Thursday, January 19, 2012

"Prom Nite" at the Ice Rink

Good Morning Campers:  Recall that my initial goal was to pass ISI's Beta level skating test by the conclusion of the first set of seven lessons.  Well last night was Prom Nite or perhaps more accurately, Test Night (aka: the final lesson of the series) and yep, I staggered around the ice under the glare of our clipboard toting instructor well enough to make the grade.  At the end of the lesson students were presented with badges and certificates for the various levels they had passed.  This was as good as Cub Scouts!  Hell, actually it was better than scouts--I got badges and didn't have to sleep on the cold, hard ground with ticks and vermin in a leaky pup tent!  Yes, I did have my share of encounters with the cold, hard ice but as of today my hip bruise, which at it's height, was the size of the state of Montana, has now retreated to the size of Delaware or maybe Rhode Island.  With a bit more time I think I could have gotten past the Gamma level test as well but to be honest my FO3 turns are sketchy and my inside edges, required for the Gamma test's inside Mohawks are still AWOL.

One last bit of hilarity: at the end of the previous lesson I had complained to the kids behind the counter that my rental skates were dull (after finding a pair that caused only moderate discomfort I noted their number and asked for the same pair at each lesson).   I suspect that the kids in charge of those skates decided to fix my wagon because on test night those skates were so sharp I could barely get 'em to snow plough stop!  Things did improve as the lesson (and edges) wore on but after collecting my badges I went to the rink pro shop and ordered a good but relatively inexpensive pair of boots and blades.  They should arrive before the start of the next session of group lessons which kick off in a couple of weeks. These boots will be heat molded to my feet (something new to me--a skater from the ancient age of leather) and since these skates aren't way over the top money-wise I won't be reluctant to take them pond skating or to outdoor rinks. With my own equipment and more ice time, hopefully those skills which have abandoned me will soon report back for duty.

My next goal is to get over the top of Gamma by the end of the second set of lessons and hopefully qualify for Delta by next Turkey Day.  Getting to Delta level will bring me back to the land of creditable skaters and allow me to take to the ice without endangering the rest of the skating public.  From near zero to Delta inside a year; can your aging diarist do it?  We shall see...

I was tempted to ask for the "Tot" 1 through 4 badges as well but wisely decided that the Mistress of Ceremony's sense of humor probably didn't stretch that far...!


  1. George -
    Nice to hear from a fellow adult skater. I look forward to following your progress. We adult skaters tend to be very goal oriented and work hard to achieve those goals ... so it's always inspiring to support each other in doing so. Enjoy the journey!
    Terri Levine (hipsk8)

  2. P.S. - You mention in an earlier post that you lurk on an ice dance group ... are you on IDOL? Terri

    1. Terri: Yes! IDOL was another recent discovery. I'm tempted to guess that you are that group's moderator. If so, thanks for adding me to the group! I hope to actually be good enough to dance a couple of the simpler dances in a year or so. Even back in my Delaware days I was more interested in footwork than aviation. Completing a nice set of moves is just, well, satisfying! Now, if I can move, turn and actually stay in time to the music--that will be icing on the cake!

    2. Yes, I am the IDOL co-moderator. I am so glad you discovered us! The adult ice dance community is a wonderful group and very welcoming. My guess is you'll be able to dance the simpler dances in less than a year. I actually think you'll see a lot of progress as soon as you get out of those rental skates!!!

    3. Thanks for welcome and the vote of confidence! I don't want to get too far ahead of my current command of skills but I have bookmarked a site: that has downloadable (might be a word) sketches of the various dance patterns. I'll print out the Dutch Waltz and see if I can decipher and memorize it well enough to stagger around the rink. Once I pass Delta level I'll join our local FS club and find out more about our dance scene/coaches etc.

  3. I might also recommend the "Learn to Ice Dance" videos ...

  4. Thanks Terri! I'll get them and perhaps the e-book as well.