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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in My Adventures in Skating's LiveJournal:

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    Monday, January 30th, 2012
    10:34 am
    9:50 am
    Down she goes again...
    What the heck? Two bad falls in a week!

    But first- Friday exhibition went okay. My jumps weren't fantastic, as a
    result of the Wed. fall, but I didn't cheat my single toe loop. My
    backspin reverted to the foot tuck- NOT cool. And my loop was atrocious.
    That skate would not have passed. I have Iowa Games in 2 weeks, and
    comp/test early march.

    Well then Saturday morning the zamboni had broken after one line, so we had
    a strip of clear ice through the aftermath of a crowded Friday night
    public- ick. Still, it was an okay practice. I stayed up late the night
    before (NOT watching men's short, sadly. We had people over for a fun game
    night). All my jumps were decent except toe loops in combo- still hurts.
    My backspins spun but were hit and miss on being good or just passable. It
    had gotten so reliable!

    So then the zamboni was fixed and we got beautiful ice for LTS. I did my 3
    warm up alternating F xover laps and was either turning or had just turned
    to do backwards, and then I was belly flopped on the ice.

    I have no idea how this fall happened. I didn't toepick, I didn't click.
    I landed first on the right butt cheek, then slid on my stomach, which
    makes no sense that I didn't fall left.
    I don't remember catching myself with my hands, so I think rather than
    trying to save the fall, my wrist got caught while I slid. I had to be
    helped up because I couldnt bear weight on the hand, and my legs were
    shaking, though nothing else hurt. Z., a novice skater waiting for axel
    plus group, untied my skates for me, while Sergei got me ice. The pain was
    just getting worse, so I was pretty convinced I broke it. I had Kevin's
    car, so a skate Mom drove me home (I can drive my car one handed, but not
    his). She offered to take me to the ER, but it was notreally a time
    sensitive emergency.

    Kevin and I went to the ER, and the x-rays did not show any fractures, it
    is "just a sprain". This is very small consolation, because I still can't
    move it, and even taking Lortab and Ibprofen, I'm in a ton of pain. At
    least I ca take the brace off when it gets itchy! Right now I have 5-10
    degrees of downward bend (with pain) and no upward bend at all. I can move
    my fingers with less wrist pain than yesterday.

    I'm trying to find out if Iowa Games will do a medical refund, if not I'll
    decide the day of if I should skate. This week I will be staying off ice.
    Thursday, January 26th, 2012
    8:15 am
    Down she goes...
    So yesterday I was composing my blog post during my lesson, but then
    something way more interesting happened. I was hoping that this lesson is
    the typical 'horrible lesson before a performance', because while not
    horrible, it didn't go well. My backspin seems to have disappeared. I
    blame the ice. I'm not used to smooth ice which makes the spin harder to
    enter. Or something... I can still spin if I put my foot at my ankle, but
    not otherwise (and Carson doesn't allow foot at ankle). My scratch spin is
    WILD. I'm entering it with WAY too much speed, but Carson wants power in
    the crossovers. You can't have power and no speed. My sit spin was mostly
    good, but I missed it a few times. If my spins are missing, what do I have
    left? A toe loop? (Which is weird- when did that get good?) My loop was,
    well, my loop. My salchow wasn't behaving. My waltz-toe was
    inconsistent. It was a bunch of bad runthroughs. The weirdest thing is
    when Carson had me do the program with my entrance, my legs immediately
    started shaking in the opening position. So apparently it isn't the
    audience that makes me nervous, it is the entrance. I had to stop hockey
    lines after the program (to make me good and tired before we do my
    "reskate") because my legs were literally twitching, spasming like a sewing
    machine needle when I didn't have two feet on the ice..

    After Carson left I ran through the trouble spots - sit spin to salchow to
    backspin. It did NOT go well. Then waltz-toes, okay a little better.
    Then I was getting ready to do something, based on where I was on the ice,
    I assume a waltz-toe, which leads me to believe I was skating backwards,
    but best I can tell, I was skating forward. Maybe I was turning around?
    Anyhow, next thing I knew, I could hear myself half-grunting, and then
    slamming onto the ice. I think I caught the tail of my right blade, and I
    fell HARD onto my butt and back. My head touched the ice, but I think it
    only tapped down, I don't remember hitting the ice with my head, so I must
    have tucked my chin.

    The first thing I remember thinking was that I was in too much pain to get
    up, but I wasn't actually hurt, so I sat up, getting the weight off my
    butt. J, a skater, came over to check if I was okay. I was trying not to
    cry, but assured her I was fine, it was just going to take a second.
    Apparently, a second is too long, skaters are supposed to bounce right back
    up, so after maybe 30 seconds Carlos (a coach) came over to check on me, I
    gave him a thumbs up as he skated over, but he still came over. As soon as
    Carlos got there, I think Burton realized he should probably make sure I
    was okay. I felt silly. I'm FINE I told them all. Thank you for the
    concern. I just need a second. I had probably been sitting on the ice
    for about a minute, and was able to get up.

    The pain was in bottom and my back, and weirdly, unlike every other fall
    I've had, I wasn't shaking. Not even a little bit. I usually get off
    the ice after a fall because I shake so badly (like during hockey lines) I
    worry that it isn't safe for me to skate. But I didn't have any of that.
    So I immediately went and did the jump I was going for. The waltz jump was
    fine. But twisting to pick in the toe loop was too much- my butt couldn't
    take it. Uh oh! I have an exhibition on Friday. I ran through all my
    program elements. Everything hurts, but I can do everything.

    However, the more I skated, the more my head started to throb, and I was
    getting nauseated. It was about 15 minutes until the end of the session
    when I fell, and I got off about 5 minutes early. I was feeling pretty
    awful by the time I got off the ice, but not disoriented in anyway. When
    I got home, I half laid down on the couch, and iced my head and bottom. I
    stayed there for about 45 minutes, then went and layed in bed watching TV
    for an hour, then decided I was fine to go to sleep. Laying in bed was
    fine, my head prettly much stopped hurting. I woke up this morning
    feeling fine (well, my bottom hurts, and the muscles in my back are really
    tight- but that isn't exactly a new thing). However, now that I've been at
    work for an hour, my head is starting to hurt again. Apparently holding it
    upright is too hard. I don't feel nauseated, just uncomfortable. It's
    just so weird, because I really do not remember hitting my head, except
    maybe a teeny bit after I finished falling.

    Any tips on making the pain go away? If it is still bothering me tomorrow,
    I'll call the doctor (since otherwise I have to wait to Monday or go to the
    ER), but I really am not exhibiting any concussion signs. Just the back of
    my head is lightly throbbing.

    TL;DR I fell, badly. It hurt.
    Wednesday, January 18th, 2012
    9:42 am
    Test Papers are in...
    Yesterday I turned in my paperwork for my Bronze test in March. (Also the
    competition....) I really really want to pass this!

