First skate with my Carmen program

by Mary on April 7, 2012

My first outing with my Carmen program last weekend went really well. Thanks to my husband for the video!

One of my goals was to breathe out fully at certain points in the choreography, countering my tendency to take shallow breaths under stress. That worked this time and helped me relax and have a good skate. My opening back spin was a bit of a salvage job but I didn’t let it bother me. Overall I’m happy.

This program is designed to help me pass a skating test, the adult bronze freestyle. Once I pass that I’ll be able to participate in adult Nationals in my age and skill group. The program has to have required elements like the sit spin and they have to be up to snuff.

The sit spin has been holding me back for years with my knee balking at the low one-legged squat it requires. But after a couple of rounds of physical therapy I’m getting somewhere on that front. The standard for an adult’s sit spin is lower than for the younger, competitive skaters. It simply has to be a ‘recognizable’  sit spin position, with the hips as low as or lower than the knees.

I’m aiming toward the minimum passing-level sit spin with the hip level to the knee, and you can see that I’m not yet there. I hope both that I improve and that they cut me a little slack. Even if I can’t get much lower, I can at least straighten my back.

Meanwhile I’m enjoying the process and still love my music.  One of my fellow adult skaters told me that her music is intense and anxiety-provoking and she was asking herself why she didn’t pick out something calming like mine!  I also totally appreciate the family support I get for skating. We had out-of-town visitors on the same day as my skate and my dear husband stayed up until the wee hours cleaning the house so I didn’t have to exhaust myself right before my event. He chalks up so many brownie points they just can’t be counted.

I put off a minor surgery until the week after my skate so I didn’t have to break my training. It was a little hard to wait but now everything’s taken care of and I had time off from exercise after my event instead of before. Everything came together for my skate and I’m really glad I didn’t give up on squeezing this event into my life.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Lori April 8, 2012 at 2:24 pm

That was impressive, whoever is coaching you had paid attention to details such as holding the landings of the jumps, basic skating skills and such. You’ve got some good solid basics to build on and you should be proud of that program.

Putting off minor surgery for your test and physio so you can get your sit spin??? Yes!! You are a real figure skater!!


mary April 8, 2012 at 3:02 pm

Thanks, Lori! I have been lucky to have some really good coaching. The physio was more for a knee overuse injury, and sit spin was the very last thing I was allowed to add back in. I’ve been able to work on my footwork all along, my jumps sometimes, and my sit spin not much. But lately I’ve been strong enough to work on the sit spin again.


Crabby McSlacker April 11, 2012 at 1:56 pm

Wow, that’s so awesome! Whenever I’ve even tried to put on skates I’ve ended up falling on my ass in about 3 minutes, so am totally impressed.

“Breathe out fully” is such good advice for any endeavor, so easy to forget under pressure!
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mary April 11, 2012 at 2:51 pm

Thanks! I do like when what I learn in skating applies to the rest of my life, like remembering to breathe. It works both ways– I’ve done enough other things in life where the stakes were higher to know that whether I wipe out in front of a crowd, while it matters to me, is not significant.


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