Two Steps Forward... and Two Steps Back
You know that lyric in the Paula Abdul song Opposites Attract - "two steps forward, and two steps back"? Well, that has been me in the past 2 weeks.
Ever since I got my new blades, I made good progress on my elements. My axel was clean and fast, and my spins were improving. Then all of a sudden, something changed. The axel disappeared and was nowhere to be found, and then I hurt my MCL (on my spinning leg) and my lower back was sore for several days. Nothing I did or tried on the ice was "clicking." Needless to say, it was very discouraging.
So instead of working on the elements that temporarily disappeared, I worked on other things. I tried to lower my back sit spin so I wouldn't have to aggravate my MCL on my spinning leg, and then I also worked on several crossover exercises to increase my power and speed. So while I took a step backwards in some elements, I strengthened other parts of my skating that also needed attention.
Thankfully, the setbacks were only temporary, as my axel returned in full force this week. I had a great practice on Sunday and not only did the jump feel relatively easy, but the tracings were also 100% correct. I didn't have any "flagged" landings where I got a backwards '7' on the ice, so that means the jump was fully rotated and IJS-correct. This is so exciting for me since I've been working really hard on NOT under-rotating the jump.
My MCL is still a bit sore, but it has enabled me to work on the back sit spin. Coach B said that it was IJS-correct as well, so that means it's low enough to count and receive appropriate credit. My leg is finally parallel to the ice, so I would call that a win. I'm very pleased about this since a year ago, I wouldn't even have dreamed of doing a back sit spin at all.
I'll post some videos of my back sit spin next week so you can take a look. In the meantime, I'll keep resting my MCL and hope that it heals soon.