    For the competition, I just entered the freeskate. I thought about doing
    the spin competition too, but at $25, I realized it would make a lot more
    sense to just take another lesson. I could even start the lesson by doing
    a scratch spin, a sit spin, and a backspin and having Carson judge me.
    Really, even the freeskate is crazy expensive ($60) but it is fun to have
    the ice to myself, and get to wear my dress- and it will be good practice
    for the test the next day. Why does a test cost almost half as much as a
    competition? There are the same judges, the same length of ice. Does a
    medal really cost $25 :)

    I have Iowa games coming up in February- just a few weeks away. That is
    really just a practice run for the Hawkeye competition (which is a practice
    run for my test).

    To prepare for Iowa games, I'm signed up to skate a club exhibition on the
    27th. Do you know how soon the 27th is? Do you know how many times I've
    done my program since before Christmas? Once!

    I stayed after LTS yesterday and ran it once. It actually wasn't that
    bad. My backspin was a little week (still got 3-4 revolutions, but I've
    been getting 8 out of the program). It comes right after the salchow, and
    I think there must be nerves of doing it in the program. But I didn't
    cheat either of my toe loops. It is tough to say how the loop went, since
    I have to turn my music on myself, I rush to get to the loop, which is my
    first element. However, the "reskate" loop and backspin were both good,
    even though I was huffing and puffing.

    Due to Carson's school schedule, my lessons have moved from Thursday public
    to Wednesday club ice. This is good and bad. The bad: probably more
    skaters (the public is pretty scarce) and I have to pay. The good: These
    skaters understand right of way (sort of) and all know how to stop, and it
    is only $4. I feel bad though, because Carson isn't a club coach he has
    to register as one (he is a USFS coach, so he can put me out at tests). I
    am not sure if I'll end up paying that expense for him.

    I always hate the whole billing thing- I mean, between Kevin and I, we
    make a good amount of money. Carson is a student, he really doesn't. BUT
    he charges more than my previous coaches have, and really- it's a lot of
    money, and I'm a big cheapskate- but I feel like it is such a push/pull.
    I don't like for him to be at tests/competitions because I don't want to
    have to pay for them. He feels like he should be there, because that is
    what coaches do. I don't want him to be there if he isn't getting paid,
    but circle back around to: but I don't want to pay!

    It's only $60 for him to be a club coach, so I can pay it (the reason I'd
    pay it is that I'm his only student skating on club ice, he is only joining
    this club because of me, but not really, because it is his schedule that
    doesn't allow any other lesson time.) I don't know. I'll wait to see what
    he says.

    Oh- when I got the email for lesson times, it was Tuesday after LTS (I
    don't like to do two lessons in one day), the time I took, or Friday
    evening. I noticed Saturday morning was missing :) Guess he is willing to
    give up his "getting ready to go out" time, but not his "sleeping in, cause
    I went out" time :) I didn't think Friday sounded good (I'm dead tired
    on Fridays) but apparently his other skater is doing Friday evening
    lessons. What college guy wants to do lessons Friday night at 7:00 Poor
    Wednesday, January 11th, 2012
    8:41 am
    A little poll:
    You are the skating director. A 7th grade girl returns to LTS after
    quitting in 3rd grade. In 3rd grade she had just completed Basic 7. Your
    levels are all mixed ages, but your program does tend to promote easily,
    not requiring kids to retake levels for mastery. What level do you put her

    A) Basic 7 - she probably needs a refresher
    B) Basic 8 - she has passed Basic 7
    C) Freestyle 1 - she is too old for basic skills
    D) Another specific level.
    E) I would evaluate her skating and place her in the appropriate level,
    which means she may need to repeat a level she already took.

    Did you choose E? I would have chosen E.

    For our rink, the correct answer is D. And the other level is "Freestyle
    4". I'm thinking no one chose freestyle 4

    And yet, that is the decision our skating director came to. (My guess is
    the parents said "we want lessons at 6:15" and this was the best option
    because Burton's all level class is very full, Sergei only teaches his own
    students, and Freestyle 4 only has 2 of us. The skating director probably
    should have put her into our class, but handed the instructor Basic 7
    papers for her, maybe even lower...)
    Wednesday, January 4th, 2012
    11:03 am
    Happy New Year!

    I have only one skating resolution:
    Take the Bronze Freeskate test.

    You'll notice I didn't say pass. At this point, I don't care. I have
    prepared for this test THREE times and gotten injured right before I
    took it every time. All I want this year is to take the darn thing.
    The test is in March.

    Yesterday, I filled out applications for two different competitions,
    Iowa State Games (february) and my club's local competition (march).
    I am in BIG trouble. Do you know how SOON February is? And, uh, I
    didn't skate at all over the holiday break- time just flew away from
    me. So now my program needs major cleaning, my backspin needs
    crossing, my sit spin sitting, and my loop jumping. I'm only entering
    freeskate, and just doing my test program- not trying to maximize for
    the level. No point anyway, since the level is "adult". If the Gold
    skater comes, she'll have her program that is a minute longer than all
    the rest of us, and has an axel and a camel. Yeah- a pre-bronze
    skater can compete against that! Though I feel most badly for the
    no-test adult. Why bother calling it a competition? I'd rather have
    a critique than a 3rd/4th place ribbon that means nothing since it
    wasn't against people my actual level.

    Yesterday was first LTS of the year and Carlos taught since Carson is
    still on vacation. We did the freeskate 4 spiral sequence, and I hate
    it. My right leg skating spirals are decent- above my hip, but not
    like they used to be- but I can't do that mohawk going fast, so I ruin
    the flow of the move. On the other side, I can barely get above my
    knee, but of course, that mohawk is golden... My hips are KILLING me
    today. Carlos doesn't seem to care that I have bad hips (or bad
    knees). I almost told him to stop pushing my chin up though... one
    more second and my neck wasn't going to be able to take it...

    After 20 minutes of spirals we did 10 minutes of sit spins. My knees
    cannot handle 10 straight minutes, and the right one is really upset
    with me today... Carlos uses a different entry to help me stop doing
    the down-up-down I use in my normal entrance (unless you have a great
    sit spin, the going up to come down just doesn't look good). He
    basically uses a lunge position to enter, with the body leaning
    forward. I don't center as well (likely because I'm not used to it)
    but it does make me go lower. Problem is, I then lack the strength to
    get back up again- I don't go lower for a reason! My knees can't
    handle it. After about 5 revolutions I can hear my knees saying "uh,
    Jessi, what are we doing down here? Do you have a plan for what comes
    next? Because the quad is saying 'we aren't getting up' but the hip is
    saying 'Don't you dare fall' " It was nice to have someone tell me
    I'm getting lower, but it really hurt.

