If there are any special news about my skating life, you can read up on it here.Season 2010/2011
February 6, 2011:
The "Paderborner Figure Skating Trophy" went very well for me, much better than my first competition! Even though it seemed difficult at first to skate at a rink that I wasn't familiar with and had to be all there after just a 6-minute warm-up. I managed this situation surprisingly well and the conditions and the ice quality were good this time around. Even though the jumps didn't work so well, overall I was satisfied this time. We were only two skaters in my category and I came in first with 15.25 points. (The same judging system was used here as with the competitive athletes.) Video
Now I only have to get more experience in competitions to master them as securely as my practices, because you can't learn how to compete during practice...
The next opportunity is towards the end of April at the Fabulous Cup where I'll hopefully have three performances, provided I can do the exhibition...
December 28, 2010:
The first half of the season is over and my training went very well again in the past few months, I could improve a lot of elements. However, not much new has been added, I've increasingly worked on the basic elements. What's new is the sit spin and the camel spin that I'm working on intensively. There's still a long way to go until both spins work as planned since spins aren't my strongest element anyway. It's still a lot of fun to notice a small improvement every week. I won't be able to include them in competitive programs yet, though, because these spins aren't allowed at my skating level. (At least at the ISI Level, see here.) It may still take me some time to advance to the next level. I'm not in a hurry, though. At the moment I'm not so ambitious as to reach higher levels, I'd rather skate well in competition, regardless of the level.
This season, I'm planning two competitions:
The Paderborner Figure Skating Trophy from Febuary 4 - 6 where the new judging system will be used. It'll be interesting to find out what my program is "worth" in points.
And, as always, the Fabulous Cup (April 28 - May 1) where I'd like to skate two programs. One is still in the works, and I hope that it'll be received well....
August 4, 2010:
My first (solo) performance in a competition sadly didn't go as well as I had hoped for. I couldn't cope with the bad ice conditions (hard and slow). Despite my excellent preparation, I therefore stayed below my best. The excitement added to that and caused me to fall over the toe pick in a forward crossover during my program, something that hasn't happened to me in a long time. My competitors were very good and I already thought to myself, that's it.... It was only during the award ceremony that we learned about our placements, and once again I was surprised to have come in second after all (out of 3, exactly as in 2008), because I considered myself very weak today. I'm happy with the result, but not at all with the performance I delivered. Now I'm wondering what the judges liked so much to justify a second place (??). Here you can watch my program and you can compare it with my practice.
July 23, 2010: It's one week until the Gay Games in Cologne! 90 skaters will participate in this competition, exactly 50% women and 50% men, of every age from 18 to approx. 70 and every level, too! In these disciplines: singles, pairs and ice dance. My performance will be on Monday, August 2 at approx. 6:10 p.m. local time (schedule). Already on Saturday, July 31, there will be a huge opening ceremony where all of the estimated 10,000 athletes (competing in 35 athletic disciplines) will participate!
June 7, 2010: The season ends for me on June 19, all ice rinks are closed then. This season was a very successful one, which I primarily owe to Florian Just. With his exceptional knowledge of figure skating, he managed very quickly to teach me everything that I had wanted to learn this season, and we've been such a good "team" that this even exceeded my expectations. Even with my worst element, the spin, he didn't tire of consistently showing me again and again how to do it although the progress was frustratingly slow and I doubted that this would ever work out. But we cleared this hurdle, too! When we started last August, we couldn't guess how far I'd make it once I started the "real" training with him. There was no way of thinking of something like competing as a singles skater this season, although this was supposed to be the goal. I was capable of a few things from my previous 3 years of self-teaching, but I realized, however, that I was weaker and that figure skating is more complicated than I thought. Therefore I had to learn everything anew from the very basics. Now I've met my goal for the season to skate the program for my first competition, the Gay Games, cleanly and that I'm in shape and prepared for this competition, which takes place August 1 - 5 (with an exhibition) in Cologne. You can read up on it HERE. I compete in the category "Solo Creative Free Skate" on the level ISI Freestyle 3.
