I've fallen into a slump. Skating doesn't interest me as much as it did before now. I don't know if it's because of the stress of doing another recital and eventually compete and test again, or because I feel I've reached a progress bottleneck. Probably both. Grad school stressing me out doesn't help either.
The stress factor seems stupid. I wanted to perform, compete, test, or at least I did back when I was still passionate about everything skating. Since I told my coach I wanted to do all of that, naturally we have these things lined up. The plan was that I might be doing a competition in September, so coach wants me to perform again at the recital in June to get more experience. And then I also wanted to do the bronze MITF test in September. The biggest problem now is my program. It's the same one as before, except that we've switched out the toe loop after the spiral to a flip (at my request), and the one foot spin to a scratch spin (at my protest). But after my last recital, I didn't do any part of my program for an entire month, and then for another two, three weeks, I only ran it without music. So now that coach is making me practice to music again, I can't. It's awful. I'm dreadfully behind time even though I feel more rushed than before, my scratch spin takes longer than the original one-foot spin, I can't do the back-power-3 into loop jump anymore, the back-3 scares the hell out of me, and for some reason, my stamina has gone down a lot, I am completely out of breath after one run-through. And on my last run-through, I had a gigantic unexpected fall, splat onto my butt (at least it was on the side where I have a butt pad), and even my insides felt shaken. I almost felt like just sitting there on the ice and shedding tears of self-pity. So because of my dismal performance, and my anxiety of how am I going to get this back to okay in a month, I feel less inclined to do it, meaning I don't want to practice. Yet the less I practice, the worse I get. And then the less I want to practice. And repeat.
As to the bottleneck, I just feel like I'm not making any progress. It could be that I'm still looking for that feeling during the first year of skating, where every other week I'd be exclaiming, oh! I can do a one-foot spin now! Or, oh I landed my first loop! I don't even remember the last time I said I learnt something new. I know everything gets harder so it will take longer to learn, but I feel like week after week, I've been working on the same things - sit spin, which is not getting any lower; camel spin, which is not getting past 1 rev, if any; back spin, which is not getting past even half a rev; waltz-loop, which sometimes decides to happen and sometimes doesn't, depending on, I don't know what, the stars?; and the lutz, which is just - weird. And so I don't want to practice.
I skate because I love it, because I want to have fun. So if it's becoming a pressure, that's not what I want. The thing I want to do the most now is to just take a break from skating, but that would be a bad idea, since after two weeks of not skating, all my muscles will have disappeared and I'd basically have to start again. I've had this experience once last year when I went home and didn't skate for three weeks. It was not good. So I can't take a break. I had a good long talk with my skating friend, and she said that I should lay off the performance/competition/test for now. But I feel bad suddenly turning my decision around and telling my coach that I don't want to do the recital anymore. My friend assured me that my coach (who is honestly the nicest coach at our rink) will understand. She said I need to ask coach to do more fun things during our lesson, instead of having to work on the program or the moves, especially with a deadline looming there. I'm going to take her advice and talk to coach at our next lesson, even though I'm still scared of what she might think. I hope everything works out and skating can go back to being something I look forward to.