My first day as a Level 6 Adult figure skater – I learn to spin!

Excitement level: Moderated with substantial trepidation
Rink temperature: I’ve seen worse
Number of falls: Some real whoppers

It’s time to get serious here in Level 6 – it’s time to spin! I’ve been looking forward to this, because frankly I’ve been spinning a lot on the ice, albeit unintentionally. I would like to learn a controlled spin. We are learning the one-foot spin, which contains a “mere” three rotations.

From what I can tell, I look like a gawky, flapping chicken picked up by a tornado. I spin incredibly fast, flail, and fall down. To be fair, my spin *does* contain three rotations; it’s just that only 2.5 of them occur while I’m upright.

MySpins

I’ve been practicing at every open skate session I can get to, and I can see that it’s really increased my stamina and fitness level. I can get through a class without panting now. Holding your arms up and out like a lone can-can dancer for 30 minutes is surprisingly tiring. But I’m grateful for the workout. Despite the cold, we don’t wear coats anymore at these levels. Your coach needs to see your body shape to correct you, so I just wear jeans and a hoodie. At times of extreme embarrassment, the hood provides an excellent place to hide my face.

Some of the children in this class were also in my Level 5 class, so they can’t pretend they’ve never seen me before. One of them finally decided I might be harmless and came up to me. She made me smile when she said, “I’m doing really good. You’re also doing okay.” Unfortunately the smile died on my face when she opened her mouth to show me she had just lost her two front teeth, which makes her about six years old. I’ve owned this hoodie longer than she’s been alive.

As I continue to work on spins, I have learned that there is a sweet spot on your blade. If you can hit it, you will spin nicely. If you hit nearly every other spot of the blade, you are essentially slamming on the brakes and you go flying. But you can’t look at your blade while you spin, even if you could somehow mark where the sweet spot is. You just have to feel it. I keep shaking my foot, as if to knock some sensitivity into it. I can’t find the sweet spot.

SweetSpotGolfI’m pretty sure this concept exists in other sports. In golf, I think there is one special place on the club you want to connect with; in baseball, I imagine there is one special place on that bat; in diving, there is probably one special place on the diving board. For those of you that can relate – how did you find the sweet spot? And then how do you keep finding it every time? Do you eventually get a feel for it, or is it always a gamble?

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7 Comments

  1. I am an adult skater who took up the sport in her 40s. While I have progressed further than I ever expected that first day that I put on skates, it continues to be the most humbling physical endeavor I have ever attempted. Thanks for you endearing humor! I was actually laughing out loud as I read ….not at you, of course, but totally getting exactly how you felt. Thanks for reminding me that we are doing this for fun and bringing a smile to my face.

    Reply
  2. Cheryl

     /  September 15, 2013

    I’ve just started skating at 20 and am getting all bruised just because of crossovers. it’s really inspiring to read your posts. I hope you will keep skating! 🙂

    Reply
    • Picky Eater

       /  October 21, 2013

      Thank you Cheryl – I’m definitely going to keep going. Good luck on your crossovers – soon they will be second nature to you!

      Reply
  3. The sweet spot…not so sweet. I struggle to find it on the back spin. I do pretty well if I imagine coming up on the ball of my foot to avoid scraping the back of my blade…you know, but not too high, otherwise I catch my toe pick. :-/

    Reply
    • Picky Eater

       /  September 11, 2013

      Q – I love your blog – you are working on some really hard stuff! Can’t wait to see more posts from you!

      Reply
  4. These should include video of the alleged falls 🙂

    Reply
  1. Adult figure skating – I learn to jump, and I break my tailbone. | Million Ideas

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