Gordon's Sk8er Boi Blog

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

Thursday, September 27, 2007


Today's lesson:
  • FXOs -- we worked extensively on my bad side, and it showed much improvement! I'm so happy. Getting real extension and real underpush on both sides now (on a good day). Sonya says I need to get these more consistent and then they need a bit more flow and then they'll be passable. *phew* Now I just need to practice the heck out of them...
  • BXOs -- I'm still struggling to get the hip pulled back on the CCW ones, and they are very scratchy. Still, some improvement, and I know what I need to work on.
  • waltz jump -- we did exactly one of these. I did a really good one! Nice spring, good entry, good exit... Sonya didn't have much to say :-). She wanted me to do another one but I thought we should move on :-).
  • half flip -- just two of these. I'd not done one in, what, 3 weeks? And I reeled off two pretty nice ones! Best of all my foot/ankle seems to be healed so they didn't hurt at all, yay! Sonya wants me to work on doing a better mohawk on the entry, and to use my arms and upper body to get more jump/followthrough. Still, they are not too bad.
I was really happy with this lesson! I've been very worried about getting my bad side FXOs in shape but I really am making progress. Jumps are okay. Still need to work on BXOs and 3s are going to need improvement, but there's still time (9 weeks 'til test).

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Monday, September 24, 2007

More 3s

Today's lesson was all 3-turns!:
  • FO3s -- again, most of the lesson. My work from yesterday did help; they were less forced. Part of the issue seems to be that I've gotten a bit sloppy and I'm dropping my free hip a bit on the entry edge, which makes it a lot harder to turn the 3. Still having a lot of trouble just holding the edge and turning when I want. Grrr.
  • FI3s -- in some ways these are better than the FO3s! How ironic is that! I'm tending to go into them a bit too straight though; need more curve in the edge.
Next lesson is Thursday in the usual slot.

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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Sunday Zoo

I skated the Sunday afternoon public session at Shiny Rink today. Amy and Stef were there so at least I knew some people. It was fairly crowded, but I did work a lot on fixing my waltz-8 and FO3s, with some success -- at least I got back a bit of the "unforced" feeling I remembered, and I had better control. YAY! I also worked on FXOs and BXOs a bit, and a couple of spins and waltz jumps.

Sonya asked me at my last lesson if I wanted to do the rink's holiday show, but I told her no. I would have liked to, but the show is the day after the APB test and I just don't feel I can realistically do both and still do the kind of job I want to do.

Lesson in the a.m.!

Friday, September 21, 2007


I managed to get away to skate at coffee club today. A much better skate than Tuesday; nice ice and only 7 skaters plus a coach.

Worked a lot on my FO3s. I'm really alarmed at how much I've been forcing them and how hard I'm finding to control the placement on these. Still, when I look back at how little actual skating I've gotten in in the last 3 or 4 months it's not surprising, really. A lot of work to do.

I also spent some quality time on my bad side FXOs. I'm getting better extension and they are feeling a bit more secure, but still not happy with the almost nonexistent underpush. Sheesh.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


Surprisingly enough, Sonya did not have me do a moves runthrough today. Today's lesson:
  • FO3s -- we spent almost the entire lesson on these. These seem to have really deteriorated over the last few months -- I remember them being a lot better than they are. Basically I'm really tending to force them and I have problems placing them as needed for waltz-8 and elsewhere. So we worked on getting set up correctly before initiating the turn, and a few other things. These still need work. I'm rather concerned about it.
  • Waltz-8 -- we spent some time on these mostly in relation to the FO3.
  • FXOs -- just briefly looked at these. Sonya reminded me to point the toe of the outside leg after the push, to help get the leg straight and better extension. The extension is looking better but my underpush was a bit lacking.
After my lesson (which ran a little long) I worked some more on the FXO underpush and got it back more or less to where it needs to be.

Next week I have two lessons, one Monday (makeup for last week) and the usual Thursday slot.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Eeyore Skate

I skated the 6 p.m. FS at Shiny Rink, on my freshly-sharpened blades. I had a pretty dorky skate -- felt very out of sorts, stiff. And it was crowded -- 20 skaters + 6 coaches. Eep. So, I worked on moves but didn't do a runthrough. Bleah.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Skating In Tucson

I skated the Thursday afternoon freestyle at the convention center while I'm here on vacation. This is the most expensive ice I've ever had -- since the club has to rent ice from TCC, it's $19/hr to walk on.

