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Inching forward

Progress on backspin and loop! You know, for my definition of progress on these particular elements, which is kind of like two steps forward, one and three quarter steps back. P had me do the inside-three-turn-in-place-with-free-leg-forward exercise and then go into the spin from that. It works a bit better than what I've been doing; it gets me turning on the right part of the blade, but now I go up too far on the toe pick instead of staying too far back. When I bail on it now, my left foot crosses my right to touch the ice, which is a good sign. (It's also how J the Younger broke her ankle, but I'm steadfastly refusing to think about that.)

Loop improvement is so minimal and hard to describe in words that I won't even try, but at least it's less crappy. Ugh, that jump.

I got my outside counters back, woo! And outside brackets to boot. They aren't pretty, but they turn almost as often as they don't. And P gave me a Curry exercise to do with outside rockers that disguises the fact that I can't hold the outside edge after the turn very well, hee.

Now I am writing Yuletide fic. I have 781 words on my assignment right now, and if it turns out as I expect I have about 5,000 more to go. I'm tentatively taking next Wednesday off in addition to Thanksgiving and the following Friday, so I hope to get the majority of it finished over the long weekend.

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Double three turns = six turns?

Woo-hoo! I got something resembling stable forward inside/back outside double three turns today! (See the second set here.) I need to have more speed going into the forward to turn so I can make it through the backward one most of the time, but there were several stretches where I managed two or three sets without slowing to a stop, yay.

And this was with horrifically dull blades, which are getting sharpened as we speak. Next time, I think I'm going for the stainless steel clone of my blade pattern, which is supposed to last twice as long between sharpenings. 20 hours before they go dull is ridiculous.

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Back outside three turns are mine! I successfully managed the turn and a runout in both directions at two different sessions yesterday, so hopefully they have some staying power.

Unlike me. The Big Annual Work Event was Friday, and while it went very well, it also entailed getting up at 4:30, being at work at 5:30, and not getting home until 4 PM, so I've been POOPED this weekend. I wanted to go to the session this afternoon and maybe take BF's freestyle class, but I didn't have it in me. Instead I watched the latest disc of Lois and Clark that Netflix sent me, this one with "Tempus Fugit," which was as fantastic as the interwebs promised. Lois is so close to knowing the secret!


I did take the free Curry class offered by P and BF at Other Rink yesterday, though (part of the reason I couldn't drag up the energy to skate today), and we did this horrible exercise with waltz jumps in both directions, followed by a back crossover, because apparently John Curry was a goddamn sadist. WHO THINKS TO PUT A CROSSOVER AFTER A JUMP LANDING?

It did make me appreciate even more how P, a clockwise jumper, can do all the jumps and most of the spins in the direction that isn't natural for her. (The only one she isn't able to do, at least consistently, is backspin, and since I can't even do it in my direction I can hardly blame her.) I'm sure she learned it of necessity, since 85% of skaters are counter-clockwise jumpers and spinners and she has to coach us, but it's still very impressive.


I bought a giant bag of Halloween candy for $6.50 today at the post-holiday sale. I'm going to take some to work and give it away, but until then, Kit Kats, Whoppers, Mr. Goodbars, and peppermint patties are mine.


Driving home from the grocery, I saw a murder of crows. At least six or seven hanging out on the traffic light rod. They looked appropriately spooky.


I have the germs of several ideas for my Yuletide assignment. I need to reacquaint myself with the canon and do some research before I flesh them out and settle on one.


Pelvic PT starts tomorrow. I imagine I may be told to cool it on loop jump attempts since the twisting in the windup really seems to stress my abs, which will be fine with me. P is great about letting me work on what I want to work on and what my body will let me work on, so it's really me who's been bullheaded about trying to make this jump work--even though I hate it--mostly because I know I need it for the Bronze Freeskate test unless I feel like deploying a flip, which is supposed to be even harder to learn.

