Gordon's Sk8er Boi Blog

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

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Spin Progress

I managed to take a long lunch hour today to attend the new TTh adult public session. It was a terrific session, there were only 4 people in attendance! I got in a bit over an hour of skating.

I worked on most of my stuff, although I somewhat skimped work on crossovers in the interests of time; still, I did work on forward and back crossovers, FO3s and FI3s, Mohawks, edges, and spins. I also tried a few back Mohawks. I'm slowly getting more comfortable with them. My FO3s, especially my LFO3, are looking pretty good -- I'm usually able to hold the exit edge and I'm getting a good check. I suspect I need to start working on being able to do them on less of a curve, and also at higher speed.

The main point of progress was the 10 or 12 minutes I spent on spins. I worked on drawing my arms in faster and also trying to feel that solid core Anna was talking about in my last lesson. With that I managed several good spins, and even managed to pick up my right foot on several of them and spin on one foot for 1 to 1 1/2 revolutions. I'm really pleased!

Sunday, March 28, 2004

First Freestyle Session

At Saturday's skate, my skate buddy Nicole mentioned that she was going to the Sunday morning freestyle session and suggested I should give it a try. Brushing aside my concerns about getting run over or getting in the way, she assured me I'd be fine. So this morning I did something I almost never do -- I got up before 8 a.m. on a Sunday! I was at the rink at 8:30 to take the ice for the 8:45 a.m. session. Freestyle sessions here are $12/hr, or $9/hr with a punch card available for the members of the figure skating club, which I am not (yet). The weekend morning freestyle sessions are on the front ice (which I like), not the back ice (yecch).

It was a really nice session. There were at most 7 or 8 skaters and one coach for the hour, and the ice was beautiful. There's no music other than what people bring. At one point the lights flickered and were off for about a second; then the emergency lights were on for a while until the regular lights could warm up and come back on. For that period of time (maybe 3 - 5 minutes) it was dim but not dark -- actually it was kind of neat.

I worked on most all of my stuff, although I didn't have time to do my full practice card since after warmup I probably had 45 minutes. I did manage some really nice LFO3s and some good Mohawks. I worked on spins and forward/back crossovers too. On my CW back crossovers I went ahead and starting putting the step in (Anna had suggested on Friday that I should play with that), so they are real crossovers. I'm rather proud of them; when I actually take some time and really push that back foot I think they are really pretty good looking for a beginner.

I forgot to mention in my last post that Saturday I experimented with a back Mohawk (a.k.a. "step-forward"). I can do this, albeit slowly -- just the LBO to RFO step. I think I did one of these a long long time ago in a lesson with Linda (I think it was a Saturday make-up lesson in December), but I'd never gone back. Anyway it's a bit tentative but something new to play with.

I really liked the session and it's nice to have a skating buddy to go with -- mutual encouragement is a really helpful thing for us adult skaters! It fits well with my schedule so long as I'm not out toooo late Saturday night. Nicole and I agreed we'd make it a plan to go every week more or less.

Saturday Zoo

I attended the Saturday afternoon public session as usual. It was a bit less crowded than usual, which was nice. On the other hand there was no Zamboni break, so by the end of the session the ice was pretty gross.

I was rather unfocused, and didn't feel able to work my practice routine since there were several people on lesson or otherwise taking up center ice. Still, I worked on back crossovers and 3 turns and most of my usual stuff. No great breakthroughs. My RB glide seems to have gone away again *sigh* Hopefully it will return (for good) soon.

Friday, March 26, 2004


I had my 10th lesson with Anna today, and my first in my new 12:30 time slot. I really liked having plenty of time to warm up and get acclimated, so I think the switch is a positive one. During the warmup I tried some RB glides and wow! They have greatly improved since Wednesday. I did several that were quite long and nice and straight, dropping to an RBI only after 20 or 30 feet.

