Sunday, June 22, 2014

Summer Skating

Though its summer I am getting my self ready for the new season, which means that I will test the waters "again" and go forward with my bronze free skate test in August.

Now that I have new blades and boots I am hoping that I can get my balance and get my spins to passing level or above.  My last test my scores were very close by .3 deductions.

I will skate tomorrow and see how it goes.  Pressing hard on my jumps and spins - sometimes I as my self why I continue with this torture?....hmmmm cuz I love skating!!!.

Coach decided to change my free skate music to my "tango" which originally was my artistic free skate.  So, focusing on a positive outlook and hoping with new boots/blades and music will give me confidence to get that "pass" if not I have another change in November!!

Happy Skating


Thursday, June 12, 2014

New Skates Wahoo!!

I am so so happy that finally go a new pair of skates, been in these *used* Harlicks for 3 years and it was time to hang those skates....sadden but it had to be.

Few weeks ago I skated a free style session and I was at the end of the session and I decided to skate a loop jump and as I jumped and landed I felt an twist and bend in my boot and felt a sharp pain in my ankle and I was so terrified that I got off the ice early!! Still having a slight discomfort in my ankle but I decided to just go to the Pro Shop and get me a pair of Jackson's combo skate and blade.  I was in desperado mode! Purchase them last week, had them head molded to my feet and blades sharpened. 

Over the weekend I walked in them at home, used the blow dryer to soften the boots....and I have to say it worked!!!  Thanks to all my FB friends who gave me tips to break them in

Monday was my day of reckoning and skated in them and it was a challenge at first...skated yesterday and today and I have to say, that I can see a huge difference in my jumps (more height) I don't even feel like I am jumping....boots are so light.  Did some loops, flip and even did a few axel preps and boy I am so close.

My lesson yesterday was great....coach worked on basic moves and spins - just a matter of getting use to the blade and the ball.  I am so pleased with my new skates and its just gonna get better and better!!!

My new Jacksons and Ultima Blades
This is the best decision I made to upgrading my skates, Its just a matter of time when I excel in my skating now with these new boots.  So if you are debating on getting skates do it!!  I did save my $$ and made a wise choice to pick an economical boot and blade combo.  

Happy Skating


Monday, June 2, 2014

Frustration With My Skating?

Its been a crazy two months with work and my health issues, it seems that I had to put off my skating for a while.  Yes, I've sneaked in a practice and lessons or two but its not enough to really work on what I am lacking.  I have goals for the next couple of months, but now it am thinking and debating.

I know some of you have felt this way, and hope you can relate to my concerns.  Feeling discouraged at the moment, because I am trying so hard to work my elements to passing level and its just seems that when I gain progress on one element I loose on the other - for example; I finally got my sit pin to a decent level and lost my back spin - working on my flip jump and now my loop is a hit or miss.  Its frustrating, for me right now because 1. I need new skates and blades, my blades are shot and my boots are broken down 2.  I need some kind of motivation to get me going again.  3. August test session is a NO, since I will be traveling to Burbank with my daughter so the only time to test will be in November (again)!!.

I am seriously thinking about not competing anymore and going to give this one last TEST a try and if all goes well okay then, if not? then I will have to re-evaluate.  Its just hard to see some of my adults skating friends progress at a faster pace than I which makes it harder for me to understand the "how"

*Frustration* finding it harder to heal from injury and longer to grasp an element....my ultimate goal is to land my axel this year but that is diminishing since I am only 3/4s rotated and the injury and falls are just killing me.  Passing ISI FS5 in inevitable at this point.  ISI Adult Champs my not happen since I am traveling to CA with coaching fees and expenses $$$ will break my bank.

I don't want to give up on myself....skating is my life but at what cost.  This upcoming season will determine my fate for 2015 Adult Nationals.  I don't want to get my hopes up, because the let down is way more difficult to handle.  Will try hard to make time to skate and move forward but I am going in with no expectations.  I am open for any advice and encouragements!!

Happy Skating

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Competition is over, What's next?