    I did a few backspins for kicks. Well, my leg is not miraculously
    crossing :( I hoped if I just thought really hard about it on the
    drive down to Austin it would fix itself. But I think the spin is
    fine for the test. It is really just the loop holding me back, I
    Tuesday, November 29th, 2011
    7:08 pm
    Knee progress...
    So, I tried jumping today. After a week off, it doesn't hurt to jump (or
    to land, which was really the problem), however, now that I am off the ice
    I'm in quite a bit of pain. I think on Thursday (if PT doesn't aggrevate
    it further, which it often does) I will tell Carson he gets 15 jumps
    (including 4 in program), so he can pick which ones he wants.

    We started group lessons just doing swizzles to landing position, and then
    pivoting. My pivot is getting pretty good. It also made me realize better
    how my foot needs to pick for combination jumps (the point of the
    exercise). I'm still doing a slow-mo toe loop, but to me, that's better
    than a cheated one. My waltz jump toe loop is okay, but my salchow toe
    loop is pretty good if I do say so myself :) Too bad it's not a choose of
    the combo on the bronze test. That's stupid. In theory, they should be
    equally difficult. Carson was kind of surprised I did the salchow-toe
    loop, but really- it's all the same isn't it ? The idea is to jump from
    the landing position. As long as you have a strong landing position (which
    I do on my first three jumps, waltz, toe, sal) what's the difference?

    Then we did spins on our own (the 15 minute lesson thing, since he teaches
    two classes at once). My backspins are spinning really well, very
    centered, correct edge. I just can't cross the darn foot. At this point,
    I'm practicing some of them stork legged. For the test what is important
    is that I decide right away if I can cross or not- whatever position I'm
    in, I need to GET THERE. I don't want to have to do 10 revolutions because
    it takes me 7 to get into position (pretty common, since I try and try to
    cross it, and then give up). Carson also asked us to work on change foot
    spins, and I'm not getting near enough power in the change. I can do a
    weeny one like I did years ago in my ISI competition (however, 6 months ago
    I couldn't -so it i a step in the right direction). To get the push right
    I basically have to cross front, and I don't do that at all.

    I'm not skating in the Christmas show (next weekend). The club president
    told me just do a program without jumps, but I would have to learn one, and
    there just isn't enough time. I could probably skate like a weeny to my
    current program, since jumping doesn't really hurt, but it would be really
    unpolished. Our show is already painful to watch (way too many low level
    skaters, each doing multiple solos sometimes) I don't need to add to that.

    Test session is March 3. Even if I have to ask my doctor for cortisone
    shots, I am taking this test.
    Friday, November 11th, 2011
    9:08 am
    Good News/Bad News
    I haven't posted in awhile. This is for 2 reasons
    1) I'm stuck in a rut, so I don't have anything interesting to say about my
    skating. Maybe I should try to write content about skating in general. I
    like blogs like that, but I also like reading practice reports...
    2) I've been really busy with school and haven't really had time.

    So let's do today in terms of good news/bad news.

    *Good news*: I found out that I won't lose my lesson time to hockey. The
    schedule is printed to include public ice until 5:30 on Thursday through
    December. (Though I suppose they could just change it...)
    *Bad news:* The ice SUCKS. Since my lesson is the LAST 30 minutes of public
    ice, it hasn't been zammed in ages. I really really hate bad ice. I am an
    ice snob. I will not skate on bad ice. (For example, last night, I just
    point blank refused to try 8-step mohawk. I did half the pattern and told
    Carson it just wasn't going to happen. For 8-step, I think he understood...)

    *Good news*: We changed the footwork in my program. I like it SO much
    better now. Oddly enough, despite Carson wanting to focus on power, for the
    footwork he is telling me NOT to push. Don't cover the ice, just have
    tight, quick steps (apparently I wide step, and it looks clunky, he wants
    my feet close together- perfect for stepping on your own blades...)
    *Bad news:* I'm incapable of crossing my left arm in front. Apparently the
    crossover into my toe steps he wants me to do like a spin wind up. (Carson:
    "I don't understand why this is hard- this is what you do into the entrance
    of every spin. Oh wait, it's what I do. You do the other one, never mind.")
    I don't understand why it is hard, it is just putting my arm in front of me
    when my feet cross, but it is SO ackward. What a silly thing to practice.

    *Bad news*: I did possibly the worst program of my life yesterday. I
    missed EVERY element. A few because I was in immediate danger of being
    attacked by two public skaters (who had demonstrated that they didn't know
    how to stop) racing each other across the center of the ice, but my sit
    spin I just totally missed. My sit spin has become one of my strongest
    elements if you ignore how high my butt is... Just no good.
    *Good news*: After those guys left the ice and the last 3 minutes of public
    skate I re-ran the program (woo- double run through from no stamina girl!)
    and it went MUCH better. My sit spin was fantastic, good snap, nice speed,
    lots of revolutions. My footwork went very well, the change is definetly
    good. The only thing I missed this time was my salchow, which I tried to
    enter like a waltz jump. The entrances are similar enough I should have
    been able to save it, but I got confused as to why I was stepping forward
    rather than 3-turning and just didn't do the jump.

    *Good news*: I'm working on an attitude spin. And I'm actually spinning
    for a good 5-8 revolutions, centered.
    *Bad news*: Spinning slower than molasses runs, but spinning. It also turns
    into a bit of a "kick the butt" spin at the midway point.

    *Good news: *I found out from the other Bronze skater in the area that she
    can't cross her foot on the backspin. It is not required for the test.
    *Bad news:* Carson says there is no way he'll let me test if I can't
    cross. However, for me personally that means I need to be able to cross in
    practice. If on the warm up for the test it isn't happening, it's nice to
    know I can just spin. Because with my foot by my ankle, I got this one!
    So really the only problem now is that I'm landing my "loop" two footed.

    *Bad news*: My knees are killing me. I couldn't jump on Tuesday at all. I
    can't walk up or down stairs. I can't even move the comforter on my bed
    without crying in pain (I kick the sheets around at night, including to let
    the dog get out of the bed, because she's too stupid to figure it out on
    her own.)
    *Good news*: They were doing A LOT better yesterday. I still don't want to
    work on jumps (and won't tomorrow) but I did them in my program, and it
    wasn't bad. It did hurt more when I got home than when I left for the
    lesson though.
    Monday, October 24th, 2011
    3:28 pm
    Just a small update
    I haven't posted in a long time, mostly because I'm stuck in a rut. Is it
    really that interesting to hear that my loop still sucks and I can't cross
    my foot on the backspin?

    So here is an update:

    Another session of LTS started and I am not happy with how they are handling
    Tuesday. "Power" (which is back to mid-freestyle) and Axel Plus have been
    combined. Obviously, this ain't gonna work. So the coach is going to do 15
    minutes of each class. So I'm getting 15 minutes for a 30 minute class. If
    LTS wasn't so heavily discounted (30% off since I take 2 classes, am in the
    club, and always pay early) and it comes with my freestyle ice for the week
    (1 practice session per class), it is still a really good deal, but I just
    don't think that is right.

