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Posts Tagged ‘Bronze MITF’

Not only did U.S. Figure Skating send me a nice congratulatory e-mail for passing my Bronze Moves test (Mean Coach didn’t even ask me if I passed my test let alone congratulate me – i know, he’s an asshole) they gave me a gift and helped me figure out why I skate. Thanks U.S. Figure Skating!

Dear Stephanie,       
       
Congratulations on passing your U.S. Figure Skating Adult Bronze Moves in the Field test! 
           
The U.S. Figure Skating test structure is the backbone of participation in figure skating, and you should feel proud of your recent accomplishment.
           
Each official U.S. Figure Skating test that you pass is not only a true indicator of your achievement and involvement
within the sport, but is also an accomplishment that goes on your permanent U.S. Figure Skating record.  Adult skaters
such as you possess a passion for the sport and are fortunate to share a camaraderie with numerous adult skaters nationwide. 
We applaud your participation within the Adult Skating Program and acknowledge the various motivational factors such as
recreation, competitive avenues, fitness or networking that may underlie your pursuit and involvement within this athletic
endeavor. 

That being said, U.S. Figure Skating’s Adult Skating Committee is interested in what it took for you to pass
your test, your level of participation in the sport and your level of involvement within the Adult curriculum.

Please take a survey and answer some brief questions about your skating.  The information you provide is anonymous
and confidential. If you recently passed more than one test, be sure to fill out the survey for each one. Each test
level in every discipline requires different amounts of practice, coaching, and ice time.  Your feedback concerning
what it took to get to this level is extremely valuable in developing the future of our sport and Adult Skating as
a whole.  By answering this survey you will help U.S. Figure Skating get to know our Adult skaters better and enable
us to develop tools and programs in the future to help Adult athletes like you get the most out of our sport. 

To take the survey, copy and paste the following survey url into your favorite internet browser:
http://surveys.usfigureskating.org/index.php?sid=85612%26lang=en

As a thank you for completing the survey, and in recognition of your accomplishment, you will receive a
coupon code for 10% off of any purchase in U.S. Figure Skating’s online store you
finish the survey.   

Congratulations again on passing your test, and best wishes for a bright and long future with U.S. Figure
Skating.

Sincerely,
Patricia St. Peter
President
U.S. Figure Skating

The survey wanted to know how long I skate for each week, how much my ice time costs and how much my coach charges and there was this last question:

 What are your most important reasons for participating in figure skating?
Check at most 3 answers

  • To have fun
  • For physical fitness / health / to stay in shape
  • For the social aspects / friendships / social networking
  • For the challenge / goal achievement
  • I like to compete / to satisfy my competitive spirit
  • I want to achieve something I was unable to as a child
  • I skated as a child and have always enjoyed it
  • It provides a break from work / family responsibilities
  • For stress relief
  • To become a better coach / to be able to coach
  • Personal satisfaction
  • Therapeutic reasons

 I answered “I want to achieve something I was unable to as a child” and “To become a better coach/to be able to coach.”
Yeah, I always wanted to be a coach. And even though Mean Coach has way more experience and knowledge about skating than I do, I think I’d be a better coach than him – because I’m not an asshole!

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OMF!
I passed my Bronze Moves In The Field test!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And I have some crazy stories!!!!!!

So I get to my regular rink this morning for a lesson with Mean Coach.
I have everything planned in my head what’s going to happen.
I get to the window, the usual girl is there, she punches my card – the 7th punch on the card!
We rejoice  – lucky #7 for my test day!!!!!!!
Then I enter the lobby and my world fell apart.
It was horrible.
I couldn’t believe it.
I was stricken with panic.
Mean Coach’s skates and bag and 50 million jackets that he wears were on the wrong table!!!
They are ALWAYS on the second table to the right.
ALWAYS!!!
I freaked for a few seconds and then tried to move them to the second table on the right. Where they should be.
But I couldn’t because:
     1. There’s was so much stuff – it was like he was moving in.
     2. I think he would kill me if I touched his stuff.
So with no other options I put my skates on.
Then Mean Coach comes in and I tell him the problem (yeah, it was a problem because it’s not how it always is) and he growls “And you are usually on ice by now!”
Oh he’s so mean!

Luckily I had something to counteract any bad luck.
My banana costume.

Yes.
BA
NA
NA

Last year I did a little program to “Peanut Butter Jelly Time” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FA1gteZFmQY for my rinkmates and we all had a lot of fun with it. So I brought that with today. Can’t explain why.

So I told Mean Coach he had to wear it for my lesson.
And he flat out told me I’m crazy.
But I told him he had to!
So I go to the ice and warm up while he gets his skates on.
I see him come into the rink and he doesn’t have the banana suit on!
I rush over to the boards and block him from getting on the ice.
“No way are you going to jinx me!” and I put the suit on him.

Now, I have a pretty wild imagination, but NEVER in my WILDEST CRAZIEST dreams did I ever imagine I’d be putting a BANANA suit on my triple-world medalist mean Russian skating coach for my amusement. I mean that’s effin crazy!