Adult Nationals came and gone!! I am so inspired by all the Adult Skaters, and some were my dear friends who competed!! I am so proud of all of them, such amazing skaters!!! They inspire me to one day have the opportunity to compete at Adult Nationals....heck maybe Salt Lake City 2015!!!

I competed Florida Open so what is next from ME?.  Well, I have my goals that I did not accomplish...no let me rephrase that.  I accomplished my goal but it was not what I expected (my bronze test).  From a few months ago till today - I am proud of myself, despite the sickness I endured the past couple of weeks.  Though I took a 3 week break from skating because of my sickness...it did me good.  Why is that?  when you take time off and get back on the ice, all becomes clearer and simpler!!  I was worried at first that the moment I stepped on the ice....what if, or the could of, but I did.

Got back on the ice this week and it felt great!! I am back to my old self again, skating and trying new jumps and spins....my clarity is much clearer and I listened to all advice from my dear skating friends on my flip jump.....I had that jump a while back (1 yr ago) but had a bad fall and from then on had "a mental block" put a fear in me....but I had to over come it and stop putting excuses and just "go and do it for crying out loud!!"

There are some goals in my horizon that I will study and take it slow and see how my body can handle it.  I just want to enjoy the moment while skating.  I always like to document them and either here on my blog or in my little note book in my skate bag.

As always, whats sits in the back of my mind is the Bronze Test, I know I did well on my technical portion of the test, but now I have to worry and focus on my spins (eekkkk I hate spins) but I have ways to go and plenty of time to get there :) my back spin is getting more consistent and my sit still needs to be a bit lower

Oh did you hear??? The USFSA has changed the wording for the Adult Bronze Free Skate Testing to read "a recognizable sit spin" yes, you heard it !!! What does this mean, means I have a better possibility of passing my sit spin as opposed to the ISU IJS wording in the rule book.  Even though this will be implemented this season (I hope) I still have to work harder to get it lower no matter what!!!!

April 23, 2014
Skating practice was great!!! I manage to skate well and injury free....I did some really nice loop jumps, and finally landed my flip jump....still have to practice and get all my jumps clean!! I wont have a lesson until next week, but I will continue to practice and hopefully show my coach what I've been working on.....Oh sure, when you are on a lesson that's when everything goes down hill, right? but for now - practice, and practice if I ever want to pass that test and go to Salt Lake City :) :)

Thank you all for reading and Happy Skating


Sunday, April 6, 2014

29th Annual Florida Open Championships Recap

April 4th thru April 6th
The Florida Open is a competition held every year at our rink by the Central Florida Figure Skating Club sanctioned by USFSA.  The competition is open to all skaters regardless of age and level from basic skills to senior level skaters.

This was my very first Florida Open competition even though I've been a member for 4 years and began testing adult tract in 2012.  At the moment I am a pre-bronze adult level IV with Master Adult Bronze level Moves in the Filed.  I've work hard for the past months to become a stronger bronze skater so that I can test bronze. When I tested I listen to the judge and worked on what needed to improve.  I can say that with my confidence, I decided to compete and skate UP to Adult Bronze Level- it took a lot of courage but I did it anyways.  Its really not about the medal for me in any competition, its just an opportunity to show my strength and skating skills.

Competition Day, April 4th
Well as usual, my nerves tend to shut down my eating habits and just have fruits and applesauce the entire day...funny but it keeps me going.  If I eat solid, heavy food...I'll end up getting poopie and that's a no no in competition.  I have to admit, I do get nervous but not because I am competing with other skaters. My nerves are of my own creation....aka if I feel my entry of a jump or element that is questionable by the judges - I syke myself up and get all jittery.

To add to my stress, I've been sick for the past week and then to add more my beautiful dress had a malfunction...my sleeve ripped and tried to fix it but my sewing machine literally died on me, we are talkin 1/2 hour before I leave to the rink. I had no time to do anything, felt like crying.  Thank goodness I have a closet full of beautiful dresses and decided to were a ivory lace with purple crystals and beads.  It worked perfect for my program!!  When I got to the rink and register, everyone can tell by my face something went wrong!!

