Gordon's Sk8er Boi Blog

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

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Preliminary Test, BI8

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler Ice Cafe... We both got there about the same time so all I had done was scribe my circles.

Unfortunately it's been very humid this week (another tropical storm approaching) and apparently they have not really fixed their issues with humidity as it was very, very foggy in the rink and somewhat bumpy also (though clearly they had Zam'd before this session otherwise it would have been worse).

Today's lesson:
  • edges -- Pretty good in general.  BI8 first lobe is still kinda small compared to the other BI lobes and other lobes in general.
  • FO8 -- pretty good.  Had a small issue with my shoulder on the first one.  That happens too much; I really need to focus more from the beginning.
  • FI8 -- not bad.
  • waltz-8 -- Some parts were a bit improved but I felt like I was not on very good edges the whole time and Lynne said she felt I was rushing things too much.  Hmmph.
  • BI8 -- we had not done these in a long time... despite that, not actually that bad.  Still needs a lot of work but I improved a lot just in the 5 minutes or so we spent on them.
I really need to find some dedicated patch time when I can practice... otherwise I'm feeling like I am not making any progress.  Alas it's not likely to be like it was when we had 5 days/week of coffee club and I worked 5 minutes away.  But if I can find a good solid hour a week of practice time I think I can make some good progress.

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Power-3s, 5-Step

My lesson with JJ on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Gilbert.  During the warmup I worked through BXOs to landing position, circle 8 and a little 5-step.

Today's lesson:

  • power-3s -- still.   JJ brought out the dreaded hockey stick and worked with me to really make me turn into the circle more.  Actually, it worked.  Then we tried without the stick and it kind of stuck... mostly.  It felt a lot more aggressive on the rotation into the circle, which presumably is what I've been lacking.  Of course then the 3 was early and a bit out of control but at least it happened.  So I'll call this progress.
  • 5-step -- just a little time on these.  I am kind of flat on step 4 but all in all I'm happy with my progress.  I need to work a bit on flow and to get the lobes to be equal on each foot.

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Monday, September 15, 2014


I skated the 7:30 a.m. FS at Chandler. Lynne asked to move our lesson today to later in the week so I had just a normal practice session -- actually the first time in quite a while that I had just a skate with no lesson.  To top it off I had private ice!  A lot of folks were competing this weekend so they skipped today.

I had a really good practice.  I worked on Bronze moves pretty much the whole time.  The BXOs to landing position are okay; I can do them but they still could use more speed and better flow and the RBO still curves around more than I'd like.  Perimeter XOs are okay but still want more speed/flow and I'd like the CW FXOs to be not so clunky.  5-step is slowly improving but at least I get through it now so I call that progress.  Circle-8 I am still having problems with getting all the way around (I find this frightfully ironic considering how easy this is for me in my patch blades).  Power-3s... ugh.  These are by far the weakest link.  My 3s ... I feel like I just need to relearn them entirely.

Finished off with 5 minutes worth of spins and one waltz jump.  Yay!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Preliminary Test

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Ice Café at Chandler.

It was very foggy and the ice had a lot of bumps :-(.  After the drama we've had the past couple of weeks I'd hoped that we would be past this but apparently not.  We've had a lot of rain this week and it's been quite humid (for Arizona).

I had just scribed my circles when we started our lesson.

Today's lesson:
  • edges -- Not too bad.  BI first lobe is too small, but the rest are mostly pretty good.
  • FO8 -- actually, really nice.
  • FI8 -- also pretty nice although I did have some upper-body loss of control moments.
  • waltz-8 -- ugh (as always).  Actually on the R side I was doing a bit better on leaning into the LBO edge across the top.  Not so much on the L side.  I have been working on these forever...

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My lesson with JJ on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Gilbert.  It has been very humid and there were a number of bumps on the ice, grrr.

We spent our lesson on power-3s.  We worked both sides.  On the positive side the back lobe has improved a lot.  It's just, y'know, the actual 3 that's the problem.  I need to relax (again, not my strong suit) and not force it.  I did make some progress but it will take more work.