It was actually pretty nice ice, and not that crowded. I saw a lot of people I knew, and I got to pick up my new club jacket -- it's beeyootiful!

Since I was on vacation I excused myself from doing a Moves runthrough, but I did work on a lot of my problem areas -- waltz-8, bad side FXOs, and some of the 3-turn pattern. Mostly, though, I just had a nice skate.

I realized Wed. while hanging at Starbucks with Tracy (hi Tracy!) that my problem with not feeling very secure on these blades might be due to a shallow ROH. My old blades had a 7/16 ROH, and when I got these blades I asked for that, but then I switched sharpeners and I'm not sure I had that discussion with them. It wouldn't surprise me if they are 1/2 inch now. I'll try to get this checked next week, as I need a sharpening anyway.

Update: I got home this afternoon, and took my skates in to be sharpened. Jim at NW Sports Authority says that they were actually a little deeper than 7/16! He sharpened them for me and set them to 7/16. So.. I guess I should stop whining about my boots and just fix my skating, eh?

Monday, September 10, 2007


I managed to get to Valley to skate for about 35" this morning. I gave myself a short (6") warmup, then did a Moves runthrough (Tracy, 3Turn, you should be proud of me :-)).

It stank. Like, really. Like, I did it all but I doubt any of it would be passable except the edges. My stroking was horrible, BXOs were scratchy, FXOs had no extension and probably were toepushed, waltz-8 and 3-turn pattern.... yech.

But, I did have a feeling of accomplishment for having actually gotten through them, so I guess that's something. It took me about 20 minutes, but that included some time I had to wait for a dance lesson to clear the way.

Afterward I spent time cleaning up BI edges and waltz-8, so they were a bit less stinky but still not passable, I don't think.

It was a nice session; for most of the time I was there just two other skaters and a coach. One of the skaters was Lauren, who I'd not seen at Valley before (I usually see her at Shiny Rink, we often skate the same late FS session). She gave me some encouraging words about my edges, which was very kind of her.

I'm going home to AZ on Wed. for a visit, so my next skate will be on very expensive ($19/hr!) FS club ice at TCC on Thursday. That should be interesting (but fun!).

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Moves Runthrough

We are back to our 'old' timeslot now that school has started and the rink schedule is back to 'normal'. Sonya gave me 8 minutes to warm up (as I pointed out, 3 "bonus minutes" from what I would get for a test), and then straight into a runthrough:
  • Stroking -- starting CW, of course! Sonya reminded me that if I'm double-paneled for the test I'll need to coordinate with the other skater which direction goes first, so need to be flexible. Anyway, we've not worked on stroking for a while and it was pretty stinky, especially CW. XOs were yechy, that was the worst, but I also felt rather unsteady. Gaah.
  • Edges -- thank God for these. FO, FI and BO were not bad. BI -- these were really wonky, and I don't know why. Sonya says they will definitely need work.
  • FXOs -- Weirdly enough, I was so wired about the bad side that they were almost okay, but the 'good side' were pitiful. Sheesh.
  • BXOs -- These were almost okay, but waaaay too scratchy.
  • Waltz-8 -- Don't know what happened with these but they were pretty bad. 3-turn placement very early and step forward too early as well. Sheesh.
  • 3-turn pattern -- by this point I was pretty tired, which didn't help. Sonya said the FI3 was not too bad, but the FO3s were rushed and the lobes were too small. The back lobe wasn't too great either.
For some reason I was really nervous for this, and after the runthrough I was totally, totally wiped out. Sheesh. I was happy just to have finished! As Sonya said, we are going to need to run these every (or almost every) lesson. It is exactly 3 months until the test date, so we have a lot to do.

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Monday, September 03, 2007

Skating In Salt Lake City

I was in Salt Lake City over the weekend and had a chance to skate at the Salt Lake City Sports Complex. Wow! An Olympic size rink, and beyooootiful ice (and cheeeep! Only $3.50 for public skate!). I was there for the first hour of the public skate, and it was pretty good. It got a little busy after the first half hour, but not bad. I didn't accomplish much, just enjoying the rink. I did have a near-collision with another adult skater at the beginning of the session -- I was working on waltz-8 at the end of the rink and she was doing back perimeter XOs and we wound up almost colliding (she fell); but no harm done other than some jangled nerves.

Thanks to Kim for getting me info on SLC rinks. Unfortunately we didn't get to meet up this time, but maybe some other time!