Gordon's Sk8er Boi Blog

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

Monday, October 05, 2015

Toe Loop Progress!

I skated the 7:30 a.m. FS at Chandler for practice today.

I spent the first 30 minutes on Bronze moves.  Bleah.  Not impressed, though I have to say I don't think they are particularly worse than when I tested so I guess that's something.   I did some work on power-3s but not much progress.

After that I spent about 20 minutes on jumps.  The thing that made my week was that I managed to start landing the toe loop on one foot!  I was so happy!  I did a few that were the same and then I somehow managed to land one on one foot, and then I did 6 or 7 more!  Then I had a couple that were two-footed but I kept working and got it back.  YAY!  It felt very... easy.  I pray this sticks!

After that I worked on salchow and waltz jumps, then a little time on spins.  I finished up by walking through my program without music. Yikes, I had forgotten a lot.  I think I mostly have it back but I need to watch video again to be sure :-)

Friday, October 02, 2015


My power lesson with Holly on the Gilbert adult skate.  I just had a very brief warmup (stroking, perimeter XOs) and then we got started...

Today's lesson:

  • stroking -- as usual.  This is still scary and I think I could probably go a little bit faster than I am.  Eeep.
  • FXOs -- we did these around the circle for a bit, in both directions.  The CW ones were not as bad as I was expecting.  I tend to push so that I'm too forward on the blade on the inside foot, though, and that is unsettling/scary/unstable.  Trying to fix that.
  • FXO pattern --  I whined about how slow I am in the perimeter FXOs, so we spent a little time working on that.  We fixed some things but I still feel like I'm slow :-(.
  • lunges --  one length of the rink pushing Holly and then a whole lap around the rink on my own (first time).  Yikes.  I was able to do them though they were pretty awkward at times.
  • fast swizzles -- a lap of swizzles as fast as I could go.  My quads were already aching from the lunges!  yikes.
All in all good stuff.

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Thursday, October 01, 2015

Preliminary Test & BI8

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler Ice Café.  I got on and scribed some circles and then we started (no warmup :-( ).

Today's lesson:

  • FO8 -- pretty good, except for a little wobbliness on the first RFO.  Hey, no warmup.
  • FI8 -- pretty nice.
  • waltz-8 -- this is still slowly improving.  I'm getting much better control on the BO edge and the step forward, while still quite weak, is a bit better.
  • BI8 -- just a few minutes on these.  The initial RBI is not bad.  The LBI is a bit weak but did improve.  The subsequent RBIs were no bueno - I didn't get a good push at first.   I was mostly able to fix this.   I really need more practice time.
After my lesson I had about 10 minutes of the group lesson before I had to leave.  We worked on elements of the Canasta Tango, which is, shall we say, interesting in patch blades.  Oh well it's all good.

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Wednesday, September 30, 2015


My lesson with JJ on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Gilbert.  I warmed up with Bronze moves.  Bleah.

Today's lesson:

  • step forward exercise -- JJ told me he'd read my blog post about my power lessons, and also watched my Sherwood figures videos (I need to post those here).  He asked what I was working on with Lynne and I explained that I'm still working on waltz-8 due to the step forward.  He suggested doing an exercise down the line (NOT on a curve) of back edge, step forward, repeat just to work on the step forward.
  • back spin prep -- this is really loop prep, I believe; just as we worked on last week. Two foot spin and put most weight on the R foot to feel the BO edge.  It's getting a little better.
  • loop prep -- on the boards; just stepping through the jump holding that free leg in front.  Eeep.
  • toe loop -- about the same but I think the timing is getting a little better.  I'm certainly feeling more comfortable with it.
  • salchow --mmph.  I did one that felt really good and the rest were yucky.  Oh well.

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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Skating With TFSC!

I skated at the TCC with my club, the Tucson FSC.  There is no rink in Tucson at the moment but we have ice when the convention center has it up for UA hockey.

I had an okay skate.  I spent about half an hour on Bronze moves; I feel like I have somewhat lost the fine edge I had on these when I was prepped for testing but they are not that much worse.  I'm not really seeing too much improvement in them as a result of my power work with Holly, though :-(.  Grr.

I spent some time on jumps and spins. Spins were pretty bad in general.  Toe loop about the same as ever and salchow not too great.

Friday, September 25, 2015


My power lesson with Holly on the Gilbert adult skate.  I warmed up with stroking and some crossovers, then worked a little on spins and jumps.

Today's lesson:

  • stroking -- as usual.  
  • lunges -- twice around the rink pushing Holly doing alternate lunges.  I did some of these yesterday with Danette. Actually they feel pretty good; good speed and I feel like I'm getting down really low (I should get someone to video me).  
  • forward slaloms around the circle  --  I still think these stink but Holly insists they're not that bad.  They are tiring though.
  • back swizzle hops --  OMG.  We  did 2 laps of these.  Back swizzle, jump and try to tap the boots together. First holding Holly's hands and then on my own.  It's kinda scary but getting better.
  • FXOs -- around the circles (PreBronze MIF pattern).  I felt like I was not going as fast as I have been, partly because I was tired and partly because being that close to the wall scares me when I'm going that fast.  So we moved to the middle circle and Holly held my hand and I went faster.  Eeep.
I was wearing my Apple watch and so I checked my heart rate a couple of times during the lesson... 170 bpm!  That is about max heart rate for a person my age.  I have to say, while it was tiring I didn't feel like I was going to die, so I guess that's pretty good.  My resting heart rate is around 70.

This is slowly getting better.  This feels really productive to me; it's very encouraging.

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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Preliminary Test & Serpentines

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler Ice Café.  I got on and scribed circles then we started.

Today's lesson:

  • edges -- pretty nice, actually.  Even the BI is looking pretty good.
  • FO8 -- Actually pretty good.
  • FI8 -- Nice.  Circles were a little smaller than the FO but okay.
  • waltz-8 -- most of our lesson.  Actually, these were about the best they've ever been.  I'm getting a lot more control on the BO edge.  I'm still struggling with the step forward (it's a little better) but the tracing on the BO edge and the placement of the step forward is much better.
  • serpentines -- just a couple of minutes on this.  Actually much, much better than the last time I worked on them.  I actually made it around after the FIO, which surprised me.  The circle after the FOI was weak and I didn't make it around after the first time.
After my lesson I participated in the group lesson, which was mostly power stuff -- a field drill, some swizzle drills, and some other drills she came up with.  It was cool, but a bit challenging in patch blades.

After the group lesson I had a few minutes so I worked on BI8.  Eeep, not so great.

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