So ever since Tabitha couldn't coach me anymore, I haven't found anyone I like. The two coaches I had at the group lessons at Chandler Polar didn't enthrall me and make me want to hire them. So I"ve just been practicing on my own (and developing some bad habits, no doubt).
But when I started up at Oceanside again, going before work, earlier this month, I ran into Tabitha's coach there. Tabitha still takes lessons from her, too. I'm not in touch with Tabitha, she's so busy, but I see her name on the roster. Anyway, the coach's name is Dee. She's very nice, I had met her several times when I was skating with Tabitha. So Dee knew who I was. When I saw Dee that morning, April 4, I asked her if she was available for coaching. Her answer had lots of integrity...she said she wanted to check with Tabitha first, to make sure she wasn't "stealing" one of her students. Awwww. :) That impressed me. Since Tabitha and I haven't skated for a very long time now, it's safe to say our time was done, so Dee said it was OK.
I had my first lesson with Dee this morning, and wow! It was GREAT! She really had some unique ideas, a unique way of going about teaching, and we got a lot done in just 15 minutes. Oh, right....she coaches in 15 minute increments! And, it's very expensive! $22 per 15 minutes. But I decided to try one lesson, just to see what I might get out of it. And I ended up getting a LOT. Besides pointing out some things I was doing wrong (in crossovers and 1-foot forward glides), she really had me work on using my toe picks. She held my hands as I skated backwards, and she helped me figure out where my balance needs to be (I was too far back on the back of my blades...she had me work on keeping my weight on the ball of my foot instead). She had me stand at the low wall, facing the wall, knees deeply bent, back straight, and had me practice raising up onto my toe picks and then back down again. I tell ya, what a calf workout THAT is!! Then, when I'm on the toe picks, she had me do a little hop and land back on the toe picks, then drop back to the whole blade. Then, the next step was, when I'm up on the toe picks, lift one foot, and hop onto the other toe pick on the other foot, then come down to the full blade again. This exercise is to prepare me for doing a waltz jump! My goodness, it was NOT easy!!
Speaking of blades, Dee says that's why I've hit a plateau. My skates (and blades) are for beginners. The toe pick is very small, very short, and set way in the front of the blade. That's so beginners won't trip over the bigger toe pick that more experienced skaters use. I told Dee, well, I AM a beginner. She looked surprised and said no, you are not! She said I"m more than ready for the more advanced blade, with the bigger toe pick, and sharper edges, so I can start doing the things I'm struggling with. I was so proud of myself, to hear a professional coach tell me I'm not a beginner anymore! Even after 2 years, I was still feeling like one...but maybe now, I'll set my sights higher and think of myself as Intermediate. Soooo cool...
Since Dee's rate is so expensive, I think I can only afford her every 2 weeks, which is better than nothing, I guess. Maybe once I get new skates, I can save up to get her once a week, to learn how to use the new blades. I'm sure it will be like learning all over again! But how exciting!!! :))
Time to move up in the skating world!!