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Monday, April 28, 2008

The Axel is back...

Skated again today, and again was determined that I would work on the Axel.

When I started with jumps, I did tons of Waltz jumps and semi-attempts at the Axel, i.e. I wanted to attempt the Axel but changed my mind when stepping into the entry. The first real attempt (finally!) was rotated, landed, but collapsed on the butt. My knee just wasn't ready for the landing! The second attempt was landed, on a very low knee and boy, it was all I could do to pull out of it. Popped quite a few after that before finally getting a few more landed.

Another thing I was determined to do today, was to get up from the sit spin. And I did! Just attempted one, though...

Regrettably, my camel spin has disappeared. Come to think of it, I haven't actually worked on the forward camel for eons - I didnt' have that in my last program! The silver lining is that I did a semi-decent back camel today. Just one - the rest just didn't have the right balance.

Anyway, the L4 spiral sequence and the layback variation that I concocted at the beginning of my pregnancy still work! *YIPPEE*

Friday, April 25, 2008

Axel today?

Another practise session today... On the way to the rink, I decided that I have to try the Axel today. I got to the rink to find that there was a school group in lesson preparing for the Inter-School competition next month. Oh well, no big deal, I thought, since they were beginners and really didn't move fast (or much at all).

I warmed up around the group, then did forward double 3s. It so happened that the group was in a block along my axis, and I managed to work one lobes around them. Later, I was told to "wait a bit before I do my stuff" since they "could not do their pattern properly" while I was skating! Now, was it because the kids got distracted by my skating, or did someone complain??!! C'mon, I kept out of their way, and they weren't even moving anywhere when I skated my lobe around them! Of course I didn't think much of it then, but it must not have been kosher that that lobe happened to go between the group and their coach! (oops! and oh dear, I'm already complaining just 3 weeks back on the ice!)

Somehow I felt more tired today than the previous session. Rather, my legs felt weaker. My left blade still felt like it was slipping away under me, so Waltz jumps just didn't seem stable. I was reconsidering my Axel decision...

Double toes and double Sals weren't that great either. Decided instead to work a bit on layback. That seems to be the only element that's normal right now. I managed to grab my blade and pull it to my hair without getting on the pick nor falling back on my head!! Then I tried the side-lay to back-lay to haircutter. It wasn't too bad, just really slow...

OK. Axel time. I suppose I do have to try it sometime... To my surprise, I actually landed the first one! It was nowhere near pretty, but was fully rotated, on one foot - and I didn't fall! Attempted many more, some successful, some steppec out, some 2-footed, some landed on the butt cos my knee gave way. Well, I'm sure it will come back in due course. :-)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Doubles... maybe not too long...

Another skating session - I'm slowly feeling stronger, but my left blade still feels a little strange. Anyway, my blades probably need a good sharpening - I feel like I'm skidding all over the place!

After some stroking to warm up, I started with jumps. Spent lots of time on the Waltz jump... somehow I couldn't find the pick on the takeoff. Or perhaps I skid because of blunt blades?

When I got to toe loops, I somehow got the idea that it was time to see if I still have the double toe. The first few were pathetic, to say the least, but the fact that I could almost get all the way around was encouraging. Soon I had a few that were fully rotated - but try as I might, they were all badly two-footed!

I later did a rotated but two-footed double Sal. I suppose I need to get my sense of balance back!

Sit spin is still in the can-get-down-cannot-get-back-up stage... Ok, I'd admit - today, it was more of a "dont-want-to-get-back-up" rather than "cannot-get-back-up". Then I thought I'd try the sit-back sit, but the back sit was horribly high. I tried to get lower, and ended up on the ice.

I still do not dare to try the Axel! *sigh*

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Back to coaching

Yesterday, I started coaching again. Staring slow first, just committing one day a week, for 2 hours. It went pretty well, though I had forgotten how cold my toes would get from standing in a freezing rink (the last few times I came, I actually skated!)