March 22, 2010: At the beginning of April, most of the rinks in NRW will close, but this will reduce my training just a bit. Last week, I received the good news that the rink in Dortmund will be open until June 20! This means that I won't have to endure a break that lasts for weeks right before the Gay Games in early August. I'm lucky this time, the break will probably be only one week. I can keep practicing in Willingen, and presumably from July 19, I can practice in Unna on two weekends. Just a few days later, the competition in Cologne already starts. Actually, I had prepared for not being able to practice for at least 4 weeks, so I was wondering whether 2-3 practice sessions before the competition would be enough. Even though I never have any difficulty to reach my old form after a break, I resent long "forced breaks." By now, I've also adjusted to my new blades. I can feel a significant difference to the old blades, and skating on the edges is much safer!
February 27, 2010: I bought new skates in July, but just the boots. I had to keep the old blades because there wasn't enough money for new blades. It went quite alright at first, but I recently noticed that the old blades were pretty much worn down after 3 years, or rather sharpened down (see picture). I shouldn't always wait until it's too late!! So I bought new ones today and went straight to the next rink to try them out. For the first half hour on the ice, nothing worked at all anymore, and it took a while to get better. I hadn't expected this to be so difficult. But after 90 min, I was able to skate a few elements again. In general, the new blades feel a lot better than the old ones, of course.
January 5, 2010: Today Florian and I completed the choreography for my first program in just an hour! I didn't expect this to be done so quickly! Because it turned out that it was somewhat difficult to fit in the elements in a way that matched the music. We had picked the music some days earlier. We're very pleased with the result. The program may only be 1:50 min, but it's filled with lots of content, such as jumps, spirals and step sequences. Now it's only about coordinating the action as well as practicing the elements.
December 26, 2009: I've always dreamed of having a rink all to myself once... Today this came true, I could hardly believe it! As it turned out, nobody else was interested in the session on Boxing Day. For two hours, I could let it all out there on my own. It was a great "Christmas gift."
December 8, 2009: Quite unexpectedly, the training this season goes so well that I've now decided after due consideration that I will take part in the Gay Games in August 2010 after all. That's a major event for recreational athletes (also if, like me, you're not gay) which only takes place every four years. Coincidentally, the event is held in Cologne in 2010, which isn't that far away for me. Participating is a big step for me because I'd like to start as a singles skater. This would have been unthinkable just a year ago, but Florian quickly made me achieve as much in the practice sessions that I can now take a chance. Skating singles is more difficult than doing pairs: for one, you're alone, but there are also more elements in a program. But I accept the challenge. ;-) I'm looking forward to the coming training months. I will compete in the category "Solo Creative Free Skate," ISI Level Freestyle 3.
October 20, 2009: I landed the salchow jump for the very first time today! I had wanted to learn this jump for a long time, but I wasn't able to teach myself how to do it. I did know the jump in theory, but it's a different story to try it yourself. What worked for the toe loop (learned in Nov. 2007) didn't work at all for the salchow. When Florian showed me the technique in detail, it only took a few minutes and I was able to land the jump. I could hardly believe that it happened so quickly since I had tried in vain on my own for such a long time!
August 9, 2009: Today I'm finally getting professional support in my training from Florian Just. He is an active competitive figure skater (pairs skating) and has excellent skills of showing you the skating techniques. The past 3 years I taught myself almost everything on my own by use of my theoretical knowledge of the elements. I was able to do a bit of everything, but nothing properly. At last, I had reached a point where there was hardly any progress anymore. In our first session, I realized how much this coaching was what I had missed all the time. Executing all the elements correctly is more complicated than you'd imagine! In addition, I was lacking the whole basics. I'm planning on catching up in the next couple of months!
July 18, 2009: Over the last two weeks I noticed that I can't skate that well anymore in my old skates (bought in March 2007). The boot became very soft and it hardly supports me anymore. I quickly had to make the decision to buy new ones because it really hardly worked anymore. Today, I skated in my new skates (Risport RF3) for the first time. I was very unsure at first whether I'd soon be able to skate as well as before since the boots are very hard. But it took me only 10 min. to notice that, surprisingly, skating went WAY better than before, and I am thrilled!
July 5, 2009: The rink in Unna already reopens during the summer vacation, and I am totally looking forward to begin again so soon without having to wait for 2-3 months for the beginning of the season! This time, the waiting period was less than 5 weeks.