As devoted readers of this blog will know, skating backwards and Mohawk turns are two of my biggest challenges. And anyone who has ever worked in the academic field knows “biggest challenge” means “something I suck at,” so you can imagine what I was practicing this morning before class.
I have to admit, the skating backwards has moved from something I am horrible at to something I am merely pretty bad at. I call that progress! I can see that if I keep putting the time in, the microscopically slow improvement will continue and that’s a great feeling.
I was not working on my Evil Nemesis, the Mohawk turn, this morning. I was going forward and every time I needed to turn around, I just put my weight on one foot, then moved the other foot back and pivoted on the front wheels of that skate as I turned around. I was just trying to get around quick, and not even attempting the Evil Nemesis.
Later, during class with Big D. he asked me to do a Evil Nemesis and I accidentally did my cheat. He told me it was good! WTF? I, being an honest and stalwart person, said “But I totally cheated. I was using my front wheels to pivot on. ” Big D said, “Hey, fake it ’til you make it.” He didn’t expect me to do a perfect turn. Trying to meet all the standards of the turn (as I had been doing before the cheat happened), meant that I was really not doing ANY of the turn, and that didn’t let me learn.
He explained that my cheat allowed me to get most of the basics of the turn down–like turning to face backwards while moving forwards (yikes) and transferring weight from one foot to the other.
If I kept doing it the fake way, those basics would become second nature. Once I had those down, lifting my foot and turning it in the air instead of on the front wheels would be easy.
My plan is to fake it. And keep faking it until I make it.