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Posts Tagged ‘Testing’

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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I Test Tomorrow!!!

I’m triple excited!!!!

I have my outfit picked out.
And my back-up outfit.
That’s the most important thing, cuz if I fail I’m going to fail looking good.

And the Ladies freeskate from Cup of Russia was just on and Ashley Wagner had an awesome program to “Malaguena.”
Kristi’s Yamaguchi’s “Malaguena” program is one of my all-time favorite skates and “Malaguena” was my favorite piece to play in concert, so I think it’s a good sign. 
Speaking of signs, here’s my horoscope for tomorrow (my horoscopes are always about skating):

‘You put the Whosit, on the whatsit, attach the whatsi to the whoosi, connect the thingamajig, to the thingumabob and that’ll make the whatcha-ma-call-it go…’ So sang the great Johnny Mercer in one of his lesser-known compositions. Decades later, we’re still struggling with this idea. Only now, there are more thingamajigs than ever before… and none of us are sure which thingumabobs go with which whatsits. Are you making the right connections today? If you’re feeling fairly sure of something, trust this and try it.

Which I interpret to mean make sure I connect my Right Power 3s to my Left Power 3s – Mean Coach said I can’t stop or skate slow in between the two sides, I have to connect them. I was just going to stop because he won’t be there to see what I do, but now that I know the universe knows I’m not supposed to stop then no way am I stopping!

And I didn’t get the pep talk I was expecting from Nice Coach today. His last words to me were “Kick butt, take notes.” (He’s so weird.) But he did tell me his most embarrassing skating story (The Great Coach J told me his before I tested last time and it helped calm me down so I’m asking Nicey and Meany to tell me theirs.) Nice Coach’s story wasn’t as colorful as The Great Coach J’s, just that he fell at his biggest competition, but I get it. He fell at his biggest competition and he’s still a great skater, it didn’t ruin his life, he survived. But then he asked to hear my most embarrassing skating story and when I told him how I accidentally mooned the Stick-n-Puck session he sternly told me “It’s skating. Not stripping.”

And that’s what I’ll be thinking about as I take my Bronze MITF test tomorrow.

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I test in one week and today I found out Mean Coach won’t be there. (asshole)
On one side I’m relieved because he literally scares the shit out of me.
On the other side I’m bummed because it would have been so cool to have him there when I pass. (yes, I’m going to pass!)
But this is something an adult figure skater deals with that I bet a kid skater never does.
A kid would always at least have a parent there – and the way some of these parents act they think they’re the coach anyway.

Also when we were working on my Power 3-Turns (which is he weakest part of my test) and I couldn’t get past the introductory steps – I was just blanking (also known as chickening out and being a wus) – I asked Mean Coach to tell me something encouraging so I could get over what ever was stopping me.
This is what he told me: “Stephanie, you know best way to not be nervous? A couple of shots before test.”
Yup, he told me I should drink before my test – LOL!
I know (hope!) no coach gives a kid that advice.
Although it might be good for some of the parents.

And kid skaters have a much easier time picking skating outfits than adults. 
They have a better selection and they don’t have boobs.
You ever find the perfect skating dress but can’t wear it because you have to wear a bra? Ugh!

Speaking of skating outfits and Mean Coach, today I asked the nice lady coach at my rink to help me pick which skirt I should wear for my test. 
Mean Coach overhears and chimes in with his opinion and I’m like “I don’t want your opinion, you dressed like a leprechaun in your last junior worlds.”
And he goes “What’s a leprechaun?”
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
He kills me.

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I’m Not A Loser

But I feel like one.

So two weeks ago, after I passed five skating tests in one session (I’m still getting congratulated by people I don’t know) my coach was all excited and said I should test the next MITF level and dances. He looked over the Adult Bronze MITF and exclaimed “This is going to be easy!”

Then today he tells me I’m not testing. I’m not ready… for any of it. I feel a little loserish – he said it was easy and I can’t do it.

I knew I wasn’t going to be ready for the MITF test, but I was really excited to test the Swing and Cha Cha dances. Oh well, at least I won’t have to stress about what dress to wear. (Of course I wouldn’t wear the same dress I wore to the last test, I’m not a loser like Michelle Obama.)

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I Test Soon!

I’m so excited! I’m definitely testing the Dutch Waltz and Canasta Tango. If I can get my shit together then the Rhythm & Blues and Pre-Bronze Moves and Freestlye too.

The Rhythm & Blues I need to execute those cross behind slips way better, and for the Pre-Bronze MIF I need an entrance edge on my Left Inside 3-Turn.  It’s my Grendel.

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