I did learn today that the half loop, which I can do (poorly), is actually considered a single-revolution jump the same as the loop, but for various historical reasons doesn't get the same credit. The difference is that you land on your left foot (for CCW jumpers like me) rather than the usual right foot landing. It feels easier to me for some reason. They're mainly used in single-rev format so you can have a salchow, which requires a left inside edge takeoff for CCW skaters, in the back end of a jump sequence rather than having to default to the two that take off on a right back outside edge, toe loop and loop. (That's the reason the jump combos the people on TV do always have those on the back end.)

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Various and sundry

Good skating weekend. I finally, with P's assistance, got my camel to feel like a real spin yesterday. It's hard to explain, but before, the entrance was really jerky and unstable, and now it's strong and sure. Not coincidentally, I get 3-4 revolutions in it now. My leg isn't quite at hip-height, but it keeps inching upward.

Of course, I took BF's adult freestyle class today and he taught a completely different and weird entrance and now I'm all confused again. Sigh. I get what he's going for, it's just odd. What I don't get is this insistence on starting a spin with both arms stretched out. All of my momentum comes from holding my left arm across my body and flinging it out! Bah. Even P, who is actually his student right now, was like, wait, what? How does that even work? I feel validated.

I'm not sure I'll take the class every week, if only because 3 hours of practice to 30 minutes of lesson per week has been a really good ratio for me for the last several months (and there's no way to squeeze another hour in since they cut the Friday evening freestyle at my main rink), but I can certainly see doing it every other week or so. He had some good jump technique corrections for me, and the power stroking exercises at the beginning were interesting (and thigh-burny). He also actually got us all to do baby layback spins! They're called attitude spins.

When working on jumps, he has everyone get into them using various patterns of crossovers and other speedy things, which was horrifying because waltz jump is the only one I'd ever done not from basically a standstill. (Not counting the three turn into a toe loop, etc.) So I got thrown into the deep end of the pool there, but managed it without landing on anything but my feet, so that's good.

This rink is doing a holiday show with BF as the director. I hear he already has the music and choreography done (unlike the last two years, where our choreographer was still cutting the music halfway through rehearsals and changing the choreography the morning of the show), but it really does take up all your weekends until Christmas, so I think I'm going to pass. At least unless there's something else really enticing about it.


Excited about Yuletide! Depending on which characters were requested by one person in one of the fandoms I offered (post your letterrrrr), I could be matched to one of two people in one of two fandoms. One's a stronger possibility, given the usual pattern of requests for the one I'm waiting on a letter for. Either one would make me happy to write for.


My back still hurts in exactly the same spots and ways it did before the cortisone shot, but now also hurts in new spots and ways thanks to the shot. (It's like I have a bruise above both injection sites, especially the left one, so it doesn't hurt much regularly but smarts like hell if I put pressure on it, which is basically every time I sit down.) So that was a bust, though granted I already knew it probably would be. If I still have the extra pain in a week the pain clinic who did these is getting an irate call.

On the upside, either learning to consciously relax my pelvic muscles paid dividends or this episodic bladder thing was reaching the end of its episode, because that is much better. The pelvic pain has gotten worse (toilet paper = razor blades), and I am hoping that someone, somewhere, will deign to give me a freaking painkiller that works, but am not holding my breath. Kidney doctor's getting a call tomorrow since the office ignored my message last week. Perhaps there's a way to get everyone in all my different clinics on a conference call.

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Dear Yuletide Writer 2015

[Note: I am icepixie across LJ, DW, and AO3.]

Dear Yuletide Writer,

THANK YOU for writing for me! I love all these fandoms and characters dearly, and I know I'll love whatever you come up with for them. I'm offering specific prompts for each fandom if you're the kind of writer who prefers them, but please don't feel constrained by them if you're not.

General likes/dislikesCollapse )

China BeachCollapse )

Cupid (TV 1998)Collapse )

Northern ExposureCollapse )

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Skating progress report, with added nerdery

Today I accomplished what must be the most ridiculously-named skating move, twizzles on one foot. Huzzah! BF has done a twizzle exercise in each of the three Curry classes I've taken with him, and this was the first time I didn't have to do it on two feet.