When we started my lesson, Anna asked if there was anything I particularly wanted to show her... I said "not really..." so she asked if there was anything I *needed* to show her, and I said "not really..." but I went ahead and showed her my LFI Mohawk and also my RB glide. She was pleased. From there we started in on edges. There are a number of corrections I need to make, especially on the FI edges. She's concerned I'm not taking time to really set my edge, and that I need to take more time to do that. She also thought I needed more kneebend ("softer knees") when I come up to the transition.

Next was back crossovers. She's pleased with my progress; we worked on getting a better posture and being more deliberate (that phrase again!) and careful -- when I get going faster I'm tending to rush my movements and then they are getting sloppy. I need to have good, careful technique regardless of how fast I'm going.

Next we looked at back edges on a circle. She says these look better than the back glide, which probably comes from practicing crossovers. From there we went to dreaded FI3s. My RFI3 is improved but I still need to work on my check; keeping my shoulders still and continuing to look in the direction I'm skating. For the LFI3 I'm still a bit stuck on that but we did some 2-foot turns that direction and worked on some issues there.

We finished up by looking briefly at my spin. It's improved. She wants me to have a bit more core strength, to support from the abdominal muscles better and to improve my arm position. Other than that I think it's improved.

After my lesson (which ran late, we started around 12:35 and didn't finish until 1:10) I just had a couple of moments to skate before the session was over. I worked on back crossovers some more and my classmate Nicole (Anna's other adult student) complimented me on my progress, "You're really motorin', Gordon!" It's nice to get positive feedback, especially since Nicole's been seeing me skate since 2 weeks after I started skating (last May).

Labels: ,

ACK! Worlds Update

Yahoo is reporting that Michelle Kwan's short program ran two seconds too long and she lost .1 from each mark as a result. There seems to be (unsurprisingly) some controversy on this and the American delegation has lodged a protest. If it stands, it's heartbreaking. Skating is hard enough without making dumb mistakes of that kind. Ack!

Wednesday, March 24, 2004


I went to the public session tonight. I had decided I needed to focus my practice; I had done a practice outline before, but I hadn't used it in a long time, so I made a new one. My outline consisted of:

  • Forward crossovers - CCW - 5 min.
  • Forward crossovers - CW - 10 min.
  • Back crossovers - CCW - 10 min.
  • Back crossovers - CW - 5 min.
  • FO3s - 5 min.
  • FI3s - 10 min.
  • Spins - 10 min.
  • FI Mohawks - 5 min.

And a warmup consisting of stroking and edges and also some backward glides.

The amazing thing was I actually did all of that. I have to say that the idea of doing 10 minutes of any kind of crossover was ridiculously over-ambitious. As it was I did them in two groups of 5 min. each, and even so I had to stop once or twice in each set to rest. Sheesh.

Anyway, it was a really good workout and, I think, good discipline to make myself do a fair amount of time on each task. I know I made some good progress on the FI Mohawks and FO3s, and though I'm still stuck on the LFI3, the RFI3 is somewhat improved. Best of all I made some good progress on my CW forward crossovers.

Also on the spins, I had made a note to myself to try to lead with the left arm on the pivot. This proved to be exactly what I needed because it prevented me from bringing my arms in before I'd truly started the spin, and so I got much better spins out of it. I'm really pleased.

Monday, March 22, 2004

Good Luck Janet

A shout-out (as they say) to Janet, who is taking her first dance test today. Good luck Janet!

Update: Congratulations to Janet on passing her test! Yea!

Worlds Week

I try to keep this blog primarily about my own skating, but with Worlds coming this week I'm sure I'll need to comment about it a bit. The question is, can Michelle Kwan win a 6th world title? She looked terrific at Nationals -- just as energized as she was last year (her Aranjuez program is one of my all-time favorites), but with a stepped-up technical difficulty that will be hard to beat. Here are a couple of recent articles -- Kwan seeks history at world championship and To Kwan, skating's everything. I especially liked this quote:

"I get a lot out of skating," she said. "I wish I could bottle up some of my performances, even a practice. I can't seem to put it all in one sentence. It's just the thrill of skating, of feeling on. Sometimes it's the crowd. Sometimes it's just doing that one jump great.

