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.

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.

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

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...)

(no subject)

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

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.

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.

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

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.