I am exploring the differences in my newly-lively skates with their clean bearings. Lots to learn. This morning I spent a lot of time just, well, skating. No tricks, no dances, nothing fancy at all. I skated around the rink, feeling them out, finding out how much more responsive they are and in what ways. The differences in the way my skates work are tiny changes, but a lot of what makes a skate, say, curve left, IS tiny. Little shifts in balance have a huge effect on direction and speed. So I just skated around and around. Then, when I felt I knew the skates a bit better, I worked on figures.
I can see that the fact that I now go further on each push is really going to pay off here. When doing figures, you get one push to send you around the circle so you need all the forward momentum you can muster. You also have to remain in control so you stay on the figure line and look effortless while you are doing it (no arm flailing–NOT THAT I HAVE EVER DONE THAT). You want to move around the figure with accuracy and with no visible work. Kinda like this young person.
So I am looking for the most power I can generate while still being in control. It is not easy.
Yeah, having better momentum is making it easier, but having my skates react more to even the smallest shifts in balance is making it harder. Doing figures requires knowing just where to put every part of your body from the second you push off so you are balanced perfectly on your skates. The adjustments you make as you go around the circles have to be invisible. Basically, the better you are at it, the less you seem to be doing and the more dull it is for anyone watching you. Having my skates be hella responsive is going to pay off bigtime, once I know what I am doing. Right now, they just magnify every little bobble and hesitation. Stuff I thought I had down, I, well, don’t.
I worked on my push-off and did get a lot of power. I floated across the rink like a freaking swan, if a swan was on quad skates, of course. Harnessing that power for figures is going to take a little more doing. I really like the discipline and tiny adjustments mastering figures requires, luckily. It seems like the opposite of my rather, shall we say, “lively” personality, but I find boring old figures fun and very satisfying to work on.