The love of the sport -- if you keep that, you can skate forever.

Saturday, March 20, 2004

Saturday Zoo

Back to my regular routine today, I went to yoga (first time in a month!) and then skated the afternoon public session. While it was crowded, it certainly was not as bad as it often is.

I worked pretty much the same old stuff. A lot of time on back crossovers, especially my weaker CCW ones. They are greatly improved. Worked the FI Mohawks, the LFI is coming along nicely. Worked on FO3s and FI3s. I worked on the problematic LFI3 a fair amount; I tried doing 2-footed 3s to see if that would help, and it did somewhat. Just before the end of the session I was able to at least attempt a couple. It's not a breakthrough, but it's a start. I realized part of the problem is that checking in that direction tends to hurt my shoulder if I'm not careful, which probably is a factor in my slow progress.

I didn't work on the 2-foot spin much, and I need to. I've not spent enough time on it and it has not particularly improved. I'm not sure what to think about that.

I spent some time on my RB glide, and it's improving too. I tend to fall off to an RBI edge pretty quickly, but I'm holding it a little straighter longer. I think the difference is trying to get more... (wait for it!) edge pressure. Yep, it's amazing what listening to your coach will do... in particular I'm thinking about this as pushing down firmly with my weight just behind the ball of my foot.

I spent just a little time on the bunny hop; it's still a bit of a problem. I guess I just need to work it more -- there's just so much to do! I realized today that my lesson next week marks about 2 months that I've been working with Anna. The time has really flown by. I've really come a long way, when I look at it. I still have a fair amount of work to do on fundamentals -- solidifying my 3s and Mohawks, getting solid back edges, firming up my crossovers. Still, when I look at the Basic 8 curriculum, I think in another month or two I'll have most of that stuff down except the jumps and spins, which I am still behind on. A long time ago I hoped I'd have a good waltz jump by August. So far that doesn't seem unreasonable. I had also hoped to test Adult Pre-Bronze Moves by October or maybe January, and that seems reasonable too. I suspect that the Adult Pre-Bronze freestyle stuff might be ready by January if I work very hard.

Friday, March 19, 2004


I attended coffee club today. Anna is gone for spring break, so no lesson, but since I just got my skates back from the sharpener before I went to the rink, it's just as well. While they were definitely sharper, since I hadn't waited so long as I have in the past the adjustment period wasn't too bad at all.

I worked pretty hard today but felt kind of unfocused. Still mostly working FO3s and FI Mohawks. I worked the RFI3, but I'm still coming out on a flat there. I attempted several times to do an LFI3 but couldn't get over the block. Grr. Everytime I think I've convinced myself "just try it, and if you fall, you fall" I still don't quite manage it. GRRR! On the other hand the LFI Mohawk is coming along pretty well. I also spent some time on FO and (especially) FI edges.

I spent a fair amount of time working back edges, and especially the RB edge. It's definitely improving. I just need to keep working it. Back crossovers are coming along, and the forward ones are about the same. I should have spent more time on the CW forward crossovers. Ah well.

After coffee club I got to spend some time talking to Lisa, the adult silver skater who just moved here (she competed in the competition a couple of weeks ago). I really like watching her skate. She said she's been skating for 6 years; Cecilia is her coach.

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Sharpening Time Again

I took my skates in to be sharpened today. It's only been 6 weeks since they were last sharpened, but either I'm more sensitive to this or I've skated on a lot of bad ice lately, because they feel dull to me. I was doing a 3-turn on Monday and noticed that I skidded a bit, which was very disturbing and new. So, in they go. I'll get them back tomorrow just in time for coffee club. Fortunately I don't have a lesson tomorrow so I'll have plenty of time to get used to them.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

PT Wrap-up

It just occurred to me that I never gave a wrap-up on my physical therapy and how it went, and where I am now. I had my last (of 12) PT session the last week in February. The conclusion was that my ankle was much, much improved. As for the shoulder, while I feel less pain and in fewer ways, I still have a bit less range of motion on the left (injured) shoulder compared to the right (uninjured) :-(. The therapist felt that there was not a lot more she could do for me other than that I should continue to do the exercises I've been given. She suggested if I'm still having problems in 4-5 months I should talk to my doctor again.

