Diary of a New Skater :: by Sara Bertie

The Gift

I am rearing to go on Saturday morning and can honestly say that having a lesson on a Friday makes all the difference to my mental state on a Saturday morning. I feel more confident getting onto the ice knowing that I was on it less than 24 hours ago.

As with all my lessons we do a couple of laps to warm up skating both forwards and backwards before hitting the middle of the rink. Whilst I still dislike being in the middle of the rink it doesn't bother me quite as much anymore. We recap runs and I am sad to say despite being told off repeatedly the day before for not bending my knees, I still don't bend my knees...or so I am told anyway...in fact my lack of bent knees actually causes John to shout at me "BEND THOSE KNEES!" I am fully aware that bending your knees is fundamental to skating but as I have learnt over the course of skating, knowing something in my head doesn't mean it automatically transfer to my legs.

Today, John decides to give me a gift...the gift of backwards chasses. Now, I am a girls girl and believe that gifts should only come in Tiffany coloured boxes. Backwards chasses does not constitute as a gift in my mind. I understand what I need to do straight away, after all it's a chasse but just going backwards, how hard could it possibly be? Well, very as it turns out. I really don't like standing on my right leg for anything more than half a second. Also I can't seem to get a good push with my left leg. John has to hold onto to me so that I can actually stand on my right leg. This in itself is not a problem but I know that I won't want to practice them on my own for fear of falling over. I also have an intense dislike of skating backwards on a Saturday. Mainly because  it's super busy with little kids and although I do look where I am going (most of the time) I am still scared of falling over a small child.

After continuously trying (and failing) to do backwards chasses my earlier sunny disposition is quickly disappearing and my grumpy face is bordering on a tantrum face. John tells me that skating is a mix of arrogance and sheer stubbornness. Well the stubbornness I have in buckets but the arrogance (read confidence) is severely lacking. I have zero confidence in my ability to do anything other than skate forwards...and even then that is only if I am skating slowly! I'd like to say that I was a brave girl and I practiced the backwards chasses on my own but I would be lying. In fact I don't practice anything backwards at all. I am not so sure about today's gift. I think I will stick to jewellery and chocolates.