I took my first test earlier this year (Adult Pre-Bronze MITF) and while it was positive in that I did well and passed it was not positive in that I spent the entire week freaking out and then had the stomach flu the night before the test. For my second set of tests (Pre-Bronze Free and Bronze MITF) I was determined to 1. Not freak out as much, and 2. Not get the stomach flu.
While I was successful in not getting the stomach flu I still managed to freak out, although definitely not as much as the first test. I wasn’t worried about Pre-Bronze but was worried about the Bronze moves, especially the right side power three turns which are a lot weaker than my left side. I was also testing the Bronze moves first which was good in that I was getting it out of the way but also not so good as I didn’t want to fail it and then have another test to take.
I have been working on Bronze moves for several months and then last week my coach had me take a lesson with another coach to go over the moves in more detail. There were a couple of significant things she pointed out and helped me fix. I felt pretty good about my preparation but knew that there were areas I wasn’t as strong in.
I practiced on pretty empty ice yesterday afternoon which was helpful and I ran through the test several times, finally I had to make myself leave as I think there is a point where going over things again and again isn’t helping. I wasn’t going to get any better. I ended up going to a friends house for a girls night where we played Cards Against Humanity and thankfully all the laughing kept me from freaking out too much (it may have also been the wine…).
I woke up before my alarm this morning which wasn’t a surprise. I took my time getting ready and then drove to my rink which is very close to my house (at least until it closes for 10 months of renovations next week, RIP mall rink as I know it). When I got there they were running about 10 minutes early so I put my skates on and waited for my warm up.
I felt good about my warm up, minus my shaky legs. The test itself was pretty uneventful. I didn’t make any major errors but definitely turned on my toe several times on the right outside threes and my edges were not as strong as they should have been on the mohawk sequence. I received mostly 2.5’s, got 2.6 from one judge on the alternating back crossovers and forward circle 8, and a 2.6 on forward and backward perimeter power stroking from another (who also gave me my only 2.4 which was on the power three turns).
Overall I am happy with how I did, I know I can do better when I’m not so nervous but it was a really good mark of how far I’ve come in a year and where I want to be this time next year. One judge wrote “work on posture” for almost every move which is definitely an area I need to work on. I actually found an old ice show picture from when I was 10-11 and my posture is terrible, I showed it to my couch as was like “See! This isn’t a new thing!” I am debating taking an adult ballet class to help with posture.
The Pre-Bronze freeskate went well. I was a little scratchy on my toe loop (thank you nerves), but my salchow and scratch spin were good. I even got positive comments on my spiral which was nice as I have really been working on improving my extension. Mostly I am really happy that I passed both tests and in that I never have to do a 2 foot spin again.
I am planning on taking the Bronze freeskate next month and after that will probably not test for again for a while. I know that Silver moves are significantly harder, as in ‘the point where they stop being nice and fail you’, and I want to be really confident before I take that test. There also really isn’t that much of a rush either as I don’t want to take the Silver Free until I can at least sort of land the axel. I know it isn’t on the test but it is allowed in competition and I would rather get competitive at the Bronze level first than rush before I am ready. I suppose this is the problem with figure skating, whenever you reach one goal, you find another.