As for how it feels -- generally my shoulder doesn't bother me at all. The exceptions are when I try to sleep on it (I usually sleep on my left side, which puts the shoulder in a bad position), and when I try to put my left arm straight out and back. Unfortunately, in thinking about some of the feedback I got from Anna last week on my RFI3 and some other things, I suspect that part of the problem is the injury. For example, Anna mentioned that my forward (right) hand is coming up to high and my left is low. I suspect I'm trying to get them equally high but my left doesn't want to go as high, and my right is drifting higher because I'm trying equally hard on both sides. Also it explains some of the problems I have in my positioning for back crossovers also. Now that I'm more aware of this I can, hopefully, compensate for it.

As for the ankle -- it never hurts when I skate. Sometimes when I overdo it a bit (3 hour sessions) it feels a little twingy the next day. Generally speaking I think it's much better and I expect that over time it will stop hurting entirely.

Monday, March 15, 2004

Ice Heaven

I went to the evening public session today. It was not at all crowded -- a maximum of 9 people, I think; 5 figure skaters (including an instructor giving a lesson), 2 recreational skaters and 2 hockey boys. For the last 20 minutes I had the ice all to myself!

I worked on pretty much everything, with the exception of the LFI3s. I'm such a chicken. I did spend a fair amount of time on the LFI Mohawk, so that it's greatly improved and repeatable. I also worked on the RFI3; I'm still having trouble getting it all the way around, though -- I'm turning onto a flat somehow. This came up in my lesson, too; I think I need a deeper edge and/or more commitment to the turn. I'm not scared of it though.

I also spent quite a bit of time on front & back crossovers, the 2-foot spin and edges. My FI edges are really lacking, at least compared to my FO edges. I seem to always be dropping the free hip and also I'm too far back on the blade. I'll have to ask Anna about that.

No big breakthroughs tonight, just some solid, fun skating. Awesome!

Sunday, March 14, 2004

Rink Uncle

I realized I'd not saved this story from last week, so I thought I'd blog it..

At the Sunday competition last week I was watching some of the competitors and talking with my little buddy Mariah. Mariah's friend Sveta was sitting next to her. We had the following exchange:

Sveta: (looking at me) Who are you?
Me: My name is Gordon.
Sveta: (turning to Mariah) Is he your dad?!
Mariah: No, he's a skater!
Me: I'm kind of the rink uncle.
Sveta: Huh?
Mariah: Yeah, he's the rink uncle!

Or something like that. So now it's official ;-) I'm the rink uncle. It kind of makes sense. Other than coffee club sessions, there is only one other adult male figure skater besides myself (my friend José), and he's usually only there on Wednesday nights. So all the kids know me from seeing me out there practicing all the time, and I become a court of last resort/arbiter/ear/"uncle". It's really kind of neat, actually.

Friday, March 12, 2004

Darn LFI3s!

I woke up this morning feeling exhausted and a bit achy, so I called in sick to work and went back to sleep. I got up about 10:45 and dashed out of the house for my 9th lesson with Anna. It's amazing what a prepaid lesson and the desire to please your coach can do for your level of determination...

The coffee club session was on the back ice (Rink 2) due to some event on the front rink. I'm not big on the back ice, it's really cold back there. The ice today seemed brittle and there was a nasty crack on each end of the rink in the middle that was marked off with cones.

Before my lesson started, I warmed and talked with Nicole a bit (Anna's other Friday adult student). Nicole asked me if I'd be willing to change lesson times with her (she's at 12:30). I'd been thinking about asking her that as well since sometimes it's challenging to get there from work especially when conference calls run long. So I agreed, and we asked Anna and that's fine with her, so starting 3/26 my lesson will be at 12:30.

