Gordon's Sk8er Boi Blog

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

Monday, February 27, 2006


I managed to get about an hour's worth of skating in at the mall tonight. Bleah! I've noticed I'm really starting to get sloppy. Worked on edges a little bit and geez, were they stinky!

It's too many public sessions. Man, was I spoiled in Tucson... I've got to drag myself to the FS session at Valley on a regular basis and force myself to work on edges, XOs and 3s obsessively because I can't really do them at publics. I can sort of practice jumps and spins but forget the other stuff.

Anyway, I worked on a few things but was very unfocused. Had a nice chat with an adult skater ("Ann") about crossover technique, which only reminded me how sloppy I've gotten. I need to work on improving my control, especially skating in the crossed position.

Sunday Zoo

I skated the public session at Valley. I got there a bit late, and left early when the ice got bad, so only about 75 minutes of skating.

Worked a lot on waltz jumps and 3s. Nothing really significant to report. It had been a week since I skated last; I'm still having problems getting into a skating routine and this week isn't going to be better since I can't skate Wednesday or Friday. Oh well...

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Waltzing Away

I skated the afternoon public session at Valley. It was moderately crowded but still pretty skateable. Since they don't have a Z-break I only stayed for two hours since the last half hour or so, the ice is pretty bad.

I worked most things at least a little, but my Salchows were stinky so I didn't work on them very much. I spent a lot of time on my waltz jump and in particular on doing multiple jumps in a row. I'm now able to do two or 3 in a row pretty easily (limitation today was pretty much safety with the conditions as they were). They feel pretty good, but I need to work on getting the subsequent jumps to have as much lift as the first. Still, I was pretty pleased.

I also worked a lot on 3s, and inside 3s in particular. I've noticed that my RFI3 has improved to the point that I can do them with a little speed, especially if I don't think about it too much :-). Strangely enough, what helps is to think of it as a mohawk on one foot :-). I worked the LFI3s a bunch but they are still pretty stinky.

I fell twice, once coming out of an LFI3 and once while working on the spin entrance. Not bad falls, and I'm kind of glad to see them since I take it to mean I'm finally being a bit more aggressive.

I was disappointed not to have skated Thursday or Friday. My schedule is still gelling a bit and things just didn't work out. Hopefully this week I can get back in the saddle a bit.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Nice Ice

I skated the 8:30 a.m. freestyle at Valley Ice today. Wow! Really nice ice, freshly Z-ed after the 2 previous FS sessions. Cost is $8. There were 4 of us, all adults (!) plus a coach. The other 3 were all ice dancers at various levels, but unlike the occasional ice-dancer-from-hell horror stories these ones were pretty predictable and actually watched where they were going. No problems.

I was kind of unfocused, and about half-way into the session I started to feel extremely tired. I struggled through though. Worked on edges (back edges are really, really stinky), did some BXOs (eh), FXOs, Russian stroking (for the first time in a bazillion years I actually did a complete set around the rink without stopping -- need to do that more often), some spins (eh), waltz and Salchow.

I need to read over the blog and figure out a plan of attack so that I am more focused when I have good ice, especially while I'm coachless. I feel much better about my skating today than Monday night, so yay!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Mall Rats

Another obscure movie reference! I skated at Lloyd Center tonight. I decided to be brave and take the MAX; but it's a little distressing. Between getting to the station, waiting for the train, the long train ride, and walking to the mall from the train, it's about an hour from my house to the rink. One hour to get there, 2 hours of skating, and another hour home... it's depressing. It made me so sad! And once again the ice was really crappy until the Z-break. It was discouraging and when I compared it with my old Wednesday night skates back in Tucson it was depressing.

I had an okay skate. I worked a lot on my 3s and those darn alternating 3s, which are actually improving a little. I also worked on crossovers, spins, Salchows and waltz jumps. No breakthroughs or anything, I'm just trying to maintain my skills at this point.

I saw Jay again that I had seen at Valley on Saturday; I also saw a few people I'd seen at Valley or the last time I was at Lloyd. So I am starting to see some familiar faces. I did introduce myself to a couple more skaters, Ella, an older woman, and Alina, who was working on her waltz jump. Alina is verrrry tall! She said she'd just gotten her waltz jump a couple of days ago. I suggested she work on breaking the pieces down to work on -- entrance, jump, landing.

While I was riding the MAX home I got very depressed about my skating. It's so much work here! In Tucson ice time was limited, sure, but I could skate at lunch time at adult session, I could skate on the weekends, there were a few evening freestyles, and if I had to I could get up really early and skate the early a.m. freestyles. Most of my skating was covered by my annual pass. I had a wonderful coach... Now everything seems like so much work. There's no night skating. I'm paying $100/month just for ice, not to mention a coach. Everything is so far away. It's depressing. I know many others have it far worse, and I'm sure it will be fine, but I needed to vent...

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Kwan's Out

It was really painful to see the news that Michelle Kwan has withdrawn from the Olympics. It's so sad to see her have to give up the quest for the gold after so much hard work. Still, she has given so much to the sport that there's no doubt her place in history is secure. I'm glad I got to see her skate in COI twice, it was well worth it.

For the other half, see this editorial -- Wrong righted?. I think it's mean-spirited and unhelpful.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Saturday Zoo

I went to the Saturday afternoon public session at Valley Ice Arena, which will probably be the closest thing to a home rink I have. The ice was pretty nice! Although, strangely enough, the hockey markings were barely visible through the ice, which I found rather disconcerting. I'm really used to having those lines and circles as reference marks! The session was good though, not too crowded at all.

I had an okay skate. I am really out of shape! It made me kind of depressed. That and it reminded me of how much fun I used to have at the Saturday zoo in Tucson. It was sad not to know anyone. I did meet one skater, a guy named Jay who says he's been skating about 7 years. He seems fairly decent, certainly better than me! I recognized him from my skate at the Lloyd Center rink almost 2 weeks ago. I also recognized a girl there who I'd seen at Sherwood, but I didn't introduce myself. There was another male adult skater and a couple of women taking lessons, and couple of coaches.

I worked on most everything. Did a lot of waltz jumps and they are fairly solid. I'm sure they need improvement but I really don't know what. Worked on the Salchow, it's still heavily cheated.

I'm going to try to get into a skating routine now: Mondays and Thursdays at Lloyd Center, Saturday afternoon and a Wed. a.m. freestyle at Valley. Hopefully in all this I will start to meet some people and make some friends.