But he let me do it.
And he wore it for like 15 minutes.
I was getting ready to push off for one of my moves and I look up at him, and he had put his big coat with the furry hood on open over the banana suit, and he’s just leaning with his head against the plexiglass looking totally defeated. And like a banana.
I <3-ed it!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The best part (I know, how could it get better?) was the local elementary school had an in-service day and so instead of our usual private ice there were about 15 little kids who were in awe of the skating banana.
Perfect.

So now it was time to find out Mean Coach’s most embarrassing skating story.
“Hey, Mean Coach, what’s your most embarrassing skating moment?”
“Ah for me it would be Power 3s.”
“Omg! You had trouble with your Power 3s too?!”
“No. I never had problem with Power 3s.”
“So what are you talking about?”
Your Power 3s.”
Oh he’s horrible!!!

So my most memorable previous test memory was when Coach J ate the Snickers bar that he dropped on the dirty disgusting rink floor before I tested. (It is burned in my brain. Not that I’m a germ-a-phobe and wouldn’t do that myself, but not at a special occasion.) So when Mean Coach was getting ready to leave I told him he had to do one more thing.
Just eat a piece a candy.
I handed him a bag of candy and he takes a piece and is like OK.
As he’s about to eat it I say “WAIT! It has to fall on the floor first!”
He refused, shakes his head and says “People in Russia aren’t even this crazy!”

Ok, so now I had a few hours before my test.
I skated a little but was instructed by Mean Coach to not practice my test.
He said do it in the warm up right before the test and if I wanted to skate more now to just do other stuff or preferably rest.

So since Mean Coach and Nice Coach couldn’t be at my test (assholes), Nice Coach’s ice dance partner came with. I had a lesson with her once when Mean Coach was on vacation and she is an awesome coach! but I was surprised by her driving. She drives like I skate! Overly cautious and slow…

We had a nice chat in the car, she told me the best story about how she took her all her USFSA tests at a different rink because she had to test everything – even like pre-pre because she was trained in another country – and she didn’t want to feel silly in front of people she knew.
So I asked her where she tested.
Rhode effin’ Island!
LOL!
(it’s almost a day’s drive from here)

So I’m waiting to skate, I get my pretty outfit on, I brush my hair, I get my skates on and Nice Lady Coach is chatting with some woman, I don’t pay much attention I figure it’s someone’s mom or something. Hold that thought, we’ll come back to this.

So a few years ago I fell on the ice into a Chinese split and pulled my right hamstring. Since that I haven’t been able to hook my over-the-boot tights on my right foot and always make my husband do it.
Well, last year my husband was late to my test and I was freaking out so I had to ask Coach J to do it. (i don’t know why i’m ok with asking people to but on banana suits and eat candy off the floor but i’m super shy about asking for help to hook my tights).
Well without me even having to ask Nice Lady Coach hooked my tights and then says “Where’s my candy?”
She’s the best!

So I go out for my warm up and it was cold in that skirt and I was super nervous!
She gave me some good pointers when I got off the ice, like take my time, finish the moves and enjoy it.
So I go out for test.
I skate to the judges.
I say hello and introduce myself.
They say hello back.
I comment that the coach with the big fur coat and hat on looks very warm.
They laugh.
Then two of them get up and leave.
The one with the fur coat stays.
Apparently I only need one judge for this test and it’s the one I just made fun of..

So I do my Alternating Forward and Backward Crossovers.
I think I did OK.

Now my Power 3s.
This is the one Mean Coach was most “concerned” about.
I didn’t hesitate on the intro and I connected the two sides so I felt pretty good.

Next were the Alternating Landing Positions.
I really focused on holding each one for the whole lobe and while I’m doing this I notice the judge isn’t watching!
She’s writing shit.
And I’m wondering if I should just stop cuz she won’t notice anyway.
But I continued.

I did the Forward Figure 8 and took out a huge chunk of ice on one of my pushes.
Oops.

Then the 5-Step Mohawk Sequence.
So my problem used to be hesitating on the left-side mohawk.
I’ve learned to get through this by saying to myself, aloud, “Do it or he’s going to kill you.”
He being Mean Coach.
And I did it.

Or I thought I did it.

I skate to the judge and I don’t remember exactly what she said at first but I saw that two of the boxes on the judging form didn’t have scores in them.
Then she starts talking about my Power 3s and asks me to do a some for her.
So I was like “Ok, you want me to reskate those?”
“No, just do one or two for me right here.”
“Ok.”
I have never heard of such a scenario before and immediately got pissed at Mean Coach for not preparing me for this.
So I did two, on my good side, and that satisfied her.
Then she wanted the same for the mohawks.
No!!!!!
She said mine were to small.
So I took a deep breath and did the two biggest mohawks of my life.
She was happy with them, and told me I passed regardless but she just wanted to make sure I understood what I was supposed to do on those.
She told me it was a lovely test and that I even got marked higher on three of the elements!!!!
I told her thank you and wished her a lovely afternoon (cuz I’m classy like that) and skated off.