We started by working on forward stroking and forward crossovers. These are improving, especially the CCW ones -- I'm starting to get into a bit of a groove with it. The CW ones are still kind of rough -- Anna suggested crossing my foot just in front and not so far into the circle, which helped. I think I just need to practice them a lot more.

Next we worked on the FI3s. The RFI3 is improved but I'm still having trouble getting all the way around; partly I'm tending to raise my right hand too much ("No Hitler!" Anna said ;-)) and my left hand down, so then when I turn I'm off balance a bit. Then we went to the LFI3... not much progress there. I really need to get over this, it's screwing me up.

We finished up by looking at back edges a bit, and Anna showed me how do them (well, start them, anyway) down the line. I can see this is going to take a lot of work; while I can somewhat do them I'm finding it really hard to avoid rotating my hips outside the circle. Eeep!

After my lesson I worked on a variety of things, in particular my back crossovers -- still trying to get more kneebend in the back leg and more heel-pressure so I don't toe-scratch. There's some improvement there. I also spent time on the LFI Mohawk, trying to get it back to where it was in Wednesday's practice. After some initial screwiness I did manage to get it back somewhat. I'm hopeful that being able to do the LFI Mohawk will help me somewhat with my problems with the LFI3 -- I guess we'll see. There's so much to work on!

After the coffee club session I had a nice long talk with Anna (for a bit) and especially with Nicole. Nicole revealed that she and Anna had looked at this blog, so...

Hi Anna! Hi Nicole! :-)

Nicole has only really been skating since Dec. 2002; she's been taking lessons from Anna the whole time. It's really amazing how far she's come. She's doing loops and flips! I'm impressed, anyway. As I told her, one of the great things about this blog for me is that whenever I get discouraged (like on this LFI3 thing) I can just read back and remind myself how far I've come.

Nicole mentioned that Gateway has started an (unadvertised, of course) adult session (not coffee club, just an adult public session) Tuesdays and Thursdays 11:45 - 1:15. I'll have to check that out. I have a 1:30 conference call Tuesdays so I might be able to make that so long as I leave by 1 -- at least until the time change in April, anyway... Also after April 19th I'll have my Monday nights free so I can hit the public session then, which used to be pretty good. I have plenty of moves stuff that I can usually accomplish at a public session.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

More Progress!

I had a makeup lesson tonight at the beginning of the public session. Anna is going to be out of town next week so we moved my 3/19 lesson to tonight (I'll still have my regular lesson on 3/12). I got to the rink about 30 minutes before my lesson so I had time to warm up, etc. My skates felt a little strange from the new laces; on the positive side my right boot felt firmer and tighter.

We worked on a number of things. The first was to work on back crossovers (of course). Anna says they are looking better but I still need to work more on pushing the heel down & back and to bend the back knee more.

Next up we worked on FI Mohawks. I'm still not getting a good check on the RFI Mohawk; Anna wants me to really feel like I'm being "led" by the forward hand. Then we went back to the LFI Mohawks and eeep, those were bad. Worse than last week. I just had some weird stuff going on.

After that we were back to the 2-foot spin. These are improving slightly; I need to get more of a push on the initial pivot. Anna also wants me to not short-change the initial pivot; I'm going to the spin too quickly and so I don't get enough "oomph." She wants me to try for a 3/4 turn pivot before beginning the spin.

At the end of the lesson we'd talked about looking at my back edges, but instead as a result of a discussion of my status, we went instead to introduce bunny hops and a mazurka. I'd been exposed to the bunny hop before but I'd never really learned it. We spent about 5 minutes or so looking at these beginning jumps, with some success.

All in all, it was a great lesson, in spite of my frustrations with the LFI Mohawk. For the rest of the session I spent a lot of time working on the things from my lesson. In particular, I spent some time on the bunny hop, which seems really trivial in one sense and still a bit daunting in another (ironic, no?). The hard part for that seems to be to really get a good jump from the left foot (assuming I'm taking off from the left foot), and to remember to point the right toe down so I land on the toepick. Other than that it's okay.

