Sunday, May 20, 2012

Ann Arbor Competition

                 LONG POST!  I have got a lot to say!!  

So Friday was the big day!  That was the day I had my first out of state solo competition in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  I was competing against 11 other people including me, and my two friends that I skate with.  It was about a three hour drive to get to Michigan but after a while we made it and finally got to the rink.

Once we got inside I was amazed by how big it was and how many figure skaters were there!  It was jam packed!  I was already starting to feel nervous even though I didn't skate for probably another hour or so.  After a couple minutes of squeezing past people we found my friends that I would be competing against.  We hugged each other and we were all trying to stay calm, but the tension in the air was too hard to ignore.  They had already gotten their skates and dresses on, but since we (meaning me and my mom) were running a little late, we had to kind of rush.

Once I got my shiny red dress on, my mom (my coach) told me that I could go on a different ice rink (in the same arena) to have a little extra practice ice before my actual practice ice right before I was going to compete!  (I know, it's a lot to comprehend!)  I was happy to hear that!  Any extra practice could only do me good!  There were so many girls when I stepped out onto the extra practice ice including my two friends.  I saw some girls around my level doing the double salchow, double toe-loop, double loop and axels, but I also saw some other girls doing triple toe loops and really awesome spins!  I was intimidated being out there with those girls but I tried to put it aside and focus in on what I needed to be working on.

After a good practice on that ice, I was feeling pretty good, all my jumps were clean, my spins were good and my illusion (like I said in my last post, that I keep messing up on every time in competition!) was really good as well!   One day before the competition in Ann Arbor, my mom asked me "What are the main goals you want to accomplish while you're out there on the ice?"  All I said was "I want to land my axel double toe-loop and do a good illusion, and I'll be happy,"  My mom smiled.  "Yeah that would be good," she said in reply.
So back to Ann Arbor.  I kept telling myself I'm going to do my axel double toe-loop and I'm going to get my illusion!  
Finally around 3:10 (the competition was running a little late) my 11 competitors and I got onto the ice for our actual five minute warm-up. I ran through my program again and landed all of my jumps cleanly.  Even my axel double toe loop and my illusion!  I was feeling good.  After eight people it was my turn to go.  (My friend had already went and she did a pretty clean program other than a few small stumbles  But she landed all of her jumps very nicely!)

I stepped out onto the ice and skated over to my spot once they called my name.  I closed my eyes for a moment and my music began.  I felt shaky for some reason right as I did my opening three turn.  Hmmm... This might not be good, I set up for my first jump, my axel, which is always really good and... I landed, but my landing at the end was a mess!  I was hopping around on one foot until I could finally keep my balance.  Great... Another one of these performances.
I went right into my broken leg sit spin then into my tuck sit spin.  I came out of it feeling a little better, OK, at least the spin was good.  My next move was my flip jump, loop jump combination.  That was an easy one, but for some reason I think that first axel really scared me so I didn't really jump up as high as usual.  It was a nice landing though.  Then I had to go into my biellman then into the dreaded axel double toe-loop. I took a deep breath and set up for the jump, and I landed it.

The crowd yelled "Yeah!"  And "Good job Alyssa!"  Oh my gosh YAY!  I had landed it!
 I then, right after that jump, had to go right into my illusion.  Please don't mess up!  I thought to myself.  I kicked my left leg up and touched my right hand to the ice (that's what you're supposed to do) and I did it!  After that I felt like I had already done everything I had wanted to do.  I felt really good.  After that I went into my footwork, which I have to admit wasn't the fastest!  Then I had to set up for my double salchow, the jump I had fallen on in my last competition.  I did the opening three turn to it and jumped.  I had landed a great double salchow!  The crowd cheered even more!  I heard one of my friends yell at the top of her lungs!  Then for my last jump I set up for my double toe loop.  I did a right inside edge three turn and picked with my left foot and jumped into the air and landed!  Everything was going great!

Then I only had one spin left, the flying camel.  This was an easy one (for me) I jumped into the air and landed in a backwards camel spin.  My music ended and I stopped right as it did.  The crowd cheered and I bowed to the judges and then towards the crowd.  I got off really happy with my skate, but a little frustrated that I had messed up on my best jump.  After that I watched my other friend do her skate.  She fell once on one of her spins and then stumbled on some of her jumps.  All in all she did a pretty good job!
After our section was done competing all of my friends and I hugged and congratulated eachother and waited for the scores to come up.   When they did, I found my name right next to my friend that had gone first, and saw that we had both tied for eighth place.  And my other friend had sadly gotten tenth. :(  I didn't really care that much about my score, I was really tired and just wanted to fall over and collapse, and that day we were all going to go visit our grandparents!  YAY!

