

I think I do like competing, even though I’ve definitely been hit with that ball of dread and nerves prior to performing, where I’m berating myself for ever taking up the idea of skating in public and vowing not to do it anymore. But then I skate, and by the time it’s over I’m usually feeling really good about having skated. Even though both times I’ve performed (one show, one competition) the actual skating was not as strong as I’d hoped. It still feels like an accomplishment having gone out there.

So there’s another competition I’m doing in a couple weeks, which was a bit of an afterthought because I hadn’t planned anything beyond the first one. But it’s a small local event and my coach figured that since I was already ready, it would be a good way to rack up more experience. Also, it seems such a shame to go through all that work and buy a fancy new dress and then only go out there once. This time I know I’ll be the only one in the pre-bronze category because the organizers emailed me offering the chance for a refund, so it’ll be low-key and less pressure, I hope. (Though as an adult skater, all the pressure I feel is self-inflicted, and I’m not sure there’s a cure for that!)

There’s another competition in August, but I don’t know if I want to be competing quite that much. I love skating to a program and connecting elements and interpreting music, but it does get tedious when that’s all I’m focusing on. I think I like the rhythm of alternating competitions with tests, but I’m still trying to figure out what kind of schedule works best. If you compete regularly, how often do you do so?

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