Gordon's Sk8er Boi Blog

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

Monday, August 31, 2015

Patch Perseverance

I skated the 7:30 a.m. FS at Chandler today.  Since I had private ice, I worked on figures.

I ran through the Preliminary test, then spent a half hour on waltz-8.  The step-forward really has improved. It still needs a bit more work though.  Unfortunately I'm having an issue now where the BO edge is curving in too quickly, esp. on the L side (so an RBO).  Grr.

I spent the last 10 minutes or so on BI8.  My push has improved but my circles are still pretty small and not well-formed.

Friday, August 28, 2015


My power lesson with Holly on the Gilbert adult skate.  I warmed up with some Bronze moves and tried a few spins also.

Today's lesson was really taxing:

  • stroking -- pushing for speed. I think I am doing better.  The session was relatively crowded (11 skaters) and I wasn't convinced they would hear my coming since some of them are wearing earphones etc. so I was a little nervous.  I do think I'm going faster.  Holly challenged me to keep up with her and I couldn't.
  • harness -- towing Holly in the harness.  Ugh.  After a lap of this she had me skate a lap of stroking and I was really flying, it felt so much easier without her behind me, lol :-).
  • resistance -- pushing Holly while she rode her toepicks.  Somewhat different muscles than the harness.  Again a lap after.
  • forward swizzle-tap -- swizzle then jump and tap the boots together.  Forward was a bit scary.  It got better though.
  • backward swizzle-tap -- after forward these seemed relatively easy.  For the last half-lap Holly put some resistance on as I was towing her.  Yikes.
There was more on the menu but at this point I was rather dizzy and had to sit down for a bit.  This was about 17 minutes' worth so I almost made it the full 20.  I didn't get a chance to eat a good breakfast today due to a bunch of stuff at work and some other issues, so I'm sure that's part of it.  I'll try to be better prepared for next week.

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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Toe Loop & Loop Intro

My lesson with JJ on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Gilbert.  I warmed up with some Bronze moves and then some jumps and spins.  My first spin (from standing start) was 3 revs; all the rest were crappy.  Ugh.

Today's lesson:

  • toe loop -- we continued working on this.  I'm getting more consistent about bringing it around but I need to focus more on getting a good opposition between upper and lower body every time.
  • loop intro -- this was mostly just working on doing the 3 into it and getting the free leg in front during/after.  Hmmph.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Preliminary Test

My lesson with Lynne on the Chandler Ice Cafe.  We had our lesson right at the start of the session.  We had a quick debrief of the competition, then on to work.

Today's lesson:

  • FO8 -- Not bad.  My 2nd LFO was really wide as I had a hard time getting over the edge quickly that time.  Other than that it was decent.
  • FI8 --pretty nice.
  • waltz-8 -- ugh.  I have not done these in a while and it really really showed.  My turns were really horrible, cutting in on the L side BO edge and having a hard time with the R side BO edge.  Yuck.
After the lesson I stayed to do the patch class.  I spent most of my time working on the waltz-8 and especially the BO edge and step forward.  Ugh.

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Saturday, August 22, 2015

2015 Sherwood Invitational Figures

My skate today at the 2015 Sherwood Invitational... unlike in years past, this year the figures were in the early evening.  While I was glad they weren't at crack of dawn, the result was that I by the time I skated I had already been at the rink for, no joke, 11.5 hours.  Eep.  Still, as a result of the time slot we actually had spectators!  So that is a positive thing for figures in general.

One of the competitors wound up having to withdraw at the last minute, so there were only 3 figures skated total -- two FO8s (mine and my competition, Rachel) and my BO8 as an exhibition.

Coach Kelli couldn't be there to put me on this year so Kristen kindly stepped up to put me on the ice.  Given the nerves that I generally have for figures competition I was grateful to have her there for me.

We started with a 10 minute warmup for me (I was skating my FO8 first); then 5 minutes after my warmup started Rachel started her warmup, then I skated my FO8, then Rachel skated hers.  While Rachel was skating her figure I had warmup for my BO8, then once Rachel was done I skated my BO8.

