Gordon's Sk8er Boi Blog

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

Tuesday, July 31, 2007


I had my "fun" lesson today, with Kelli at the 5:15 FS.

Today's lesson:
  • Inside & Outside Eights -- I guess this is where everyone starts! My LFO was not too horrible for a first time, I can almost get around the entire circle. RFO -- I need to push harder and my edge is pretty stinky; I can only get 3/4 of the way around on one push. FIs were a bit easier. Kelli had me really concentrating on keeping the arms down and getting a better set position. I noticed that holding my arms down further than I usually do, I think I'm getting a better position; either turned in or out more to the circle.
  • Outside 8 w/3-turn -- this was a lot harder. It's amusing how one can think one's 3s are not too bad, until you are asked to skate half of a 15' circle and THEN turn. Eeep! Not so good. Kelli had me try it on two feet at first, then on one. Part of my difficult is that by the time I get to the top of the circle I'm going pretty slow so I wind up forcing the turn.
All in all, I learned what I thought I would: my edges are not nearly good enough yet. The forward ones were bad enough, and we didn't even try backwards! Pshaw! That doesn't mean they wouldn't pass APB (they would), just that there's a lot of improvement needed there.

I'm thinking it could only help me to work on these a bit from time to time, because feeling more solid on these edges would probably fix a lot of my body position and comfort/stability issues.

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Monday, July 30, 2007

R.I.P. Jim Owen

I recently found out about the death of Jim Owen, and now his obituary has been posted.

When I lived in Tucson, Jim was the only person I let sharpen my skates (not that there were a lot of options). He was very knowledgeable, and very kind and patient with a newbie skater like me who didn't know anything about anything.

Like Keila wrote in her post on the guest book, whenever I got my skates back from him he'd have me feel the edge and point out that they were sharp -- be careful!

He'll be missed.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Back To Jumping

I had a 15 minute lesson today (work schedule is weird this week, so had to reschedule my usual lesson). Actually, 15 minutes can be quite productive! We were back to jumping for the first time in 2 months or so.

Today's lesson:
  • Waltz jump -- first some from a standing start; these were not too bad. Then from BXOs. These were not as good; I wasn't bringing my hands/arms through correctly, and Sonya reminded me to look up when I'm jumping. They did improve and I got a couple of good ones. In general these seem to be lacking in force but form is not that bad. Of course there's room for improvement!
  • Half flip -- I was really pleased with these. I'd not done one for 2 months but they weren't too bad. Sonya was happy with the entrance but wants more lift off the toe and a better pivot. The first few were better and after that I wasn't getting a full 180 degrees around. Sonya also reminded me to work on a better position coming out -- chin up and the Buns of Steel posture.
  • Salchow -- I'd almost entirely forgotten these so it was almost like starting over. Still jumping too late but other than that not so bad.
Sonya is out of town next week but I am going to have a "fun" lesson with one of the other coaches (Kelli) -- on figures! I'm really looking forward to it.

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

You Guessed It ... Moves!

My left ankle is still a little wonky, so... still working the MITF. On the positive side, today was the first time since Memorial Day that I was feeling relatively okay with my skating. Thank God!

Today's lesson:
  • BXOs -- once again, I really just need to slow my tempo down so I can think. Sonya really wants me to pause and bend my knees (how many times have we all heard that!) before crossing.
  • FXOs -- for some reason I'm really fearful on these right now. Still working for better extension, better kneebend, etc. Not a whole lot of improvement :-(.
  • 5-step Mohawk -- Sonya wants a lot more knee bend for the slide chassé. We spent a lot of time working on the RFI mohawk to make it less jumpy. It's really hard to unlearn bad habits! Grr.
  • Slaloms -- forward and back. Forward I've been doing forever but back... I think this was the 2nd time. Not so bad but more work required. Of course this is prep work for power pulls.
Schedule for the next couple of weeks will be wonky as my work schedule next week caused me to reschedule next week's lesson, and Sonya is out the following week.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007


I skated the 6 p.m. FS tonight; got there a little late because of traffic (bleah). Not a very inspiring skate; did some 3s, 5-step, and worked on edges a lot. A lot of quality time on LFI3. Nothing much else.

Friday, July 13, 2007


I managed to escape to Coffee Club today and skated for an hour. It was nice and quiet, 9 or 10 people. I wasn't feeling horribly ambitious, but I did work on waltz-8, some LFI3s, and 5-step mohawk a bit. I did try one waltz jump; it was piddly and small and stiff. Sheesh.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Moves, Still

Today's lesson:
  • Waltz-8 -- I'm still having issues with the left foot side; especially the RBO edge and the step forward is still too far "out". The R foot side is not too bad. Still need to get the 3 out a bit more.
  • 5-step Mohawk -- we spent a good chunk of time on this. Sonya wanted the initial FI edge to be straighter, and in general to keep the feet close. We worked a lot on the step forward (again), to rise just before and then bend the knees again for the step forward. We also worked on bending the knees more for the slide chassé. I was just happy that I had enough presence of mind to eke out a whole side of them in a crowded FS session.
  • FI3s -- Just 5" on these. Sonya is still working with me to get a better (not so flat) entrance edge and to hold it longer; also a better exit edge. Some real improvement on both sides since we last looked at these in isolation though, so that's something.
Before the lesson, I talked to Sonya about how my calf is still (!) bugging me. For example, when I (try to) do jumping jacks it's quite painful. She suggested I should (as I thought) ask my doctor about getting some PT, or perhaps seeing a massage therapist. Good ideas.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Road Back

I skated the 6 p.m. FS tonight. Apparently in the summer this is a pretty lightly attended FS.... quite a change from the rest of the year when it's a total zoo. Only 6 skaters tonight!

I felt very, very rusty. I felt like I was skating on top of the ice, very unsteady and it was not at all pleasant. The only good thing I could say is that I skated for 45" and it did get better, so that's something. Sheesh.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Shout-Out To Kim!

I meant to do this a while back but I forgot :-). A big shout-out to Kim, who commented on the last post. Check out her blog!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Eeyore Skate

I skated for a half hour this evening at Valley. How pitiful! Just enough to keep my skating legs on, but sheesh. I'm totally unmotivated. My leg hurts a bit still and I feel stiff, which is mostly it actually, and very fearful. Sheesh.