I spent a good chunk of time working on the LFI Mohawk; I was determined not to be wimpy about everything. So I tried 15 or 20 of them, with some improvement. I did a number in a row that were almost okay; although I seem to not want to put the right foot down to the ice even when I've done everything else right. I was really happy with it except that, having done a number that were pretty good, I got a little weirded out about it and had trouble doing more. I hope that's just temporary.

I also spent some amount of time on my backward glide. At some point in the last couple of weeks or so, I seem to have developed a pretty good, solid LB glide. Yea! I am still working on the RB glide but it too has improved a lot. Finally! I worried a lot that I'd never be able to skate backward; it seems like a key stumbling block for many beginning skaters.

All in all it was a good skate and I'm really happy with my progress.

Labels: ,

New Laces

I bought my skates in June, and I just replaced the laces last night. They had not broken, but there was a spot on the right boot lace that was frayed and clearly was going. I had bought some cotton/poly blend laces from Rainbo Sports a while back so I put 'em on. My skate laces are 120" (10 feet!) long!

Monday, March 08, 2004

Public Session Hell

I got out of choir rehearsal early today, so I took advantage of the opportunity to go to the Monday night public session. I wanted to get some extra practice in because due to the university's spring break next week, I'm getting my 3/19 lesson this Wednesday night.

Unfortunately I arrived at the rink just as two busloads of high school kids were arriving -- some kind of school trip from out of town. So it was not a very good ice skating experience. In spite of the crowds of screaming girls and insane boys trying to impress the girls, I tried to get some real practice in. I spent some time working on 3-turns (shocking, I know :-)). I actually spent a fair amount of time on the RFI3 and it's improved. I didn't try the LFI3 (what a chicken). I also worked on the RFI Mohawk and tried a couple of LFI Mohawks with no success.

I spent some time on my spin. Some things that seemed to help were to really work on getting my top toepick in the ice to get a better pivot (just as Anna said), and also to work on getting my shoulders back ("long"). I still didn't get any progress on picking up the right foot though.

Finally, I did work on the back crossovers. I need to fight my tendency to lean forward though; it really doesn't help. I think the biggest problem with these is just to get more into them and really feel the edge, the lean, the kneebend.

Sunday, March 07, 2004

Competition Notes

I wanted to take a few moments to make some notes about the competition at our rink this weekend.

Probably the first thing to note is that there really are almost no males at all in this area doing figure skating. If I had competed I would have had a category to myself. The only adult males I saw were in the Preliminary pairs, there were 2 pairs teams from Phoenix that competed -- none from Tucson. As for boys, I think there were a total of 5 competing, and only 3 were from Tucson. Pretty sad.

I was encouraged though to see so many people attending. It was a lot of fun to watch, and also to see so many kids that I see all the time getting to really show their stuff. Some of them are really quite good. At the same time, it's interesting to see how presentation skills have to be learned just like anything else. Many kids can skate reasonably well but don't really know how to "sell" their program. I guess that comes with experience!

There were not too many adults competing. I knew one woman in adult pre-bronze, one in adult bronze, and one who is an adult silver but skated up to gold since she was the only silver. I was really happy for her -- she won the competition even though she had a fall on her program. I think it was a good decision because other than that she really had good line and flow, and just overall really looked good.

I also, sadly, got to see the effect nerves can have on people. Some folks get really, really flustered. It's sad. It makes me wonder how I will react when/if I'm out there. I don't normally get stage fright and I'm pretty used to talking in front of crowds, even large crowds, and doing presentations etc.; but of course skating is something else again. I guess I'll just have to try it to find out.

Saturday, March 06, 2004

Saturday (Back Ice) Zoo

In spite of the competition at our rink this weekend, there was still a Saturday afternoon public session, so I went. The public session was on the back rink, which is mostly for hockey; it's colder and to me somewhat claustrophobic. I hoped the hordes would be kept at bay by the opportunity to watch the competition in front, but no such luck, it was fairly crowded.