So at the end my friend (that tied with me) and I  got awarded a pretty pink ribbon that said EIGHTH PLACE in huge letters.  I am really happy with the way I skated (that doesn't mean I think I did amazing and I can't do better.)  I know I have a lot of things I need to improve on like my speed and my overall presence could be better, but I am proud that I did the things that I wanted to accomplish!  So I have decided that I am going to not compete (solo) in the Summer and just focus on getting REALLY  good and then sometime in September I will compete at a competition called Rising Stars and then of course there's Regionals, which will be at the Ann Arbor ice rink that I had just competed in!  Oh and one more thing!  Today we had synchronized skating tryouts that determined who could stay on the highest level team or who couldn't, or who could get on if they weren't on before.  We'll all know in two weeks!  I'll keep you posted!

-Alyssa :)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Haven't Been Posting!

Sorry everyone!  I know I haven't been posting for a long time, I've just been so busy with skating and my school work that I haven't had a lot of time to post on this blog.  But I'm going to get back into the habit and tell you what's been going on!  OK, so a couple of weeks ago I had a competition and it was at a rink called Strongsville.  I was so excited because the previous weeks before that competition I took out my harder jumps like the double lutz and double flip, and now I just have an axel, a flip-loop combination, an axel-double toe loop combination, a double salchow and ending with a double toe loop.

This will be so much easier for me than before I thought to myself!  So when we got to the rink I was feeling really confident and ready to beat everyone!  I was competing against one of my friends that I skate with at our rink.  When it was time for us to warm up we all got on the ice and started stroking around.  The ice felt a little weird but when I did my first jump it felt REALLY BIG!  I was super excited and was thinking, "Oh my gosh!  I'm going to do a perfect program!"  I was feeling really good so I warmed up some spins and they were really good too!

When they finally called us, after five minutes, to get off the ice, it was my turn to go first.  I stepped onto the ice feeling really good.  I stroked over to my spot and then the music began.  I landed a great single axel and went right into my broken leg sit spin and then into a tuck sit spin position.  "Yes!"  I was thinking to myself.  "Great start to the program!"  I was feeling so happy and confident,  that right after I did my biellman I went into my axel double toe loop and I fell!  I was so tilted!  I think I was thinking so much about how good everything was going to be that I totally got caught up and then fell over!  I was shocked.  I got up right away and did my falling leafs (just another skating term) and then into an illusion that I kind of stumbled on (I've stumbled on this move for the past two competitions!  In practice, this is one of my best moves!)  After those two bad stumbles I wasn't feeling too good.

 I felt the 1/4 of Gatorade that I had just drank coming up my throat.  I hadn't eaten anything before that, so my stomach just had Gatorade in it and it was totally sloshing all around in my stomach.  I went right into my footwork and tried to seem upbeat and really into the music, but after watching the video when I got home, I realized I was just sloppily going through the motions.  After my footwork I had my good jump, the double salchow, I was feeling better because I knew this jump would be good.  I set up for my jump and then I fell again!  Oh my gosh how many times am I going to fall?!  I thought to myself.  I was so mad!

 For my last jump, which was the double toe loop, I was really determined to land it, so I set up for it and....  I landed it!  Yes!  What a relief!  I then went into my final spin and ended.  I got a pretty big applause, which surprised me since I didn't do that well.  I got off of the ice disappointed but I knew that there was always a next time.  My group was made up of six people including me and I was sure I was getting last.  After my friend went, (she went last)  she fell once on an axel, and then almost fell a couple other times.

After we finished we went to see the scores.  I was really surprised to see that I got 5th place and my friend got last place!  I'm guessing that I got that place because of my spins and my opening axel.  Apparently at the rink I was skating at, Strongsville, gave out medals all the way up to fifth place.  The color was a weird, gross brown, but what the heck, it's a medal!  And you also got a free stuffed animal!  I like this place!  I thought to myself.  So all in all I had a pretty good day other than those falls and a stumble.  Oh I almost forgot to tell you, I have another competition coming up this Friday.  This will be my first out of state, solo competition, and it's in Michigan!
I had one other competition in synchronized skating that was also in Michigan.  I'm really excited for this competition and hope I don't make the same silly mistakes!

Alyssa :)