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I’m glad we’re heading into fall, since summers tend to be a little disconcerting as far as the skating practices go — the rinks have different schedules, the crowds are unpredictable, and life stuff happens to crop up more in the summer. I love when school goes back in session, since the rinks clear out and I feel like I can get really serious.

I lost my little portable video camera at my last rink so I’ve been unable to get much video (plus all the summer crowds), but I had a completely empty day at the rink last week so I busted out the cell phone. I don’t intend to keep filming on my phone since I just got a new one and I don’t want it to crash off the boards, but I was glad to capture a little bit of my practice because it’s been ages since I’ve seen what I look like! It’s one thing to feel like maybe you’re making progress, but a lot more efficient to see it directly.

Spins:

Backspin: My backspin is fatally flawed and I’ve been working with the coach to fix the habit of falling onto a deep outside edge. I can hold the spin for a while, but as you can see, it looks off-kilter and I often feel like I’m too twisted, and chasing my tail. We’ve made small progress in making the turn crisper and not so far on the outside, but it’s still tricky for me.

Layback: Just starting to get the coordination down on this. At first I could barely look up without getting horribly dizzy, but I’m getting comfortable leaning back a little (although, does anybody else struggle with the strain this puts in the front of the throat? Like you can’t swallow?). The main issue is the transition when the leg goes into attitude position — I can get centered on the first part of the spin with the leg held out to the side, but as soon as I move the leg I fall too far on the inside edge of the spinning foot. My coach is trying to get me to hold my hips up and more square as I change positions, rather than dropping the right hip and falling out of the spin.

Camel: Meh. I think I’ll always struggle with camels! I feel like I don’t quite have all the parts coordinated on the entry — I have to keep the knee bent longer, stay down, sweep with the left arm, keep the right shoulder from dropping, curve around on the entry more so I don’t skid, rise up later, etc etc. There’s a lot going on there. When I get in position it looks like a decent camel, but the problem is that I fall out of them early. I fell out of all of these camels because I was too far on the inside edge and couldn’t keep going.

Sit spins:

I’m very happy with the sit spin progress! I am able to get the sit spin down low enough to qualify as a “real” sit spin, but I’m right on the border of 90 degrees so I’d like to get it lower, so I’m never in doubt that it’ll qualify. As you can see in the video, I’m capable of sinking lower and holding that position for a couple revolutions — but I’m 100% incapable of standing back up when I’m down that far! I’m not even close, I feel in my quad and knee that it’s not going to happen. I think I may be able to “cheat” by switching legs to the back sit spin, and I probably should build up the muscles off-ice. I hate off-ice training. It feels so much like regular gym workouts, and the whole reason I started skating was to avoid the gym!

Next up: Jumps.

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