Gordon's Sk8er Boi Blog

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

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Coffee Club Skate

I skated coffee club at my old rink today. My gf was with me so I spent a fair amount of time with her. Did a few half-flips, FXOs, all the usual stuff.

The surprise of the day was that Cecilia was at the session. Cecilia used to coach (she taught me my lunge) for almost 40 years. She said she'd not been on the ice for a couple of years! Late in the session I saw her doing some basic figures and talked to her about them. It's pretty interesting really; she complained they were sloppy, but she still managed to lay down 4-6 traces within about 3 inches of each other in spite of being so rusty. Like many people I've talked to she feels that the elimination of figures resulted in a lot of sloppy skating (I'm paraphrasing, of course). I've always been fascinated by figures but there's so little time to practice all the stuff I work on now -- who knows when I would have time to work on that (if you could even find a coach who knows them!).

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


I skated the morning freestyle today at my old rink. It was a pretty quiet session, just 5 skaters and two coaches. I had a pretty good skate, worked on my LFI3s (no improvement, but they are where they were), FXOs, BXOs, spins, and half-flip. I've noticed when I try the FXO test pattern now, if I actually get the 4 bad-side XOs in, by the time I get the fourth one in I'm moving so fast I can't really change directions to the other side!

I got to skate with Tracy, Bri, Dima and Ashley, and talk to Gail, Lisa and Kathy (Dima's mom). It was really great to see them!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Back Edges

Today's lesson was on my PSS time. The FS schedule was a little different due to a visiting "star" coach, so I skated 5:45 - 6:45 a.m. There was no one on the ice except me, Sonya and PSS-mate Mary!

Today's lesson:
  • LFI3 -- we are continuing to plug away at these, and they are indeed slowly improving. Sonya today emphasized turning the head into the circle, not just the L arm. Then we worked on getting more down-up-down in the actual turn, and I did a couple where I actually felt that (like the R side). A definite improvement! I did a couple more to be sure.
  • Back edges -- I'd wanted to work on these for a while, as I felt I was making some progress and wanted to solidify it. We worked on getting that initial push-off to be more "out" -- Sonya wants me to actually cross the "T" so to speak with the soon-to-be-skating foot. Also we worked on getting more tension in the arms (feeling like I'm pulled) and a more definite pass-through with the arms at the top of the lobe. And, of course, we worked on holding the free foot in front for the first half of the lobe. I've made some progress on this front, which surprised even me.
  • Waltz-8 -- These are improving. On the L foot, Sonya reminded me to push the RBO edge "out" more -- it's too flat -- and to hold it longer, then to delay passing the arms through on the returning LFO edge until I'm almost back to center. On the R foot she had me work to delay the turn (place it better). These have gotten a lot better.
  • Spins -- Finished up with these. I'm finally bringing the R hand around, but I'm tending to bring the R knee in but not the foot! Grrr. We definitely made some progress on these (I should hope so, since we've spent a lot of time on them in the last few weeks!).
After my lesson, I gave Sonya her Christmas present (Starbucks gift card) and she gave me a present, too! She's giving all her skaters jump ropes, it looks like -- something to help with my warmup, she said. I guess I'll have to start taking the warmup more seriously :-). I was rather pleased and surprised -- I don't remember coaches in Tucson giving presents, but this is the 2nd time a coach here has given me a gift (Lucy gave me a present at our last lesson).

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006


I skated the evening FS tonight. Despite being off the ice for almost a week (!) I had a pretty good skate. I worked on the LFI3 (bleah!), waltz-8 (improving), half-flip (grr), bad side FXOs (grrr), and spins (small improvements).

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Spins & Salchow

My lesson was moved to the Wednesday PSS timeslot since Sonya had a schedule conflict. As usual, the session was a little crowded but workable. Unfortunately I had not had a chance to skate since my last lesson.