    Another adult joined the power class on my urging. She is 73 and working on
    freestyle 1 or 2. I thought the power class would be fun for her, because
    you can go at your own pace. But now it doesn't look like we'll be doing
    power anymore. She also takes the Sat freestyle class.

    Private lessons update: We tried a new thing for backspins. Starting with my
    right toe pick in the ice, I push onto my left foot and immediatly cross the
    foot and put the arms to the chest. At first I got like a quarter of a
    revolution, but now I'm getting one. This isn't going to build up to the
    spin (because the entrance won't do) but I'm just supposed to get into that
    position. It showed some improvement to the actual spin. More than anything,
    I think it is my arms that are messing me up. I hold them out like in
    pirouettes, and it just pulls the leg (which doesn't cross in pirouettes)
    trying to pull them in is just impossible, and often I end up holding them
    in front of my face like a boxer guarding from a punch.

    I got the skating safe hip pad, and my pants hold it in place nicely. I
    still haven't fallen, but feel like I am trying to be more aggressive on
    loops. It only adds a bit of thickness to my already thick thighs, so unlike
    my other pads I tried, I will likely just wear this one full time.
    Saturday freestyle update: Toe loop is getting a lot better. I did quite a
    few good ones. They are slow, but with a full pivot. Once again, it is my
    arms that are ruining it for me, I have to keep my left shoulder from
    dropping. If I make sure to pivot until I can see the side wall, it works
    out to be a good toe loop.

    In other news: Did you watch Skate America? I shelled out for IceNetwork but
    didn't get to watch all of it :( Totally worth the money though. And YAY
    Alissa! I need to get those used skates on the market while her signature
    is valueable -haha
    Saturday, September 24th, 2011
    6:35 pm
    Week in Review: Other than Today...
    Thursday: So Thursday I had my lesson. I skated for about 15 minutes
    before it and was just not feeling it. I just couldn't decide anything to
    work on that was making me happy. This didn't bode well. But surprisingly
    I had a good lesson. I was a little worried I'd end up being a rotating
    guillotine while doing camel spin, because the public skaters kept edging
    into my space no matter where I moved (not a crowded public session, like 5
    kids on the entire ice). My camel needs a lot of work. Honestly, I'm not
    sure why we are even doing them... Backspin was the same frustration as
    usual. So was loop (what is funny about loop is he always tells me to have
    a good tight position like my backspin. I always want to reply and say
    "surely not like MY backspin..."). Toe loop is also not going well, still.
    I can't get my weight onto the toe pick. At the end of the lesson we did
    loop in the harness, and eh. Even being lifted, I don't have the jump in me
    on my left leg (I can't do one foot hops off the ice. This is clearly YEARS
    away.) So he had me focus on pointing my toes in the air and landing on the
    toe pick. Well, I think the reason I don't point my toes is I'm not jumping
    high enough that the difference of the length of my foot can be
    accomodated. It has to stay flat because I only have like a quarter inch of
    jump. Anyhow- he thought I made good progress in the harness. I fell once
    and really slammed into my knee. I suppose this would have been a
    head-wacking fall out of the harness, so the harness did it's job, but I
    would have never jumped like that without the harness, so I'm annoyed at how
    bad my knee hurts. I do like the harness though. I have a little more
    guts to try the jumps.

    Wed: I don't remember this practice. I'm guessing that my scratch spins
    were awesome, and everything else sucked. That pretty much sums up my

    Tues: Well, I'm definetly the only one in my power class now, which means we
    aren't doing power anymore (kinda sucks with just one person), but edges.
    Working on circle 8s and my front ones are pretty good. (we also use too
    small of a circle in the class- red dot to outside of hockey circle. My
    figure has to be 15 ft which is center rink red dot to red dot -exactly-
    being 5 ft tall is good for something). I can actually do them pretty well
    on the big circle too. The back ones are still comically bad. So bad that
    I can barely even figure out how the push works for the inside edge.
    (Picking up the skating foot, C-cutting with the other and then shifting to
    the lifted foot...) Half the time I end up on the outside edge wondering
    what happened. The edge isn't exactly pretty when I do get onto it, and it
    certainly doesn't go around a full circle (neither does the outside, but it
    is slightly better.)

    Our club has an exhibition this weekend, and the president said I could
    skate if I wanted to (they have 10 and can take 12) but it was advertised
    for skaters getting ready for tests/competitions, so I don't really want to
    do it. Plus my freeskate is in no state to be performed with the new
    layout, and I haven't practice I Feel Pretty for awhile (though I bet I
    could improv it just fine...)

    In other news: 1 self-assessment down, 1 to go. I hate week 4 of class.
    Week 8 is even worse, since it ends on Friday (usually we get until
    Sunday.) After this session (currently on week 4), I'm halfway to my
    Master's degree.
    4:47 pm
    Week in Review: Saturday
    Skating is making me much happier than the last time I posted. Although it
    isn't really making my knees or hip happy, but that is another issue.

    Saturday: I skated Freestyle for 30 minutes and then did two LTS classes (I
    have TONS of make ups to do). I was pretty lethargic on freestyle ice. The
    adults had a discussion before skating about fear of falling (both of the
    adults I was talking with are MUCH better than me- one is Gold, the other is
    a come back from about Juvenile level as a kid. They both do occasional
    doubles, so not scaredy cat adults) and we discussed the ice halo and
    different hip pads. (I'm seriously considering an ice halo. why are they
    a)so expensive and b)so goofy looking?) Anyhow- once on the ice, I was just
    tired. I'm always tired, but it is even tougher to skate tired. I did some
    AWESOME scratch spins (they have been amazing lately) and then some -meh-
    jumps. While running his program, one of the skaters (intermediate? he
    might be juvenile) had a really bad fall on a spin. I didn't see how he
    fell, but I thought it was the final spin in his program, because he just
    stayed laying down. But then his music didn't end. I skated by and asked
    if he was okay, but he just glared at me. Then someone else skated by and
    did the same. Then his coach finally came out to check on him. This kid
    isn't a cry baby- so if the coach knew the program wasn't ending and he was
    just being a drama queen, his response time was WAY too long. Anyway- kid
    is fine, got off the ice for 20 minutes, but came back for LTS. He was
    clutching his back a lot though, so I bet he is in pain.

    Anyhow- the point: the ice was jinxed for spins. I think I saw more people
    fall on spins during freestyle than I did for jumps! And what does this
    have to do with me? Well, during LTS, I did a backspin: my foot actually
    got crossed, I was thinking "woo" and next thing I know, I'm sitting on the
    ice. It wasn't a bad fall at all, but I did hit my hip. Carson skated over
    and looked at me and said "why are you sitting down?" I said "I fell!" (I
    honestly wouldn't be surprised if he really thought I just sat down. In a
    year of lessons I've fallen twice.) So I got up, shook my legs out a bit-
    did a scratch spin to get the nerves to go away and got back to backspins.
    Like I said: it was NOT a bad fall. Carson comes over to watch my backspin
    and my legs started shaking like crazy. They shook for like 15 minutes. If
    I know it isn't a bad fall, why won't my body agree with me? I almost
    crossed a few other backspins, but it was difficult to control my legs at
    all with the shaking.

