You know how I have mentioned skating the ROF? That’s the Right skate on the Outside edge, going Forward. It’s an absurdly simple thing to master. I had it, until I had my bearings cleaned and my skates became turbo-charged. After that, I couldn’t seem to do this simple thing, a basis for a lot of figure skating, at all.
So, I have been working and working to get the ROF down. Pushing onto the right skate with my left leg stretched behind me and then pushing my weight onto the outside wheels of my skate until I curve to the right (the outside edge, we call it). I kept pushing more to get that edge and the result every time was to feel like I was falling over so I’d put my left skate down so I didn’t fall. I couldn’t seem to master it, but I kept trying. I thought I was just afraid.
Big E took a look at my figure attempts this weekend and immediately stopped me. Instead of balancing my body over my skate and then subtly pushing my right knee to the right to create the edge, I was sticking my butt to the left and my shoulders as far to the right as I could. Most of my body was to the right of my skate and physics is not a skater’s friend in this instance. No wonder I felt like I was falling over–I kinda was.
Skating figures is all about tiny adjustments so what I was doing was not obvious to others and I certainly didn’t know I was doing it. It was such a simple thing and I knew I had been doing it right before, so I was SURE I could do it if I just gave more time and energy to it. Which I did. The trouble is, I ended up practicing the wrong way so damn much that it became second nature.
Big D told me just want I was doing wrong and that I needed to get on the figure circle, skate to the right around the circle and just use my left skate to push me around. It’s beginner skating 101. I started it yesterday and I can already feel my form improving. The fear of falling over I managed to internalize while skating the wrong way is going to take a while to get over, but that’s what practice is for.
The moral of this misadventure, my dear readers, is that no matter how right something feels, sometimes you need an objective eye to take a look and set you on the right path. Ask for advice from people you trust and then take it. Working extra freaking hard on the wrong way just means doing things the right way is going to be extra freaking hard when you figure it out. Thus endeth the lesson.