I only had about 2 hours to skate, and I mostly worked on 3-turns and the RFI Mohawk. I didn't try any of the LFI3s, although I should have. I did a fair number of RFO3s and RFI3s though. I also worked on edges a fair amount, as well as front & back crossovers. I also worked on my 2-foot spin a bit but it seemed very off to me. I did some pivots too and my FI pivot is pretty killer. I should learn one of the others. All in all it was an okay practice in spite of the crowded conditions.

Friday, March 05, 2004


I had my 7th lesson with Anna today. I got to the rink on time and had a good 20 minutes to warm up. Once again I was feeling just a little bit "off" for some reason.

We started by looking at edges down the line. The outsides are not too bad, but Anna wants me to point my toe more and be more careful about the setup and rhythm of the edge -- push, set, switch(arms), foot, then together & switch feet. We also looked at insides; there I need to work on not dropping my free side so much. In general the FIs need more work and don't look too crisp yet.

We looked at crossovers next. The CCW ones are much improved and Anna was happy with them in general. The CW ones need some work; I'm making the crossing movement too big and still having issues with the crossing foot coming down on an outside edge and then flipping to an inside edge.

On the CW backward crossovers, I am stepping *waaaay* too wide. Anna wants a smaller (but powerful) step. She also emphasized pushing the back heel back/down to avoid scraping the toepick and get more power. She also looked at the CCW ones and these are much more embryonic, I need to work them a lot more.

Next up we went to look at my nemesis, FI3s. We worked on the RFI3 for a bit; it's not too bad. Then I decided to bite the bullet and go to the LFI3. I actually managed to try several, so that is a start I guess. I'm not getting enough rotation, and at one point I had my free knee basically blocking my skating knee and my free foot extended, which obviously is a problem. I was able to correct that but it's still needing more work.

We finished off by looking at FI Mohawks. The RFI is not too shabby but she wants me to get a better check and to keep looking in the direction I'm going (will help the check). Then we started into new territory, the LFI Mohawk. After some initial clumsiness I was able to make a decent approximation of one; it's still quite rough to get the rotation and the movement of the free foot to happen together with the correct timing. It's coming along though.

For next week Anna suggested I keep working on the crossovers and also my 2-foot spin, especially lifting the right foot. That will take some work... She said she was very happy with my progress and that we'll be moving on to jumps soon. I told her I'd leave that up to her :-).

Tomorrow and Sunday are the Tucson Invitational competition at our rink. I'm looking forward to seeing a lot of folks I know competing. It should be a lot of fun to watch. Maybe next year one of them will be me!

Labels: ,

Wednesday, March 03, 2004


I went to the evening public session tonight. It was not too crowded, but they never Zamboni'd after skate school so the ice was pretty gross.

I worked on FO3s for a while, and a few RFI Mohawks. I spent most of my time working on crossovers, both forward and my almost-backward-crossovers. On the forward ones I especially worked on doing them around the ends of the rink. The secret there seems to be (duh!) to follow my coach's advice and prep for them on the right edge before; that is, when I push onto the right edge before the crossover, I rotate my body so that I can then push to the left edge and then do the XO. It seems to work nicely. On the back XO's I mostly worked the CW ones; I'm getting a good step over and push with the back foot and a good push with the front foot during the step, but I'm not getting much push-and-cross action with the front foot. Still, I think it's progress.

I also worked a bit on my 2-foot spin but without any exciting breakthroughs. All in all it was a good skate, especially considering I've had a stressful couple of weeks and I can see that it affects my skating. I didn't try any FI3s at all, not even the RFI3s that I've done before. I had a fair amount of difficulty just doing the RFO3s so I wasn't in the mood for it.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Just Another Yalie

Nice article about Sarah Hughes's new life at Yale. I'm glad she has such a good head on her shoulders, but once again I wonder how she can stay away from the ice...