Program Free Skate
My very first debut of my Bronze Free Skate and new music :)  To think my free skate program was choreographed only 4 weeks before this competition.   I am so proud of myself that I went out there and skated with my heart!!  Had the "blank moment" in my program.   As I was going to set for my inside 3 turn it happen the "blank moment" loop/toe combination was epic literately!! so I went into "what next move" so decided to jump a loop/loop but did not get the height on it....as I heard the music I know I was running out of time....and just kept going....that's what skaters do, improvise and keep going.  But guess what nobody knows your program but you and your coach!!! hahaha!!!  other than that little error - I skated great :)
I received, however numerous compliments on my performance and that's what makes all worth while.  All the pain, injuries and tears all comes down to a great performance.
Third Place!!
Priceless Moment Of The Day!! April 5th
Aside from skating, I did have the opportunity to volunteer during the competition as ice monitor.
It was about 6:10 am and all the skaters and coaches were checking in for practice ice then John Zimmerman approached and asked me " Did you skate yesterday? what music did you skate to? and I replied, then he told me "I saw you skate yesterday, and you did a great job - lovely skate, well done"  I was in awh!! and coming from him is like the best compliment ever!!  This is why I skate...its not about the medal, or if you come in last, its the pure joy of skating that makes it all fun.

Re-cap
What I take from this experience is; take risks face your fears full force, go for it!! no matter the outcome.  You wont know until to go and give a shot....this performance is my first of many to come and it will only make me stronger.  I shall keep skating and improve where it needed.  If I am blessed and God willing I can make it to Adult Nationals 2015 but for now.  I am a happy skater :) :) :)

Special thanks to all my dear friends who came out to 
support and watch me skate that means the world to me
Happy Skating



Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Struggles and Skating

Listen, I am telling you now!! I am not no *spring chicken* and yes I am not getting any younger in this sport.  Today visited my sister in the hospital and she noticed all my bruises and scares....she said "oh my goodness Diana what are all those on your knee and elbow? I told her "these are my badges of honor in skating....all the falls and injuries sustained...hahaha - all I did was laugh...I told her it makes me stronger and its part of the sport.  But lets face it, Figure Skating is a tough sport and yes!! Figure Skating is a "Sport" don't care what other media portrays out there.

I have noticed that I am taking way to long to heal from my falls and injuries, think its my old age...not to mention my arthritis on my right hand has been acting up so badly that I can't even lace my skates.  Despite my pain it will not stop me.  I am however, struggling at times with my lower back, trying hard to get lower on my sit spin....I need to get it low and parallel to my skating hip in order to pass my bronze test.  I am also struggling with my fear and anxiety on the ice when its crowded...thought I would get over my concussion by now being that it happen last October.  When its crowded I feel like someone is going to crash into me again and get seriously hurt.  Another is my free leg aka *flamingo leg* on my jumps and the back scratch spin its a hit or miss at times. There are good days and bad days!!

On a good note:  
Lesson was great, coach is working me hard but in a good way...one element at a time...:) She told me she loves my edges and pattern in my free skate program.  I am so pleased with my progress and I am in a comfortable level and just taking in the results....Will be competing in 3 weeks Florida Open Championship and hoping for a good skate....I love my program and music...its perfect for me!! Its not about the placement or medal, just want to skate and enjoy how I've evolved as an Adult Skater. Most importanly, I an curious and have a need to know "how the judges will score my skate". This competition will be a form of a practice rather than a competition.

Best part of the days practice...was told on Monday by a parent how she loves to watch me skate and said  "You Have Courage"  she made my day!!

Despite my struggles in my skating I am in a good place with myself....just trying to take it one element at a time and focus on the positive.  I skate with no expectations, just go out there and enjoy the Sport.

Live, Love, Skate
Happy Skating

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Bronze Free Skate Test "RETRY" aka Did not Pass

Well have to say that I was not going to write a blog post about the Bronze test this past weekend but I had a change of heart and I have to share my experience with you all.  Some already know through face book.  Here I will write it in full detail.