I also accidentally did back three turns on one foot. Well, really cruddy ones that were way too far forward on the blade. I didn't actually realize that's what I was doing until I was halfway down the ice on an exercise that consisted of a forward inside three to an immediate back outside three, and by that point it was too late to freak out. Yay?

P was pleased with my brackets that I discovered on Tuesday that I can do. I can still only do the forward ones, inside on both feet and outside on the right foot. I'm not doing them on a figure like in that video, just on a hockey circle or a line. We moved on to counters (same caveats as above) and revisited rockers (forwards only, etc.).

You may be wondering exactly what the difference is between all these turns. ALLOW ME TO ELUCIDATE! There are four kinds of turns on one foot, the three turn, the rocker, the counter, and the bracket. All of them can be done eight different ways (forwards or backwards entering on an inside or outside edge on either the left or right foot), but for example, let's say you start all of them going forwards on the right foot on an inside edge. At that point, the difference becomes whether you stay on the same edge after the turn or not (and consequently whether you change circles) and if you have to couterrotate your upper body or not.

Three turns are the easiest because you change edges (thus staying on the same imaginary circle) and you turn your upper body in the direction of the rotation. Your tracing looks like the number 3, with the first rounded part your entry edge, the point in the middle the turn, and the second rounded bit the exit edge, hence the name.

For a rocker, you still get to turn your upper body the direction you're going, but now you have to stay on the same edge. This will put you on a new imaginary circle, which is harder than it looks. Do you see in the videos how the bracket turn keeps the woman going in the same direction back around to the point on the line she started on, while the rockers and counters send her off to a new area of the line? If you don't change edges when you turn, you have to start a new circle.

A counter is like a rocker in that you'll stay on the same edge/start a new circle, but this time you have to turn your upper body against the direction of your rotation. Trust me when I say that bit of trickery takes months to learn. It's kind of cool in that you bounce a bit when you do the turn, and your hips and shoulders flip so much that it looks a little like magic when you watch one done, in a way that the non-counterrotated turns don't. (To their credit, they look smoother.) You don't really expect someone to turn that way out of that position, so you can easily blink and miss it.

Finally, a bracket is like a three turn because you change edges and stay on the same circle. Or, if you're me, sometimes your inside brackets will turn into inside counters because you didn't change edges and wandered off the circle. Uh. Anyway. You can also do cool stuff because of the counterrotation and edge change, such as this thing I am very far from getting up the skill or bravery to do.

Well, that was fun. P and I also worked on loops, as in the figure, not the jump, which I cannot find a video to show you because YouTube makes it impossible to filter out the jump videos, which are far more numerous. I...think I hate loops, actually. The less time spent on them, the better.

We also did loop jump, which I would also prefer not to think about. She says I have exactly the right entrance and just need to jump the damn thing instead of going all fetal and doing barely a half loop. I think I grind to too much of a stop to do much of anything. I suppose it will be a work in progress for some time.

Finally, my left foot power pulls have gotten almost as good as my right foot ones, both forwards and backwards.

I wore my new SI belt for part of this morning's practice and then for the Curry class this afternoon. I think it helped a little? I suspect it will do better for walking, when I sometimes have to press my hands against my hips to keep from (feeling like they're) trying to fly apart on me, or like they're grinding against my spine at the attachment point. I'll have to walk the dog tomorrow and experiment.

It also seems to help my (re)current bladder issues, which leads me to suspect I'm now one of the 10% who gets urinary troubles with SI joint dysfunction, which happens because your bladder nerves run through that area and can get irritated. I have my cortisone shots next Monday and an appointment with a urogynecologist the following afternoon, so SOMEBODY is going to fix this, by God. I'm hoping that if the cortisone doesn't take care of it, then at least being able to go back to doing all my back exercises will. Or maybe there will be drugs. Ones that work instead of making it worse, like the gabapentin that I discontinued after a week because I kept having horrible nightmares and then waking up to pee two or three times a night.