It felt good to be back. I do like to teach, and will definitely consider more hours... BUT it is not so easy to have a fixed schedule and get to the rink on time, when baby cries and wants to feed just as I'm going out!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Doubles will take a while...

Back on the ice for the third time today. First good thing was that my boots didn't feel so tight. Makes me think perhaps I should start breaking in my new boots!

Even though I can skate, there's still something not quite right about my CG and the feel of my balance. Summoned up the courage for a sit apin and... it was easy - until I had to get up. Though the jelly-like feeling in my legs is gone, I still don't have the strength to get up! One of the ladies suggested that it must be the baby weight I gained (no, of course I haven't lost it all yet!)

The most hilarious was the Lutz attempt. I did do all other singles the previous sessions, but not the Lutz (nor the Axel). Today, I decided to try - and the first one happened to be right in front of my coach. I didn't even take off!! He (and I) had a good laugh.

Later, I tried the double Salchow. I find it amusing how I would rather try the double Sal than the Axel. After a couple of falls, I did one under-rotated double Sal, stayed upright but... still leaning too much to the right - something that happened the first day back on ice too. I suppose it will take quite a while to get the double back. At least I need to get back the feel of the rotation first!

Thought about the Axel, but dismissed the idea.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Second session

Yesterday, I went back to the rink for the second time postpartum. My boots still feel a little bit tight, but it wasn't too bad... and I lasted 45mins with no jellification of the legs!

I still stuck to doing only upright spins and single-jumps-except-Axel. I felt stronger than last week, but wasn't sure of my core strength to do sit or camel spins. Honestly, I just did not feel like falling on my butt or my face...

I did get bored after a while, though, and couldn't really work on moves or dance since there was a significant number of public skaters on the ice. It didn't take long before I was tempted to try the layback - and try I did. Surprisingly, there was none of the "have to get used to it again" feeling, and it felt good. I did it again, and again... I also managed to grab my blade, but that put me a bit off-balance.

Later, I decided to try spirals - just plain ol' spirals, nothing fancy. I also tried a split jump, which turned out to be a half flip - I didn't have the strength to split! Oh well... just a few "new" things each session should be fine.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Singapore joins the ISU

Latest news: Singapore has been granted provisional membership to the International Skating Union.

This was announced in Channel News Asia's article "IOC president to visit Singapore for update on 2010 YOG plans".

This is a major milestone, and will certainly give the sport a boost. Next month, another rink is scheduled to be open in E!Hub at NTUC's Downtown East resort. One day soon, we will see Singapore being represented in international figure skating competitions!

[Afternote: the Downtown East rink is a synthetic ice rink.]

[Update: Singapore's ISU provisional membership is recorded in ISU Communications 1492.]

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Six weeks...

My little one is now six weeks old. This morning, I went skating for the first time in a long long while... I had to, firstly, find out if my boots still fit (or if they were still there), secondly, figure out whether I can still skate, and thirdly decide when I would like to start coaching again.

It was a nice surprise to see that the coaches' room had been nicely re-organised. One of my friends had moved my boots in there, but I couldn't find my guards. I "borrowed" my coach's guards - without his knowledge, since he wasn't there.

Hurray my boots do fit, though they felt a little tight. I suppose it would take some time to get used to them again. It would also take some time getting used to skating again - when I stepped on the ice, my left blade felt like it was slipping!

I can skate! Yeah! I started with just stroking, then crossovers and some edges and turns. It did feel strange, but again just some getting used to. I then tried spins - just upright ones, backspin and forward. I could center the backspin but not the forward one. Somehow, my weight just felt too far to the right and too far forward - that affected my exit as well! I also had to remind myself to stand straight!

It was a good 15 minutes before I felt brave enough to try a Waltz jump. This felt totally weird - there was no spring, and wobbly landing. I tried a few times, and it began to get better. I later went on to try the other single jumps. Yes, I can jump, but I had no spring and no landing. I do need to train up!!

I stopped after half an hour. My legs were starting to feel like jelly. Must be the result of not having exercised in so long!

As for coaching, I will start with just one day a week for 2 hours, probably starting mid-April...