Better, Faster, Stronger
I think I've mentioned at the beginning of the year that I wanted to skate better, faster and stronger in 2014. I have been working on my basic skating skills and transitions. Admittedly, I have gotten de-motivated and/or lazy at times, but I know how important skating skills are.
Our skating club hosted a competition earlier in the month, and it was such a motivator to watch the elite level skaters speed around the rink during their warmup. Their normal speed is about "kamikaze" speed for me - almost to the point of being reckless. I don't have as much control as they do, so I'm fine going a bit slower, but I still need to push myself beyond my normal comfort zone.
Nowadays, I spend at least 15-20 minutes of a 30 minute freestyle session working on skating skills. I have several patterns that I skate up and down the rink as well as exercises that I do on the hockey circles.
With the faster speed, I have tried doing basic jumps (waltz jumps, loops, loop-loop), and I have noticed that my jumps have been gigantic--well, at least compared to my previous jump attempts.
I hope to continue building up my speed, strength and power so that my skating/presentation scores at the next competition is much higher than before. Of course, that is assuming that my injured knee is stable enough to get me through a program.
Here is a video from a practice last week. I attempted a 3-jump combination (axel-toe loop-loop) and a level 2 sit spin but with a faster entrance.