Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Third Skating Lesson

So I did these out of order, but I was just so excited yesterday I wanted to talk about the competition first.

I had my third skating lesson this past Sunday. This was technically the 1st week of the session even though I have been at this for several weeks so the classes were a little bigger. There were two new skaters in our class (usually it is me and another lady in the basic skills class.) Both were ahead of me (one was doing twizzles and crossovers) but were very nice.

I went over what I needed to do for the competition (and I'll still be practicing snow plow stops FOREVER) but then we started new stuff! I can do swizzle pumps now! Not awkward ones but smooth nice ones. We also worked on turning from forward and backward and while the turn was no problem, skating backwards still is a bit slow going...I literally have no momentum and stop.

We started two footed spins and I am TERRIBLE! Although I learned over the weekend that left handed people are supposed to spin and jump the opposite direction so that might have been my problem. We will see next week I guess.

I think the thing I'm most pumped about is that I jumped in place on the ice and didn't die! I even jumped from front to back (not even a half rotation but I'll take it!) and still didn't die, got to hit though toe picks every time but maybe a bunny jump or a waltz jump is in my future?

Homework this week beyond my usual video review is to figure out edges on dry land and probably watching more videos lol...

Until next time,

Kay




Monday, January 20, 2020

So I guess I'm a Figure Skater now...

Well, I did it. I did my first skating competition...and it was awesome! Thanks to the Yale Figure Skating Club for hosting such a friendly and low key competition. I WILL be back next year and hopefully doing compulsory and a free skate.

Okay, okay so I apologize to all my dance friends because I don't mean to sound like I'm bashing, but for an adult traveling by myself to competitions this was significantly easier. The competition was at the rink where the Yale hockey team plays and there was ample parking, mostly due to the fact that there might have been maybe 50 competitors as opposed to hundreds. I am not sure if this is always the case, but this made for a stress free arrival.

When I checked in they gave me a goodie bag (Yes you heard that right) that had snacks, chapstick, and a few other things before they took me down to the locker rooms.  That's right, an actual secluded spot where you could get dressed and put on your skates (out of habit I wore sweats over my skirt so my large posterior wouldn't make someone uncomfortable and didn't need to) Walked out to find one of the coaches from my club warming up her level one babies and started with them before my coach and her son (who looked like Jason Brown post hair cut but with glasses) worked with me and their other skaters. I met another adult skater and we made our way rink side.

Another super cool thing is that when you go out on the ice they introduce you. They did it as we went out for our practice ice. "From Watertown Skating Club...Kelly Beyus!" and they even said it right! I had practice ice with 5 other people. This was probably the most nerve wracking part for me, my coach even called out to me and reminded me to smile because I must have looked tense. It wasn't the other people, we all kept out of each other's way just fine. I'm still a bit weird when it comes to fresh, untainted ice. I think it's extra slippery or something. During our warmup before lessons it takes me a bit to get acclimated. I felt like an olympic skater getting corrections from my coach by the boards before I actually performed, though.

So here is another huge difference from Irish dance...we go one at a time and when you go out you skate dramatically to the judges so you can INTRODUCE YOURSELF( I know, it's nuts) and it was pretty cool to see their faces when I told them I'd only been skating for three weeks. They also said they love to see adult skaters so that was pretty cool too. My skate was about as good as I thought it would be. I had to show them my snow plow stop an extra time because I didn't really stop properly the first time (Though I just watched the clip and I totally stopped, just not for long enough or the right way I guess) but for a first time, I will take it! My coach was happy and when I went to sit back with the other coaches and parents they all said I looked good. The coolest thing was that the other adult skater at my club (who I can call my friend now!) came to see me. :)




The awards ceremony was similar to what prelim and open are like. They called the placements and people got to stand on the podium they had set up. As I predicted, I competed alone so I got a first place despite the stopping issue. Fun fact, getting up or down anything with skates on is a chore. I thought I was going to wipe out in front of many strangers. Speaking of strangers, it was so nice to have many people from my club, Yale, and others congratulate and encourage me. Many people from my club had said it was like a family when I was joining up, but I really felt it today.


Three weeks ago, I walked into Mays Rink at Taft nervous and worried about feeling like an outcast. Here I am three weeks later with other coaches telling me that I should definitely skate in the end of the season show, my new skating buddy is offering me dresses to try (because I need one. this whole crotch snapping leo is OVER...It snapped open during my warm up), and just feeling accepted and not some "cute" person refusing to grow up. It's awesome.



