Brooke and I managed to perform the routine last week really well even though our practice rehearsal before the show had us pretty stressed out. I slipped and fell while lifting Brooke over my head which shook our confidence pretty bad. In some ways it was better that it did happen because it made me realize quickly what I had been doing wrong. I have tendency to think when I am practicing that if something works then maybe more of that something will make it work even better. When I am learning something new I tend to keep tweaking it to the extreme until I go too far then I come back. It is not a terrible thing except in this format not only could I hurt Brooke but we don’t have time to play around. In this case I had noticed our lifting coach just slightly turning his head to the side as he lifted Brooke. So I started doing that as well which made it easy to get underneath Brooke and use my legs. As we continued I started getting Brooke way over my right shoulder before i lifted her until I was almost lifting her completely with my right arm and right leg. When it finally came crashing down I remember really pushing off my right leg and having brooke too far over the right side and being totally off balance as I exploded through my legs. Of course on skates unlike shoes there is no friction and I just remember trying to reach over my head and save Brooke as I was going down. Luckily we were both ok but it scared us both pretty good. To top it of we lost our double sow throw which had been working pretty well in the previous days. Needless to say we were freaking out before we competed. We managed to get a quick warm up before we hit the stage where things felt pretty good and that carried through into the final skate. When Brooke landed the double sow I got so excited that I could barley finish the routine and almost fell down.
That was very exciting night and I was fired up to be a point ahead of Rebecca who skated flawlessly.
Now we are working hard to get our routine together for this Monday. It is a free skate where we pick the music and choreograph the run ourselves. I really will miss the time here but my body is starting to beg a little for mercy. I was trying to do some axels the other day and unfortunately I don’t think it is going to happen. They are harder than I thought plus I fell hard on a silly little knee slide and my left wrist is pretty much worthless right now. When I crash and have to put my hands down it is extremely painful. This translates to it being kind of hard to try axels when I know i will take some spills. I don’t want break my wrist before Monday. My right shoulder which I blew up doing aerials and had fixed years back is not loving these overhead lifts or the crashes either. Back soreness standard, ankle is hanging in there, fitness is good, attitude is even better. Show is on Monday and Tuesday.
Looking forward to getting up to Squaw Valley Wednesday and skiing with everyone. See you there.
Working on my eighth week of pairs figure skating for “Skating with the Stars“. Last week was amazing and very tough all at the same time. We started off with a great trip to Squaw Valley where we skated on top of the mountain and then I took Brooke skiing for her first time. I knew she would be good, but not that good. By her fourth run she skied Siberia which is an advanced run. A ski instructor would get fired for bringing her up there and it was stupid on my part because if she would have gotten hurt we would have been done with the skating show. My plan was to bring her down the ridge while our buddy skied the face, but when I showed Brooke the run from the top she wanted it. She is a tough chick. The snow was great but there were small moguls and it was variable which is hard for beginners, not to mention steep. I tried to make her follow right behind me and cut deeply across the hill but she did not like my instruction and wanted to do it her own way. She ended up executing three perfect “yard sales” losing all equipment and goggles each time. Each time she got right back up and continued laughing and wanting more. Her final crash was the most spectacular. After pointing em straight down towards the bottom of the pitch and making three nice GS turns she was too far forward when the slope flattened out and she got snagged in some soft snow and did a nice headplant/yard sale completely filling her pants with snow.
It made me realize that skiing is a bit like surfing. The actual motion of turning a ski which Brooke could do very easily from her skating experience is only a small part of skiing. Managing conditions, steepness and other element is the harder part. Like surfing, standing and turning on the board is not the hardest part, it’s everything else that kills you.
When we got back to LA we had a lot of work to do and we had an increased level of stress and intensity because we had not been getting good artistic scores. This made us both focused on getting the details of the routine right. The emotion and artistry specifically. Plus, we were exhausted from both the skiing trip and just being on for so many days in a row. In addition the difficulty level of the routine increased because we were now skating in lock step as a pair telling a romantic story of forbidden love. On Sunday the day before the show we had never completed a routine yet we had to perform on the studio ice for the director. On our first attempt I swung too wide on a lunge and snagged the edge of the ice sending me into the lights then whipping Brooke over my head into the seats. Luckily, we were only bruised. We got up and tried it again, this time I caught an edge taking out Brooke who came inches from launching herself off the ice to a 5ft drop to concrete. Scary stuff.
So that did nothing for my confidence and went to bed that night thinking of how to change the routine which can be even harder. On show day Brooke and I finally got through the routine once but the directors wanted to see it again which was good for us. On the second time around I made a misstep and tripped Brooke who slashed her finger on my skate as she fell and had to go tot he hospital for stitches. Her finger would not numb so she was there forever. She finally told them to put the stitches anyway and she showed up just in time for the dress rehearsal. We ended up nailing our routine with the exception of my shaky jumps and we ended up on top. Of Course, Brandon did not compete because he was in the hospital with as stomach virus, but I’ll take it anyway.
This week I feel better physically although today I am very sore again in my hammies. My groin is at least doing well. I think my hammies are sore from doing overhead lifts with Brooke. We have had a pro skater named John Zimmerman here teaching me how to lift and throw Brooke which are required elements for this week. Our routine is going to be awesome 80’s music. I hope you will check it out and vote at ABC.com.