Gordon's Sk8er Boi Blog

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

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Competition Prep

My last lesson and practice before the competition this weekend! I skated the Chandler Ice Café for my figures lesson. Gorgeous ice today, and 6 skaters.

I had no real time to warmup as I was slightly late getting on the ice and we started my lesson at 12.  As a result I was kind of nervous the whole time, which is IMHO good practice for competition anyway.

For today's lesson we did a bunch of layouts on clean ice, no scribe.  We did a couple where I did an FI8, then a waltz-8 on the same circles.  Then we did several waltz-8s on clean ice.

In general the FI8 was okay, although my nerves were getting me and it definitely wasn't my best.  The waltz-8.... kind of rough, though it did get better.  Still some real control issues all around.  At least I didn't fall :p.

The figures competition is Sunday morning!

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Circle-8, Jumps

My lesson with Holly on the Gilbert adult skate.  We had to reschedule due to travel.  As usual, really nice ice (except for a couple of holes) and 4-5 skaters.  I warmed up with stroking and circle-8.

Today's lesson:

  • circle-8 -- I whined to Holly about how awful these are; I'm still not getting around on the R foot.  We worked on it a bunch without much improvement.  We also experimented with starting on the L foot instead of the right. I think this is an option, but need to double-check.  It might work better though.
  • waltz jump -- just one.  Not a great landing but good height and a nice takeoff.
  • salchow -- a bunch of ukky ones and one good one.
  • toe loop  -- we worked on this a bunch.  I'm still rushing the entrance.  I had Holly hold my hand right after the 3 to get me to slow down and bring it around. It did help. I did one at the end on my own again and it was better.

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Tuesday, August 15, 2017


I skated the 5:30 p.m. FS at Chandler for practice, as usual.  I ran through Bronze Moves, mostly about the same as last week with some small improvements.  Exception was circle-8 which was horrible -- ice was not great but I still ought to be able to get around even if the ice is crappy.

I spent the last 15 minutes on jumps.  They were all kind of crappy.  Bleah!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Competition Prep

After a wonderful time at National Showcase, and a delayed flight home last night, it was time to switch gears and get some final prep done for my figures competition at the Sherwood Invitational next weekend.  I skated the 7:30 a.m. FS at Chandler for an extra lesson with Lynne.  I warmed up with edges and then scribed some circles.

Today's lesson:

  • FI8 -- we did one just-off the circles I'd scribed (a couple steps to the left).  No warmup, and it showed as I had some issues controlling the free shoulder.  After that we moved entirely off the circles to random places.  Not too bad, although I was having some definite issues being able to spot my center depending on lighting and placement (ugh).  I'm mostly feeling okay with this.
  • waltz-8 -- we started on the scribed circles and they were kind of okay, then went to random places.  Mostly not too bad, some similar issues of finding the center for return and of course my circles are still not test-worthy (very egg-shaped due to my bad step forward).  At this point I mostly just want to be able to complete the figure and not embarrass myself too badly.  From that perspective I think it will be okay.
After my lesson I just had a few moments so I mostly practiced the L side of the waltz-8 and a couple more FI8s.

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Tuesday, August 08, 2017


I skated the 5:30 p.m. FS at Chandler for practice.  Unfortunately some work issues made me 20 minutes late so I only got 25 minutes in :-(.

I warmed up a bit, then worked on FXOs (bleah) and then some time on jumps.  Salchow, meh.  Toe loop -- still trying to get it slowed down and bring it around.  Not much progress, it was a frustrating skate.

Monday, August 07, 2017

Bronze Moves, Jumps

My lesson with Holly on the Gilbert adult skate -- moved to today due to travel this week for National Showcase.

I warmed up with some stroking, 3s and circle-8.

Today's lesson:

  • BXOs to BO edges -- we worked on getting me to look over my free shoulder on the BO edge and let it curve around more.  Real improvement!  Still up on my toe a bit on the RBO (not the LBO, kinda weird).  It's getting better though.  Would still like to improve my speed.
  • perimeter XOs -- Not bad, actually.  I ran through the whole move and then we worked some more on the FXO side as the BXOs were actually pretty good.  Holly had me work to get the lobes a bit deeper and let things curve around a bit more.  Some good work, I think.
  • waltz jump -- just a few, mostly trying to get a bit more lift and to hold the landing better.
  • salchow -- actually these are not too bad!
  • toe loop -- ugh.  We worked on getting me to check better after the turn and not bring the upper body around too quickly.  We made some progress but a long way to go.

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FI8, Waltz-8 - Competition Prep

My lesson with Lynne on the Chandler 7:30 a.m FS. 3 skaters and 3 coaches... ice was a bit beat up but serviceable.  We're in this timeslot this week and next due to my travel for National Showcase this week, and getting an extra lesson next week.

I just had time to scribe a circle and warm up with some edges.

Today's lesson:

  • FI8 -- first time was a bit rough, mostly me being sloppy about pushing with the shoulder held back.  I actually put my foot down on the LFI (normally my better side!) because I pushed really hard but didn't lock my core.  Eeep.  We did it a second time and it was much better.  Tracing was good but circle size is a little small, not sure what's up with that.
  • waltz-8 -- about 20 minutes on these.  On the positive side, I am generally sort of coming back to center and it's not as horrible as it was, and I am doing the RFO3 reliably on restart (*phew).  My left circle is kind of small though, and my FO edge for the return to center is rather inconsistent -- sometimes almost okay and sometimes really horrible. Yuck.
I had just a few minutes after my lesson to practice.  Very little practice time left before the competition!

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Tuesday, August 01, 2017


I skated the 5:30 p.m. FS at Chandler today.  I spent the first 30 minutes on moves -- perimeter XOs (slow), power-3s (yuck), circle-8 (real issues with the RFO) and 5-step mohawk (improving).  I skipped the BXOs to BO edges because the session was very busy.

I spent the last 15 minutes on jumps.  Several bad salchows and then a really good one (yay!), a couple of okay waltz jumps (landing was better) and then a bunch of work on toe loop.  Still trying to get the toe loop to not be a toe waltz.  Yuck.

Patch Perseverance

I skated the Chandler Ice Café for patch practice today. Just 45 minutes.  Relatively crowded session (9 skaters and 1 coach).

I warmed up with edges, then spent about 20 minutes on FI8. In general pretty good but I do need to watch that RFI, need to hold that shoulder back consistently.

I then spent about 20 minutes on waltz-8.  I ran through it twice and actually, both times it was -- almost okay!  A very pleasant surprise.  I did put my foot down a couple of times (urph!) but really, much better.  From there I went to just work on the L side and my return to center was horrible. Ugh.

Competition is less than 3 weeks away! I've been told I will have competition on both the FI8 and waltz-8, so yay!