Here’s my ‘re-try’ gold moves test from a few weeks ago with the judges’ comments. The test takes about fifteen minutes, a long time to be out there with no music to lose yourself in. The video is much shorter since I’ve edited out all the waiting for the judges to write their comments and scores after each move.
Coach Ty told me just before the test that he doesn’t see a lot of gold moves, neither do the judges, so it was hard to know what to expect. He said that even if I didn’t pass, the judges’ comments would help me know what to improve, and many skaters use that feedback to pass their test just a month or two later. I’ve already progressed on some of the easier changes the judges wanted, like avoiding scratching the ice with the toepicks on the power circles.
Others, like the quality of the turns, will take more time. The amount of time I’ve put in to learning the bracket and three turn patterns over the last two years is already substantial. I need to increase my stability before, during and after each turn by active core engagement: hips tucked, lats and upper abs engaged, shoulders down, free hip lifted. Skating is an amazing core workout.
I have freestyle and dance goals, too, but I’m determined to get this. Ice is scarce in the summer so I’ve started driving to a distant rink that has a little-used public session early in the morning. It’s a beautiful new rink with a huge ice surface, and if I get there first thing there’s usually only one other skater, perfect for working on my patterns.
There’s no way I could do the power circles on a crowded public session, I really get moving and it would be unsafe with beginners wandering across my path. Even on a freestyle session with other figure skaters it can be difficult to do these patterns without interference. So to find this almost unused public session is a real win for me, well worth the drive.
This session is also great for working on my bracket patterns. I can see my tracing on the clean ice and work to get rid of the dips and wobbles. It’s almost like the old days when skaters would rent a quiet patch of ice to work on their figure patterns– very contemplative! Luckily I get into a concentration mode and so I’m not sick of working on these, at least not yet. I hope that continues until I’m ready to re-test this thing and pass.