...This surgery. It's the gift that keeps on giving. I'd do it again, because having a reproductive system like mine was completely unlivable, but I could do without the problems it has caused.

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Really big needles

Welp, it's come to cortisone shots in my back. This weekend pushed me over the edge. I still wonder if I might need different PT exercises to focus on the muscles that have atrophied after surgery/recovery, but for right now I'll take the cortisone bandaid that will let me start doing any exercises at all.

Unfortunately, it's not for two weeks, so tomorrow I need to message the office again and request something for the interim. I didn't realize SI joint injections were such a big deal that they require a 1.5-hour appointment and are scheduled this far in advance. Not to mention I have to have someone drive me home and take the rest of the day off work, but I'm not getting sedated? I assume this means I get a Valium or something. A nurse is supposed to call and explain a few days before. Uh. I thought it was zip in, get a little local anesthetic, get the shots, get out and back to work within thirty minutes, not this whole procedure. Apparently not.

Anyway, movement makes me feel better right now, especially the gliding movements of skating rather than the clumpy ones of walking, so I went to practice, where I taught G about choctaws and he showed me a better way to do a toe loop. It would never have occurred to me to drop the leading arm before the jump, but it did feel better. Huh.

Also, my inside brackets used to turn into counters on the exit edge, but today my inside counters turned into inside brackets. Progress?

Back to lying flat on my back. Uuuugh.

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General update

Today I asked P to help me make my current jumps higher and faster, and she obliged. They cover about twice the distance, and I assume are probably twice the height, as they did before. Hooray!

Sit spin is really looking good these days. We worked some on it a couple weeks ago and now I can get really low and still do 5-7 revolutions. Not as low as the kids, but low enough for adult testing purposes.

G gave me a little trick at my last practice for getting my free leg in the right spot for loop jumps. Apparently you use a squeaker from a dog toy, tape it to your left boot at about the third hook on the outside, and try to make it squeak with your free foot. You can only make it squeak if your free leg/foot are in the right position and not turned out too much, which is one of my many problems with loop jumps. You play around with it at the wall first and then try it in actual jumps. I haven't tried it yet, but this sounds intriguing.

Tomorrow Scott Hamilton is doing a free workshop/class for the local adult skaters at Other Rink. It promises to be exciting.


Given what I nominated and what I know of what others nominated, I'm 90% sure I know what I'm asking for and offering. I'm polishing my letter this weekend.


I decided that October was going to be horror-novel-reading month. I began with The Ruins, which features killer Mexican kudzu wreaking havoc on spring breakers in the Yucatan. I can't say I would recommend it. Now I'm in the middle of The Little Stranger, which is much better.

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No Cheap Thrill (2545 words) by icepixie
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: China Beach
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Colleen McMurphy/Dick Richard
Characters: Colleen McMurphy, Dick Richard
Additional Tags: Romance, Episode Related

"Make you a bet. If the war's really over, you come back with me to Boston."

What might have followed if a certain late-night conversation in "A Rumor of Peace" had zigged instead of zagged.

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Skating grab bag

MwahaHA, inside choctaws are MINE! On the right foot, anyway. I didn't think that would happen for some time, because stepping onto a back outside edge is the most terrifying edge to step on, but the Schafer pushes really did help. That one is actually better than either of my outside choctaws.

Speaking of Schafer pushes, I showed mine to P yesterday and she said, "Well, my work here is done, right?" Hehehe.

We worked on loop, and I thought I understood it better, but then today I regressed hugely. I hope it's one of those instances where changing something fundamental makes it harder at first until it gets easier than it was originally because the technique is better.

I'm gradually getting lower in sit spins and higher in camels. Yay.

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Push off

P is out of town at a competition this weekend, and between my work schedule and Vanderbilt's home game on Thursday messing up the one day we might've been able to meet for a lesson, my next lesson with her will be on Saturday, two weeks from my last one. Maybe it's the former teacher's pet in me, but I decided I was going to surprise her by making a whole lot of progress on Schafer pushes, rockers, choctaws, and loop jumps.