    The rest of LTS was just basic spins, circle 8s and then jumps. Jumps were
    tough. Because it was the make up class, it was a slightly different ice
    set up than I am used to (the other woman in the class is 71!! She isn't
    doing big jumps, but she is definitely trying- very awesome. She skates
    because her daughter is a Special Olympic skater and they do duets
    together. The daughter also does solos, and has the most amazing shoot the
    duck!) Anyhow, we did waltz jumps, which was fine, but then I got told to
    do waltz- side toe hop- salchow. Okay, I can do that. Um, but where? The
    other woman was skating on the left of the ice, Axel plus was landing jumps
    to the right. That wouldn't be a problem, but they were alternating set ups
    so one would be doing an entrance, the other landing, and then switch.
    There was never free space that I could come in from the other direction. I
    will never understand how I can find space on a freestyle session of 20, but
    can't when 3 people are doing LTS. I guess on freestyle it isn't like a
    constant plane landing pattern, everyone is going their own way.

    Anyhow- between the fall (hip) and over an hour of skating (knees) I'm in
    pain today!
    Tuesday, September 20th, 2011
    9:52 am
    I never updated last week. For one reason: frustration. I am just not having
    a happy time skating right now. (In Kevin's words: You just got new skates,
    you aren't allowed to quit.)

    It isn't the skates, it is me. And I don't want to quit. I like skating.

    I think the problem is I fell out of my routine. We went to Texas from the
    3rd-10th and in that time I missed 2 group lessons, 1 power class, 1 private
    lesson, and 2 practice sessions. That's a lot of skating. Then I had a
    sewing class this Saturday, another practice and group lesson missed. No
    wonder nothing is working, I'm not skating!

    I'm especially struggling with my struggle to backspin. I do not understand
    why my foot will not cross. (It appears to be lack of knee bend and poor arm
    placement. On Wednesday, I did a couple well.) And my toe loop which I spent
    a year fixing is gone again.

    And I have no goal. I was shoot for nationals, and to pass Bronze, but now
    that is gone. I will probably take the Bronze test if there is a test
    session around here, but I don't deserve to pass it. I've had a years long
    battle with the loop (3 now? 4?). I just don't know if I have a third single
    jump in me. I wish Carson would let me work on flips without getting loop
    first. I don't want to just try them on my own because I have enough bad
    habits to fix. I can't pass Silver moves, the spirals are not possible for
    me. So what am I aiming for?

    This summer I had the competition to aspire to, but I don't have one now.
    I'll skate in the Christmas show, so I need to get my program a bit cleaner.
    (Carson told me I looked lethargic. Wonderful...)

    I just want to enjoy skating again like I did when I was in Basic 6.
    Friday, September 2nd, 2011
    10:31 am
    Week in Skating
    Did I post after Tuesday? I meant to but now I don't remember. You'd think I
    could just look, but I post by email and would have to wait until this
    afternoon to actually be able to open up my journal...

    Let's start with Tuesday:

    Power class was good. Tuesday LTS has none of the ice war issues that Sat
    does. The areas are assigned, and everyone stays in them. Occasionally a
    group will do laps, but it is never a problem, they just skate on by. The
    only problem I did have was half my fault, half not (well, probably all my
    fault, I should have been looking). At the end of class, as always, we do
    hockey lines. Carson now has us do lines where we skate forward to the line,
    and then back to the wall. I like these because I rock at skating backwards
    and can keep up with C.- she skates much better fwd than I do, but I catch
    her going bwd. Anyhow- there were 3 other classes on the ice- Sandy's,
    Sergei's and Burton's. I could see them all in front of me, so knowing where
    everyone on the ice was, I didn't need to look backwards while skating.
    Turns out an adult who takes a lesson on cheap skate had got on the ice and
    was doing slow laps while listening to an ipod, just lazing around in her
    own world to warm up. I nearly flew into her. Thankfully, although I wasn't
    really watching behind me, I was kind of peaking, so I managed to slam on
    the breaks before we collided. So yeah, it was my fault I wasn't looking,
    but if you aren't in LTS, you aren't supposed to be on the ice.

    Wednesday is no longer a lesson day, just independent practice. I skated for
    45 minutes. Did my program runthrough and I'm still ending early- we need to
    add to it. Especially if he wants me to skate faster, because right now I'm
    spending a good amount of time creeping from here to there, since I know I
    have the time. Backspins are still making me mad. Why can't I cross my leg?

    On both Tuesday and Wednesday I had a HORRIBLE headache at work, enough that
    I wanted to go home sick. But I couldn't- because really all I need was a
    few hour nap to make the headache go away, but if I leave work I can't very
    well show up to skating. At a private rink I might get away with it- but at
    the mall? No way, "too sick to work, but not too sick to play?" :( Thing is,
    it's really more of a "I feel better now". I was wondering why I always seem
    to feel sick on skating days, but I realized, that skating 3 weekdays, well,
    that's just the majority of days.

    Last night was my first lesson. It was public ice, but the ice was good and
    it wasn't crowded. We did have one little bug girl- you know the kind that
    is attracted to you like a moth to a flame? At one point she was just
    standing like a foot away from us and Carson even said "Go skate sweetie"
    and she just stared. Doing loops she just kept getting closer and closer, so
    we'd move, and then closer and closer. It was pretty funny, but a little
    annoying. The ice was empty enough that it was easy to move. Did a program
    run through and Carson said I'm skating way too slow. Also worked on spins
    and I got complimented for being more aggressive on my fwd and sit spins-
    they are going a lot faster now, and are staying pretty centered. Camel got
    complimented, but my upper body is way too high. I think it was more a "its
    getting better" one. Worked a bit on crossing my foot on backspin. Now I
    tend to cross it over, then pull it back to the wrong side- WTH! Toe loop is
    gone, and I'm pissed. I fixed that! Come back!
    Monday, August 29th, 2011
    8:00 pm
    Not going to nationals...

    Well, two reasons 1) It just isn't realistic and 2) I blew the budget.

    Number 2 is more fun, so let's start there. If you read my other blog, you
    already know this, but I got a Bernina sewing machine! An Aurora 430. I can
    no longer afford to go to Nationals next year, as in addition to time off
    work, hotels, gas, entry expenses, etc, I like would also be traveling to
    multiple test sessions (likely with hotel costs) just to pass the test (see
    reason #1). It's too much money after such a large purchase. I know you
    are all thinking "but that's in April!", so I'll just say, if you don't know
    anything about sewing machines, well, it made my skates look inexpensive.

