Saturday, August 29, 2015

Junior Moves in the Field

USFSA Junior Moves in the Field Test Figure Skating Recap.

This past Tuesday, I tested Junior Moves in the Field. I passed! Going into this test was a rather last minute decision. The consistency wasn't quite where we wanted it to be, but seeing as there really wasn't anything in September, we decided to take the risk and go for it. A huge motivator for me was my desire to officially be a 'Junior Lady' in moves before TOI Boston tryouts in September. Plus, I've been working on these patterns since I passed Novice in December, so I was very ready to move on!

Day of the test went pretty well. There were (as always!) timing issues concerning the judges and stuff, so we actually ended up getting a longer warm-up, so that was nice. The first pattern, Outside Rockers, was alright but rather slow. Not okay, since this test is all about power! On the Inside Rockers and Power Pulls I was able to pick up my speed, and I kept it throughout the test, especially with the Step Sequence (my favorite!).

My edges weren't great on the Choctaw and my back loops got a little bit off-track, so when the judges didn't let me off the ice immediately my coach and I thought I'd have to re-skate one of those. We were super surprised when they called me over and had me re-do the Outside Rockers! Their main complaint with those was my speed. I was so surprised that they wanted to see that again...instead of my Choctaw...that I just went and powered through the pattern without much nerves.

Truth be told, I passed by the skin of my teeth (total needed is a 24.0...I got two 24.0's and a 24.1), but I passed. I skated my best that day, and did a better job of presenting each element and acting like I was a mature, Junior Lady (which I've had trouble with in the past!). Highlight of the day was definitely one of the judges telling me that my step sequence was 'the best phrased she had ever seen.' Eeep! My coach and I worked really hard on the placement of that pattern, so that's exciting!

***

Skating, while being a source of so much joy, and purpose, and fulfillment for me, has also given me my fair share of doubt and frustration. I have always worried about the legitimacy of what I'm doing, since I've never really competed. And I've always felt 'wrong' that I was such a late-bloomer to the testing world (I didn't test my Pre-Pres until my Freshman year. I know).

But, this week I've been taking some time to just appreciate how far I've come. Back in the spring of my freshman year, I passed my first three tests: Pre-Preliminiary MIF, Preliminary MIF, and Pre-Preliminary Freeskate, all in the same day. Since then, I've gone on to pass the next five MIF tests and 3 freeskate tests within my time in high school. This time last year, it would be another two months before I tried (and failed) Novice for the first time. Now, I've passed Novice and Junior.

I am very proud of what I've been able to accomplish on the ice. It's taken me awhile, but I've finally realized that we all have our own path...and the bumps in my road just add to my story. This time next year, I have a very good chance of having passed my Senior MIF. And that is something to be proud of.

I am a very goal-oriented person, but I often get too wrapped up in the end-goal. I can get frustrated by the process, and forget how far I've come. In many ways, I feel like my skating journey is just beginning, and I've got a huge list of things I want to do. But I need to be better at reminding myself how far I've come, if only to gain inspiration as to where I'll be in another four years.

A new season, a new test to work on. No baggage. The road ahead looks very, very bright today.

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