When I attended Adult Nationals last month, I honestly had no expectations. I had no butterflies before my programs and had no stress or pressure since it was my first real competition as a Gold lady. This is only my second competition overall, so I didn't have much experience under my belt.
I'm not sure that I was making an excuse, but I kept telling myself that I was the newest at this level, so I shouldn't expect to place high. Maybe that self-talk was too convincing because I really didn't place high. But, I skated clean, and that's all I could have asked for at the time. Watching the other ladies in my event was very inspirational. I've come home from Boston with a renewed motivation to skate. I want to show the others (and prove to myself) that I belong in this level, and that I'm here to stay. I no longer want to be the new girl. I'm a strong skater and need to skate like one.
Here were my original goals from the beginning of the year, and how I've progressed.
- Pass the Adult Gold Freestyle test - Done; I passed in January.
- Get the axel more consistent and fully correct - Still a work in progress. It's getting more consistent in practice, but it needs to be "on" during a program.
- Work on an axel combination (like axel-loop, axel-toe, etc) - I attempted an axel-toe in my Nationals program. So, it's still a work in progress.
- Work on a double salchow and/or double toe loop - I will be working on these elements in the coming week. Can't wait!
- Add a high level GOE spin to my repertoire (like sit-cannonball for 8-back tuck) - I earned a Level 2 sit spin at Nationals. It was a sit spin-cannonball-back tuck.
- Skate with more power and speed- Still a work in progress
- Skate a clean program and end on time - Check
- Land a clean axel jump combination (still haven't decided on axel-toe or axel-loop) - Almost there. I attempted an axel-toe but underrotated it.
- Hit all of my spins and earn positive GOEs and/or attain Level 2 spins on all or most of them - I received a Level 2 sit spin and negative GOEs on the other two spins. There is work to be done.
- Earn 20+ points for my IJS program (I scored 18.10 points at my first competition) - Check! I earned a 22.22.
- Meet other adult skaters (some of you, perhaps?) and make new friends - Check; I met some wonderful skaters in all levels and hope to see them again!
- Get inspired by watching more elite skaters - Check. WOW. Some of these skaters were phenomenal. I want to skate like them!
- Meet Paul Wylie (my hero since middle school) - My dream came true - I not only met Paul, but I also got a photo with him. He even invited me to visit him in Charlotte the next time I am in town (seriously). I would love to take a lesson with him.
- Have fun! The competition and experience were so fun. The adult skating community was so kind and supportive.
- Earn a score in the mid- to high- twenties
- Secure more high GOE or level 1/2/3 spins
- Skate with more power and speed and increase my points on skating skills
- Make the axel become my strongest jump
- Learn a double salchow and double toe-loop
- Exude more confidence - I belong here!
- Earn a spot at the Championship Gold event (this might take a few years to accomplish)
My coach suggested that I write down my long-term goals and track towards them and see how I'm progressing on a weekly basis. We can adjust things as needed and focus on the areas that need the most attention.
Now I just need to keep telling myself to keep my head high and fulfill my skating potential. Sky's the limit, right?