Gordon's Sk8er Boi Blog

My adventures as an adult male figure skater in Tucson, Arizona Portland, Oregon Chandler, Arizona.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

APB Free Skate Test -- "Pass"!

I passed my free skate test at Peoria today!

I was on the ice at Chandler at 7 a.m. for a 35 minute warmup.  Warmup went well, and I was feeling good.  Headed out to Peoria (it's a 45 min drive) and arrived about 8:30 to find that the test session was running 15 minutes ahead of scheduled (!) so I only had about 15 minutes before my warmup.  The good news was that since they were running ahead they decided to make the quad-panel into just a double panel, with me and skate buddy Megan going in the second group.

We went out for our warmup (there were 6 of us -- me, 3 pre-pre skaters, one prelim and one adult gold).  It was relatively civilized out there :-).  Went through my elements.  Waltz jump -fine.  Salchow -- biffed the landing and almost fell.  Spin -- not bad.  2-foot spin -- eh; JJ made me do another and it was fine.  Did XOs, had to modify my pattern due to traffic.  I was a bit nervous at this point and it showed in my XOs, my knees/feet were shaking a bit.  Lunge -- okay.  JJ had me do another salchow and another spin and then we discussed the pattern for the FXO/BXO, and then it was time to come off.

Went back to the lobby to get warm and wait, then they called Megan and me to the ice.  I skated over to the judge (Wilma Walker) and introduced myself.  And then we started!

Below are the judge's comments for each element, in italics, followed by my commentary:
  • Jump #1 -- waltz jump.   good landing edge.  good height.  I was pretty happy with this.  I don't think I did my arms the way JJ wanted me to but at least it flowed nicely and had a good landing.
  • Jump #2 -- salchow -- very low.  Well, yes :-).  It was an okay salchow, for me.  Not much height but the timing was okay so that was the important thing.
  • One-foot upright spin -- good rotation & edge out.  I did a one-foot spin and it was... not so great.  Didn't fall but it didn't quite happen.  The judge looked at me and kind of waved and said "do it again!"  So I did and got a pretty decent spin!  Not my best ever but good enough.
  • Two-foot upright spin -- messy but ok.  Now THERE's a kindness.  For some reason after the one-foot spin I had a wave of total nervousness -- ironic since the first elements were the 'hard' ones.  So I really biffed the 2-foot spin, couldn't get my feet together and was off-balance.  The judge called me over and said something like "is this harder for you than the 1-foot spin" or something like that, and I just told her I was really nervous. So she motioned for me to try it again.  I tried it again and it was almost as bad, but I managed to bring it together enough to be sort of okay.  Phew.
  • Crossovers forward & backward -- good push from side of blade.  By now Megan was done with her test so I got to do these exactly as I'd practiced -- 3 pushes down the center line, then FXOs in a biiiiig circle CCW back to center, LFI mohawk, BXOs CW in a biiiig circle back to center, landing position and step forward.  I was really happy with these as I thought I did really good crossovers.
  • Lunge or spiral -- good steady lunge.  Before I started the judge said, "Don't tell me whether you are doing a lunge or spiral, let's see if I can tell!" which made me laugh.  What a kindness!  So I went out and picked a spot on the ice that wasn't too smooth (lol!)and did a pretty good lunge!  And I was done.
Afterward I had to wait what seemed like forever to get my results, then hung out talking to people, then went to breakfast with JJ and the McNabs and finally home!  I'm wiped out.

Thanks to all the judges and volunteers who made this test session possible!  Thanks to my coach JJ, and to my previous coaches who helped get me to this point! And thanks to the McNabs, Suweena, Tracy, and Keila and Jon for coming out and supporting me!

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