Today, May 7, is my Skativersary -- the anniversary of my first setting foot on ice, May 7th 2003. I blogged about my first time on the ice
, saying in part:
I survived! I know, that sounds so dramatic. I had my first ice skating lesson tonight at 7. It went very well. In many ways it seemed reminiscent of my first rollerblading lesson, except ice is much more slippery! I was very lucky in that I was the only person signed up for the adult class, so I got my instructor's undivided attention for 30 minutes. We just worked on walking on the ice and some very brief two-foot glides and a shallow dip. We also practiced falling, which helped me get over my fear a bit. After the lesson I practiced what I'd learned for about 15 minutes just to try to embed it in my psyche.
It's hard to get my mind back into where it was then, and that very fact alone helps me to realize just how far I've come. I now think of myself as a skater; in fact it's a large part of my self-image. Despite recent events :-) skating has made me healthier and happier; it's allowed me to express myself and introduced me to lots of neat people. It's encouraged, even forced me to confront and conquer fear, and to do things that most people my age don't, can't, or won't do, and will never do. It's connected my mind and body in a way I wasn't even aware I'd lost.
I was thinking the other day about how much all this costs, and the question came to mind, "when did I decide to spend thousands of dollars a year on skating?" I'm not sure when. Perhaps it was when I first decided to start private lessons, sometime back in November. Perhaps it was when I actually decided on a coach, in December; or when I actually started private lessons, in January. Then again it might well be when I first decided I needed/wanted my own skates; which was probably 2 weeks or less after my first time on the ice a year ago. Whatever the cost it is certainly, easily worth it to me.
This Skativersary is a little bittersweet for me. A few weeks ago I pondered how to celebrate this day
, and of course I presumed that skating would be the primary element in that celebration. Alas, I am not on the ice today and won't be for another 3-4 weeks.
I stopped by the rink after lunch to say hi to Anna and Nicole and see how Nicole is coming on her APB moves. She's doing well, and she's going to knock 'em dead on her test. It will be good. It was good to be at the rink even gimpy as I am.
Still, here's a summary of the skills I have after one year:
- forward 2-foot glide and stroking
- forward glides on each edge (good)
- backward 2-foot glide and stroking
- backward LB edges (good) and RB (poor)
- forward crossovers, CW (poor) and CCW (fair)
- back crossovers, CW (fair) and CCW (poor to fair)
- two-foot turn (fair)
- Moving LFO3 (poor to fair)
- RFO3 (fair), LFI3 (poor), RFI3 (poor) from standing start
- RFI and LFI open Mohawk from standing start (poor to fair)
- FI pivot (good)
- two-foot spin (3-5 revs, poor to fair)
- LBO back Mohawk (fair)
- R (fair) and L (good) lunges
- R and L forward spiral (fair)
- one or two-foot snowplow stop (good)
- T-stop (good)
- hockey stop (fair)
- bunny hop (poor to fair)
All in all that's really a lot when you think about it. For a person who's never thought of himself as particularly balanced or coordinated, it's (IMHO) quite an accomplishment. In terms of the USFSA Basic Skills
I'm more or less around Basic 7.
My goals for the next year:
- Learn a waltz jump by August (still doable, I think)
- Skate in the rink holiday program
- Pass the USFSA Adult Pre-Bronze Moves and Freestyle tests (ambitious, especially freestyle)
- Do a program in a competition
The last two are pretty ambitious and will require a lot of work. We'll see how it goes. One of the questions I'm really asking myself is how much will this time off the ice (I've already spent more time off the ice now than any other time since I started, not that that is saying a lot) will affect me -- will I be back where I was, more or less, in a week? Two weeks? A month? I have no idea. I'm kind of assuming two weeks or so, in which case I've lost two months off of where I'd hoped to be, which makes those goals up above a bit more challenging than they seemed in January or so. For a while I had this unreasoned fear that I'd lose my nerve about skating, or at least about some elements of it; but I'm less concerned about that now. I have had two or three people tell me pointedly that I should stop skating at public sessions, or at least, trying to do anything much at them. I think that is advice I will probably heed; at a minimum I'll probably refrain from skating backwards at public sessions unless they are quite uncrowded. I'm not sure how I'll handle my practice time requirements since it appears the rink put out a new freestyle session schedule, and they have already dropped those morning freestyle sessions I was looking forward to. Practice time might be a real problem.
So that's where I am, and perhaps where I am going. Thank you, gentle readers, for your feedback and encouragement. It's most edifying and helpful.
When I started this blog on May 21, 2003, I subtitled it "My adventures as an adult male figure-skater-to-be in Tucson, Arizona USA." Now, a year later, I hope it's not too presumptuous to drop the "to-be" and label it simply, "My adventures as an adult male figure skater in Tucson, Arizona USA."