For those of you who have followed me on this blog for a while (or who know me in real life), you know that I am a “lefty” skater. I am in the minority where I spin and jump clockwise. I attribute it to my gymnastics training where we were taught to do cartwheels, roundoffs and all other elements in the clockwise direction. Naturally, it translated to the same direction on ice. Little did I know that clockwise skaters were not the norm in the world of figure skating.
A coach told us that our rink’s Famous Russian Coach visited another rink one day and was asked to observe a certain skater. When the Russian Coach saw the skater, he had just landed a double axel. Russian Coach was unimpressed until the skater subsequently landed a beautiful triple axel IN THE OTHER DIRECTION. Um, yeah. My jaw just about hit the floor when I heard this story.
So, I guess it’s totally possible to be able to jump and spin in both directions, and do it very well. We sometimes like to practice this in the adult group classes, and it’s always a challenge. One added incentive in the IJS scoring system is that a skater can earn a “feature” for properly executing a spin (sit, layback or camel) in both directions. They have to be done one right after another, so you cannot have an intermediate position during the transition or in between.
I’d love to be able to do this correctly one day, but until then, here is my humble attempt. Obviously, I am not spinning that well in the counter-clockwise direction quite yet, but it’s not a bad start. I’ll tell you what though – this spinning in the other direction thing really makes me appreciate “righty” skaters because I don’t know how they do it (go the other way). I just get really dizzy.