So far so good on pretty much all of these after many hours of practice this weekend. The rhythm for Schafer pushes really clicked for me on Saturday and now they're quite natural. I've got a reasonably good swing choctaw going on my right side, and I can basically do one on the left as long as the lobes are really shallow. I've aaaaaalmost got a right forward outside rocker going. I just barely need to put the free foot down to get myself turned onto the back outside edge. I have to put the foot down longer on the left.

Loop jumps...well. I think I'm to the point where I have about 1/8th of a rotation going. Yay? This one probably needs more tutoring before I give myself bad habits.

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Fic: First Aid [Agent Carter, Peggy/Jack]

First Aid (1421 words) by icepixie
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Agent Carter (TV)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Peggy Carter/Jack Thompson
Characters: Peggy Carter, Jack Thompson
Additional Tags: First Kiss, Romance, Fluff, Hurt/Comfort
Series: Part 3 of Pigtails and Inkwells

"Jack Thompson, if you don't kiss me properly in the next five seconds, I believe I shall go quite mad."

For a long moment, Jack wondered if the last several minutes had all been a strange, frustrating dream that was finally taking a turn for satisfaction, but then Peggy muttered, "Do I have to do everything myself?" before she leaned forward, grabbed his collar, and kissed him.

[This time, Peggy befuddles Jack.]

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Blast from the past

The loop jump video I linked to yesterday turned out to be useful for more than just illustrative purposes. I tried using a hockey line the way the guy in the video does, and I actually held the edge almost long enough to make it work! Still no rotation, but it's coming into sight.


Every time I read things from the Lois & Clark fic archive, I feel like I've entered a time warp. Even the fics from this year read like fic circa 1996. It's like all the new stylistic trends and narrative devices and increased irony and self-awareness of the past twenty years has completely passed this fandom by. It's not necessarily a bad thing, just a very weird thing. I guess it could be due to the canon, which is a.) very 90s, and b.) very much and exceptionally non-ironic, and indeed frequently crosses the line into mushy.

I happened to find out yesterday that Superman: The Animated Series stars Tim Daly as Clark and Dana Delany as Lois, and wow, I cannot imagine more perfect casting on anything. The guy who played moral, upright, sweet, slightly OCD Joe Hackett as Clark/Superman and the woman who played sassy, courageous, practical, sensitive Colleen McMurphy as Lois? These actors were born for these roles! For casting that perfect, I'd actually watch the show in its entirety if it were on Netflix or otherwise rentable, but I'm not quite interested enough to pay iTunes's asking price.

Although...I see it's available for free on Amazon Prime. This might be the thing that tips me over into getting Prime for a year.

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Today, in service of learning to do better inside choctaws, I learned Schafer pushes (N.B. this person's individual ones are correct, but her sequence is wrong; however, you get the idea). They're one of those things that are incredibly evil and you despair of ever understanding them, until they click and you wonder why they were so hard. I think I may eventually come to like these.

P had me do my sit spin from back crossovers, and rather than the disaster I expected, it...improved it dramatically? I got four or five centered revolutions after getting to the sit position (well, the closest I can get to it right now), versus two revs to get to the right position, two more in it, then all but falling out of the spin.

As threatened last week, she moved the loop jump out from the wall, and it went reasonably well. P was very pleased because I've apparently got the entrance pretty much down, I just don't wait long enough on the edge for it to pop me into the air and rotate. Now I just kind of muscle off the ball of my foot and...hop in place. Sometimes I actually land on the same foot, as opposed to flailing and landing on my left foot. As you might imagine, it is very hard one one's back to do that. I need to figure out rotation soon.

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Skating report

I made a giant leap of progress in my sit spin yesterday by, get this...remembering to hold my arms out for the first few revolutions. *headdesk* I can't believe it took me so long to realize I was zipping them in right away and destroying any control I might have over my angular momentum. Anyway, sit spin is much more like both a sit and a spin now.

Back power pulls have secretly gotten way, way better than they were even a few weeks ago. I think there's some sort of cross-fertilization going on with them and the back cross rolls.