Today's lesson:
  • LFI3 -- these were about where I left them. Sonya worked with me to try to hold the entry edge longer and get more control; but at this point I'm struggling just to do the turn at all. I need to practice these a lot more so I'll get more comfortable; then I should be able to get more control.
  • Spins --Sonya really wanted to come back to these since we didn't get a lot of time on them last week. We worked on most of the same stuff as last week. I'm doing a lot better about bringing the R arm forward, not being too fast, getting more knee bend, etc.; at this point the biggest problem is mostly that I'm not really committing to the spin, so I'm tending to bail out by extending the free leg after about one rev. I need to really just get into the position and hold it!
  • Toe-loop prep review -- I asked to review this since I'd pretty much forgotten how it went. Sonya had me work against the boards, picking in with the L foot (nice straight leg!), drawing back and crossing the R leg/foot, then pivoting and jumping forward from the toepick. I need to practice this a lot more.
  • Salchow -- we'd not looked at this in a while. I made some progress; the biggest issue now is that I need to both increase the knee bend (deepens the curve) *and* bring the free leg around/through/up. I seem to be able to do either of those, but not both at the same time :-( -- a pretty common problem in skating, it seems.
Next week's lesson will be on this session, although the FS schedule is a little strange next week due to a clinic at the rink.

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Friday, December 08, 2006

Good Luck Tracy!

Tracy is testing tomorrow (Sat. 12/9). Good luck T!

Holiday Show

I went to the holiday show at Shiny Rink tonight. My gf came with me, and skate buddy Amy was there too and sat with us.

It was a great show! A lot of fun, and some really good skating. I particularly enjoyed watching skate buddy Mary (partner in 6 a.m. FS -crime) skate -- she did a really nice program. My favorite program was one of my coach's students (Kayla), skating to "Where Are You Christmas?" by Faith Hill (from the "Grinch Who Stole Christmas" soundtrack). She's a great skater anyway, but then seeing this program (with music I love), and the wonderful choreography Sonya put together -- it was very inspiring. I'm really glad my coach is so talented!

Thursday, December 07, 2006


Great conditions for today's lesson -- freshly Z'd ice and no one but me (and my coach)! Yay! Before my lesson I spent some time on the waltz-8 (it's getting better but still some issues on the step forward) and also some good time on back Russian stroking, which I am finally starting to get the hang of at long last.

Today's lesson:
  • LFI3 -- these have improved a lot. I'm able to do the turn and hold the exit, but there's very little control and I'm pretty much doing the turn immediately from a standing start. Sonya worked with me on trying to build more control and hold the entrance edge longer. Still, definitely better.
  • Back two-foot turns -- Sonya wanted to spend just a couple of minutes looking at these. I'd not done these in a long time. We worked on doing them on the hockey circle (both directions). Corrections were to have more flow, to be a little quicker entering the turn and to bend the knees again after the turn.
  • Power-3s -- we reviewed how to enter the pattern for the right foot (we only worked on the right foot, since it's weaker). I had some misconceptions about how the back lobe of the pattern works, but Sonya says it's the same as the back perimeter crossovers. The hardest part right now is the step forward after the back crossover -- not surprising, as it's the same back choctaw that I couldn't do for alternating FO3s!
  • Spins -- we worked hard on getting my upper body to untwist so my R hand isn't behind me. Some progress, and it seems to help.
  • Scratch spin prep review -- I just wanted to verify that I understood these correctly. What I blogged for my last lesson seems to be correct though.
A really good lesson all in all.

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Wednesday, December 06, 2006


Skated the 6 a.m. FS this morning as usual. Nothing much exciting. Did my 10 half flips, some waltz jumps, some one-foot spin entrances. Spent some quality time on the LFI3 (it's about where it was) and also bad side FXOs (some small improvement). Not much in the way of excitement but a good skate anyway.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


I skated the 6 p.m. FS as usual. Worked on all the problem areas for the most part. Had a good skate, but no breakthroughs really. I hadn't skated since last Thursday, so I was glad just to be back on the ice again.