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It’s been nice to spend some time post-competition to put the program run-throughs on hold for now to get back to learning new skills, which is always motivating. (Although I have to remember to still run my program every now and again! The last time, it took me so long to be able to do a full run-through because I’d gotten out of the habit for so long.)

Most of the new skills have been with spins, mostly because my jumps are still where they’ve been — I’ve been working to get them better, but I haven’t added any to the arsenal, sadly! For the past couple of months, my forward spins have all gone completely AWOL and it’s been my backspins that have shown most improvement, which is a little surprising (though I’ll take it! Don’t say I’m ungrateful!). It’s to do with the entry edge, and my coach and I are working to break down the problem and fix it at the source — I can still do forward spins, but the hit rate is pretty low because a lot of the time, a bad entry means the whole spin is gone.

The camel’s been the most affected by this (urg! It’s completely gone these days), as well as my basic scratch spin, but I can sometimes still salvage a sit spin and the layback, which is improving although I still have issues with keeping my free hip down so I’m not doing that lovely dog-peeing pose as I spin. You know, where your free leg is awkwardly up and open instead of tucked nicely in line with your hips. It’s ugly, I know, but my hips just don’t want to tuck under. I’m also enjoying practicing the back camel, because for whatever reason I find that backward entry a lot more secure than the forward one.

Jumps are much the same, although I’m telling myself that if I squint really hard, my flip and lutz are every so slightly improved. I’ve been working on getting a good jump off the toe pick and not leaving my left leg on the ice too long, so that it looks like I’m jumping off two feet. I’m pretty sure getting that timing better will help ensure I don’t flutz, as will getting my foot crossed in the air, which it really really doesn’t want to do, because I just don’t feel like there’s enough time in the air to do all the things my coach wants my body to do! And the axel is still a long way off, but I’m starting to feel more secure in the jump-into-backspin mechanism, where I jump up and over, and come down straight down on the toe pick instead of trying to swing myself around. I know THAT will never get me there.