My new goal is to have a program. When I told my coach she was like "sure, let's start one next week." I won't announce it until it's official, but I'm pretty sure I have my song picked out and an idea for what color I'd like to wear. Stay tuned I guess!


I'll post about my lesson tomorrow.

Kay


Sunday, January 19, 2020

No Snaps No Problems

I totally plan to do a Feis vs. Figure Skating Competition comparison once everything is all over and done with. I'm mostly just here to rant for a hot second.

Remember how a feis would be on a Saturday or Sunday and the Voy boards would be freaking out a week before demanding the schedule so they could plan hotel stays/if they could bring Susie to her friend's b day party/ Take older brother Jerry to a tennis match after? It is currently less than 24 hours until the Yale Winter Classic and there is still no schedule. I'm starting to get a little antsy. Not because I'm worried about the competition itself... I'm trying to figure how long my mom will have Dom tomorrow and how much milk I need to pack for him. COME ON GUYS!

I'm not sure if this last minute laid backness is a good thing or not. My coach explained that I should be in and out in an hour (which will mean that I'm in the car longer than I'm at the competition...eeep) but I'd still like to know when, especially if I'm getting practice ice and figuring this all out for the first time.

I have this feeling that I'm probably competing alone, but if so it will the perfect comparison to my entrance into the irish dance world, but I may be pleasantly surprised as Yale also has many adult skaters. The competition boasts no more than three in a competition so it's not like I'd be going home empty handed either way.

I tried everything on that I'm going to wear tomorrow and in the year that I haven't competed or performed, I forgot how much I despise that long sleeve leo I have. Beyond it not being the most flattering of piece of clothing I own, the thing snaps in the crotch and is a pain in the ass to snap. If you snap first and pull the leo over your shoulders it breaks apart. The other option is to stretch the fabric awkwardly around your butt and you put it on the other way. After all that I've had it unsnap mid dance before. Add that my boobs are bit bigger than this time last year and I'm praying that a) I don't have to pee before I skate and b) that Compulsory 1 is so basic that everything stays connected and I don't have a wardrobe malfunction. I'm wearing two pairs of tights so it's not like anyone is going to see anything scandalous. I may even wear my bike shorts underneath like the old days. Needless to say, I hope by the next competition (OMG the one I was planning on doing is a minimum of $100 dollars !@#$%!) I'll have a true program so I can get a dress, otherwise I'm buying a new leo that has no snaps. At least I looked the part with my skates on.

Okay, I guess I've gotten all the nerves out for now. I will either post about my lesson tonight or do a long entry about my lesson and the competition tomorrow. Until later!

Kay

Monday, January 13, 2020

WHAT DID I JUST AGREE TO?

One week from today I will have attended a competition.

For Figure Skating.
Who's blog is this?
I am doing Adult Compulsory 1 which I feel like is the equivalent to taking your first grade exam. I don't have a program with music or anything. I have to skate forward, glide forward, swizzle 4-6 times, and stop. Right now the stopping is the roughest bit, turning your hip and knee in is like the opposite of everything I ever learned, but it's getting better.

Not sure how many times I'll be competing right now, This one is the only one that offers low adult levels. Not necessarily a bad thing...I would rather work hard to get that freeskate in addition to compulsory routines and not have Jon kill me. But yeet, yolo, and whatnot.
How I feel when I say yeet...
I was going to wear my black leo with a skirt and while I found both skirt options I can't find the leo. That's because I haven't worn it in a year! Let's hope I can find it because otherwise more money I have to spend! 

In other news, my second lesson went well! No falls! And I feel prepared for next week. Getting more confident, able to go faster, and bend my knees more especially during my swizzles. I think after the competition I'll be moving on more adult 2 and 3 things. I'm starting to go backwards, do backwards swizzles, turn around, glide on one foot, and skate in a small circle. It will be a few weeks until I'm comfy, but I'm hopeful!

Until next week 😅

Kay

Saturday, January 11, 2020

One Journey Paused. Another Commencing?

So I may have spoke prematurely in my last post...

I don't really know what to say that isn't sugar coating things. Broached the subject of a comeback with my other half and it went about how I expected. I tried to explain that things can't be the same; no multi night classes, no double feis weekends, etc. He said he didn't believe me and part of me doesn't blame him. I'm not one to do anything halfway and when I was in the thick of things I was pretty selfish sometimes. It also became glaringly obvious that he didn't understand my world and it got to a point that instead of trying to get him to be a part of it, I just didn't talk to him about dance anymore; no decisions, no results, nothing. Every 3-6 months we'd argue about something I should have been more forthcoming about and go back to the weird impasse we had. I understand that he would have reservations.

