Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Week 18: Level 1 Sign Offs - Take 1

So, it had come to this. The last six weeks had been working up to this moment and I was feeling...well...pretty alright actually. Or, at least, I thought I was. When we turned up at the rink, I had to take an anti-histamine as I thought my breathing allergy was playing up (more likely a mild panic attack), checked and doubled checked my wheels and toe stops, kept putting my kit on wrong and was just in a bit of a muddle really!

We had to line-up so our coach could make a note of our numbers, then we warmed up, stretched and got right in to it. I was in the second group, which was nice as I could watch to see what skills we were doing in each section and could mentally prepare for it.
First was derby stance, skating stride, sticky feet and track movement. I'm pretty sure my derby stance was good as my legs were certainly burning! Sticky feet was fine but I was told off during my skating stride as I drifted or did sticky feet around the corners. This was how I got comfortable with going round corners so I never knew that was the wrong way to do things! (You're meant to keep your skating stride going the same way you would on the straight) So I corrected it and was then told I was doing it right. Track movement was also fine.

Next was plough stops, t-stops and glides. I don't know why I even bothered getting up on the track for this! I probably did the best plough stop I've done in a while, but the other two I just kept rolling (rollin', rollin'). I think I was more concerned about not stopping in time and crashing into people so I thought I'd rather just go round people than try and stop. T-stops were the same although I was just more apprehensive about putting my leg behind me and kept leaning forward, which I don't understand as I never used to do this! I gave one foot glides the best I could but, again, still failed miserably at them. In recent days, I seem to have gained more fear about falling over. It might be that before we had two serious falls, I'd never seen anyone get properly injured so it just never sunk in. Maybe now that I've seen someone get injured my subconscious is constantly aware. Even though I've fallen over before and I know it's not that bad, I'm now terrified. I really, really need to get over this. It's so very frustrating!

Next was falls!

Sorry, not falls, taps. But hurrah! Finally something I knew I could do! Right knee taps on the whistle, easy. Left knee taps on the whistle, a little sketchy but still pretty good. Double knee falls, nailed it! But...wait...what's this?! My toe stop had come off yet again! Gah! I managed to retrieve my washer and luckily I'd brought my skate tool on to the track with me. Apparently my toe stops are just too low. They're set at the right length, but there's just not enough thread in the plate for them to stay in nicely. They are long-stemmed, but the way my skates are, I have to secure the toe stop in with a nut rather than tightening the plate around them with an allen key. I think this makes it easier for my toe stop to just pop out. As we're not learning toe-stop runs for Level 1 now, I can just raise them but, later, I'm either going to have to learn to run on high toe-stops or to purchase a new plate. The latter is more likely as I'm currently skating on nylon plates.
But I digress; I was allowed back on the track with the next group for my four point falls and I got them down too! Yay!

The next skills were stepping and weaving. Stepping wasn't too bad. I did roll a couple of times but managed to steady myself. Backwards was the worst. I did it for a little bit, pretended to be a dinosaur (see last post) and then lost my concentration and kept rolling. I'm hoping I showed enough skill on that to be crossed off, although I know I didn't get signed off on that block as there was also weaving!
I know this isn't on roller skating but I couldn't resist a picture of one of the original Z-Boys.
My first attempt at weaving was too slow. My second attempt, I scuffed a cone and I was too slow. My third attempt, I think I was going fast enough but I fell over. I knew that was going to happen. I always feel like I'm going to fall over when it comes to weaving.
Next was 15-second one foot balance and lateral hops. Needless to say, I didn't get the one foot balances and I'm pretty sure I didn't get lateral hops, although one of the ladies said that she saw me do at least one, so that surprised me a little!

Then there was focus, pace line and pack work. Focus was a little hard. Not looking where you're going while keeping your usual skating stride is very tricky! I
think I managed left and right but I'm sure I didn't manage behind as I was meant to make eye contact with the person assessing us. Although, I blame my lazy eye for that! Hehe. Pace line seemed pretty good. Lots of fun and butt slapping! Pack work did seem okay. A couple people fell which didn't take down the whole pack, so that was good, but our group kept spreading rather than getting in tight. Afterwards, we were told that our communication was some of the best our coach has ever seen but that the pack itself wasn't as good. So I'm not really sure whether we passed that or not.

Finally, last but not least, 20 in 5 and crossovers. Ergh.

We were asked to vote whether we wanted 20 in 5 first or last. The majority ruled last so that's where it was put. I didn't vote as I didn't mind, but I now believe I should've vote for it first. It was a killer. I didn't really care what I got but I wanted to get at least the 15 laps I'd previously got. I set off but I was knackered so, by 3 minutes in, my legs were burning like hell! Also, I was skating with my friends, which was nice, but when they fell over, I was then concerned for them and ended up cheering them on to get up rather than focusing on my skating! Furthermore, I didn't even attempt crossovers as I just didn't feel confident enough, which, actually, may have lessened the burning in my legs and may have upped my laps. In the end I did 13 3/4 laps. I was pissed off.

I ended up completely spread eagle on the floor trying to catch my breath, not really wanting to talk to anyone. We had a few minutes to stretch, which I hardly did, and I then skated off in a sulk, not even stopping to see what I had passed.

The thing that overshadowed it, though, was my two friends getting signed off on the level completely! One had been so nervous about that I secretly bought her a chocolate bar to give to her if she passed (which we all totally knew she would and she did!) So I was super pleased for them that it made me feel silly. I'll be able to give it a go again after the next six weeks and then I'll be out skating with them for the next levels!

I haven't been told what I've passed yet, but when I find out, I'll let you know!

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