Sunday, February 9, 2014
Test day came and I was ready, anxious a bit nervous but ready to do this.  I stretched as normal routine and stayed focus, breathing throughout.  Warm up went well, ice was cut right before so ice new and sleek.  Did my lap around and did some power cross overs to warm up my legs.  Run thru of my program went well.

I went in with a mind set that I will fight with all my might and skate with conviction....I needed this to redeem myself from the last test back in December....that I did not pass, which I was okay with, I just wanted to test the waters and see how I stand technically and presentation wise.

Any who, I heard my music play and took a deep breath and said to myself  "no matter what, nail all your jumps - hold my sit and back spin if my life depended on it".....So, there I went, skated like I was in the Olympics skated my program taking deep breath every moment I could....when I landed my Salcow, everyone started clapping... then set for my sit spin....held it long and save it like my coach always tells me...nice extension exiting....landed my toe, waltz/toe, loop (fully rotated) I was exstatic!!!! (I said "yes keep going almost over")  then my back spin (my daughter and ice monitor was actually counting my rotation did 5 - as they told afterwards) I spin the back spin but I did not count the rotations....as I exited my spin I heard the music was still playing so I decided to just do a forward pivot and a small one foot spin (thinking nothing of it) I finished my program and everyone was cheering.  "FIST PUMP" !!!!

Coach told me "this was your best free skate I've seen by far"   Then I got called by the judge (we were all like WHAT?) He said "I want you to reskate you sit spin, it was not low enough and said "you know your upright spin was 2 rotation??".....thinking nothing of it at the time, and (I was so nervous as it is but it didnt even dawn on me that upright was a concern} I said you mean my backspin...Only thing he said was go talk with your coach and come back.  Went back to coach and said "judge wants me to reskate my spins"  I reskated my sit spin and stupid me I skated the back spin....did not pass the sit spin.

I skated so much better than my last test but I got a 2.3 for my technical including the reskate on the sit with average score 4.7....I have no word to express how I felt that day (sadness, anger, disappointment, failure)....I cried at the rink and cried on my way home till I went to bed.

Days have passed, and its hard to accept the fact that my best was not good enough and to know that I have to accept those scores.  So what is a piece of paper says "retry" come back when you are ready and improved REALLY!!   For 9 weeks I trained hard because they (2 judges) told me "my loop was under rotated, it was a cheated loop....I did not take that lightly I practiced day in - day out!! and I proved to myself this past Sunday that I did it!  I skated a great program.  I was so happy for a mere 3 mins of my life and it was taken away by a piece of paper one judge and 1 score...that says "You're not ready and not good enough to Pass"

The best part of all was hearing the clapping and the cheering when I skated, its the best feeling in the world and no one can tell me any different.  Skating is my life and I take it seriously to me its not a hobby or recreation, its a way of life for me now.  As many of my peers tell me its just a test, dont beat yourself up...I will get over it and move on but its a new perspective now with skating.  Train so hard and prepare for years and months for the end result.  There will be many test to come in future this is true, but the question lies in the back of my mind "what if the next test...something else is not good enough or to their standard, what then....take it again.  I am not getting any younger I am going into 52 this year been thru hell and back with injuries, health concussions you name it.  So what lies ahead for me is to be determined.

POST UPDATE:
February 12th
Email was sent to me - because I question my sit spin after my test
Now I understand the reasoning to my result in test

From the ISU 2013-2014 Technical Panel Handbook (Spins section) this is the Official Rule for a Sit Spin to be qualified (regardless of age or level):  "The upper part of the skating leg must be at least parallel to the ice; the required 2 rotations do not begin until the skater has reached this position.”  If the hips are not even with or lower than the knees, its difficult to achieve the parallel requirement.  I’m so sorry Diana, but this simply was not demonstrated during the test.  Since the required sitting position was never met, the rotations become irrelevant since as do not begin counting until you are in the required sit position. Hence, the comment about the rotations. 

Special thanks - everyone for all your support and kind words of comfort 
Happy Skating