  • warmup -- I warmed up with some edges, just FO and BO.  I was pretty nervous and it showed, though it did improve somewhat.  After that I warmed up the FO8, then a couple of quick BO8s, and then back to FO8.  Nerves were actually less on the BO8 (?!) than on FO8.  First FO8 was not too great, tracing was kinda bad and circles were very inconsistent in size. BO8 was a bit shaky.  The subsequent FO8 was much better and I felt better about it, though quite nervous.  After each layout I went and talked to Kristen who mostly gave me feedback on my body position and encouraged me/calmed me down.
  • FO8 -- finally time to skate!  I skated over to the judges, chose a starting point and marked it and pushed off... a little bit shaky but mostly under control.  I have to say compared to the last couple of years, while I still felt nervous, at least I wasn't in any doubt that I would make it around.  My first RFO was shallow on the return to center though so I knew I'd have to fix it.  In general the LFOs were not too bad and reasonably well traced; and while I did make the subsequent RFOs better they were not consistent with each other so I wasn't happy.
  • warmup -- I went back to warm up my BO8; I think I got two layouts.  The second one was actually really good and I was really happy with it.
  • BO8 -- back for my second figure.  Ugh.  The first RBO was pretty uncontrolled.  The second one was good and then the third was not so great either.  The LBOs were not bad, actually.  While the tracings weren't really close they were at least mostly parallel.  On the positive side my body position was a lot better and I had pretty good flow.  I actually had to remind myself not to push too hard because I was going a bit too fast after the first set of circles.
After I skated I congratulated my opponent and we took some pictures.  Final result for the FO8 was that I got 2nd; but I did get one first place ordinal so that is something.  I got some informal feedback from two of the judges that I looked much improved from last year.

I had a couple of friends (Lisa and her fiance' David) who came.  David (not a skater) said that the figures competition was "intense".  I guess I see what he means.  The quiet does make it kind of intense.

I should some video to post in a few weeks.


Friday, August 21, 2015


My power lesson with Holly on the Gilbert adult skate.

Today's lesson:
  • stroking -- more of the same... pushing harder, doing c-cuts across the ends instead of crossovers.  Eeep.  Really fast! Did these in each direction.
  • slaloms -- laps of these in each direction. So tiring!
  • jogging on ice -- OMG this was scary!  Running on the ice (not on toepicks).  I was kind of able to do these when Holly was holding my hands but by myself, just scary.
  • harness -- Holly put the harness on me and had me pull her while she braked.  Ugh!  Hard.
  • back swizzles-tap -- wow.  Doing back swizzles then at the end of each swizzle jumping up and tapping the feet together.  So hard!  And kinda scary.  It got better as it went on but I really struggled with this.
There were more slalom laps in between all this. Eeep.  I was totally wiped out at the end of this but I feel like I am accomplishing something.

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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Patch Perseverance

I skated the Chandler Ice CafĂ© for patch practice today, my last practice in patch before the competition Saturday.  Nice fresh ice and only 4 of us on the session.  I took a break in the middle during the lesson since I couldn't do MITF in my patch blades.

For both of my chunks of practice time I worked on FO8 first, then BO8.  FO8 is not bad and I'm feeling reasonably good about it.  BO8 was much better on this nice clean ice -- flow was great.  I'm having issues though in getting my tracing to be consistent; I don't know if it's that I'm pushing too hard on subsequent pushes, or what. I'm also still seeing a bit of the issue on the 3rd LBO cutting in on the 2nd half of the circle, but not all the time.

Toe Loop & Salchow

My lesson with JJ on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Gilbert.  I warmed up with Bronze moves and also did some spins.

Today's lesson:

  • toe loop -- we worked more on this; it's coming along.  JJ had me work to really stretch the L hand forward in opposition to the leg reaching back on the entry.  I'm still landing on two feet and most of the takeoff is from two feet also but the timing is mostly correct.  Still needs a lot of work but I'm feeling better about this.
  • salchow -- once again I got one good one and the rest not so great.  I think I'm still rushing a bit; I still don't have a feel for the timing.

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