    And #1: I'm just not bronze level yet. Multiple test sessions? That's
    because we don't think I'm going to pass, and I need to find the judges that
    passed another skater in the area... I will start competing locally bronze,
    as I'm better than many PB around here, and it's not fair to the no-test
    skaters who have to skate PB anyway. But the fact is, to pass the test, you
    need 3 single jumps. I do not have 3 single jumps. My loop is NOT a loop.
    It is a loop entry, a teeny hop, and then full rotation on the landing
    (well,what I didn't pre-rotate on the entry). No loop. Maybe I'd find a
    judge who would pass me on the strength of everything else, but I'd have to
    expect to get a few retries. I just don't want to pay for that right now
    (back to #2). I had no problem getting to nationals and taking last place,
    but it makes more sense for me to be realistic and not get there yet. It
    will be back in Chicago eventually, I'm sure. Maybe then I'll have had a
    loop long enough to pass the test... (once I do that, it's gone. NEVER in
    11:34 am
    Saturday skating
    Oh man, I was tired on Saturday- we had people over Friday night and I
    stayed up late, and then I didn't sleep well either.

    That said, I skated fairly well. I ran my program and if it didn't have a
    loop in it, it would be fantastic. Sadly, it has a loop in it. Sure wish
    I could do one :)

    Our class went okay but the passive agressive ice territory battle raged
    on. First, the class: H. wasn't there on Saturday either, just C. I hope
    she comes back. Maybe she just didn't sign up since this session started at
    the same time as school, so kids don't have their schedules set yet. We
    started with moves: Power 3 turns. I passed these AGES ago, which means I
    stopped working on them. Man that was bad. They are not what they used to
    be. I should go back and work on all my old moves, because man, use it or
    lose it. Then we did the FS3 spiral sequence. On one side: nice spirals, on
    the other side: nice mohawks. Sure would be nice for all the good to be on
    one side, so I could at least do it the full way through, I'm not asking for
    perfection on both sides :) Then we moved onto spins: started with scratch
    spins (FS4 has a change foot, and Carson had never seen C.'s scratch- turns
    out we'll have to "fix" that first...) My scratch spin was pretty decent.
    I'm doing it from a wind up again, and it isn't as good as from a 3-turn. I
    need to tell myself the entry is the EXACT SAME regardless of which motion
    you do into it, but for some reason it doesn't work that way. My sit spin
    got compliments- it's going fast and centered, still not very low though.
    Oh, and we did shoot the ducks: hahahaha! Backspin is frustrating as
    always, I'm crossing more often (turned out) but if I'm turned in like I'm
    supposed to be, my leg goes to stork position :( Last, we did loops and
    waltz-jump loop combos. This is what is keeping us from passing FS3 (or is
    it 4? I don't remember). I'm okay with it. I've been in this level for
    over 3 years I think. I need the loop, could care less about the combo, but
    I work on it.

    So ice wars: These are the classes right now: 2 in FS3, 2 in axel plus, I4
    (I think, I counted while they were moving) in "Specialty" (which just means
    mixed level). Specialty started with the coach breaking them into 2 groups
    (if these kids would be willing to take from other instructors, there could
    just be two classes!) one group starts stroking, then the other does
    alternating crossovers. This means, that the other two classes get squeezed
    to the center of the rink, because the speed differences are so great they
    are all over the rink. No big deal, just stay in the middle.

    Then they switch to mohawks in a straight line down the ice. This takes up
    the most of the left side of the rink, no problem, we move over slightly.
    Then, rather than returning to "their" side of the rink, the class stays and
    uses the circle on "our" side of the rink. The circle we had more or less
    been standing on. Okay fine, we move over to the other circle, axel plus
    goes to the other side of the rink. Then, they leave the circle, and start
    doing choctaws (maybe? Not much was happening, which is why I think that's
    what it was- they are hard, and only a few kids are high freestyle), the
    class expands out to the hockey goal line, we are still on the other circle,
    as they start working on them, their class expands out to the middle of our
    circle. At this point, I tell Carson I'm moving to the middle of the rink
    (which is BARE- axel plus had 3/4+ of the rink, the rest of us squeezed into
    the edge, since Carson wasn't moving our class) but C. stays in the

    I feel like some of this is passive agressive behavior, some of it is just
    complete unawareness, and some of it is the skaters not realizing they are
    in someone else's way either.

    I realize a class of 14 should get more ice than a class of 2- but it
    shouldn't be a class of 14! There are at least 2, possibly 3 other
    instructors that don't have classes during this timeslot because Speciality
    is a giant class. If they were divided by actual levels, rather than "we
    take from this coach" this would be a non-issue! And besides- if that class
    would just pick a spot and claim it (usually they get the center)- the rest
    of us wouldn't have to move to new ice spots constantly. It is SO annoying.

    Also annoying- missing classes due to vacation. I can't do make ups because,
    well, I take classes both days.

    In other news, I'm not aiming for Adult Nationals this year anymore. I'll
    post later why.
    Wednesday, August 24th, 2011
    8:00 am
    A new session of LTS just started. Apparently in addition to the 10% off you
    get for early registration, you get 10% off for taking multiple classes, and
    10% off for being in the club (and they just add the discounts so it is 30%
    off, not taking each discount out of the amount remaining). LTS just got
    cheap enough that I really don't have to even consider teaching, which is
    nice, cause it's not worth it. Now that I practice 3 days a week, I'll have
    to pay for some ice time (because each class only gets 1 skating pass a
    week) if I can't bum guest passes from other people (you get 3 per class).
    But if we can trade guest passes, that could work out to a little less ice
    time to pay for. I don't really get why the rink gives the club discounts-
    it seems like they are pretty much guaranteed club skaters will take group
    freestyle (at least at our rink) so it's just giving money away... Not going
    to complain either. \

    So power class: H. didn't come back :( But C., from Saturday joined the
    class. I hope her parents are okay with power (she takes Sat freestyle too)
    because it really is good for us as skaters, but since it is technically a
    freestyle class, if they complain, I think it will have to go back to
    freestyle with 3 minutes of hockey lines at the end.

    Carson doesn't have a 5:45 class, so he came off ice and had us do jumps and
    stuff for 20 minutes before LTS. Iowa hockey was having tryouts and was
    looking like us like we were crazy while we were running grapevines and
    stuff. Who are they kidding? They do that too!

    C. has never done a power class before, and has weak basics, so I was a
    speed demon on crossover exercises yesterday. I told Carson that in 3 weeks
    she'll be beating me. So crossover exercises were like normal, but then he
    also added in a spiral exercise- spiral flat from the wall to about the red
    dot, go on an outside edge around the red dot, and then come back to the
    wall on a flat. It is SO hard to get back onto that flat! Really takes a lot
    of control. Also- my arms are opposite of everything they are supposed to
    be. I think I hold them strong, because they aren't flailing, but they
    aren't "checked".

