Ice, Ice, Baby!

We’re in Lake Placid!

Home to the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics…and they don’t let you forget it :)

I am participating in an adult skating weekend here from Thursday through Sunday. All of your ice time is included and then you pay for group and private lessons separately.

We stayed at Cascade Acres on route 73 just over a mile out of town. Fabulous location. Amenities…sucked. This was mainly a mobile home park with an oval field for RVs. Touted as 30 amp power, we arrived after the office was closed to find a curiously shaped outlet that was most definitely NOT 30 amp. Because their hookups were on the wrong side for us, out sewer hose wouldn’t reach. We sped to the nearest hardware store to buy a connecting sewer hose and a 15 amp adapter 15 minutes before closing.

The next day when we paid at the office they assured us that it really was 30 amp power, they just hadn’t updated the plug. Grrr. We were able to run 30 amps including our a/c unit without incident but through a 15 amp plug. Divagirl did enjoy scootering on the decrepit old tennis court, so all was not lost.

I had a lot of break time that I could use to skate or rest or watch other lessons. Mainly I rested. Seeing everyone in Rochester really took a lot out of me so I promised myself I wouldn’t overdo it. We did go out to eat a few times, but everything was geared towards tourists and was reflected in the price. For my birthday we went to a restaurant called Delta Blue and had bar food and played some pool. One day Divagirl and I strolled Main Street window shopping. We had a light lunch together at a microscopic vegetarian restaurant, The Good Bite; well hidden but very tasty.

The first night was mainly a get acquainted night to check in, get your schedule, meet fellow skaters and coaches and skate if you wanted afterward.

The second day was the true start of the weekend. I tried not to overdo it the first day so I only took 2 classes: an off-ice trampoline class and a backspin class. The trampoline with Katrina was so much fun! A definite highlight of my day, but it really wore me out! Backspins were taught by Jack Devitt, only referred to as “Mr. Devitt.” He taught us an alternate position to get us on an outside edge. I had trouble staying straight and maintaining speed but I was certainly on an outside edge. I wanted to do another class that evening but I came home to take a nap and slept right through it.

Day three was busy, there was so much that I wanted to do! My shoulder was crazy-sore from trampoline though and it continued to plague me for the rest of the weekend. (Soon to be joined by every other muscle in my body!) Every on-ice class lasted 25 minutes.

At 8am I learned Patch with Karen Courtland Kelly. The ease at which she can skate figures is amazing! I can only keep practicing and aspire to greatness. Meanwhile skating a proper figure eight is much more complicated than I knew.

At 8:25am I had Sit Spins with Tammy Lalande. She perfected our entrances and arm positions. I still can’t get very low.

After lunch at 12:40 I took Brackets, again with Karen Courtland Kelly. I’m beginning to learn I have sloppy hips that keep me from staying stable on my edges. Must work on that!

Next up Flip jump with Karen again. We went back to basics and worked on two different half-flip jumps. I didn’t know there were 2 styles.

Immediately following jumps I took another class with Mr. Devitt. It was supposed to be Centering Spins but he taught Combination Spins instead. We focused on sit spins again and camel spins. I actually managed to muster nearly 2 revolutions on the camel! And I found out my sloppy hips make me fall out of my spins, hmpf, I think I’m noticing a theme. I also really need to strengthen my center back, or “wings” as they are referred to.

I came back in the evening at 6:15pm to learn Twizzles with Marc Fenczak. I probably was asking too much of myself at this point because I had a mental block with twizzles and every muscle in my body was stiff and sore! Twizzles are sort of like a moving controlled spin. They are used a lot in ice dance. The only twizzles I got the hang of were back inside twizzles which I was doing accidentally instead of back outside twizzles. He said they’re the most difficult. Go figure.

Sunday was Day 4 and the last day. I took five group classes today.

At 8:25am I learned Rockers and Counters with Alicia Walter. I had my arm and hip positioning reinforced as she blew my mind with changing edges.

After a small break I returned at 11:40 to take the Edge class with Nathan Birch that I’d seen everyone taking the last few days. He has amazing flow and grace on his edges and we tried our best to emulate his movements. There was a lot of torso twisting involved and I felt like I was getting the wind knocked out of me at times because I was so sore and in so much pain, but I pushed through!

At 12:15 was Lutz jump with Alicia Walter again. Going back to basics again, we learned a different approach that really helped strengthen my half-lutz. Again, my wobbly torso caused me woe, but at this point I know what to work on.

Another small break then back at 2:15pm for two back-to-back classes with Karen Courtland Kelly. First was Camel Spins. Here we learned some great exercises to improve our camel spins without reinforcing bad habits on the spin itself. A lot of time was spent balancing on a back inside spiral. Again, my hips weren’t square. I did get one decent spin, maybe two, maybe three revolutions that felt nice and centered and smooth, but then I dropped my hip and the spin stopped. But now I know the correct feeling.

Her second class was Combination Spins and we worked on waltz-toe loop and waltz-loop jumps. I learned the power of the “little piggy toe” and how it makes jumps silent.

Overall it was wildly worthwhile but in the end I really overdid it. I’ll be lucky to move tomorrow!

I have so much to work on, now I just need a rink…

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