Gordon's Sk8er Boi Blog

My adventures as an adult male figure skater in Tucson, Arizona Portland, Oregon Chandler, Arizona.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

New Coach, New Me

Today I had my first lesson since June 14th!

It's time to announce that I've made a coaching change: my new freestyle coach is Holly Harrington. After 7 years with JJ it's hard to make a change but it was necessary for several reasons... not at all a reflection on him or me as I am extremely grateful for all we accomplished together. No hard feelings between us (quite the opposite, actually).  We are and will remain friends.

We just had a 20 minute lesson today, next week we'll bump it up to 30.

Today's lesson:

  • swizzles -- a lap of swizzles.  Tiring, but not bad.  Clearly my stamina ain't what it used to be, though.
  • half-swizzles -- another lap of half swizzles, trying to bend into my knees more.
  • stroking -- not too bad. 
  • slaloms -- ugh.  These got a lot better though.
  • two-foot spin/pivots -- these were a bit scary at first, and I had my first fall since 6/14.  I'm fine, lol.  Glad to get it over with though!  Some pivots and then a two-foot spin that was... just okay.  I'll take it though.
  • FXOs -- I was pretty scared about these but we went after them and I was able to do some decent ones, actually.  I was glad to get over that hump of fear though.
  • BXOs -- not bad.  A little scratchy at times but actually not really much worse than before.
  • one-foot glides -- just kind of a check, gliding for about half a rink length or so on each foot.  It was okay.
  • short edges -- down the line alternating FI edges.  Okay.
All in all I was pretty pleased with how this went and Holly was too.  Good stuff.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2017


I skated the 5:30 p.m. FS at Chandler.  Ice a little torn up, but only 12 skaters and like 5 coaches, and I know most of them, so a nice session.

I continued working on getting back into the groove.  I worked a lot on forward stroking, including overcoming my reluctance to skate on my right foot (what's up with that?).  Also some time on edges and some backward stroking and even some backward crossovers. Hmm.  All in all it's slowly getting better, which is all I ask for.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017


I skated the 5:30 p.m. FS at Chandler this evening.  Yikes.  Since it had been almost a month since I last skated (life has been crazy, it's a long story) I didn't expect much.  Pretty much the same as the last time I was on the ice... trying to get used to my boots, just stroking and doing swizzles.  All in all it was pretty yucky, but it did get better.  Ugh.  I did see a lot of folks so that part was nice.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Still Workin'

Okay, so I wound up spending another 5+ weeks off the ice due to scheduling difficulties, travel, and lots and lots of personal stuff to deal with.  Anyway..

I skated the 8:15 session at Gilbert. I was supposed to have a lesson with JJ but his daughter was sick, so no lesson today.  I did wind up skating the full 45 minutes.  I really just worked on stroking -- once again I was scared to stroke onto my right foot, so I took quite a bit of time getting over that.  Then I spent a little time on forward edges.  Meh.  Finally I worked stuff on the boards - 3s, mohawks and crossovers.  It feels like it is going to be a long road, mostly due to fear and lack of conditioning. Ugh.

I can't say how nice it was to see all my skating friends -- Nicole and Malerie, Brenna, Emma, Mark, Kayluh, Holly, and Natasha.  Stephanie was so excited to see me she just ran over when she saw me and gave me the hugest hug!  It was nice.

Lots to do!

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Clawing My Way Back

Okay, so that title is a little overly-dramatic.  I skated for 30 minutes today at the Chandler adult skate.  I saw Danette and Hannah and best of all, coach Lynne!  We had a nice little chat as I was getting my boots on (she had just finished Hannah's lesson).

So, today was a bit better than last week.  I did more alternating half-swizzles forward and back, and then graduated into actual stroking.  No real pain, mostly some discomfort from the boots but really not an issue.  Slow but steady progress.  I need more ice time but right now I don't want to be on a crowded FS session.

Next week... crossovers?

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Me + Ice

I skated today for the first time since my injury!  I skated for half an hour at the Chandler adult skate.  Nice ice as usual and just 4 skaters.  It was nice to see a couple of familiar faces (Danette and Kaisey).

I kept my expectations and efforts low-key.  I mostly did swizzles, half-swizzles forward and back, and then just a little bit of stroking and 1-foot glides at the end.  I wore my freestyle skates.

No lie, it was a bit scary at first.  And of course, I'd forgotten how much boots can hurt when you haven't worn them in a while.  This is the longest I've ever been off the ice since I started in 2003.

As for my ankle -- basically okay.  It did feel a bit weak when trying a 1-foot glide on the left foot.  Yuck.  There will be a long way to go.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Ankle Update

[Sorry to be so tardy with this update]

I had fresh X-rays taken 10/3 and met  with my doctor 10/6.  The radiologist report says it's healing normally now.  Dr. Fiel says I can wind down my PT and once I'm done I can return to the ice, taking it slow at first.  No jumping/spinning 'til I can jump off-ice with no pain.

My tentative plan is to wind down my PT by the end of the month or so, then start back with figures and basic stroking.  I hope to return to lessons the first or second week of November, though I might put power on hold for a bit.

It's been a long struggle and I'm impatient but I'm almost there.