Gordon's Sk8er Boi Blog

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

Monday, January 30, 2006

Skatin' At The Mall

Tonight I went to the public session at the Lloyd Center Ice Rink, a rink at the Lloyd Center Mall in Portland. The session was 7:30 to 9:30 but I didn't get there until about 8 due to horrible traffic. I stayed until 9:30, so probably 75 minutes of skating after the Z-break. Lloyd Center is pretty cheap, only $5 for the public session.

In one of those "Duh!" moment, I totally overdressed for the occasion since I wasn't thinking about the fact that mall rinks are warm! So I didn't wear my jacket and was a little warm anyway.

For the first half hour or so the ice was pretty bad and it was fairly crowded. There were a fair number of adult skaters, which surprised me until I saw a posting that said that the adult classes were Monday nights so that explained it. I talked with a couple of them. There were also a couple of coaches giving lessons as well.

After the Z-break they had an "exhibition" skate, one of the young figure skaters got to do part of her program. She was pretty low level, the highest jump was a half-flip I think. Still it was kind of nice.

I worked a fair number of things. My waltz jump is getting much more comfortable, but I've noticed a couple of times I'm almost falling backward on the landing -- my foot is getting too far out from me. Need to jump up not out! as Anna would say. Worked the Salchow a bit, it's very cheated but at least I'm consistent. I got to work my stroking a bit in the second hour since it cleared out nicely; it felt good. Tried to work on Russian stroking but still too crowded for most Moves.

The summary: it's about 10 miles from my house, which is annoying. On the other hand, it's the only rink around that has evening skating as far as I can see; so it's probably in my future from time to time. And it's cheap. After the Z-break the ice was passable -- before that it was rather scary. The people seemed pretty nice.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Shaking Off The Cobwebs

I got to skate today, the first time in 2.5 weeks. I drove down to Sherwood Ice Arena (which I'll henceforth call "Shiny Rink" a la Nerd). It's 17 miles from my home, but 10 miles of that is on the freeway so that part's not bad.

Shiny Rink is nice. It's only 1 sheet of ice (most of the rinks around here seem to be that way), but it's clean and well-lit. I was there for the Saturday public session, which was a zoo of course. The ice wasn't too bad though. There were a few figure skaters hanging out at center ice, but I was the only male.

It was too crowded to really do much. I really wanted to "stretch my legs" a little and do some laps at speed but no going. I contented myself with a few spins, turns, and some FXOs. I also did some waltz jumps from a standing start, some Salchows the same way, and 2 or 3 waltz jumps from BXOs (half the time I had to come to a screeching halt afterward to avoid a collision, though).

Shiny Rink is nice, but a bit far. I'm going to try out the closer rink sometime soon hopefully. Unfortunately none of them have evening ice except for a Tuesday evening freestyle at Shiny Rink. I'm realizing what a nice situation I had in Tucson -- not just my wonderful coach (sob!) and friends, but also the closeness and availability of the rink. I can skate here but it's probably going to take a bit more intestinal fortitude than I needed in Tucson.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Kwan's In

Yahoo! is reporting that Michelle Kwan will be on the US Olympic Team for 2006. Not too surprisingly since she's been out for so long, they made her perform her long and short programs for a team of monitors, and she did fine.

As for me, I'm settling in to my new job and surroundings. I'm hoping to skate tomorrow at a public session, the first time in 2.5 weeks.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Farewell To Tucson

Today was my last skate in Tucson (as a resident). *sigh* I got about 75 minutes of skating in at adult session. Worked FXOs, BXOs, edges, 3s, stroking. Did my 5 Salchows and 10 waltz jumps. I'm really pleased with my progress on the waltz jump -- the prep has really improved so it's not so clunky or awkward and there is a certain amount of deliberateness in it, which is refreshing.

Unfortunately Anna is not back from her honeymoon yet, so I didn't get to have a lesson :-(. I'd hoped to make it an even 130 lessons with her, but I guess it's not to be. I did enjoy the company of all the fun coffee clubbers one more time. They are a fun bunch! I hope my new rink(s) in Portland will make me feel as welcome as I have always felt here in Tucson. I will miss it.

Monday, January 09, 2006


Skated for an hour at adult session today. It was a good crowd (about 16 people). Had a good skate, spent some quality time on the LFI3 (they are finally starting to improve), FXOs and BXOs. Did my 10 waltz jumps and 5 Salchows, they are improving slowly but at least they feel very comfortable.

I thought I might have a lesson today but I guess Anna is not back from her trip yet; hopefully we'll get one last lesson in on Wednesday. I got to say goodbye to Jan and Keila and Dana since I won't see them Wed. *sigh* I wrote up a very sappy goodbye letter for Anna to give her when I leave, I got all teary-eyed writing it. Maybe I'll post it here, although I suspect people get tired of reading how great I think my coach is.

Kwan Withdraws!

Wow, shows you what kind of rock I've been under as I'm trying to get moved. I didn't know until today that Michelle Kwan has withdrawn from Nationals. I'm very disappointed, as I'm sure all MK fans are :-(. I hope that the USFSA will send her to the Olympics anyway... the real question is, who besides Sasha is going with her? My bet's on Kimmie Meissner (she's old enough now, isn't she?). Czisny would be good too but I think KM is a little better, and there's that 3Axel to consider.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


I managed about an hour's worth of skating at the adult session. There was a fairly good crowd today. I did my 10 waltz jumps and 5 Salchows, and also tried something new: doing two waltz jumps back-to-back. This went reasonably okay although the 2nd, unsurprisingly, wasn't very controlled. Still it went better than I thought. I'm getting much less scratching on the BO prep edge for the waltz jump -- I'm getting better at sitting on the edge more. Yay!

Did a couple of small spins, some stroking and crossovers and some 3s. I worked on my FI3s, especially the problematic LFI3. It's slowly getting better but it's still pretty stinky.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Sk8r Resolutions

My 2005 resolutions were:
  • solidify my waltz jump
  • learn the scratch spin entrance
  • learn another jump (toe loop or salchow?)
  • pass the adult pre-bronze moves test
  • pass the adult pre-bronze freestyle test

Of those I did the first and third (more or less), and not quite the second. Didn't do the 4th or 5th. My resolutions for 2006 are:
  • find a new coach
  • buy new blades (Coronation Comets)
  • skate an average of 3x a week minimum
  • solidify my Salchow
  • solidify the scratch spin entrance
  • pass the adult pre-bronze moves test
  • pass the adult pre-bronze freestyle test
  • learn a competition program
The last might be pushing it a bit, but I don't see how I can't accomplish all the others pretty readily with a reasonable amount of work.

New Year's Eve Skate

This year, like two years ago, I spent a little time skating on New Year's Eve (Polar Ice didn't have any skating on New Year's Eve in 2004) with some friends. We had a nice time even though they turned the lights off for most of the hour or so we were there. It was really fun to skate with the "civilians", as well as a bunch of people I knew (Jovanna, Dima, Rebecca, and Bri among others).