Group Lesson Hell
I got to the rink good and early for my lesson (I like to get there 30 minutes ahead, which allows about 10 minutes for getting my skates on and a good 20 minutes for warming up and getting my legs). I had had some (personal) bad news right before I got there so I was in a foul mood. It didn't help when I checked the board and discovered that there was another person signed up for the Adult class with me!
After getting my skates on and warming up, Glenn came over and asked me where the other person was, and I said I didn't know. I then took a moment to talk to him about the curriculum
-- I gave him a copy of the Basic 8s
and the Adult curriculum
. He said (as I expected) that he was just teaching me the basics as fast as he could drive me. I told him that that was well and good, I was just wanting to follow the Basic 8s as far as the skate school people are concerned, and that he'd already taught me half of Basic 3 and a chunk of 4 as well. He said that was fine.
Finally the other person showed up and introduced herself, her name is Desiree. We were confused because that was not the name of the person on the roster, but it was all made clear a few minutes later when Ashley showed up. Glenn asked me to go work on stuff for a couple of minutes while he figured out where they were, so I did. After 5 minutes or so he beckoned me back, and for the next 20 minutes we worked on... forward swizzles, backward swizzles, and the snowplow stop. Yep. Both Desiree and Ashley had skated before but had never taken lessons, so while they are somewhat behind me, it's not as much as one might think. In particular each of them could skate on one foot at least a little bit, which readers will know took me forever. I'd like to think that I have a slight advantage in that I have no bad habits to unlearn (no toepick pushing for example) and that I've learned somewhat good form... but it's hard to say.
For the last couple of minutes we actually looked at the stepover for forward crossovers! I was rather surprised by that. After the lesson was over I did manage to show Glenn my much-improved turn and he was suitably impressed. After the lesson the three of us skated for 15 or 20 minutes and then there was a Z-break, whereon they both went home. I found out that Desiree won lessons as a door prize at a charity auction, and Ashley is a student at UA. I wonder how much they will actually practice. If they don't get any practice between now and next week... hmm.
After the Z-break there were only 6 or so people on the ice, so I stayed all the way to the end of the session at 9:30 -- almost 3 hours of skating, counting my warmup. I am wiped out; it's a good thing I didn't skate yesterday or I would truly have been exhausted. For the last 45 minutes or so there were only 3 people on the ice! It was great. I put in lots of work on my backward swizzles, working to have more speed and more push
, and to get my feet together between and get more knee bend. It's coming. Along with the backward swizzles I tried a little bit of backward glide, but it's not coming. I also spent a lot of time on the turn, trying to do the CCW ones with more speed going in, and trying to improve the CW ones. I also spent a fair amount of time on basic stroking, getting more extension. Finally, I spent some time on my right foot glide, and it is much improved. I've noticed I have to remind myself to get in position for it, though; if I don't prepare I am just all wrong and can't get my weight placed appropriately. I am able to get an RFO but it feels so unnatural
! I really have to make myself turn my body out clockwise to get it. It's funny how it feels so natural to turn my body CCW for the LFO, but turning it CW for the RFO feels like major surgery or something.
About 9 p.m. or so I was dinking around a bit and I managed to teach myself a forward slalom, which is part of Basic 3. It's actually pretty easy, I just had to get the hip movement in which, for a guy like me, doesn't come easy. After a bit though I pretty much got the hang of it. That means I have all the Basic 3 stuff except the two-foot spin and the backward 1-foot glide. I expect the two-foot spin to be not too hard now that I can do the turn okay; the glide is another matter. I expect that will come hard and take a lot of work.
So I left the rink at 9:30, very tired but with my head in a somewhat better state as far as my troubles are concerned. I am annoyed and saddened that my wonderful individual lessons have now turned into a true group, but those are the breaks. I suppose I could just wait it out and see how it goes -- maybe it won't be so bad. Or maybe someone will drop out :-). I'm also wondering if I shouldn't book a private lesson with Glenn, if I can work it out money and timewise (I am lucky that it's more time than money as an issue). I have a feeling that, for example, for me to make progress on my backward skating I'm going to need some good individualized attention from him and I don't see that happening soon. I'd appreciate comments and feedback from my readers (both of you!) on whether you think I would be advised to try to supplement the group lessons now or not. Maybe I'm just too impatient. I had planned originally that I'd stay with the group lessons through the Basic 8s and then consider private lessons instead of the group freestyle. What do you think?
Labels: Group Lessons