Last night was the last group lesson of the session. I thought it would just be like a regular class, but boy was I wrong. Each group of kids skated together to music for their parents. I was afraid the adults would have to do that, but thankfully that didn’t happen!!
I was excited to have my parents there to watch me skate. It was kind of like old times and reminiscing on how things used to be. My mom came to the practice session and got on ice with a walker and would tell me what to do, just like she used to. She would also tell me how to make things better, which is pretty funny, considering she’s never done any of these tricks. Her “muscle memory” must have also kicked in and she remembered what my coaches used to say. She was surprisingly on-target with her comments.
She was also my videographer for the evening. She only took one video of me during practice, but I have decided that this is going to be my new signature move, as an adult. Sure, I know this is nothing for kids, but for a woman in her 40s, it could be quite impressive. It’s a shoot-the-duck. I don’t get low enough down, but in my CrossFit days, I learned how to do pistols (one-legged full squats, going all the way down) with both legs, so I think I can do these!!
Shoot the Duck
I was the only “advanced” adult present for the lesson, and my instructor had a clipboard of papers for testing. I had no idea I was going to be evaluated, but I am excited to finally know what level I am. We started going through some of the Adult Beginner program, but the instructor didn’t even fill out a sheet on those, as she decided I could do everything. Then she pulled out the “Freeskate Report Card” and started filling it out.
I passed Pre-Freeskate, by demonstrating the following skills, many of which I learned for the first time during the testing (only some were videoed, and the videos I present might not be my best attempt at the move, it was hard for my mom to try and video everything, while navigating other people):
Forward inside open Mohawk
Backward crossovers to a backward outside edge glide
Backward outside edge to a forward outside edge transition
One-foot upright spin (minimum three revolutions)
Bonus skill: Backward inside pivots
Then, we went onto Freeskate 1, and I was able to pass that as well, although my backward outside three-turn on my left foot was technically not good enough. I definitely need to practice those, but since last night was the first time I’ve tried them, I think I’ll get it quickly. These are the skills (same comment on the video):
Forward power stroking
Basic Forward Outside and Forward Inside consecutive edges
Backward outside three-turns, Right, Left
Upright spin, entry from back crossovers
Bonus skill: Waltz jump, side toe hop, waltz jump
Finally, we started Freeskate 2. We didn’t have time to finish it, but I know I would not have been able to pass it. The ones we did were:
Given extra time, I could have also completed the alternating forward outside and inside spirals, and maybe she would have given me enough grace on my backward inside edges to be okay with my backward outside and inside consecutive edges. But, my back inside edges are pretty weak, so maybe not…. But, I could not have passed the backward inside three-turns, beginning back spin, and bonus skill of a spiral variation without a little instruction, as I have not attempted any of these since I started skating again.
I went home from skating super-excited, as I have progressed so much in nine weeks. I never would have expected to be considered Freeskate 2 this quickly! Now, I know USFSA levels don’t necessarily line up to ISIA levels, but just considering that I was in Freestyle 4 of ISIA when I was in 4th grade and now I am in Freeskate 2 of USFSA gives me so much encouragement.
I also think I am ready for private lessons. I learned that I had been practicing certain skills completely wrong and I want to minimize issues such as that and not being corrected for poor technique. For example, I was doing my salchow from the wrong direction of crossovers, which made it look all swingy – because it was. Once the instructor told me this tonight and showed me how to properly do it, it felt like a completely different jump.
A similar thing is true for the half-flip; I previously tried doing it from a three-turn, and learned it should be done from a Mohawk. Huge difference!! Because tonight was a one-on-one lesson, I also was able to learn so many skills, like the half-lutz, all of the footwork patterns I’ve never seen before, the back outside three-turns, and the mazurka. I only passed as much as I did last night because it was just me and the instructor seemed to believe that I could do all of these skills without much practice.
Here’s my score sheet:
That gives me the confidence that I need to go forward!!