Gordon's Sk8er Boi Blog

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

Friday, March 23, 2018


My lesson with Holly on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Gilbert.

I warmed up with Bronze Moves.

We spent some time recapping my skate at PCAS and how that went, and discussing some other future business.

The bulk of our lesson was working on spins.  Holly had me work first on being able to skate on the L foot and move the free leg from behind, to the side (turned out) to in front of the skating leg.  From there we worked on spins from a standing start, working on getting me to bring the edge around.  We had special emphasis on bring the L arm around and keeping the R arm up (I tend to leave it down at my side).  We did make some progress, and the last attempt was a definite improvement.  I'll have to work on this more.

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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Preliminary Test, BI8

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler Ice Café, as usual.  Ice was a little beat up... just 2 skaters tho!

I scribed circles and did forward edges for warmup.

Today's lesson:

  • B edges -- initial push on BO was weak, and so was BI.  The subsequent edges were pretty nice though.
  • FO8 -- A random layout; pretty good, really.  When I was done I thought I'd done FI8 because they felt like that!  That's a good thing.
  • FI8 -- random layout.  Good stuff.
  • waltz-8 -- first set was a little rough but after that, somewhat better.  Step forward still weak but I think it's improved from a month ago.  I'm usually remembering to bend my knee on the BO edge and the turns are mostly okay.  Still need to watch out not cutting inside the circle on the RBO.
  • BI8 -- after an initial bad start, the RBI was actually really good!  Like, made it all the way around several times, with good control!  Alas the LBI, which is usually better, was a bit lacking the first couple of times, though the last time was improved.  Yay!

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Tuesday, March 20, 2018


I skated the 5:30 p.m. FS at Chandler as usual for freestyle practice. Ice was not so great.  8 skaters and maybe 5 coaches.

I warmed up with stroking (hadn't skated freestyle in a week and a half!), then ran the "odd" Bronze Moves.  Then I worked on FXOs for a while as I'm trying to work on my basics more.  I actually did some nice CW crossovers once I made myself bend my knees far more than usual!

From there I worked a bit on jumps, waltz and salchow (no toe loop).

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Preliminary Test; BO8

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler Ice Café as usual.

I warmed up with edges and scribed circles.

Today's lesson:
  • FO8 -- random layout.  A little rough on the last circle each side - poor upper body control.
  • FI8 -- a random layout.  Pretty good, really.
  • waltz-8 -- still working this.  The L side was actually much better! R side was a little better but still rough.
  • BO8 -- just a little time on these.  I love doing these!  We worked on not being in "landing position" on the R side (I don't have this issue on the L side).  I realized the reason the free leg wants to go back is that the R shoulder is not staying back, so the L leg is going back to balance the forward R shoulder.  So I worked on a) holding the free leg in front longer and b) really holding that R shoulder back. Some progress on this.
After my lesson I worked a bit on BI8, hadn't touched them in a long time.  It was fun.

Lynne told me a couple of weeks ago that she and her family will be moving to Boston.   She'll be here until after Cactus as she is on the tech panel and has skaters competing.

I'm really bummed!  We've been working together for about 8 years... a really long time.  We've accomplished a lot (even though the waltz-8 is a stinker!) - competitions and just really a lot of improvement from when I started.  A few lessons left with her and then I'll be looking for a new figures coach.

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Saturday, March 10, 2018

2018 PCAS Showcase Dramatic Program

I skated my "Years" showcase dramatic program tonight at the 2018 PCAS.

After watching lots of good skating, I got into my skates (I was already in my costume from my practice ice) and checked in with the ice monitor.  There were 5 people in my group (I was the only man).  Finally they called us all out for warmup.

Just like in my practice ice earlier, I did some laps, warmed up my waltz jump, ran the bunny hop sequence, and worked some other key areas.  I didn't feel rushed at all.  I've done this program 4 times now and I feel pretty comfortable with it.   Finally warmup was over and they called us off.

I was the last in the group to skate, so I spent my time trying to focus on my program and visualizing doing it perfectly.  At last it was my turn to skate!

I went out and took my position, the music started, and off I went.  The first part of the program was good, and my spin was decent (for me).  I went into the "beauty pass" past the judges and made eye contact with each one of them in turn :-), then into the mohawk sequence and past that with the side toe hop and on into the waltz jump.  All was good.  The bunny hop sequence was great!  And I landed the toe loop on one foot :-)  Yay!

Finished up with a pretty good spin and into my final pose, pretty much on time.  Yay!  Took my bows and went off a happy man.

In the end I got 4th (of 5!), so not last... AND a 3rd place ordinal!  YAY!


