Gordon's Sk8er Boi Blog

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

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Preliminary Test, 3s

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler Ice Café.  I just had time to scribe circles before our lesson.

Today's lesson:

  • edges -- in general pretty good.  Still wide-stepping the BI takeoff a bit, but I'm doing a better job of getting the foot over and my balance is good.  First couple of BI lobes seemed a bit small.
  • FO8 -- a little shaky in places but okay.
  • FI8 -- pretty good.
  • waltz-8 -- ugh.  The first couple were bad and I put my foot down.  Started again and had issues on the other foot.  Restarted all over again and they were better.  At their best they are maybe 70 - 80% of passing, but mostly not.  Still I do feel I'm making progress, it's just slow.  I need more practice time.
  • 3s to center -- mmph.   I did one LFO3 that was really pretty nice!  In generally that side is better (duh).  The RFO3... I'm still tending to throw my hip into it.  My knees are too stiff on these, that's a large part of the problem. Grrr.
After my lesson I worked on 3s a bit more, then BO8 and BI8.

This is my last time in this time slot for a while; summer schedules mean I have to shift my lesson schedule too. Oh well.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Power Pull Prep & Spins

My lesson with JJ on the 8:15 FS at Gilbert.

Today's lesson:

  • power pull prep -- that's one description, I guess.   We worked on a drill of skating backwards with C-cuts and working to really get the weight over the skating side.  Ugh.  R side is not bad but the left is a challenge. I'm really having to bend my knees more for this!
  • spins -- JJ gave me a drill to get me to enter the spin stronger, basically on the step forward from the windup to really put the weight over the L foot and then really scoop with the R foot so that it is always to the side and not back.  Yow.  It really made me realize how much my weight is usually NOT in the right place.  Eeep.
All in all I'm really feeling there's a lot of synergy between my power lessons and my freestyle lessons the last several weeks. It's pretty encouraging.

I mailed my freestyle skates off to Oregon at lunchtime to be worked on by Jim at NW Skate Authority so I will not have them back until 6/5.  I still have my patch skates so I won't be entirely off the ice.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Perseverance

I skated the 5:30 p.m. FS at Chandler as usual.  Alas, this is my last time for this session for a while as it's being cancelled for the summer.  Hopefully I'll be back on this session in August.  I'll miss all my fellow skaters.

I had a pretty good skate, even though I was tired from a full day of work and power lesson at lunchtime.  I spent some time working on some of the stuff I did with Holly today; then some time on power-3s.  I spent the last 15 minutes working 5 minutes each on salchow, toe loop, and spins.  I have to say that while I'm still not overly happy with any of those I feel like I did get some good practice in.   Yay!

Power

I skated the Gilbert adult skate today for a power lesson with Holly.  My schedule is a little wacky this week, thus the lesson today instead of the usual Friday.

Today's lesson:

  • stroking -- a hard lap.
  • slaloms -- of course
  • fwd c-cuts -- emphasis on getting a good rip from the free leg.  Eeep.
  • fwd/back 2-foot turns -- down the length of the rink.  We spent a fair amount of time on this, alternating directions.  This wasn't really the standard two foot turn, it was almost like a pivot but without the toepick -- by that I mean that for the fwd turn I was sliding one leg out and back around, and then for the back turn sliding one leg out in front and around, if that makes any sense.  It was kinda weird but got better.
  • slalom/hockey glide -- slalom-slalom-glide around a circle, alternating sides.  It really made me get down in my knees to hold that glide, so I guess that's a good thing.
  • lunges -- one lap.  Ugh.
  • FXOs -- as last week, figure 8 around the big circles and then skate to the middle circle.  Holly said I was a bit faster than last week, but it didn't feel like it to me.
I honestly am not certain if I'm getting better or she's going easier on me.

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Friday, May 20, 2016

Power

My power lesson with Holly on the Gilbert adult skate, as usual.  I warmed up with stroking, perimeter XOs and power-3s.

Today's lesson:
  • stroking -- 1.5 laps.
  • slaloms -- one lap.
  • forward swizzles -- one lap.
  • backward c-cuts -- just stroking backward with large c-cuts.  I was getting a nice rip from the BI edge, yay, but was still kinda up on my toes.  Just one lap of these.  I did all 4 of these moves right after the other with no stop.
  • FXOs -- alternating sides L & R on the circles, then stroke to the middle and CCW around the big circle.  I was going pretty fast by then and it was kinda scary.  Holly says it's all in my head, there's no problem with my FXOs and I can do them fast if I just can get myself to do them.... so I tried.  I think I did a little better but it's very frustrating. Just so scary :-(.  Grrr.  It's so annoying to be holding myself back like this.
  • 3s -- we did some alternating FI3s (yikes!).  Down the line, then we moved to the crease and did some there.  LFI3... ugh.  Clearly I need to make myself do these on a regular basis since I could barely manage them :-(.

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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Preliminary Test, B8s

My lesson with Lynne on the Chandler Ice Café.  We started a little early, so I just had time to scribe circles before we started.

Today's lesson:

  • edges -- Pretty good.  First lobe of the BI is still a bit small but the turnout on the initial edge and push is better.  I was pretty happy.
  • FO8 -- pretty nice.  First RFO was a little large (I've noticed this problem recently) but I fixed it on the subsequent circles.
  • FI8 -- pretty nice.
  • waltz-8 -- also pretty nice, actually.  Some small issues and I'm still going out on a bit on the step forward; but the BO edge and the placement of the step forward is pretty good.  I was pleased with my progress on these.
  • BO8 -- wow!  I'm not sure where this came from, but these were really good!  I was so happy!  They felt controlled and generally spot-on.
  • BI8 -- meh.  We've not looked at these in a while so my expectations were low.  I'm not quite getting around the circle, either side.  The initial push was weak, but my position and edge were actually pretty good so I wasn't too disappointed.  Needs some work.
After my lesson I worked a bit more on waltz-8, then some time on 3s to center followed by some work on 3s in general to try to get them more smooth and controlled.  Then a couple of minutes on serpentines so that I could say I worked on all the figures I know today!

G

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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

BXOs & 3s

My lesson with JJ on the 8:15 FS at Gilbert.  I warmed up with Bronze Moves.

Today's lesson:

  • BXOs -- we worked on getting me to sit back on the blade more.  A couple of different exercises -- 1) push, back chassé, push.  Idea is to keep the weight in the same place and not shift back and forth. 2) alternating BXOs down the rink, emphasis on straightening that outside leg and really getting a push/rip from it.  JJ says on the perimeter BXOs the judges would like to hear that rip from more than one push :-).  R side is not bad, L side is weak.
  • 3s -- just 5 minutes on these, working to hold that entrance longer and to keep the free hip lifted on the exit.  Ugh.  Still kind of up on the toe there.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Perseverance

I skated the Chandler 5:30 p.m. FS as usual for practice.  I warmed up with some jumps and spins, but then wound up spending most of my time on power-3s and 5-step mohawk.  Nothing really to note but I at least put some time in.

I really feel like I need to be getting more ice time, like, a lot more, and to really work this stuff more so I can get back to where I was last summer, and then improve from there.  Grr.  JJ asked me to start keeping a notebook of my practice, and I have one, but I've not been using it.  Grrr.  What's the point in having a coach if you don't listen to what he tells you??!