Saturday, February 1, 2020

...and then I shared practice ice with Nathan Chen.

This guy!

but I'll get to him in a minute.

Due to the Superbowl, I don't have skating tomorrow night. They opened the junior session to us adults, and I was going to make it work when I got a text from coach mid day yesterday. She asked if I wanted to meet for a private today instead and after sorting it out with mom to babysit, I told her I was in!

I went to Champions Ice Arena in Cromwell which is more than I would like to drive if I have to do this on the regular come March (though 40ish minutes on a Saturday isn't the worst ride), but that's not the point. The place was HUGE. It had two rinks on two different floors, food, a skate shop, dressing rooms, etc. You had to pay to even step on the ice, but I felt it was reasonable enough.

Now I  have been to public skate before where there might be a lot of people, but at least most of them are just clomping along. This...this was like the Oireachtas practice room except not as loud because no hard shoes. There were people spinning and jumping and moving EVERYWHERE.

My friend (Let's call her L moving forward) told me that Nathan Chen practices at Champions, but I figured a world champion would get private practice time. Nope. He was there zooming around working on things. It was pretty neat to see in person. Most people seemed used to it, but since it was my first figure skating session, I was starstruck for a bit. (I was the one not bending my knees enough in the pink sweatshirt if you are reading this because you googled yourself or something LOL)

So anyway, after being intimidated by all the lessons going on and not knowing if I was allowed to warm up or if I had to wait until exactly the start of my session, I eventually got the nerve to get on the ice and I skated (I think I'm finally past clomping) over to my coach. We worked on stopping again briefly (because I need a backwards snow plow stop in this program for Adult 3 and my forward ones are still funky) before we started my program! AHHHHH!

I think she and I are going to work very well together because the bit we worked on today is going to be awesome. It's lyrical on skates. It's got a long way to go as I have to get the flowing arms working at the same time as I'm skating (and I'm nervous about falling so I feel like I'm holding back a bit. I think I need to just go for it and deal with hitting the ice so I can be better for it) but I left my lesson feeling encouraged. My coach told me today that I'm skating now and that it has flow and I don't think she'd say that if it wasn't true. I also think I'd be on the ground a lot more if I was doing bad, so that has to count for something, right? 

I think if I were going to do this again, and I probably will as the show and next competition approach, I would stay for a full hour instead of a half hour as we were just starting to get somewhere and then first session ended. She also wanted to video tape me which is a terrifying thought, but I'm sure to see my issues and progress I will have to suck it up. Sounds like we will do another lesson next week in Watertown where things are much more chill.

Maybe next time I'm at Champions I'll have the nerve to ask Nathan Chen for a picture? Probably not, but a girl can dream...


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