Monday, April 4, 2011

Day 8 - Tallinn, Estonia

So it turns out that after a week of warming up in the icy cold, we discovered the very well heated (and very well hidden) ballet room which came to good use. We worked on the long program with focus particularly on the whip instersections and lifts. In the middle of training we took a break to warm up with hot chocolate (a part of training that I'm sure I'll miss once we leave Tallinn). And the rest of the day was free time for the team to explore, eat, sleep and/or attempt to do uni or school work; emphasis on the word "attempt." ;) A little group decided on a little expedition to the local laundromat. The language barrier caused just a bit of an issue. This afternoon we analysed the short program videos from training and spent the night session drilling the no-hold and pivot blocks. During a section of the program the team pulled off an awesome pivot block. Dinner for most was a cuppa soup and bread rolls accompanied by the yummy hot chocolate that half the team snuck downstairs to get. For the rest of the night some of us chilled in our rooms while some others got together to watch Ice Age for the thousandth time on a channel that plays nothing but Ice Age day in and day out. I think many of us have leant to quote parts of the movie... "That's right sweetheart, welcome to the Ice Age!" Written by Dani Baret.

Day 9 - Tallinn, Estonia

Today was another average day in Tallinn. It was a double training day, meaning that we had two training sessions, meaning that we didn't have fitness in between, woo hoo! Our training sessions are really coming together which is very exciting for us. We are slowly adjusting to the cold (probably a little too late...) but the negative temperatures are still a little annoying. During the break many people used their time to further explore Tallinn. Chana and myself tried to get ourselves lost in the old part of Tallinn but it proves very difficult when all streets lead back to one main square! Our second training session was much shorter so we were all looking forward to it. That was until Kristina alerted us to the fact that we would be doing 2 short run throughs followed by a long run through followed by two short run throughs followed by a long run through and finally followed by 2 short run throughs. We were less than impressed. It was however April Fools and as we worked this out we decided that maybe we should get Kristina back. We had a plan to convince Kristina that we weren't getting on the ice and that her decisions to push us this hard had made us decide that we weren't skating anymore! So of course, we sent our trusty captain Briar Harold to do our dirty work for us. Our good old captain was shaking like a leaf trying to make the plan go through. When Kristina came around to give us a talk about how disappointed she was, we were less than convincing and could not contain our giggles! This April Fools brought our team together and we trained amazing! Written by Elizabeth.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Day 7 - Tallinn, Estonia

Another beautiful morning in chilly Estonia. The day started with a light pre-training breakfast in our hotel to fuel us on for our day ahead. Some team members also participating in the new morning ritual of "sneaky sandwich making". Focaccia bread and a sneaky filling of choice for a nice light lunch in the comfort of your hotel room or someone elses :). After breakfast kicks off the days first number off; with some daring skaters trying their luck at the Finnish translation of their number. Then comes the bus trip, full of mixed energy levels, some skaters opting for a pre-training power nap, others chatting amongst each other, or singing off key (thanks phoebe :) ), while others just take it all in and try to wake up! Our pre-trainng warm up is a very important part of the session, staying warm in our own personal indoor freezer is harder than it sounds with this morning's temperature being a chilly -6 C! But with a little bit of help from Ike and Tina Turner, our blood was soon pumping as we danced up a storm to the Nutbush. Today's session was a mixture of both the free program and the short. It was a good arm workout as we spent a good amount of time drilling lifts and getting more consistency and shape. It was a very productive session, with lots of videos taken from different angles, allowing for better critiquing. Back on the bus the daily awards were awarded. Today the award going to two people for "Outstanding Edges." Flea and Saara, were the only choice! After training we returned to the hotel for a light dynamic and static stretching session, taking over level 8. Free time allowing our sneaky skaters to enjoy their earlier made lunch, whilst others took naps, went shopping, did school work or ate out. In preparation for our surprise visit back to our training venue for a curling lesson and a few rounds against each other. The team purchased tickets for the local bus to take us to the "rink." The skaters, coaches, management and parents all taking part in this icy, tactical, slippery sport. Our instructors showing us some helpful ways to get the "stones" to the opposite end of the scoring circle. Some skaters with a natural flare for the sport, while others learnt and improved as they went. And as for the coaches and parents....Well, they tried ;). After some teams admitted defeat while others basked in their glory, our time was over and after a quick team photo, we walked to the bus stop, waited and waited and waited for the number 15 bus. For some it was all too much and a little nap on the bench was necessary. Finally the bus arrived and we all squished into the over crowded bus, just. While the daring members of the team went to another shopping mall, others went back to the hotel for dinner. The team then met up for our daily video analysis, wrote in our notebooks of handy things to remember and to correct in the programs and an early night was needed and deserved by all - except for those with school work to FINNISH!!! :) Written by Tania. Advised by Flea.