We have a child now. I'm not getting divorced over Irish dance. Don't worry, things are actually better than ever. It's just not worth wrecking all of that to most likely never get to prelim and open. :( I just feel stupid for calling my TC and trying to arrange baby sitting...I really do need to be better about talking to Jon. I am a wimp when it comes to confrontation so I try to avoid it and usually...It comes back to bite me. 2020 goal...just say it, you don't have to have everything sorted out before hand.

So I'm not retired...I won't admit that till the dress is for sale. Let's just say indefinite hiatus...At least until Dom is done breastfeeding. He takes a bottle, but that stuff is a pain to pump so I feel guilty when he gets a bottle when I could just nurse him. Thanks to everyone who offered to help...I may still need you one day.

In typical Kay fashion, I still felt like something was missing from my life. I did try gymnastics, but the layout of the class just didn't work for me. I do my best when I have structure and someone is holding me accountable. It was an open gym and I had to fend for myself so I spent most of the class willing myself to do something instead of actually tumbling. Add a very hefty warm up ( that part I somewhat enjoyed...I need to condition!) and it might have been 40 minutes of gym time. The coach was cool though...too bad.

My mother was convinced I was going to kill myself  at gymnastics, so she often gave me other suggestions (ballet, tap, figure skating). For funsies, I googled the last of the three and found a place that gave figure skating lessons about 20 minutes from my house. I went ice skating with my cousins growing up and one of the first gifts that Jon got me was a pair of hockey skates when we started dating (He is a hockey man, we watch games multiple days of the weeks like normal people watch football LOL)  and we went a bunch on ponds too, so I had some previous experience. I also had some gift cards from Christmas so I bought some actual figure skates and headed to the rink kind of nervous. I wasn't sure if I was expecting a similar situation to gymnastics where because I'm an adult I'd get pushed to the wayside or half assed (Which my TC was so good about and I worried that nowhere else will ever hold a candle) but I was pleasantly surprised.

Firstly, I did some research and found out that US Figure skating is extremely adult friendly. Like adults have their own regionals and nationals and have five competitor categories because the age range is so vast. I watched clips where there were people older than my mom competing and they were not competing alone. They even have Adult only meets! There are many levels and areas where you can compete including the adult comparison to being elite so there is plenty of room to grow. If anyone out there still reads this, you all know that I'm all about having goals. That's why an open gym or an adult tap class where everyone is there to socialize is not my thing.

Second, (and I hope this doesn't make me sound like a creeper) the club I went to has a bunch of adults, but one specifically that competes. She's a mom, she won her category at nationals, she already navigated the waters that I may want to travel, and thank goodness, she seems nice. We skated the warm up together and she answered all of my questions. I don't want to get ahead of myself, but she seemed like she was happy to have someone else like minded around. (She's WAY better than me, I have a long way to go to catch her) The other men and ladies were welcoming too...and who knew Ice dance was such a popular discipline among the retiree crowd? :)

Finally, I did much better than I thought. Typically, in the hockey skates I would cling to the boards until the skate session was nearly over before finally getting a bit more confident. In the warm up. I was feeling a bit like a baby deer learning how to walk for the first time, but it wasn't long before I was feeling more confident. The instructor (who I guess I can call my coach now) was super impressed with me. She kept going "OMG! You are doing great!" which was a real confidence booster and by the end of the practice session I was able to do swizzles, rocking horses, dips, and started working on going backwards (That did not happen in the hockey skates unless Jon was skating forward holding my hands) I even started gliding on one foot (can't really do it longer than like a second yet but I'll take it). My coach already brought up competing which you all know is what really motivates me. Here's the catch...the competition in question is in 9 days! NINE DAYS! Preparation is not exactly what I'm worried about. She said I have all the skills I would need to compete in Adult 1 and there is no music in Adult 1 and 2. She also said that I wouldn't need a special dress yet and that I could wear my leo and skater skirt I used to wear for performances/competitions with dance. The biggest issue is finding someone to watch Dominik. I really rather not bring him when I don't know the ropes and am not super comfortable with leaving him to skate, even if it's like a minute. I could picture him crying and that throwing me off. This sort of became one of those issues that I have with Jon...I wanted to have all my ducks in a row before I even told him about the competition and he just wanted me to tell him. "You went one time". I know dude, this seems fast even for me. I won't be heartbroken if this one doesn't work out. They have many of them in Connecticut and I'd almost rather work towards having a program to music (I have a list of like 8 possible ideas but it is really down to two polar opposite songs so I'd have to ask my teacher what she thinks, if I even get a say in the matter.) I have until Monday to decide so stay tuned I guess.

