Two years now of blogging at Fit and Fed and eight of figure skating as an adult. No fame and fortune expected from either, only satisfactions along the way. Thanks so much to everyone who’s out there reading and especially to my faithful commenters, you are keeping this blog alive. I write because I know that that you are getting use from my words.
Both the blogging and the skating have been way bigger projects than I could have imagined at the start and progress has been slow. Fit and Fed lost readership starting in June, thanks I believe to the new Google algorithm (‘Hummingbird’). And in my skating, by the end of December I will have been working on the same footwork test, the adult gold moves, for three years.
After many lessons and hundreds of hours of practice, I tested them in June but did not pass. Coach Kim told me last week that I’m still not ready to re-test. Maybe in March. Which given my busy March schedule means it will actually be after that. Meanwhile my knees are rebelling at doing the same turns over and over and I may need to ramp it all down for a while. Take more rest days. Ice. Stretch.
Time to think about what I have been able to do, like blog, ice dance, skate freestyle programs to music I love. And this: at the beginning of October coach Lisa started me on exercises toward learning the axel jump. Over these years of skating, I’ve been wondering. And I’ve been hoping. Would I ever be ready to learn the axel? Am I too old? The fact that Lisa has started me on exercises toward the axel, that she thinks it’s a possibility for me, makes me very happy.
As you can see, these skating projects can be very long. Even a young skater can take a year to learn the axel. For me, it may take several years, or it may not be possible. But I’m working on it. I hope I have a lot more to tell you about it as time goes on. For now, here’s a clip from my very first day of pre-axel practice in October. Coach Lisa started me on several exercises including this one, called the bell jump. It’s a once-around jump from forward to forward, a pre-cursor to the one-and-a-half revolution axel.
Here’s the first time I tried it.
In the video Lisa says, “Did you articulate through your foot? Well you didn’t.” She was trying to teach me that I need to get my toe pick into the ice, dig in, and push up strongly through the foot as I take off. That gives essential power and control of the takeoff. Takeoff without control, well, as you can imagine it’s not a good thing (it’s called a ‘waxel’ and it’s pretty scary) and she’s making sure that I learn to take off correctly from the start. The first of many important details, the beginning of another journey toward a faraway goal.