I was so relieved it was over!!!!!!

So I’m taking my skates off and Nice Lady Coach is with me and the judge in the fur coat walks by.
She asks if Nice Lady Coach is my pro and tells Nice Lady Coach that she did a wonderful job with me and that I’m a lovely skater and that she wishes me the best.
Do they say that to everyone who tests? (I don’t think so.)

So I get my copy of the judging form and here are her remarks:
Forward and Backward Perimeter Power Stroking
Mark: 2.6
Comments: Good flow + control

Forward Power Three-Turns
Mark: 2.4
Comments: Bend your knees + really push into these power 3s (She underlined “power” twice) don’t rush the transitions

Alternating Back Crossovers to Back Outside Edges (I call these Landing Positions)
Mark: 2.6
Comments: Nice extension + flow
Stay down in the knees for your crossover

Forward Circle 8
Mark: 2.6
Comments: Nice control + circles
No toe pushes at center to switch from the outside to the inside 8
(I guess she noticed the chunk of ice.)

Five-Step Mohawk Sequence
Mark: 2.5
Comments: Edge quality ok
Try to extend your free leg
Skate into the mohawks more

Result: 12.7 Pass
               Passing Average              Passing Total
Adult                2.5                                       12.5
Masters           2.3                                        11.5

omg deciphering her writing was tougher than the test!

On the ride home, Nice Lady Coach asks me if I know who that woman she was talking to was…It was Dick Button’s ex-wife!
OMG!

Then, as if the day could get any better, when we get back to our rink the extremely hot Siberian hockey coach who I have a crazy rink crush on (it’s ok, my husband knows about it, it’s just a crush) was leaving the arena and he waved to us.
Ok, he just waved to Nice Lady Coach.
But I still got to see hm 🙂

So great day!
Great test!
Great coaches! (even if it did take three of them to take Coach J’s place)
And great story! (I hope!)

Oh, and since Mean Coach is away next week Nice Lady Coach is going to start teaching me the Silver MITF!
SILVER BABY!!!!!!!!

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If I let all the mean things my coaches (and mother) say get to me I would be in Bellevue.

First Mean Coach added arm movements to my first three moves on the Adult Bronze test.
He says “Stephanie, do you know why we do this?”
“Um, because it’s pretty!”
“No, it so judges don’t look at your feet.”
😦

Then “Nice” Coach was showing me something today and he says “Super!”
I was like OMG! I got a “super”!!!!
And then he makes a correction and I’mwas like “Wait, I thought you said it was super.”
He chuckles and says in his Darth Vader from Moscow voice “I was joking.”

I’m trying to not use foul language on my blog so I can’t even tell you what my mother says about my skating!

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Everyone I work with tells me the same thing: “Stephanie, you’re too cautious!”
And they’re right. I tell myself, and my coaches, that I’m not scared but sometimes, I just freeze up. I don’t know why it happens.

Like I want to push myself and go outside my comfort zone, even though I know there’s a chance of getting hurt. And I’m not afraid to get hurt (as long as I don’t mess up my teeth.) I am afraid of not pushing myself and regretting not taking those chances.

So my coach and I were working on my 5-step Mohawk sequence for my Adult Bronze MITF test and as usual it wasn’t good. I get to the left mohawk and I totally tense up. He says it looks like I’m getting ready to do a double axel; to which I always say “Foreshadowing?” Anyway, it’s frustrating!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewpdrt2gWwQ

I learned the left mohawk in December, after many years of trying, so it’s not a comforatable move for me, but still I can do it, so there is no reason for me to chicken out on it.

Coach was so perplexed he asked if I have coordination problems. Um, not that I know of. Then I got so mad at myself I hit myself smack in the head with the stick. (it didn’t hurt) but he was like “Yes! Yes! You have a bug on the brain!” WHAT!?

He explained it’s not a physical problem, it’s a mental problem – like a bug on my brain. (Is this a common Ukrainian expression??) The bug is the hesitation and I need to SQAUSH it!!!

OK! How the eff do I do that???????

Turns out this bug has landed on some other brains, and they gave me advice on how to squash it:

*Start with small steps that go just a little beyond the comfort zone. Always do a little more than what you think you are capable of. Little steps add up big time!

*Pad up! Being suited up like an astronaut gave me the confidence to go for it. And the more I skated, the more confidence I got, I started to take things off that I realized I didn’t need.

* Talk about it. Talking about your fear reduces anxiety.

*The opposite of fear is faith. When you are anxious, a great way to get out of it is to find some faith. Believing that things will get better is sometimes all it takes to make it better. It also helps to never underestimate the power of thinking positive or visualization.

*Commit. http://www.usfigureskating.org/Shell.asp?sid=20423 Read it.

*The best way to get over fear is to practice until you don’t feel scared any more. That might be a lot. That might be several years. Whatever. The more you do it, the more you will see that you CAN do it.

———————–

A lot of the above advice came from skateboarder Steve Cave at http://skateboard.about.com Turns out skateboarders get scared too. And we thought they were so badass. 😉

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