I arrived at the rink at about 7:10 or so to warm up for my 7:30 make-up lesson. After a good warmup, I skated up to Anna at 7:28 to start my lesson, and we had just started working when at 7:30 they decided to have a Zamboni break. Amazing, because usually on Wednesdays they either don't bother at all or they wait a bit. So we took a break.
After that interruption (at least we had nice fresh ice!) we went back to where we were, which was power pulls. While I'm able to get closer to this I still can't do it. Anna did confirm my impression that a power pull is basically a slalom on one foot. She suggested that I try doing a regular slalom and then picking up one foot. I can do that with the inside edge, but switching to the outside edge -- it's not happening yet.
Next we went to look at my spin. It's definitely improved from the last time she saw it, and we worked on a few of the two-footed variety before we went on to work on picking up the right foot. That went with varying success; some were quite good and others less so. I'm having a problem (particularly when picking the foot up) of dropping the right shoulder and/or letting my head drift to the right. She also emphasized (again) that I need to stand up straight (core strength) and keep my shoulders back/down. Also it seems to work better not to pick up the foot too quickly; when I pick it up too quickly I tend to throw off my balance, whereas slower seems to be not so disturbing. Anyway I made some good progress and I was happy with it. Anna says I'm being more aggressive, which she is pleased with.
Anna had asked me at the start of the lesson something along the lines of whether I was willing to try some new stuff. I answered in my usual idiotically brave fashion (:-)) that I was willing to try anything she wanted. Ha! She smiled.
So... we went on to re-visit the bunny hop. We did a number of them. I tend to be a little skittish of them, in part because I can quickly get moving pretty darn fast (thank you, Mr. Newton :-)). Anna emphasized a smooth motion of kicking the right foot forward and springing from the left toe-pick. I have a tendency to make it not so much a spring as a push, even turning my left foot out a bit. Bad, bad, bad.
From there we started walking through the waltz jump. I'd seen these once a long time ago but not in any depth. I've never done one (still). She basically showed me the jump, the entry and the exit. She also gave me a number of exercises to work to help prepare myself. One is to do the entry up to the spring from the left toepick straight into the boards (which is not as alarming as it sounds). The other is to start at the boards and do the exit onto the RBO by jumping onto the right toe-pick and then coming down on it (toe-->ball-->heel) and onto the RBO exit edge. Of course the problem in part is that my RBO is my weakest edge (which I supposed it probably is for everybody at this stage of development).
And with that we were out of time. We have another lesson (our usual one) on Friday, and Anna said we'd work some more usual stuff then -- which I take to mean turns, crossovers, etc. As she was leaving, for some reason I felt a welling-up of gratitude for what we've accomplished even in this brief time we've worked together, so I walked over and just told her that I think she's a terrific coach and I'm really, really thankful to have her. That seemed to take her aback (in a good way) and she smiled a big grin and gave me a hug. I'm glad I took the time to say that. Readers of this blog are probably aware that I think the world of my coach but it's good for her to know it once in a while...
After my lesson it was pretty late with the delay and all, almost 8:30. I skated the remaining hour mostly working on old stuff, althought I did do a few bunny hops. I worked a fair amount on back crossovers; they are really starting to get more convincing. I also worked on spins a bit and then turns. The RFI3 is improving still, I just need to work it more. I tried a few spirals too; of course I can't really see how they look but my balance was good, I just get in the position and just STREEEETCH that leg. I think I did a couple on the left foot and one on the right just for grins.
I feel really positive and happy, it was a good lesson and a good skate and I felt really good about it. As I was leaving I saw that the staff were cleaning up and throwing stuff out in preparation for the changeover tomorrow. No one seems to know what to expect so they are all nervous and concerned. It's too bad, they are good folks and shouldn't have to worry like that.
Labels: Anna, Lessons