Skating Fridays

Happy Friday!

Time for another edition of Skating Fridays. I just realized that I haven’t shown you any of my jumps. Well, you’re in luck because I have two videos of the same jump to share with you today – one of what NOT to do, and one that is landed but still needs improvement.

Today I’m featuring my axel jump, which is something I talked about briefly here. As I mentioned in that post, successfully landing the axel is a defining moment in a skater’s career. One will almost always remember the date when this glorious accomplishment occurred. I had been working on this jump for several months before finally landing it about two weeks after my 30th birthday.

My biggest problem with this jump initially was fear. I was afraid I’d crack my head open or break a bone. Finally, I decided to stop being afraid and believe in myself. Once I changed my mentality, the jump finally came. My next problem was landing the jump flat-footed, and I have a suspicion that it was due to my previous training in gymnastics.

This jump has come and gone multiple times in my skating career, and it is something that I yearn to perfect. Perhaps one day I will be able to attempt a double axel, but for now, I am thrilled to be landing this difficult element (although imperfectly) in my 30s.

I trained for the axel without a harness and without any padding. My former coach believed that the harness would impede my progress because my body would get used to the harness, so he recommended that I learn it without any training aides. So, it definitely is possible to land without the harness or other “help.”

Here is a video of what not to do. You’ll see that my left shoulder dropped mid-jump, and that mistake resulted in my entire left side collapsing. Thank goodness for my natural padding!

And here is a jump that I think is fairly good. I need to work on my ankle contact and pull in tighter, but otherwise this is a clean landing.

Until next Friday!


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