Gordon's Sk8er Boi Blog

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

Friday, January 30, 2009

Club Ice

Finally made it to club ice again... had a pretty good skate. A good crowd (13 or 14 skaters and 3 coaches). Worked a bunch on spins, XOs, waltz-8 and especially working on RBO pivot. I really need to bend my knees more for this!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

BO Edges

Today's figures lesson, at 7:30 as usual. We worked on BO edges the whole time. Parts of this were very reminiscent of work Sonya and I have been doing on body position on BO edges (mostly working on the BO mohawk). It is really, really hard for me to hold that BO edge without going flat. Grrr. It's frustrating.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I skated the 6 p.m. FS as usual... a lot more crowded than last week, about 13 skaters and 3 coaches. I worked on a bunch of stuff -- toe loop (a little), spins, cross strokes, XOs, and a little waltz-8 at the end.

The cross strokes are coming along a bit, I spent a lot of time on them. The big thing I have trouble with now is changing from FI to FO on the crossing foot. I'm getting a nice underpush though. They need a lot more work.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Cross Strokes & Toe Loop

Today's lesson was at 7 a.m. as usual. It was a bit colder than usual in the rink (36 degrees F) and I was tired and somewhat out of sorts. Oh well. Not my best lesson.

Today's lesson:
  • Spins -- I showed Sonya my two-foot to one-foot spin, although of course the Reverse Coach Effect meant that I couldn't do it at first (see above about being cold, tired and out of sorts). But I did eventually get some nice spins this way, which made me feel better. As Sonya said, it's harder to do it from the windup but at least I know I can indeed find the sweet spot. Oh well.
  • Waltz-8 -- Just a little time on these. Sonya wanted me to be more careful about setting a good FO edge at the start of each side. These were a bit stinky today (worse than usual), although Sonya did say I'm (usually) doing a better job keeping my free foot close before the step forward. I wasn't too happy with them.
  • Cross strokes -- Sonya wanted to introduce these. Eeep! More of that crossing-the-feet stuff :-(. We worked them against the wall for a bit then a little bit on the ice. I'll have to work these more on my own. Eeep.
  • Toe loop -- we finished up with these. Sonya had me try an exercise where I go through the entry, bring the feet together and do a back pivot (RBO). Eeep! She had me do a bunch of these, then try the toe loop again. I was successful in getting my feet together, not as successful in finishing out the jump correctly. Still, it's progress. Sonya wants me to work that exercise more.

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sunday Zoo

I skated the Sunday public session as I usually do. This time I stayed for 1 hr 45 minutes, my longest skate in a long time. It was VERY crowded, the most I'd seen in a long time, with the usual frustrations that entails. Alee was on guard duty and I told her trying to practice there was like the varsity football team trying to practice during elementary school recess!

Despite all that, I got some good practice in. I spent a lot of time on the waltz-8 and a lot of time on spins, both one and two-foot. Also some work on FXOs and 3-turns.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

F Edges & FI8

Thursday's figures lesson at 7:30 a.m. as usual:
  • FO edges -- we worked a lot on these, still. It seems sometimes that's all we do, *sigh*. Thank God Kelli is a very patient coach! Working on getting better body position and better push. I'm very inconsistent, sometimes I really can feel that I'm placed exactly right and sometimes... I'm flat or forcing it. Bleah.
  • FI edges -- these are so much better than FO! I did a set that had really great flow and felt awesome, so we moved on.
  • FI8 -- I'm still not quite getting around, but it's getting better.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I skated the 5:15 FS today (usually it's the 6 p.m. FS but I managed to get there early). I had a pretty good skate; it wasn't crowded at all (5 skaters and 2 coaches), much less than usual.

Worked XOs, waltz-8, spins, toe-loop (mostly working on getting the feet crossed, not trying to jump), and a few miscellaneous exercises.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Power Pull Prep & 3s

Today's lesson at 7 a.m. as usual:
  • Slaloms -- these are prep for power pulls. We did them forward and back, on two feet. It's not so much that I'm stiff (though I am), I think I just am a little daunted at really keeping the feet together to do these properly. And of course resisting the tendency to stick the bum out when doing the back slaloms!
  • Waltz-8 -- these are slowly improving. Sonya said the top two issues she saw were the 3s and the back mohawk, still, and the other issues stem from these two. So that led to...
  • 3s -- I've been wanting more work on these, to have more control and better setup. So we worked on skating the hockey circle, doing a leisurely setup and then turn. The main corrections were to really turn the body (including the head) into the circle prior to the turn. I made some good progress but in doing so I reverted to some flailing of the arms and also putting the foot down immediately after the turn. Grrr. These need more work.
  • Spins -- just a few minutes at the end. Sonya chided me on my tendency to look down at the print immediately after the spin, she told me there's plenty of time for that after a nice exit with the head held high :-). I'm getting a good position but not keeping it. We spent some time just skating a LBI and holding the edge with the free foot tucked in and the arms in spin position -- I need to work this more as my discomfort with the position is probably part of the reason I bail so quickly (the other part is fear, of course).
All in all a pretty good lesson. Unfortunately I misplaced my FS punchcard and had to pay cash for the session. Hopefully it's floating around somewhere, but I really don't know where it could be. Grrr.