This has become very long but it has been so nice to be excited about going somewhere again! Not that I didn't love dance at the end there, but in order to keep everyone happy (myself included) it really became a job. I also had a lot of nerves about belonging. I was a lot older and don't get me wrong, everyone was welcoming and sweet, but I still felt like I had to prove that I was supposed to be there and felt I was shitty since I wasn't in prelim and as good as everyone else. Add being rigid about everything (Can't dye or highlight my hair...then my wig wont match, can't go ice skating what if I injure myself, I didn't go to blah blah feis and so and so got first...if I went I probably would have too) and it was more exhausting than fun. I also try to imagine telling the girls in the novice slip jig line (because let's be real, I doubt I would have been bumped up and I suck at confrontation) that the baby side stage is my baby and I just can't. At least not yet. But since I'm getting off topic, I'm excited to be just a student again. Getting paid to do something I enjoyed also had it's benefits (Not dropping hundreds of dollars on tuition for example...) but just attending and going home definitely keeps it from becoming any more stressful than it needs to be.

Last week was my free trial, tomorrow I skate with a guest fee, and after that I paid for the eight week session. After the beginning of March things will get a bit complicated. There are no more sessions until the fall, but most of the serious skaters meet with their coaches at other rinks (the one I go to is on a private school's campus) I will have to find out the prices and maybe do like a private every other week and attend a public skate or figure skating session on the off week. Jon is all about the money so I guess if I can find a way to pay for it that's not being negligent elsewhere...hopefully it will be cool. I'm also trying to find the silver lining in the fact that he seems to very excited and interested in this venture (you know...it's almost hockey) when he despised dance but don't ask questions I guess.

There is a competition in the summer that is I think well be my big goal at the moment. If all goes well, I would like to compete there with music with an actual figure skating dress (OMG they are all so pretty and less expensive than Irish dance dresses and actually have normal sizing! Like shopping used might actually be possible without crazy alterations!). I'd also like to bust through Adult 1-6 as quickly as I can. We already did some stuff in Adult 2 and 3 last lesson so I'm curious to see where I'll be by then end of the session. If the opportunity to compete elsewhere arises than awesome, but for now I'm just happy to feel so happy about something again.

To the next nine weeks as a member of the Watertown Skating Club,

Kay


Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Coming Out Of Retirement When You Weren't Sure You Were In...

Hello,

Does anyone even read this anymore? Is it just a bunch of bots? Well, if you are an actual human, how are you? I think I'm back.

What do I mean when I say I think I'm back? Welp, honestly I thought I was finished with Irish dance last we spoke. I was fully ready to commit to a new activity to keep fit. I attended two weeks of gymnastics and don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it. I was extremely sore, the commute was great, I was going to try to compete, but something was missing...

I could probably blame the oireachtas this past weekend. Another year has passed and I didn't dance solos. I had an excuse...I had my baby 10 weeks before and there was no way I'd be recovered in time, let alone ready. Seeing all my of class mates achieving their goals and being so supportive of each other was truly beautiful and I was only witnessing it through social media. I'll also be honest and tell you that on the morning of Senior Lady day I cried in my bed because I was home in Harwinton instead of Hartford.

Please don't get me wrong, I am blessed. My baby is awesome. He's a totally cuddle bug that makes everything I have gone through worth it, but seeing everyone dolled up and stumbling across dance music on my phone recently was making me feel like I have unfinished business because...I do.

So then I thought about transferring. There is a new school closer to home that I emailed, but the more I have thought about it, if I'm going to try this comeback, wouldn't make sense to try it where I'm comfortable, where I have people supporting me? People who know my strengths and weaknesses and can help me because they know my goals? It will have to be different, so so so different but it's like a truck has hit me and my heart hurts when I think of never going back.

I have to sit down and think about what this new game plan will look like, but I'm hoping I can do this in a way that works for my TCs (Keep forgetting I have two now),my family, and for me.

Stay tuned,

Kay

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Part Two: Where I'm going

Okay, so now that I've got all that house keeping out of the way, the next burning question is what the future holds.

