It's said that men become philosophical with age, so I suppose I'll put on my "philosopher's hat" for this post. The title for today is a slight paraphrase of a sentence that caught my eye as I leafed through Karin Künzle-Watson's book Ice Skating: Steps to Success. Like most books of this type, this one while helpful, is no substitute for a good coach. Still the sentiment resonates within me. Basically it's another way of stating that well known axiom cherished by minimalists everywhere: "form follows function" or "less is more" (Ludwig Mies van der Rohe meet Karin Künzle-Watson, Karin, Mies) . So, if I can just eliminate or at least minimize all the unnecessary movements and motions that are going on while I'm stroking and executing turns my skating will, by default, become stylish and economical. No extra flourishes or gestures required--all this, of course, is easier said than done in the middle of a fast 3 turn! So many things to keep track of--keep your head up, keep your knee bent, arms over the tracing, don't drop the free hip, don't allow the free leg to flop aimlessly about--the list seems endless.
I keep practicing forward outside 3s and forward inside Mohawks while working on forward inside 3s. Annoyingly, it seems that although the inside 3s are now becoming more consistent, no doubt due to me concentrating on them, my recently conquered outside 3s and those Mohawks are slipping away without constant review. Particularly in the CCW direction--I have a very nice CC forward outside 3; I can hold the back edge almost to a complete circle and the free leg obediently does what free legs are supposed to do. But in the other direction I tend lose track of one or more of those things listed above, and as a consequence have to put the free foot down on the ice roughly 50% of the time! If I ever need a "dropped" CCW forward outside 3, Boy Oh Boy, I've got a beauty... Most aggravating! In a perfect world things which are fixed would stay fixed! Sadly, this is not not the way things operate on Planet George. I keep wondering why I can't replicate the seemingly mindless control which I have somehow mysterious incorporated into muscle memory while going to the right, when attempting the mirror image maneuver in the other direction Oh, I know, I know, it's all about time on the ice, "deliberate practice", etc. but it's still annoying! For the time being I'll just have to live with "half-stylish". Next set of lessons start this Thursday. Diaristdaugther has agreed to join in. Might make a skater out of her yet. More soon.