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I’m a few months late to my skating anniversary, but I figured it’s better late than never. I know that later on I’ll wish I’d posted about Year 3, even though right now I don’t feel like I have much to say specifically about it.

My third skating anniversary was in February, when I wasn’t doing a whole lot of skating. In fact, until this month I hadn’t done much skating at all this year, given my big move in March. I use a skating app to track my ice time for sharpening purposes (SkaterBase is great, and I recommend upgrading from the free app to the paid version, because it stores more than 3 months of data), and I only skated three times in April, and three times in May. Yikes! I’m amazed I didn’t lose more skills, at that rate!

Because I was busier with work during my third year of skating, I don’t have as many milestones or shiny new skills that I can say I learned over the course of that year specifically. In fact I started listing things and then realized they fell under Year 2, not 3.

I did pass my bronze freestyle test (on the second try), and put together a new program that I want to use for future bronze-level competitions. I added some spins to the practice repertoire, like back camel and back sit, although I don’t “have” either spin yet. My coach also started me on a layback spin, which at the moment is more like a look-up spin. I worked on getting my sit spin into a “true” sit position, and steadily worked at flip and lutz jumps. Flip became a lot more consistent — not pretty, but landed a lot of the time — while lutz was still a work in progress.

Moves: I learned the silver moves patterns and slowly worked away at them, and also learned some of the gold patterns, just to get a jump on practicing brackets, double threes, and power circles. I had hoped to test silver moves last year, which didn’t happen.

Mostly, it was a year of building skills, adding power and speed and skating with more command. I do feel like I was able to do that, although those are goals that don’t have an endpoint; I’ll probably want to keep increasing power and flow forever!

And so, since I’ve finally started to settle into my new skating routine, I feel like setting concrete goals is a manageable feat.

Goals for the upcoming year:

  • Pass Silver Moves test. According to my new coach, she thinks I can do this sooner rather than later. She said maybe July or August, though I told her I’d like to have the skills above passing level because I know I’ll get nervous and I still sometimes step out of the back 3-turns. Still, testing before/by autumn seems worth shooting for.
  • Combo spin: Get it consistent in program — camel-sit-backspin, or better yet, camel-sit-back sit. My camel is so erratic that I can sometimes pull off a nice combo if I hit it, or miss the entire spin if I don’t nail the entry perfectly.
  • Back camel. I LOVE the feeling of this spin when I get it going! The forward camel doesn’t give me that thrill, but the back camel just feels so good on the blade.
  • Layback. I get so dizzy! But I’d love to put this in a program.
  • Axel. My goal isn’t to land an axel, just to start working on the jump itself, instead of only doing prep exercises.
  • Dramatic program. I’ve gotten fairly comfortable with my bronze freestyle program, but want to keep it since I never got to perform/compete it. But I’d like to add a dramatic program, so that if (when!) I go to Sectionals/Nationals, I can participate in more than one event.
  • Compete. Technically Sectionals/Nationals falls under my next year’s goals, but I’ll be working toward that all this year. I’m starting my fund now!
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