Forward circle eight has secretly gotten way, way worse over the past couple of weeks. I continue to hate this pattern.

Loop jump is still RFI3, keep turning, (hang on to the wall for dear life and) jump. "Next week we'll move it away from the wall," P says. "Ahahahahaha, that's funny!" say I.


I may or may not have slept until 1 PM today and then spent the rest of the day reading long, plotty Lois & Clark fanfic. It was entirely awesome.

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Vicious Backwards Curry Exercises

More camel success this afternoon! P happened to be watching when I did my best of the session and gave me a big thumbs up from across the rink, which was gratifying.

I bought a skate spinner from Amazon the other day, in part because I heard they were good for getting the right position on back spins, and in part because I really, really love the feeling of pushing into a spin and letting physics kind of carry me away, and this way I can get it any time I want! We'll see if it's similar to actually being on the ice. I'm also going to have to figure out the place to try it that has the fewest obstacles to crash into should it send me flying off. (Let's hope this doesn't happen.)

I got to the point on Vicious Backwards Curry Exercise that I could add what I remembered of the arms, though I wasn't really concentrating on them and they probably looked terrible. Before I do my Bronze test program (at least a year away), I need to get to a point where I can do arm-related things that don't just look like flailing and/or karate chopping.

I also discovered that the biggest problem with that exercise is no longer my poor ability to tell right from left, but the fact that my left leg is a good inch shorter than my right. Not a big deal when both are in a roughly vertical position because my hips are the same amount off, but a bigger deal when one is at a 45-degree angle out to the side. My right lobe is much larger than my left lobe. Bah.

I'm almost to the point where I don't have to slow down before the mohawk to change from forward to back power perimeter stroking in the first Bronze Moves pattern. I'm not sure if that's because I'm more confident about mohawks at speed or because I'm generally slower on that pattern than I was prior to surgery.

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New Adventures of Peter + Wendy

I still don't really grok webseries--it's kind of like, just when something gets interesting, they cut off and there's a new episode and I'm thrown out of the story--but I ran across The New Adventures of Peter + Wendy this evening and wound up watching the entire first season. It's kind of like if Pushing Daisies-era Bryan Fuller had somehow gotten ahold of Spaced. And put in a lot of annoying talking-to-the-camera parts, but it seems that this is standard in webseries. The actress who plays Wendy is very good (she reminds me of Olive/Kristin Chenoweth but with more straight man qualities), as is the guy who plays John, and Peter and Wendy are undeniably adorable.

(I have to admit that it irks me somewhat how there are three women on the show--if you count Tinkerbelle--all of whom are in love with a guy who, frankly, doesn't that many great qualities, and are all vaguely jealous of each other because of it.)

It does take a while to get used to, though. I spent the first five episodes doing a lot of, "Wait, what? Why is Peter Pan a slacker and Wendy a journalist and Michael a pothead and why do they all live in modern-day Ohio and hang on, fairies still exist here?"


Via [personal profile] wintercreek, the Ultimate Trope Showdown. My results are unsurprising in the extreme.Collapse )

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Careful camels

Good progress on camel spin and back spin today. I'm consistently getting 1.5-2 revolutions on my camel, and many times 2.5 or even 3. By the end of the session, I could tell I was getting my leg higher and torso lower, too, maybe even within shouting distance of horizontal. I toe picked out of, or let my free leg open too much, on some today and was able to easily save myself so I didn't go crashing to the ice, so I feel more confident that I won't die if I get in the right position.

Improvements to back spin are harder to quantify, because I'm rarely in the actual back spin position, but P was pleased with some improvements to the entrance and getting more of my weight over to the right side (although I failed to actually find the right spot lengthwise on the blade, sigh). I figure, it took me a solid year to get a real forward spin going, and a back spin is harder, so if it takes two years, that'll be about right. I started working on it in January, so minus the two months I was off, if I get it going in the next 18 months, I'm actually going to be ahead of schedule.

