Gordon's Sk8er Boi Blog

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

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Program Work

Today's lesson was on the 8:15 FS. It was a very uncrowded session, just me, Sonya, Kelli and one adult skater I don't know. Good fresh ice, great conditions :-).

We worked on my program, and Sonya taught me about the 1st half or so. It looks something like this:
  • Start about 1/3 of the way from the scoreboard end of the rink, centered on the short axis.
  • Push into an LF glide with arms
  • Push into a R hockey glide w/arms for a full circle
  • Push into a L hockey glide w/arms for a full circle
  • Push into a LFO, LFO3, back 2-foot turn on same circle
  • Push into an RFO, RFO3, back 2-foot turn on same circle
  • Push to an LFO with free leg in a '4' position and drag toepick
  • Get to center ice and do a hockey stop
  • Push straight back, BXO and cross front
  • Back snowplow stop
  • 2-foot spin w/arms out
  • Funky up-on-the-toepicks thing
  • Push to LF glide toward the right
  • Half flip
That's 45 or 50 seconds worth. The program is 1 min 40 sec (i.e. 100 sec).

My reaction... eep! The dragging the toepick thing is scary, the up on the toepicks thing I can't do yet (it does look cool though), and I really need to work on my back 2-foot turn so I don't look and feel so scared. Oh, and my FO3s really stunk today.

I really appreciated Sonya's care in laying this out for me. It's really very doable and I can think of it in sections that correspond to the music so that I can know where I am and where I should be. I just need to practice the heck out of it is all.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008


I skated the 6 p.m. FS. It was not too crowded at all, about 8 skaters (though, 4 of them were on lesson).

I came dressed in my "draft" costume for my program, and Sonya didn't like any of it except the pants :-). So it's off to Goodwill, I think, to look for a nice black vest, and then to Penneys or Macy's to look for a red bowtie (I needed one anyway). I have a nice white tux shirt that should be fine. As for the pants, they are a pair of Mondor black skating pants I ordered from Rainbo Sports. They fit okay but are little long. They are the kind with the velcro stirrup that goes under your boots, but they are sufficiently long that there's no tension in the stirrup so they just hang.

During the session I worked mostly on 3s, FXOs, and this 3-turn to back 2-foot turn sequence Sonya says she wants to put in my program. I was skating in my new pants -- they are stretchy and felt pretty good. I also went without gloves so as to get used to it... eeek! It was disturbing for a while. I should probably make a habit of skating without gloves once a week just so it won't throw me. My hands got really cold though!

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Lesson That Wasn't

I left the house this morning at 6:20 a.m. as usual for a Monday lesson day. What was not usual was that about an inch of snow had fallen and though the roads weren't snowy, they were slick. I got about halfway to the rink, including getting up and down Murray Hill, when I got to the hill on Scholls Ferry. At the bottom of the hill I saw about 4 cars that were stuck on various points of the hill, so I used my brain and texted my coach that I wouldn't be able to make it, and turned around to head home. I got back to Murray Hill only to discover that the northbound lanes were closed with another 5 cars or so stuck and an emergency vehicle. So, I turned around again and took the long way home via Scholls Ferry and 217, and got home about 1.5 hours after I left. Sheesh.

We'll have my lesson on Thursday.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Sunday Zoo

I went to the rink yesterday in hopes of skating, but it was absurdly crowded -- the line to pay was almost to the door! So I turned around and went home.

Today was much better. I skated for about 1.5 hours and worked a lot on 3s, bad side FXOs, some waltz jumps and spins and misc. stuff. Had a good time yakking with skate buddies Lisa and Amy.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Spins, Salchow & Turns

Today's lesson on the 7 a.m. FS. There was a test session following so it was pretty busy! Between dodging the ice dancers and power circles it was... interesting. I got to hear the first cut of my music -- it's a little rough still so Sonya is going to go back at it, but it's a start.

Today's lesson:
  • turns -- Sonya wants me to practice a simple pattern of FO3 --> back 2-foot turn. My back 2-foot turns are pretty stinky so I really need to spend some time on this. As so often, I tend to rush and not get my body in the correct position.
  • spins -- Just a few of these. These are definitely looking better but I'm still not holding the position. Sonya says I'm still not bringing my right side with me, and I need to bring my hands up (tending to keep them at my waist).
  • Salchow -- arrrggh. This jump is still frustrating me. Sonya reminded me that I need to bend the skating knee more, but not bend the free knee. I seem to want to either bend them both or neither. Grrr.
A good lesson. I have some costume ideas, I need to bring stuff in to show Sonya. I'm thinking black pants (I need to order some nice black skating pants w/stirrup heels) and a shirt I have, and maybe some suspenders. I will probably leave it at that. I was considering a hat but I think it will be too distracting for me.

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Saturday, January 19, 2008

Saturday Zoo

Skated the last hour (with the Z-break, really only 45 min) of public session today. Just enough time to work spins, LFI3, and work on cleaning up my step forward. Some good progress, actually, especially on spins -- they are improving. Still only 1 rev or so but getting better and not so scary (which helps a lot).

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Music for Program

And... the verdict is in. I've chosen Michael Bublé's "Feeling Good" as the music for my first program! You can listen to it on iTunes.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Skated the 6 p.m. FS at Shiny Rink. Worked on spins (no progress, they're about the same), 3s, FXOs, and some general move-y kinds of things.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Making Connections

Today's lesson was on the 7 a.m. FS. It was pretty dead, just 4 or 5 skaters.

