Figure Skating Journal

Fifth Lesson


My fifth lesson of the Learn to Skate program went well! I think this was the most practice I have gotten out of all of my lessons on ice. At this point, my teacher said that my class has learned all of the skills taught in level one and gave us a preview of level two, which included skating backwards and gliding (briefly) on one foot.

I now have to practice all of my skills in preparation for the test at the end of the month. The test will determine if I can move onto level two. I hope that I can pass!

As a side note, I love my new skates! I am so glad I waited and found a pair that I truly loved. They make all the difference when skating: finding a balance of comfort and support.

My main takeaways from this lesson are:

  • I am strong at stopping! It really helps if you bend your knees and stay low when you stop.
  • Be patient when learning basic skills. Basic skills are the ones that are critical to know to build confidence and be safe.

My goals for my next lesson are:

  • Continue to practice pushing with my left foot when gliding.
  • Continue practicing combining my skills to perfect them for my end of the month assessment.

Thank you for reading!

Fourth Lesson


Nothing significantly noteworthy happened in my lesson today. My class was trying to combine all of the skills we have been learning while trying to learn the dip and the "rocking horse" (forward and backward swivels). I was also noticing the difference in between rental skates over the past few weeks; each pair has a different feel and thus results in a difference in my skating. My coach said that rental skates are not commonly sharpened and may slip on the ice if they are too dull. So because of my skates and the combination of my new skills, I feel that I did adequate but not great with this lesson.

Meanwhile, I think I did find a pair of skates I like! A pair of Lake Placid skates came in the mail and they seem like the perfect fit. I was getting quite discouraged after trying three pairs but nothing seemed to hold my ankle in well. I will be trying them during practice this week!

My main takeaways from this lesson are:

  • Combining skills is difficult! It may cause you to forget the basics in the moment. But that's what practice is for!
  • Everyone has a dominant foot when skating but don't neglect the other foot.
  • I cannot stress enough the importance of weight shifting and strength training in your legs. If you can do that, I think it will help immensely!

My goals for my next lesson are:

  • Try to use my left foot more when gliding.
  • Relax! Weight shifting is normal. It feels nerve wracking but if you relax it definitely helps.
  • Take things at my own pace. Speed can always be gained in the future.

Third Lesson


Lesson three of my Learn To Skate program went very well! I am so happy to write that I advocated for myself and told my coach about my circumstances. She seemed to be understanding and thanked me for giving her that information; she said she would not have known that if I hadn't told her which further solidified the importance of self-advocacy for myself. To be honest, I was very anxious about having this conversation the entire week leading up to the lesson. But I have to admit that it went better than I expected and I am proud of myself for doing so.

We learned how to stop and began to practice swivels. I don't really like them but I am beginning to realize their importance in learning to ice skate.

The main difference I noticed in myself today was my confidence level and my ability to focus on the skill. In the previous two lessons, I was so consumed with the fear of falling that I could not relax nor focus on the skills I was learning. Now, going forward I hope that I can maintain this confidence. I do realize that confidence ebbs and flows and I have to remind myself that every day will not be a good day. I have, however, established that I can do my best. I just have to trust myself!

(I am also working on buying a pair of skates for myself so that has been fun!)

My main takeaways from my third lesson are:

  • Figure skating is about weight shifting. The exercises I'm currently working on are important to build weight shifting skills.
  • Relaxing your body is very important.
  • Centralizing your body weight is critical for balance in figure skating
  • Skating can be adapted for special circumstances such as mine. Don't be discouraged to try it if you have special circumstances

My goals for this week are:

  • Continue to build leg strength by doing daily squats
  • Don't look at my feet while I'm skating
  • Relax my body: Shake out my limbs before I start skating to relax

Second Lesson


Not much to say about my second lesson to be completely honest. My second lesson of the Learn to Skate program consisted mostly of an advertisement by my coach and her assistant about a overpriced skating shop and practicing falling once again. Although I did well when I practiced personally the day before, I felt like I was back to square one with this lesson. I don't feel like my coach understands my situation: that I am a recreational skater, not professional, and that I have special circumstances that affect my skating ability.

My main takeaways from this lesson are:

  • I need to advocate for myself and my circumstances. Not doing so is a burden on both my coach and myself.
  • I still need to work on my confidence and relax more.

My goals for my next lesson are:

  • Advocate for myself. Tell my coach about my circumstances. Be sincere and confident.
  • Don't let my second experience spoil the rest of my lessons. Continue to work hard, hold my head high, and strive to do my best!

First Lesson


I had my first skating lesson yesterday with the Learn to Skate program! Despite my initial frustration and embarrassment after the lesson ended, now that I have reflected on it, it was a really great experience.

With my rental skates, helmet, and wrist guards, I learned how to fall correctly on the ice (without injuring myself) and how to step across the ice! This step is a predecessor to the glide, which I will learn as I become more advanced. I do have a little bit of experience skating prior to this lesson so it was not like I was staring this lesson with zero experience, but I had not skated in about 13 years!

My main takeaways of my first lesson are:

  • It's okay not to be the best, or the first.
  • Starting slow is nothing to be ashamed of.
  • Nervousness is normal! Everyone's nervousness manifests in different ways. If yours is blatantly obvious, like mine, it's okay. You will work out your jitters and you will be okay!
  • Don't compare yourself to anyone else. Your journey is your own!
  • Don't close yourself off from help. That's why your teacher is there!

My goals for my next lesson are:

  • Don't focus on not falling/getting hurt. If it happens, it happens! I'll learn!
  • Squat properly and make sure to keep my knees bent at all times
  • Relax and believe in myself!

Thank you for joining me and to my future self, I am proud of you!


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