I successfully managed to do a loop jump on the wall. Yay abs! You're back! It's going to be a while until I feel comfortable moving it off the wall, though. I've also been concentrating really hard on bending my takeoff knees in salchows and toe loops so that I get an actual spring off them, and it's been very successful for the past week or so. They look more like jumps now.

P taught me more Curry stuff, including a vicious little backwards exercise. It looks so simple, and yet it tests the edge of my ability to differentiate right and left so hard. It's just going backwards on alternating lobes, but you have to bend just the outside knee, not both or just the inside one, and that just flummoxes me. I finally figured out that if I think of it more as popping out the hip of the leg I want to bend, it works better, but of course my left hip is like, "Nope, I'm the lower/less sticky-outy hip, I don't do that," and bollocks it all up. I think I finally got it by the end of the session, but it took many tries. There are arm movements that go with this exercise too, but I had to hit pause on them until I figured out how to move my legs.

It really works whatever muscles go down the outside of your hips and thighs, and made me realize that my current PT program kind of ignores them. Not totally, but enough that I think I need to look up something to add for that. The one on the left in particular needs work, which doesn't surprise me given my hip misalignment.

And then I got out of the rink and it was about to storm, but the storm kind of stalled out just west, so it's been beautifully cool and windy for the last couple of hours and I love it. AUTUMN IS COMING.

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Swoop, swoop

Not only did I have a great lesson today, but I got to squeeze in an extra session afterwards because youth hockey is on break. Yaaaay!

P fixed my toe loop, because she always fixes my toe loop, and I always find some new and interesting way to crap it up again by the next time I see her. This jump and I, we don't get along.

She actually got me to do two full revolutions in something approaching a camel spin position, and I got myself to do...four? in a perching-on-a-barstool position. AND at least six in a regular scratch spin from back crossovers. It was so centered I couldn't tell from the tracings. (YAY IT WAS FINALLY CENTERED AGAIN AFTER A WEEK OF TRAVELING TO TIMBUKTU.)

Her immediate instinct upon seeing how well I was doing with the back cross rolls was to make them harder by adding a bit where you hold your free foot behind the skating foot for a while on the roll part, and it is so much harder than it looks, wow. Ditto for the inside edges with free foot held behind the skating foot. They look cool, very swoopy and powerful, but if you fall off that edge, there is nothing to save you. You're going DOWN.

We also did the inside three turn version of the power three pattern, because I didn't hate that pattern enough. At least I won't be tested on it. And it'll maybe improve my poor, pathetic inside three turns.

P is going to a competition next month and spent some time working on her program to one of the more bombastic parts of "Appalachian Spring," which is such perfect music for her it almost hurts. Ostensibly, I hung out at the boards so I could stay out of her way, but really I was just enthralled. Swoopiness! Power! Confidence! Everything I want to have! She's been working on a spread eagle into axel maneuver for months now that has a prominent place in the program, and it's so great. I hope there's video from this competition.

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Aug. 2nd, 2015

Freestyle was kind of sucky at practice today (ugh, toe loops, ugh), but there were many good parts:

1. I got my free foot in the right spot and my weight over the right part of my blade on a sit spin. Once. For two revolutions. But that's more than it's been before.

2. I got 1.5 revolutions on a "camel" spin. I was in at best an arabesque position, but, you know. Baby steps.

3. Back cross rolls were amazing again. I easily got all the way down the ice without running out of steam. I'm astonished when I remember that 18 months ago in the Edges class, J the Younger and I were cracking up as we kept moving our feet frantically and getting absolutely nowhere.

4. I don't usually compare myself to other skaters because we all started at different points (most of them way earlier than me) and have been out for different amounts of time due to injury, have different ages and genetics, etc., so it's kind of futile. But that said, G is our Moves and Curry champ, second only to P. (She's been P's student for umpteen years, so it's not surprising.) She has beautiful, graceful spirals, turn sequences, etc. And yet today I managed to give her advice when she was having trouble on the Bauer three turns that were the bane of my existence for a couple of weeks in March, and which I have now made my peace with. That felt good.

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