2018 PCAS Showcase Practice Ice

I had practice ice at 6 p.m. for my showcase program at the 2018 PCAS.

As I had for the free skate the day before, I had only bought the 15 minute "warmup" and not the 30 minute practice ice.  As I had experienced yesterday, this was actually plenty of time for me.

After some laps of warmup, I warmed up my waltz jump, then spent just a moment warming up the dreaded :-) bunny hop.  Then I ran the bunny hop -> lunge -> toe loop sequence, and it was fine.  Next I ran the mohawk footwork, then I basically ran the whole program.  Next I worked some more on the bunny hop sequence, then ran the whole program again, then ran the mohawk sequence again and that was pretty much it for time.  I felt pretty good, pretty prepared.  Yay!


2018 PCAS Free Skate

I skated my "Exorcist" free skate today at the 2018 Pacific Coast Adult Setionals in Pasadena, CA.  I skated up to Bronze as there were no other Pre-Bronze Men to compete against for the free skate.

I got my skates on about 30 minutes before, but wound up re-doing my R boot as it felt a little off.  Then it was okay.  Checked in with the ice monitor, then hung around waiting for the warmup.

Went out for the warmup, and it was almost like the practice ice earlier.  A couple of laps, a waltz jump, warming up my jumps and reviewing my elements.  All of us basically got off the ice on our own slightly ahead of time - we were just ready to go.

Ben D. skated first, and I was second.  When they called me out I skated out, took my position, and off I went!  Opening went well, got good speed from the BXOs and on into the toe loop, which was pretty good!  From there the footwork into the spin was good, and I got a really good spin!  I was pretty happy with it.

From there, the footwork into the salchow... the salchow did not quite happen. As has happened to me a lot recently, I just did not get over my L side after the 3 turn and just couldn't get it to happen. Yuck.  I was upset, especially since I had just done a couple good ones in the warmup.  Oh well!

Footwork after the salchow was good, and then the spiral was good too. I did a nice waltz-toe!  I was really happy with that.  On into the spin, which also went very well!  So unusual for me to do TWO good spins in a program!  And then into the final pose.  I finished almost on time!  Since I was skating up I had 10 extra seconds, but I still want to finish on time.  I was maybe 3 seconds late, but that was partly because I got the good spins (which take more time than bad ones :-) ).

Went and bowed, and got off the ice.  Yay!

I was really quite happy with this skate.  Other than the salchow, I did all the elements as well or better than I would have expected, and I think I had good speed.  Yay!

In the end, I placed 4th of 4.  I did get one 3rd place ordinal!  So yay, especially since I skated up and I didn't have the required spins or footwork sequence.  So I really can't complain at all.

I should have the video tomorrow so I'll post it when I can.


Friday, March 09, 2018

2018 PCAS Free Skate Practice Ice

I had the 15 minute "warmup ice" practice ice for PCAS today, at 2:20 (for a 5:40 p.m. free skate).

I had chosen the 15 minute ice vs. 30 because I thought it would be overkill to do 30 minutes, and I was right.  Really, I felt like between having done MidWinter only 3 weeks ago, and the work I'd done on Wednesday, that all I really needed to do was warm up my elements and a couple of trouble spots.

So, I got on the ice for my practice.  I did a couple of laps, then did a waltz jump.  After that I practiced the BXOs into the toe loop, and that was pretty good.  From there I warmed up the salchow, and it was okay.  Not great, but landed.  Next I worked on the footwork sequence, and then into the spiral -> waltz-toe combo.

I finished all that and still had about 6 minutes left, so I worked through some other stuff including a spin, and then the footwork again, another salchow, another waltz-toe and some other small pieces.  With that I felt I'd done everything I needed to and went to get off just as they called us to get off anyway.


Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Program Prep

My lesson with Holly on the 8:15 FS at Gilbert; moved from Friday due to PCAS.

I did a 6 minute warmup, then ran my Dramatic program. Mostly okay although I had a little brain far in the middle after the footwork section and forgot where I was supposed to go -- I got distracted by someone in my way.  Ugh.  Then I worked a little on salchow.

For today's lesson, we ran the program, then worked a bit on salchow and waltz-toe combo.  Then we ran the program again; better.  We decided to move the start point over to the right -- instead of starting on the center line I'm starting halfway between the red and blue lines.  This shifted me over a bit, but oddly enough I still am winding up doing the salchow in about the same place!  I guess I really am moving faster.  Cool stuff.

Finished up by running the program again and it was not bad.  A little more work on the footwork to try to take the think time out, and we called it a day.

I'm feeling reasonably well prepared for Sectionals.  Leaving in the morning!

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