Gordon's Sk8er Boi Blog

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

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Preliminary Test & BO8

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler Ice Café.  As usual, nice ice; and only four skaters and one coach.

I scribed some circles and then started my edges for warmup...

Today's lesson:

  • F edges -- nice.
  • B edges - also nice.  BI push has definitely improved a lot.
  • FO8 -- pretty nice.  I had some issues with the second LFO as I was a bit too concentrated on lining up my pushes and I forgot to set myself up correctly for the edge, so I was fighting my R shoulder for the first half... ugh!  My tracing was really nice on these.
  • FI8 -- as usual, pretty nice.
  • waltz-8 -- actually, pretty good.  I had one time on the L side that my step forward was really wonky but for the most part it was pretty good. Turns were nice, I'm holding the BO edge about right and while the step forward still needs some improvement it's definitely come a long way.  I was pretty happy with it and so was Lynne.
  • BO8 -- ugh.  The first couple of times on this were not so great but after I remembered/reminded myself of some key points I did a pretty nice set that I was pretty happy with.  Yay!
After my lesson I worked a little on alternating 3s and also a bit on BI8.

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Program Prep

My lesson with JJ on the 8:15 FS at Gilbert.  I'd not skated this session in a while; there were 6 skaters and 3 coaches so a lot busier than yesterday.

I warmed up with elements from the program (after I warmed up jumps etc.), then ran my program.  It went more or less okay but was a bit rough; spin and salchow not so great.

Next we worked on salchow a bit, then ran the program again.  This runthrough was really good!  I was really happy with it, though there were some small glitches here and there.  We made a small change -- after the lunge-3 I'll just do a push, 2 BXOs and then push back in a landing position before I step forward for the salchow.  I think this will help me set up the salchow better; right now I'm tending to just push onto the LFO and sit and think :-(.  So we worked that through and a few other places, then ran the program again.  This last runthough (just as we ran out of time) was almost as good as the 2nd one.  I'd be pretty happy with either in competition (thought I would still like a better salchow).

Figures lesson next today, then taking a day off from skating tomorrow for the trip.  Hope to have some warmup ice time on Saturday in LA somewhere, then competition Sunday.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Program Work

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

I warmed up with stroking and then warmed up some jumps and spins, then ran my free skate.  It was okay; I ended on time, but the spin and the salchow were pretty yucky.

We spent most of our time working on some specific chunks of the free skate -- the mohawk/cross into the spin, then a little time on the salchow (needs more work!) and then more time on the BXOs into the spiral.

I'm feeling somewhat better about this program but still not happy with the spin and salchow.  One more lesson tomorrow!

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Tuesday, February 09, 2016


I skated the 5:30 p.m. FS at Chandler as usual.  11 skaters and like 6 coaches, so kinda busy but not bad.

I worked on jumps and spins for a bit, then went on to work on some of the troublesome segments of my programs, like the mohawk/cross, the ending of the dramatic program, and the spin entrance in the free skate.  After that I ran the free skate -- not too bad, although the salchow was not too great and I did end slightly late.  Then I ran the dramatic program and I was probably 15-20 seconds late ending.... ugh.  Of course it didn't help that people got in my way, but the other big problem is, of course, I need to decrease my "think time" that I so often put in before an element.  This is the single best thing that comes out of competing, in my mind -- the ability to do an element without thinking about  it for  20 seconds first.  Still working on that in this program.

Two lessons with JJ this week (and a figures lesson) and then I'm off to MidWinter!

Monday, February 08, 2016


My choreography session with Tammy on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Chandler.  As usual,  a nice session, just Denali and I and Tammy.

I warmed up with Bronze Moves, then warmed up jumps, followed by a runthrough of my free skate.  It was more or less okay although the mohawk/cross into the spin was iffy and I was behind going into the waltz jump again :-(.

For today's choreo, we started by reviewing the last part of the program.  We ran it from the bunnyhop/lunge/toe loop into the slaloms and twizzle thing.  We practiced the latter several times -- apparently I was making it more complicated (and too many revs!) than it needs to be.  After the twizzly-thing (it's not a real twizzle) it's an LFO3 into a spin windup/spin/pose.

After that we worked on the mohawk/cross into the side toe hop.  Tammy decided to change the LFO3 after that to an LFI mohawk (with arms) as it flows better.

We only ran the program once with music; I was a little late but it was more or less okay.  I didn't die on the bunnyhop :-) so that was good.  Toe loop was kinda iffy though.


Saturday, February 06, 2016

Skate Fitting

I drove up to north Scottsdale(ish) today to be fitted for my new boots with Kelly.  He measured my feet and looked at my current boots.  It's a bit mystifying as my feet measure out at about 9 1/2 to 9 3/4 long but I'm in a 9M in my Riedells.  Still, he says the lasts haven't change so we will order the same size for me.  I'm going with the Silver Stars this time as JJ and Holly both said I need a bit more support (mostly because of my size, not because of my doubles lol!).

They should come in in 3-4 weeks (right after PCAS so that's good).  Alas if I'm remembering correctly these boots will cost me something like $250 more than the previous ones... ouch :-(.

Friday, February 05, 2016


My power lesson with Holly on the Gilbert adult skate.

Today's lesson:

  • stroking - of course.
  • lunges -- right after stroking, and I was going (relatively) fast, so I was like "at this speed?!!" and of course she said "yes".  Actually they were not bad, and they don't scare me anymore so that's good.
  • BXOs -- alternating down the length of the rink for a whole lap.  I was not impressed but Holly says they are not that bad.
  • slaloms -- of course.  2 laps!! Ugh.  Although I was kind of okay for the first lap, it's after that that it was bad.  They have improved, though.
  • BXOs -- on the circle.  As it happened we started with the harder side first.  I did get some improvement in staying down and decreasing the amount of scraping.  When we switched to the easier side, it was like night and day :-).  They actually weren't bad at all.
  • toe hops -- ugh.  alternating toe hops to each side down the line.  They got much better but I wouldn't say they weren't awkward.
  • and of course -- another lap :-)

And with that... I skated every day this week!  A total of about 5 hours.  Not bad.

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Thursday, February 04, 2016

Preliminary Test & Serpentine

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler Ice Café.  I got on the ice a little late so Lynne scribed my circles while I warmed up with edges.

Today's lesson:

  • FO8 -- really pretty good.
  • FI8 -- also pretty good!
  • waltz-8 -- mmph.  The usual weaknesses.    After running the figure we spent some time just working on the BO edge/step forward.  The LBO & step is pretty weak but we made some improvements.  The RBO actually improved quite a bit.  All in all it's getting there, just need to make it more consistent.
  • serpentine -- just a few minutes on these.  Initial push is still too weak to reliably getting me around the FO->FI portion;  FI->FO is better as I push more strongly onto the FI edge.  Ugh.  We did make some improvements in the FOI change of edge though and FIO is not too bad.
After my lesson I spent the rest of the time I had on serpentine, trying to improve that FO  push.  Ugh.

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