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Thursday, September 04, 2014


My spins lesson with Lynne on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Chandler.  Before my lesson I worked on Moves... they were okay.  Nice session, just 3 of us (me, Cameron, and Jaclyn).  This was a 30 minute lesson to make up for last week.

We spent 20 minutes pushing from the line.  Eh.  They got better but still not so great.  The last 10 minutes we worked on them from the windup.  I had a couple where I got myself to relax into a bit and they were better.

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Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Preliminary Test, BO8

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Ice Cafe at Chandler.  Beyoootiful ice!

Today's lesson:

  • FO8 -- Not bad.  Still need to work on posture.
  • FI8 -- Decent.
  • BO8 -- wow, I had not done these in a while.  Some control issues.  Flow is generally good and all in all it went better than it should.  Still need to relax and sit back on the blade more.
  • Waltz-8 -- ugh.  This sure hasn't gotten better in the interim.  Again I think I really need to relax and be more methodical about it, esp. the push to BO and the step forward.

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Perimeter Crossovers, 5-Step Mohawk

My lesson with JJ on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Gilbert.  We continued working on Bronze Moves.  Before my lesson I ran the circle-8 and it was improved from what it has been, though the RFI needs more work.

Today's lesson:

  • perimeter crossovers  -- these are actually improved. I'm feeling more confident about the FXOs although I'm still too slow and need to bend my knees more.  We worked a bunch on the BXOs and especially the end pattern.  Good progress on getting down ice more but they still should be smoother and more powerful.
  • 5-step mohawk -- the R side of these is improved.  The left is still pretty rough.  JJ told me to keep my head up more.. on the L side he specifically told me to look at the top of the hockey glass.  This did help some.  On the positive side I am able to do a whole side of them without feeling like I'm going to die... so that is progress :-).

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Ice Café

I had signed up for the Ice Café at Chandler, which started today.  My plan is to use it for patch lessons w/Lynne, but she had a schedule conflict and couldn't be there today.

Unfortunately due to work commitments and distance I really can't skate for more than 45 minutes or so on this session, though I am paying for 90.  Oh well.

Since I had no lesson today I just worked on FO8, FI8 and serpentines.  However the ice was much the same as last Friday (not as bumpy, though) so it was not very productive.  Julie P came out toward the end of the session and apologized for the ice though, and gave us each a free pass for a future Ice Café session.  Nice.

BXOs & Power-3s

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

Today's lesson
  • BXOs -- we worked on the back crossovers part of perimeter stroking (Bronze moves).   These were better than I thought they would be, though I am not getting enough power really. Still need to bend my knees more and get a better cross, but okay for now.
  • power-3s -- just a few minutes on these, again.  Still working on the same stuff as last week.  I at least really do see how I am leaning out of the circle before the turn -- same problem I have in figures on waltz-8 and 3s to center and, well, lots of places.  

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Monday, August 25, 2014


My spins lesson with Lynne on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Chandler.

The ice was much, much better today.  When I got on at 7:30 it was a little used but not bad at all, and it wasn't foggy.  For some reason, though, around 8ish it started to fog up so that by 8:30 when I finished you couldn't read the clock through the glass.

I've dropped my spin lesson time to 20 minutes since I will be starting patch lessons again next week.  There's only so much time (and more importantly, money) to go around!

Today's lesson:

  • standing start -- meh.  The good news is that I don't need Lynne to draw the line for me anymore.  The bad news is that I'm not holding it quite long enough, but more importantly I'm not holding up the free side after the 3.  Grrr.
  • windup -- a bit better.  I did get one really nice 3 rev spin that was relatively centered, but couldn't repeat it.  What worked was being relatively relaxed, not rushing, and getting the hands/arms rotated and holding the free leg back, then lifting it.  In other words, all the stuff every coach I've ever worked with has told me to do :-).
Before and after my lesson I worked on Bronze moves.  Ugh.  On the positive side I am at least getting myself to do them!

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