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I’ve been faithfully skating, though clearly blogging has fallen by the wayside. Life has been busy — I make the time to go to my lessons and practice, but have been too swamped to write about it. It’s something I’m determined to get better at, because I do really enjoy having a record of my progress, and my faulty memory isn’t to be trusted to keep track of it on its own.

So my two-year skating anniversary came and went, and although I’m about a month late, I figured it would be nice to look back on the past year to sum up my progress, much as I did for my first year of skating. Year 2’s records are a lot spottier, but let’s see what I can pull together:

Year 2 in summary:

  • Competed in my first competition in pre-bronze freestyle, and came in first place of four skaters.
  • Figured out how to stone my own skating dress for the costume I wore at that competition.
  • Competed in a second competition, where I was the only skater in my category.
  • Started working with separate moves and spin coaches, and made a nice leap forward in both areas.
  • Passed my Adult Bronze Moves in the Field test with a nice showing (not my strongest, but a solid effort).
  • Started working on Silver Moves patterns. Those 3-turns are tough!
  • Started learning Gold Moves patterns, though am a far ways from getting them. But I like to work on them a little at a time.
  • Failed my Bronze Freestyle test, which was discouraging since I felt it was a pretty solid skate. Judges didn’t agree. 😦
  • Flips became more stable, though I still need to work a lot on the form.
  • Lutz is not really there yet. Steadily working away at it.
  • Started axel prep exercises and baby axels in the harness. Didn’t get the full revolutions, but got a taste of the feeling.
  • Got my sit spin — not yet at a 90 degree sit, but getting closer by the day.
  • Backspin is coming along nicely as well — can manage 6 revs at this point on a good try.
    Goals for the coming year:

    Bronze program: I picked out music for my next program and am eager to get working on it. I don’t know yet when I’ll test my Bronze Freestyle again (hopefully this spring), but there are a couple of competitions I’d like to do in the summer at the Bronze level. I can skate up a level so it’s not imperative that I test before then, but I would like a new program for them — I really do love my current program (the one I competed Pre-Bronze and used for my Bronze test), but for the test we stripped it pretty bare to the elements with minimal choreography so I’m looking forward to adding back more interesting choreographic elements. They’re so hard to perform, but add so much. I know my skills aren’t as strong as many Bronze skaters (I don’t have a lutz, or a jump+loop combo) but I’d rather push myself than to stay at Pre-Bronze.

    Moves in the field: I’m slowly getting a handle on the Silver patterns. The 3-turns are the weakest (as I think they must be for everyone) but I’m getting stronger and more comfortable with the patterns, like the cross-strokes, power pulls, spirals, and the 8-step. If I’m ready I may want to test toward the end of the year, but I’m not in a hurry.

    Jumps: I really, really want to get my lutz — I feel like I’m on the cusp of figuring it out. I’ve done a couple before so it’s not that I’ve never managed one, but they’ve been lucky more than anything, and I’m unable to do them at will. And I’m also struggling to do the loop as a second jump in a combo, although I’m now very comfortable doing solo loops. It’s just that timing that I can’t pin down, and it terrifies me when I miss it and the skate just slips. Ack!

    Spins: I’m really enjoying backspin now that I can do it most of the times that I attempt it. Next come the back sit and back camel, both of which are going to take a lot of work. Camel remains off-and-on. And I’ve recently been taught the layback spin, which right now is more like a look-upwards spin. Baby steps.

    In general: More power, more speed, more command! Mostly, my goals are to keep skating and to keep progressing. When I first started skating I found that I was obsessed with advancing FAST, because there was so much to learn that I wanted to be there already. Now I’m more content to chip away at things slowly and perfect and polish, and am trying to enjoy the whole process. That’s important because skating really is my meditative exercise, and I find that when I can’t get to the rink as often as I like, I get stressed and cranky — which is doubly bad because usually it’s because I’m stressed and cranky (with work) that I can’t go skating in the first place.

    Blogging: Do more!