APB Moves Test -- "Retry/Retry/Pass"
Well, the headline says it all... but I'll record the details anyway, I'm just that anal-retentive. I will say that I've very discouraged and sad, even though there are some reasons to be optimistic.
I got up relatively late. I had intended to warmup at Valley but when I called they informed me their Zamboni had died and so their ice wasn't fresh. So I switched to plan B and headed over to Lloyd Center and skated the 9 a.m. FS. Had a good skate (there were two (count 'em, two!) other adult male skaters on the session with me!). Went through everything twice or more.
Left Lloyd Center (unfortunately I forgot and left my guards there, I will have to go collect them tomorrow) and drove to Shiny Rink with a detour through the McD's drivethrough for a quick breakfast. Got to the rink and had plenty of time to relax, get my skates on, and talk to my coach. Actually my coaches since Kelli was there as well.
Had my 5 minute warmup at 11 a.m. (15 minutes early), this was shared with a Preliminary MIF tester. That was a little awkward as I was warming up my CW stroking and she was working moves CCW so I kept having to dodge her.
Then off the ice and wait for the Prelim. skater to finish, then on the ice, talk to the judges. APB Moves only needs one judge but I got 3! They were very nice. One of them I have met before, the other two were new to me.
Okay, the actual skate. I'll give each move, then each judge's feedback (with an "A" for the first, "B" for second and "C" for third) in italics, then my commentary. For comparison, here's the feedback from my test in July
- Stroking -- (A) OK (B) CCW Very careful. Stepping through ends. CW O.K. Stepping through ends. Need more push. (C) CC - work to build speed - work on flow C - watch stepping crossovers. Judge A is pretty terse. Of course the feedback is spot on, my FXOs are pretty steppy, especially CW. They have improved a lot from the first test, though. I was reasonably happy with them.
- Edges -- (A) OK (B) FO O.K. Bend knees more. Nice flow/arc. FI Nice edges. More knees please. BO Good pushes. More control of freeleg after push would help. BI O.K. Try starting with wider stance for 1st push-off lobe. (C) FO Very good! FI good - nice lobe shape. BO above average shape - flow. BI Needs more push. Watch wide stepping. I was pretty happy with these. I did have a couple issues with the BI edges as far as bringing the free foot in thus the comments.
- FXOs & BXOs -- (A) OK (B) Forward Slow - cross-overs better than on Move #1. No toe-pushes please! Backward More knees = more underpush. Scratching on picks. Upper body OK. Finish off move. (C) Forward very slow skating work now on speed/flow. Backward faster skating - watch toe picks. Some new feedback here from what I've seen before. I wasn't aware I was toe-pushing (I guess I shouldn't be shocked) so that will take some investigation. Sonya thought the "finish off move" comment was because I did a back snowplow stop after the BXOs instead of turning forward and stopping.
- Waltz-8 -- (A) Loss of control in fwd step (B) Shakey - foot down. - touched down on retry. Don't look down. Bend knees & it will all flow better. (C) foot down both sides unstead back edges 2nd try stronger. ARRRRGGGGHHHHH!!!!! I did it again. I really can't describe what happened but this one was actually worse than the last test. It's the FO edge after the step forward, I lost control and put my foot down. If I remember correctly this happend on BOTH the left and right sides. Strangely enough after that the 2nd set was quite nice. I really can't explain it other than that I was suddenly quite nervous and I tried very, very hard not to put the foot down -- but it happened. I was pretty crushed.
- 3-turn pattern -- (A) loss of control thruout cannot hold ede after 3's left side (B) (1) Don't look down so much! Scratchy. Hold edges. (2) Hold after 3-turns, esp. FO3. (C) weak turns - hold edges longer - into & out of 3's. I really hate this move although it went okay (for me, at least). But yep, the L side esp. (did that first) is quite whippy and uncontrolled. I did somewhat better than in the past on getting the weight shift on the back lobe correct.
So after I finished I skated over to Sonya, then back to the judges, who asked me to reskate the Waltz-8. What a shock :-). Unfortunately it went about the same. Sonya said I was really hunched over. On the L side I almost fell but managed not to and managed not to put the foot down, but on the R side I once again came out of the step forward off balance and put the foot down. And just like before, I did a second set and they were really nice. Grrr.
Judges A and B gave me a Retry and judge C passed me, bless her heart. Judge C came up to me after the test and gave me some verbal feedback and encouragement -- she was very kind. In general she said I need to stand up straighter, keep my eyes/head up, and convince the judges I know what I'm doing :-).
There were a number of positives from this test: first, I was not nearly so nervous in general, and my stamina has greatly improved. I wasn't exhausted when I was done, just tired. My problems were mental, not physical :-). Also in general most elements were improved from July's test and my speed and flow were better.
Despite all that I'm very disheartened. I've been working on this for SO long and I was really, really hoping to move on to something more interesting... but it is not to be. So I will work on fixing the weak points I have and re-test, perhaps in January.