|The ISI's delta patch|
So, what's plan? How far up the freestyle ladder do I want to go? Probably not very far. I'm guessing that I'll top out at FS-1 or perhaps FS-2. There are valuable skills in those levels to acquire such as inside pivots, cleaning up my back edges and learning the simpler dance step sequences. The half rotational jumps encountered in the low level freestyle classes are probably about as much "aviation" as this old geezer needs to explore--I can't afford too many more broken bones and my initial goal was not to get to the point where I can throw down double Axels but rather to rejoin the ranks of creditable, graceful skaters who enjoy the ice and don't pose a hazard to others out for a bit of fun.
And to a degree I've achieved that goal: a few weeks ago I came off the ice during a busy weekend public session to tighten the laces on my skates. The rink was heaving with several birthday party loads of small unpredicable kids, many pushing EZ-skater contraptions. While I was busy with my laces one of the moms watching the kids (but not skating herself) said to me "I've been watching you--you're a good skater". I looked up from my skates and replied "thanks, but you're confusing good with entertaining"--my skating is probably very entertaining to watch, particularly when I'm flirting with the ragged edge of disaster, which is oh, about 90% of the time. Kinda like watching NASCAR and waiting for the next fiery crash. I went on to point out that there were some ten year old girls currently out on the ice who indeed are good skaters and my goal, if I live long enough, is to maybe get almost as good as that! Struggling to extract herself from what was probably becoming an awkward conversion, she said "well, you're, hmm, very stylish". I thanked her and returned to the ice. Stylish! Me? Really?! Having conquered my initial goal of being good enough not to do bodily harm to others out on the ice, let's see if I can "style" my way towards the next goal which is to get over FS-1 and then attempt to learn a few of the simpler ice dances. It remains to be seen whether I'm musical enough to skate in time to music. I hope so! Anyway, I've got a hell of a lot of patching, smoothing and cleaning up to do before that. Seeya out there.