This is definitely a two steps forward, one step back sport.  Either that, or I get more and more critical of myself as time passes and then I feel like elements suck because I don’t look like Tanith Belbin when I do them.  Hardly a fair comparison since I’ve only been doing this for a year.  Well, almost a year.  I think it was at the end of April when I started this last year.  I wish I had written it down so I would know!  It’s kind of an important date.

We’ve been working really hard on my back push because it’s very weak.  I push, and nothing happens.  Actually, I glide back a little bit, but it’s so unimpressive!  Rich and I were talking about this the other day.  I have strong legs compared to your average person.  They’re athletic and well-toned and all of that.  However, for skating … they’re weak and puny.  Duke used to tell me to say good-bye to my skinny legs which I thought was funny because I don’t think I have skinny legs.  In regular life, no.  In skating life, oh yes!  I know they’re much stronger than they’ve been in years because I recently decided to start running again (it’s been years and years).  I want my weight to drop, and I need something intense to make that happen.  Running is the answer.  I had no problem reeling off the miles, and I had minimal soreness.  I wasn’t expecting that at all!  I figured I’d have to bathe in Icy Hot.  My lungs were fine, my legs were fine, but my form is ass.  I’m concentrating on keeping my shoulders down and back and my arms in.  They’re a bit sticking-out right now because for running, I am fat.  It’s like being Fat Ice Dancer.  In regular life, I’m not fat, but for those two pursuits, ugh.  Fat fat fat!!!  Anyway, the point is, my legs are plenty strong for running and aerobics and ballet and Pilates, etc., but not so much for the skating.

We have also added the Hickory Hoedown.  I learned this dance in my group class as a solo dance.  It’s a bit different being partnered.  In addition to directional changes, we have changes in our holds.  Egads!  My elbows were all over the wrong places, and I kept trying to smack Duke in the face to get back into Killian from Waltz hold.  Poor guy, I’ve got to wonder if he goes home and cries after dealing with me.  Whoever made up this dance ought to be taken to the woodshed.  It’s so fucking corny.  Our rule for it is that we’re only testing the damn thing once, so I better pass it.  I’ll just have to get all “yee-haw” and Texan-y (which I’m allowed to say since I live in Texas) and go with the corniness.

I finally got my Willow Waltz into the right spots on the rink.  When I practice it by myself, I obviously don’t have the advantage of Duke steering me into the right places (he only does this when I’m learning a new dance – as we get closer to testing, he quits steering so that he’s not carrying me through my tests.  That’s a very annoying subject to me.  I work my ass off to be able to do everything I do with a partner on my own, but there are people out there who allow themselves to be carried through level after level of testing.  Why?  It just makes you suck.).  I had been running Imaginary Duke’s ass right into the boards on the end pattern.  Today, I got everything put into the right spots, so Duke ought to be happy the next time we do it as his butt will be spared.  Assuming I do it right next time.  You just never know.