Today's lesson:
  • Connecting moves -- this is more program prep. Working on things like: 3-turn, push wide step, BXO, step forward, turn on other foot, etc. My steps forward are kind of scratchy and we spent some time on that.
  • Spins -- back at these. I think I'm making slow progress. We are only practicing them from BXOs now. I did a couple that were pretty decent and several that were not :-(. The things that seem to work are just to relax and not feel rushed, and also to enter somewhat slower.
  • Waltz jump -- working on getting better entrance prep and more spring.
Sonya forgot to bring the CD with the music on it, but she had identified for me the cuts she thought would work best for me. I'm trying to decide between:
  • The Prayer, Josh Groban and Charlotte Church. I love this piece, but I think it's been used an awful lot and maybe the judges will go " OMG, not that one again."
  • To Where You Are, Josh Groban. Same comments above. It may be a bit too slow. It's kind of introspective and I could get into that.
  • With You, from the Pippin soundtrack. This one is a bit more obscure Again, a bit slow and introspective, a love song.
  • Skylark, Linda Ronstadt. A classic, of course. Introspective, otherworldly, reflective, calm, slow, steady.
  • Feeling Good, Michael Buble'. This is kind of jazzy/bluesy. One of the girls at our rink used it for something last year I think, and I really liked it. Not sure how well known it is, but definitely different from the ones above and a bit faster.
So, feel free to share your thoughts on these!

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Saturday, January 12, 2008

Saturday Zoo

I hit the public session at Shiny Rink today. It was more zoo-like than usual, with 10 bazillion little kids zooming around with no control whatsoever. I only stayed for an hour, but did work a bit on trying to connect moves. Also some spins and waltz jumps.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Program Element Prep

My lesson today was on the 8:15 FS, and it was pretty quiet, just 3 skaters and for most of my lesson just me!

Today's lesson:
  • stroking -- Feeling a little wobbly today for some reason.
  • spins -- we worked on the entrance from BXOs, and I actually did a one-rev spin from BXOs for the first time ever! I was very pleased. We worked these a fair amount. I'm still tending to leave my right side behind and having trouble bringing it around.
  • half flip -- These are looking pretty good, actually. The mohawk tends to be a little sloppy unfortunately. Sonya says the pick and draw (especially the draw) is looking pretty good. There was one other correction but I can't remember it now darn it!
  • RBO pivot -- just wanted to revisit this since it had been a while. I'm getting a good position on this but having trouble actually getting the nerve to drag the pick and place it. Needs work, but some progress.
During and after the lesson we spent a lot of time talking about my program and some of the music we're considering. I played her the new CD I made for her and she liked one song from it, and she also liked some others on the previous CD I'd given her. She's going to listen to the top candidates again and let me know what she thinks. We also talked a lot about connecting elements and how I will need to work more on this when I practice so it will be more natural.

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Last Hour Warm-Up

I have been off the ice for the last several days due to a cold that just walloped me upside the head.... doing better now. Managed to escape to the rink at the end of the public session for a whopping 17 minutes of the public session. I figured it's better than nothing since I have my lesson tomorrow morning (moved from Monday since I was sick). Did get some work in on FXOs and my back edge push-off and misc 3 turns.

A pleasant surprise was to see Lauren -- our paths have not crossed in a while so it was really nice to see her. She was bright and cheery as always.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Annoying Blogger Problem, Help!

I don't know if this is my account, or because I use Firefox, or what, but for quite some time now, when I create a new post and try to enter the Word Verification, the first time always fails and I have to do it a second time. Anyone else seen this? Anyone have a solution? It's really annoying.

Sad Ending

I missed this before... apparently the old rink in Tucson is going to be remodeled for a passport service company. *sigh*

FXOs & Spins

Today's lesson was on the 8:15 FS. It was much more crowded than usual since school's still out 'til Monday.

Today's lesson:

  • FXOs -- we just worked on the bad side, at my request. Just working on getting a real underpush and good crossed-foot position. This is so hard for me! It's frustrating but we did make some good progress.
  • Back edges -- we looked at these a little just because we were talking about program stuff and I hate to just stand and talk, so we skated and talked. Sonya reminded me not to wide-step on the pushoff for the BI edges, and she wants me looking inside the circle on the BI edges, a change that was confusing to me.
  • Spins -- made some good progress on these. I think the new blades have made a definite difference as I've not bounced off the toepick once! I got a couple that were vastly improved. Still only about a rev or so but much smaller circles. Needs more work!
We talked about programs and competitions. Sonya didn't get the CD I left for her before Christmas, it seems to have vanished somewhere in the rink; so I need to make a new one for her. We agreed on doing an interpretive routine for PCAS in March; we'll need to get moving on this pretty quickly since it's only 2 months away.

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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Coffee Club

I managed to escape to coffee club today. It was a cold, rainy miserable day outside, and inside it was quite cold. I managed to work a lot on bad-side FXOs, waltz-8 and miscellaneous other stuff. Not too crowded and nice ice.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

New Year's Zoo

I skated for an hour at the afternoon public at Shiny Rink, after being off the ice for two weeks... eeek! It was good to be out but it was not fun getting past the rustiness!

Worked on bad side FXOs and some other misc. stuff. It was pretty crowded so hard to work on stuff.