    After that we started hockey lines. In between hockey lines and wall sits we
    did swizzles down the rink, and then back to the wall, backwards. I kick ass
    at swizzles. I was almost a lap ahead of C. (and always beat H. at them
    too). For the last hockey line we did forward skating to the line and then
    backwards skating back to the wall. Apparently I also kick ass at backward
    wiggles. Must be all those years of teaching snowplow sam- haha. I liked
    that better, because I stop stronger going backwards (weird) and also
    because I don't worry about toe picking when skating really fast backwards
    (normal). Carson said "it's a good way for you to learn to stop and change
    directions quickly. Of course, that doesn't really help with figure
    skating." But I guess if I ever switch to hockey, I'm set!

    You know what I hate: backward stroking when the rink is crowded. I much
    prefer alternating backward crossovers, because the curve means I can see
    better where people are. Backwards stroking is really difficult to tell who
    is behind me. Is this a "Jessi can't turn her head all the way because of
    the fusion" or do other people have a tough time telling who is behind them
    when they are skating in straightlines?

    Also- I hate backwards chasses.
    Thursday, August 18th, 2011
    11:01 am
    Schedule Change
    My lesson time is moving AGAIN. Carson starts school this week, so no more
    Wednesday lessons. We are moving to 5:00 on Thursdays. It is a public
    session, so I have to pray that 1) hockey doesn't buy it (the rink doesn't
    think hockey will start until 6, so we should be good, 2) the ice doesn't
    suck (I hate crap ice), 3) it's not insanely crowded (it shouldn't be until

    Honestly I have to think I'm lucky with this move. Another choice was
    Thursday at 6:00 a.m. (Carson said he's a college student, he is done with
    morning skating!) That would have meant me getting on the ice, taking a 30
    minute lesson and immediately leaving to get home and shower and leave for
    work by 7:15. The other choice was Saturday morning freestyle, like I used
    to do. That would be 8 or 8:30, not too early, but I'd have to cut my LTS
    class. I just see no point in taking two lessons in the same day, I don't
    get any benefits from it.

    Carson tells me this is a really good move- boosting my skating to 4 days a
    week now (30 minutes power Tuesday, 1 hour practice Wed, 30 minute lesson/30
    minute practice on Thursday, 1 hour practice/30 minute lesson on Saturday).
    I'm worried what my knees are going to think about this, but so far so good.

    I found out an Iowa club is having a test session in November- but it's all
    the way across the state. I'm still looking for other options- maybe
    Illinois or Wisconsin in late September? I just don't know if it's a good
    idea. My loops SUCKS. My sit spins were getting really low, but I made the
    mistake of taping it- NOT low. So sad.

    Also, my toe loops are GONE. So cheated. Stupid new blades- I had them great
    before I switched. I can't believe it. I'm so mad.

    Making good progress on camels, but my upper body is just way too high, and
    just like sit spins I fall too far inside. I think this might be me
    subconsciously protecting myself from falling. I don't think about falling
    when I spin, but if I'm really pushing my body to the side it is supposed to
    be, a fall would take me over the outside, with no way to catch it. When I
    fall inside, I just put my leg down. Still, I think Carson is pleased with
    the progress- I haven't hit a limit there yet.

    Backspin is still frustrating as anything. I am spinning GREAT. I mean
    really great spins. But my leg WILL NOT cross. If I turn my leg out, I can
    cross over, so Carson said for now I should just do that. We need to get
    good crossed backspins, and then later we can get the leg to stop turning
    Practice before my lesson was okay. It's hard coming straight from work,
    because even if I pack an apple to eat I am famished. My lesson is fine,
    because I'm doing what I'm told, but self-directed practice is just hard.
    Some little snowplow kid got sent out on the ice (the rink should have told
    him no) and Carson nearly killed him during his lesson (he takes a lesson
    before he teaches mine- sweaty gross coach...)- he was doing backspins into
    loops, and thankfully he saw the kid and was able to stop spinning, because
    like a fly to a bug zapper the kid was going straight for him. Since he was
    doing loops- his free leg was held out, waiting to pull in at the jump- it
    just would have been a swinging guillotine if he hadn't seen the kid in the
    blur. I'm scared to skate on some of these freestyle sessions- I cannot
    imagine what the kid's Mom was thinking! Later when the kid started crying
    and tried to get off the ice, the Mom put him back on, and crawling on the
    ice pushed him away from the door to make him do wiggles. At this point,
    Burton finally said something, they both got off the ice, and then once
    Burton turned away the Mom shoved the kid back on the ice (but at least she
    stayed off). A rink with rules would be nice (although that means I probably
    wouldn't be able to do my lessons on publics...)

    I also decided on a club to join. I am going to join the Desert Ice Skating
    Club of Arizona. I decided Hawkeye's collegiate membership was just way too
    expensive, especially since it is paid year to year, and doesn't guarantee
    me there are no fee increases. I don't like being held hostage to fee
    increases! (And you know rates WILL go up over 4 years). I was just going
    to join as an individual member. But a friend pointed out I could save $70
    by joining her club. Since I don't skate qualifying, being in another
    section isn't a problem, my coach is fine with it- and for me, it's just
    about the money. I am a little nervous the club will vote sometime in the
    4-years to require volunteer hours or a pay-out, but really, ANY club could
    do that to me. (It does make me wonder if I should just pay the extra $70
    to go individual...I mean, I save $70 if they don't do that, but if they do
    it can be like $150 a year...darn, I thought I had a decision made...)
    So now I have a tie to all the sections! I live in Iowa, am going to
    represent a club in Arizona, and get the collegiate rate because I go to a
    school in Massachusetts! (Also, despite some club officials around here
    telling me they aren't sure if "part time" students can have the rate
    -according to USFS member services, they can- I'm not a part time student.
    I take 9 hours a semester as a grad student, that's full time! Even if I
    also have a full time job!)
    Thursday, August 11th, 2011
    8:28 am
    Back in the Game...
    So yesterday during my lesson we rechoreographed my program. It now
    contains all the elements I need for my Bronze Freeskate. Now I just need
    to be able to do it! Carson encouraged me to sign up for any test sessions
    I can, and know that I might get a retry. I think that is okay- because I
    know if I were to take Prelim, these elements are not good enough. But they
    are just as good as the bronze skaters in the area, one who passed just last
    December- I just have to find that judge! Carson wants to showcase a lot
    more power in the program, and more connecting steps in hopes that a
    powerful program with good artistry will get a crappy loop overlooked.

    Does anyone know if the judges expect my foot to be crossed in the
    backspin? I have a rockin' backspin- up to 10 revolutions and well centered
    without my foot crossed, but I can rarely get the darn thing over. I'm
    working on it.