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Club Ice

As a non-home-club member of the Sherwood FSC I have the privilege of skating on SFSC's Friday night club ice for $10/session. I'd never taken advantage of the opportunity but I did tonight.

I had a pretty good skate. The ice was a little bumpy from hockey beforehand (though there was a Z-break right before). Not too crowded (10 skaters and 3 coaches). I worked a lot on XOs, 3-turn pattern, back mohawks, and some good time on jumps and spins.

I'm going to try to skate this session more often. Even though it's a little pricy, the chance to skate when I'm actually awake is a good one and it's nice to see folks, too.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

FO Edges

Today's figures lesson, at 7:30 a.m. as usual. We spent our whole lesson (yes, the whole lesson) working on FO edges -- getting a better push, getting a better/truer edge, body position, weight placement, etc. Geez. I am making such slow progress! I know it's because I need to spend a lot more time in my patch blades. It's difficult to make the time, especially since good ice for this kind of thing is hard to find (public sessions and crowded FS really don't work). Grrr.

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009


I skated the 6 p.m. FS as usual... not too crowded. Had a good skate, worked a lot on XOs and back mohawks and spins. I was able to stop bouncing off the toepick on my spins but other than that not much improvement. Grrr.

Monday, January 12, 2009

XOs & Spins

Today's lesson was at 7 a.m. as usual. There was a testing session later this morning so lots of anxious skaters and parents, but not as busy as I would have thought.

Today's lesson:
  • FXOs -- in the pattern. These are coming along. Sonya wants MORE -- more power, more push, more speed, faster tempo, and bigger circles to match. I'm being too wimpy. But, they are improving so I can't complain.
  • BXOs -- in the pattern. These too are coming along, but there's still a very distressing tendency for the quality to fall off as the move goes along. Sonya was really pushing me to push from the middle/back of the blade on the back foot. These need more work.
  • Spins -- a couple of two-foot spins to warm up, then on to 1-foot. The windup and entrance of these have improved, but it's still usually 1-rev and out. Sonya says that I've improved my positioning, the main issue is that I'm either not getting the free foot all the way in, or I do but quickly bail. So I need to bring it in and commit! Grrr.

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Thursday, January 08, 2009


Today's figures lesson at 7:30 a.m...
  • Serpentine -- I laughed at Kelli (really, I did) when she told me she wanted to work on the serpentine. The serpentine is a 3-circle figure where you skate a half-circle on on one foot, change edge (but still same foot!) and skate another complete circle; then switch feet and repeat. So you are skating 1.5 circles on one push -- which is why I laughed, I can't even get around one circle on one push... what Kelli was most interested in was the change of edge, though, so we worked on that quite a bit. FOI (that is, FO to FI change of edge) is not so bad and I can pretty much do that. FIO... eeeep! Scary and hard!
  • Push -- per my request we spent some time just working on getting a better push. Kelli suggested that rather than bend the knees, think, and the push (I think before everything) that she'd rather see me think, then bend-and-push in one nice smoooth motion. We worked on it for a bit. It's so hard for me to keep my weight placement consistent and to keep the hip up all the way around! Grrr.
Kelli is going to be teaching a figures group lesson Saturdays at 11 starting in February. I've pretty much decided I will take it as I need more time on this stuff if I'm going to make any headway; plus Kelli has said they are going to spend some time working on how to prep for a competition etc., which will be helpful. I figure (pun intended!) that it might help to be around other folks working on this stuff, though of course they will all be better than me.

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Tuesday, January 06, 2009


I skated the 6 p.m. FS as usual.... not too crowded. Worked on usual suspects -- FXOs, BXOs, back mohawk... some spins, and some toe loops as well.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Spins, Toe Loop, Etc.

Today's lesson at 7 a.m. as usual...
  • Spins -- we started with these, but I was having some issues with them that I'd not had even yesterday -- kept bouncing off the toepick, couldn't find the sweet spot to save my life so I asked if we could move on.
  • Back mohawk -- we touched on these again at my request. We worked mostly on keeping the free foot/leg close and not getting up on the toe, then pushing from the whole blade and not just the toe. The LBO is looking pretty good, the RBO showed improvement but still a little scrapey.
  • Toe loop -- more work on these -- it's more a toe-waltz right now. I'm getting my feet closer together but it's still pretty scary. It's improving.
  • Stroking -- just a couple of quick laps to finish up. Sonya wanted me to work on getting better speed while keeping good posture and eyes/chin up. So I did a lap each way. It's getting better.
It was pretty cold in the rink -- 35 degrees F! Bleah!

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Sunday, January 04, 2009

Sunday Zoo

I skated the afternoon public session as usual. I only stayed for an hour and 15 minutes as it was quite crowded, especially after the Z-break. I worked a bunch on FXOs and BXOs, a bit on spins and jumps and some time working on waltz-8 and my back mohawk issues... lesson in the a.m.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

New Year's Sk8

I skated the public session on New Year's Day. I had about a half-hour warmup, worked on nothing special. Around 2:30 my friend Liana showed up and I spent some time teaching her to skate -- she was an absolute beginner just as I had been back in the day! Unlike me she was a quick learner though, and by the end of the session she'd learned to swizzle and do some very basic stroking.