APB Moves Test -- "Pass"!
The headline says it all... I passed my Moves test. Yay!
After my entry from last night, I did some shopping, grabbed some dinner, went back to the hotel and read/watched TV/surfed the web for a while, then went to bed around 11. I had a lot of trouble sleeping, I was very keyed up. I did sleep some but it was fitful. I tried not to think about it... and I mostly succeeded, actually. I didn't feel horribly tired for the test.
I finally got up around 7:30, checked out of the hotel, grabbed an Egg McMuffin and headed to the rink... I got there around 8:20 (Medford is a small place!). And waited... the rink didn't open until 8:45. Got in, paid for the FS session, got my skates on and was on the ice promptly at 9. I had 15 minutes with Donna to work on my stuff (she had 2 of her skaters testing as well, so she gave us each 15 minutes). Ran through most of the key points, then for the 30 minutes on my own I ran through pretty much everything. There were only 9 (I think) skaters testing (one of them was taking 2 tests, there were 10 tests total) so it wasn't that crowded compared to some I've been on -- but there was still a lot of room for "I'm sorry!" as we got in each other's way occasionally. Everyone was very courteous and kind. They are a really nice bunch at that rink.
After the practice ice I hung out in the lobby, ate an orange, and tried to relax. Wonder of wonders they were actually running slightly ahead of schedule (!) because they called the 3 of us for our warmup 3 minutes early! I had given a fair amount of thought to what I wanted to hit in the 5 minutes and I did some stroking with end crossovers, BXOs (good warmup), once around each side of the waltz-8, and some of the L side of the 3-turn pattern. I think I did some FXOs as well, just the CW (harder) ones. Then time was up.
I then waited while the two other skaters did their tests (I was last of the 3). The first skater was taking pre-juv moves and fell on the back perimeter crossovers... but she got up and continued and did a nice job recovering and not letting it affect her. They asked her to reskate those and she passed. Then the 2nd skater went on and I was just working on staying warm etc.
Finally it was my turn. The judge called me up to talk to me and told me since I'd been waiting so long she would give me 2 minutes to warm up some. What a godsend!! I quickly did some stroking with crossovers, back crossovers and and LFI3. Then we started. Below for each move are the judge's comments (in italics, with abbreviations expanded) and then my own. For comparison, check out the feedback from test #1
and test #2
- Forward perimeter stroking -- Your strokes give you good power Relax into the crossovers :-) . I felt pretty good about the stroking, I did a reasonable job (well, Donna might say differently :-)) of keeping my head up. I really felt the nerves though on the crossovers, my feet/ankles/knees were shaking a little and I was a little wobbly. I was soooo happy after I finished this move!
- Basic consecutive edges -- FO: good push - nice edge FI: good edge - push good - good upper body control BO: good - watch posture BI: strong pushes! She also wrote a comment in the box to the left -- Don't be afraid of pushing into your edges - Edges are your friends! I've always considered my edges to probably be the strongest element of the test, and they tend to calm me down (always a good thing); so I was happy with them.
- Forward and Backward Crossovers -- Forward: good xovers - both patterns Backward: xovers strong but scratchy - good transition work on mohawk entrance I was really happy with these comments, especially the "good transition" comment since I had worked on that (it was feedback from my Tuesday critique -- so that showed value right there!). The mohawk is not my strongest, although ironically it was not as bad as it has sometimes been. Oh well.. and of course my BXOs are scratchy so that was spot-on.
- Waltz Eight -- Needs more push & speed -- more ankle -- watch pattern (she drew a diagram here) back edge should be longer Ha! Her comments leave out the story here! If you read the story of my first two tests you'll know I failed them both because I put my foot down on the waltz-8. In each case I lost my balance on the FO edge after the step forward, got a reskate of that element, and did it AGAIN. So... this move and I have history. When I had talked with Sonya about it I'd said something like "I'm not going to put my foot down no matter what! I'd rather fall." I said something similar to Donna before the test, noting that "besides, you get sympathy for a fall." Anyway... I started the move and the first side on each side went reasonably well, although as she noted I didn't hold the back edge as long as I should have (or as long as I have been in practice). So I started the 2nd time around on the L foot (it's 2x on each foot) feeling reasonably okay... and then I stepped forward and I was not on an FO edge, I was on an FI edge and could... not... get.. on an FO edge and I was struggling and losing my balance and hoping maybe I could just barely make it there anyway and I was NOT going to put my foot down... and so I fell! It was almost funny but not. Anyway. I got up and finished the move (did the R side) and went back to Donna, who gave me some encouragement that there was still another move to go and I had to put it behind me. I was thinking about her skater who had fallen on her move and what a great job she'd done of putting it behind her.
- Forward Three-Turn Pattern -- 3's scratchy - watch body positions to check 3s I went into this and the left side... well, it's never been good. It certainly wasn't as bad as it has been but it was not great. The R side was better and then.. I was done! I went to talk to Donna but I was hoping they would ask me to reskate the waltz-8 and wondering if I could manage to fix it.
- Reskate -- as I hoped, the judge called me over and asked me to reskate the waltz-8, just once around on each side. She also took time to say that it was not essential to return to center, that if necessary I could push before I reached center rather than fall :-). So with that, I went out and started the move... the step forward on the L side was a little wonky/unbalanced but I managed to fix it, then did the R side and it was fine. I skated back to the judge and asked her if she needed me to do anything else, and she said no, so I skated back to Donna and got off the ice. I was so happy! At that point, even if they didn't pass me I was just happy that I'd skated the dang waltz-8 and fixed it. I was really happy!
- General comment -- at the very bottom of the form the judge wrote in, Love the blue laces! That made me smile!
So, after I got off the ice I went and talked to Donna in the lobby. I thanked her for helping me and gave her a card with a small thank-you gift and a check for her coaching. Then I got a picture of the two of us and sat and waited for the results... the runner came out and handed the forms to Donna and myself (they give you 2 copies at Medford, it's nice). I was a little afraid to look, but Donna looked, gave a big smile and fist-pump and said "you did it!"... PASS
We went over the results and talked about them a bit, then I started to take my skates off etc. The runner came out and said the judge had asked me to stick around so she could talk to me. She came out a little later and gave me and Donna some feedback. The biggest points that I remember were her talking about posture (which is definitely something I need to work on) and also flexibility in the ankles and being able to use the ankles esp. on 3-turns. Good points to remember; when you see a good skater do a 3-turn it looks just like a little flick of the ankle and it's done. It's really all about the edge too (she talked about that at length also). Of course this is stuff I've heard before, but not quite put that way. I hope by writing it down I'll remember it later.
Anyway, after many thank-yous to the judge and Donna and the test chair I hit the road for home. It was a beautiful sunny day and I felt pretty sunny inside, too. As soon as I got in the car I texted Sonya and Kelli and a number of friends to let 'em know the good news.
I can't say enough about how nice the folks at Southern Oregon FSC were, and especially Donna. They were very kind and welcoming and made me feel at home. I really appreciate it.
So... now that it's over.. I'm pretty happy. More than that, I am just plain relieved
and I feel very free
! I think I didn't realize how much this test hanging over me was weighing me down. I'm so glad it's done and I can move on... like, to getting my spins solid and testing APB freeskate! Much to do... but for today, time to savor an accomplishment.