Honestly, I have no idea.

There are plenty of people who have gone back to Irish dance after having kids. Some are better than they were before they got pregnant. Hell, there are plenty of people out there that don't start dancing until they've had their kids and they still compete in and overs. I've already been told that I can come back whenever I'm ready.

Here's where it gets tricky...While I made it work dancing three days a week and competing twice a month...it was really exhausting. I would get home after nine, I'd be gone all day on the weekend. I would have to work once a month or more to afford my competition fees and what not. Don't get me wrong, I don't regret a minute of it. I pushed myself to places I never thought I would get, but it was hard on my body, on my relationship with my husband, just in general. This was one of the reasons why I was "not ready" to have a family because that meant slowing down.

Now that I have had to slow down,  I can see that is was A LOT. It was a lot and it was just the two of us. I feel like my relationship with Jon has improved. I think that I'm much more relaxed. I feel like I'm turning into a ball of dough, but overall...I am surprised at how I'm feeling otherwise.

I'm going to have a person relying on me in just over three months. I'm hoping that I will be able to provide him sustinence as long as I am able. It's not that I don't think my husband can handle watching my kid or my mom couldn't watch him, but is that fair to do three nights a week? I'm honestly not sure if I'm going to want to be gone that many nights a week. So I originally I thought I might do one night...but then I think about how far South Windor is and I'm not sure if I want to make that commute and come home at almost 10 o'clock at night.

I'm sure some of you guys are reading this and asking "so why don't you transfer closer?" I'm sure I probably could, but this is one of those "principal of the situation" kind of things. My TC is more than just my TC. In 4 years she has become one of my close friends. She's taught me so much, been there for me through thick and thin, and been so accommodating. It would not be the same, and she didn't do anything to make me want to leave. I would rather find something else to do near by for mommy alone time than start over somewhere new, if they'll let me compete as an adult at all...remember my old TC?

So am I retiring from Irish dance? I don't know...ask me after my boy is born I guess.

In natural Kay fashion, I've been researching and trying to find other hobbies that I find interesting and challenging that most people out grow by college. Some people think it's weird...I'm going to say that it keeps me young.

-I tried an adult ballet class early on in my pregnancy before I had my placenta previa. It kicked my butt and I wasn't the oldest! It was about 20 minutes from my house. I would have liked to keep doing it this summer, but I may ask my doctor what she thinks.

-I have considered going back to a mainstream studio. There are like 5 billion of them where there are like 10 Irish schools in CT. I found options in Torrington as well as Burlington (The towns my town touches) I don't necessarily want to do an adult class because I feel like they are watered down and my competitive nature desires more than that but I think people would hopefully be willing to work with me. I might be able to use the studio to practice Irish too and maybe meet with my TC biweekly or once a month or something.

-Gymnastics. Remember the days of old before I started dancing where I went to 12 and over "open gym?" I have never been more sore in my life. Even with conditioning and champ class, it never came close. I was able to get back a lot of my tumbling in the short while I went there and it was a big class where I was often working on my own and didn't always have a spotter. Well...I know I've alluded to it before, but one of my closet interests (except its more of an obsession than a secret) is Womens Artistic Gymnastics. I watch the competitions, I follow the athletes, I listen to podcasts, I've read biographies. I just can't get enough. There are several gyms that offer adult programs, but a few gyms even closer to home offer private lessons. This is like the one instance where I'm not sure if being in a class with a bunch of kids is a good idea, so I would see if they would let me work one on one with someone. And I don't want it to be like before where it was kind of every man for himself. I want to learn a level one beam routine. I want to lean a pullover on bars, the right way. Maybe finally be properly taught how to do a back handspring so I won't break myself like I did when I was 15. There are also opportunities to compete (cough, you bet your ass I looked it up) and if I did the xcel program, I could potentially be competing not too far down the road. Not sure if I would be allowed to do that without being on a team, but those are all questions to ask. Adult gymnasts are probably even more rare than adult Irish dancers (Jon's gonna love that. LOL) but as I always say...bring it.

Pretty much, I will be doing something to get back in shape after my kid is born and preferably in better shape than I was before I was pregnant. I have already started to doing some safe upper body workouts because regardless of ballet, dance, or gymnastics...I have no upper body strength and that needs to change. My thighs could stand to slim down a bit as well.

Am I retiring? Not sure? Do I have some sort of genetic issue where I refuse to truly adult...even with a baby coming. Sounds like it. Wouldn't want it any other way.

Kay