    So now I just have one problem: there are no freaking test sessions
    scheduled. Quad Cities just had one. Hawkeye only has one in the Spring.
    Eastern Iowa usually has one late fall, but I have to pass by December so
    late fall is really late, I'd like to do a test before then so I have chance
    to do a retake (and hopefully it won't be like when I did my bronze moves:
    EIFSC and DMFSC scheduled their tests 22 days apart...thankfully I didn't
    need the retake). Des Moines doesn't have a calendar up yet. So now I'm
    trying to figure out what other options are: Is there an Illinois club
    closer than Chicago? How far away is Ames? I am so jealous of people whose
    clubs have regular test sessions.

    Of course, right now I'm not even a member of a club. I kind of want to
    join Hawkeye, but committing myself to 4 years of unknown fees kind of
    stresses me out, so I think I'll just be individual. Since I won't be
    testing there (Bronze free is my last test until they change silver moves
    again) and don't use their club ice (when they have it) the only benefit is
    reduced show fees. I can either not skate the shows like I've usually done
    or just pay $10 more. But it is cool to be announced as representing a
    club, so I'm kind of sad about that.

    Lesson yesterday went well: First half was rechoreographing program. Second
    half was loops and backspins. I need to do a lot of off ice loops. I can't
    even hop very high on my left foot off ice, no wonder I don't get the toe
    point necessary to take off and land on my toe pick.

    Practice ice before my lesson was insance. I've been spoiled- for 2 weeks in
    a row it has just been 3 of us. Yesterday there were probably 20 skaters of
    an incredible range of levels. There was one almost collision by two lesson
    skaters and a mini-flare up between the coaches that was kind of funny to
    watch. So the coach whose student almost got run into (lower level) pulled
    her to the boards to allow the high level skater to jump through their
    path. The high level skater skates in, then chickens out. Her coach screams
    at her- because the path was cleared just for her, and she didn't do the
    jump. That girl is super nice, but she doesn't watch at all. She nearly
    ran into me later, but I DO watch. Super fast paced sessions like this
    can be good. I have to jump faster, or abort all my attempts (also don't
    start a camel in someone's jump path- that's just rude. Of course, that
    skater IS just rude, even off ice). I often just follow Taylor into jumps-
    as she has speed to command the space, and also jumps CW. I have to enter
    spins fast. There is no staying in place. And that is the bad thing. I
    still have elements, like loop and backspin that need to stay in place. You
    can't practice them on crazy sessions like this. Apparently Cedar Rapids
    ice is down, so that explains some of the crowd, it may calm down a bit in a
    few weeks.

    Power class on Thursday was same as ever. Burton was gone again so I asked
    Carson if instead of a lap of knees to elbows (basically slaloms with your
    elbows touching your knees- so killer calf workout) we could do power pulls
    too, but that was the only change. My arms hurt going to LTS, but the next
    day they killed me, and they still hurt. I am guessing it was tricep dips
    as that is the only different thing, but the pain is below my armpit, which
    is not my tricep... It is the same pain I had a while back and ended up
    having to get a sports massage to fix. That massage was crazy painful, so I
    hope it goes away again. Just like last time, I can barely lift my arms to
    change clothes, but when I'm on the ice, it doesn't hurt at all. So weird.
    Saturday, August 6th, 2011
    10:09 am
    Was that really necessary?
    So Saturday I look forward to LTS. (I used to look forward to Tuesday LTS
    but I really hate power, even if it is good for me.) I didn't used to take
    Sat. because it was just too crowded, but they seperated out the classes, so
    now there is a good one. At 9:15 they have "Specialty" (mixed level
    freestyle) which has 12-20 kids depending on the day, Freestyle 3 (my class,
    there are 3 of us), Adult (1 or 2 beginnger), Axel Plus (1 or 2) and Basic
    7/8 (3 or 4). Today, two of the coaches were gone (but another was there,
    and I don't think she usually teaches Sat, so really, I think only one was
    gone.) The axel plus student and the Basic 7/8 students weren't there. So
    really, everything should have gone like normal. Specialty, freestyle 3,
    and Adult. If anything, there was actually an extra coach.

    But for some reason, specialty and freestyle 3 got combined, a giant herd of
    a class with 3 instructors.

    I didn't stay for LTS. Now I probably could have, and it probably wouldn't
    have been to bad, but I have had bad experiences with huge LTS classes. And
    this one would be MAJOR mixed levels, from like Freestyle 1 (if you are
    being generous- I'm not sure how one of the girls isn't still in basic
    skills) to kids in Juvenile (pretty sure one is intermediate actually- he
    does specialty instead of axel plus due to coach drama, actually lots of
    them do). There is just no way this herd would be a productive class for
    me. With 3 instructors for the 15-20 people who were there, why did they
    not just have our normal class and then 2 instructors for the giant group?
    (The giant group and axel plus were the coaches missing- but there was no
    axel plus student.)

    Let me just say, I'm annoyed.

    Freestyle this morning was decent though. Change foot spin is just not
    happening. Crossing my foot on my backspin isn't either. But other than
    that, things went well.
    Monday, August 1st, 2011
    12:47 pm
    Uh, I don't remember last week
    Oops- I never posted last week! I wish I had fun exciting stories to tell
    like other blogs, but instead, I'll just tell you about my skating again.

    Tuesday- Power class, nothing remarkable. The ISI kids were all at world's
    so the ice was so empty. This is a theme of the week.

    Wed- Skated 30 minutes and had a 30 minute lesson. It was DIVINE. For the
    first 30 minutes it was just me, Taylor, Carson and his coach. Since Carson
    was mostly working on jump technique, he had a side of the ice, and Taylor
    and I used the other side. It was just SO empty. (And the ice was lovely).
    When my lesson came around, Taylor was done- so it was just me and Carson on
    the ice. I felt so badly I wasn't working on a program- what a waste of all
    that ice. I don't really remember the lesson now. I do know my backspin
    still isn't working right. I'm spinning really well, but my foot just WILL
    NOT cross, and when it does, I turn it out, which is apparently wrong.

    Sat- Skated 45 minutes freestyle, there were only 5 or 6 of us. Thank you
    ISI! I did one scratch spin that was LONG, and FAST, and CENTERED! Just
    gorgeous. Carson actually stopped his practice to comment on it. yay me. I
    did a few others that were good, but I wish those amazing ones weren't such
    flukes. Then, I had my LTS. Because two coaches were gone, they shuffled
    instructors around and Taylor taught our group. We started with sit spin,
    and she said it looked pretty good, just need to be lower. Entering for a
    3-turn makes it a lot faster, so that's nice. The other girl in the class
    kept falling, so Taylor was trying to work out what she was doing wrong.
    After awhile I moved to backspin, and again- good rotation, right edge, foot
    won't cross. So annoyed! Finally, we did loop, and Taylor suggested I try to
    get more of the lift from my right knee. It seems to have some effect,
    because I don't clunk down so hard. Finally we did waltz jump loop and it
    wasn't as big of a disaster as I expected (its been a few years). I can't
    fully rotate the loop, but I can do half of one. Why is half-loop not half
    of a loop like half-flip and half-lutz? I can do that!
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