Gordon's Sk8er Boi Blog

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

Friday, February 26, 2010


I skated the 8:15 FS at Chandler as usual. About 5 skaters and 2 coaches, ice was not too bad. Worked on usual stuff. On my spins I decided that I should stop whining and just buckle down and spend serious time on them.... so I did. I actually got several that were not bad, including one 3-rev spin. It is soooo hard for me to hold that free side back and just let it happen! It's getting better though. I also did a couple of good salchows and several not so good. Oh well.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

8s, 3s, & Step Forward

My figures lesson w/Lynne at Chandler coffee club today. Good ice and only a few skaters.

Today's lesson:
  • FI8s -- not toooo bad.
  • FO8s -- bleah! My LFO was not cooperating very well but eventually it got in line. Lynne says my posture and push are (slowly) improving.
  • Serpentine -- we worked on the FOI. Eeep, since my FO edges are not so great. The change of edge is okay though, but I really am going to have to learn to push if I'm ever going to manage these.
  • FO3s -- LFO3 not too bad, RFO3 a bit skiddy.
  • Step forward -- I swear my coaches call each other up to find new ways to torment me.. I just worked on these yesterday w/JJ and now Lynne wanted to work on them. We just worked on the RBO-LFO. Eeep. Of course I had to fall but I did manage a couple that were okay. Really need to keep my knees soft, get my feet together and not lean forward.
After my lesson I got to briefly talk with my friend Keila who was on the ice today.... we know each other from back in the day in Tucson but we'd not been on the ice together since... 2005? A while. It was good to see her.

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Spins & Back 3 Prep

FS lesson w/JJ on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Gilbert as usual. Only 3 skaters for that session. I stayed for the following session too and had the ice to myself for most of it :-).

Today's lesson:
  • step forward -- I was working on my waltz-8 when JJ came on the ice so of course he wanted to look at what I was doing, in this case trying to fix my step forward (BO mohawk). We worked on trying to keep the skating knee soft while lifting the hip, with a little success. I need to spend more time on this.
  • spins -- about 10 minutes on these. A number of good ones! Well, good for me. Not so much that I got a lot of revolutions (I'm averaging 2) but that I am getting my weight (almost) in the right place. I can do this JJ there and not so much when I'm by myself! Grr. Anyway the key as always is just to really hold that R side back until AFTER the 3 and just be willing to start the spin in a relaxed way with the leg/arm out.
  • back 3 prep -- in a fit of -- whatever -- I told JJ we ought to start working on back 3s. So we started doing some prep, at the boards, working on feeling the shift of weight toward the back of the blade. We spent a fair amount of time on it.
All in all a pretty good lesson. After the lesson I worked on salchow, toe loop, more spins, some moves, and a bit of time working on my RF lunge -- it has been sadly neglected and it really stinks. Oh well, it got a little better. I did some LF lunges and discovered that if I work at it I can now eliminate the toe-scratch, so a small YAY for me.

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Monday, February 22, 2010

Monday 30-30

As usual, Monday coffee club at Chandler. Good ice, about 6 skaters. For my 30 minutes of patch, I spent almost all of it working on my 8s, trying to get a better push and make it all the way around. Maybe a little improvement, but not much. Spent the last few minutes working on BO edges ( a a little better) and 3s (uck). Just for grins I tried an RBO8. Wow, I am going to have to really improve my posture and control to make BO8s happen. I just cannot hold that position right now.

For my 30 minutes of freestyle I worked a bit on moves, then salchow, toe loop and spins. I had a decent sal, then several not so good and another okay one. On the toe loop, I realized part of my issue is that I'm not drawing my arms in, so they are out when I want to jump. Duh. I worked on it a bit and had one that felt really good, though the print says it's still quite cheated. Oh well. No good spins today except the last one was 2 revs so a little better. Bleah.

Friday, February 19, 2010


Friday freestyle as usual... nothing horribly exciting. It took me forever to warm up. Worked on moves, jumps, spins. Some time on waltz-8. Bleah.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Edges, Edges, Edges

Today's figures lesson with Lynne. Good ice and only 3 or so skaters and 1 coach (mine!). I hadn't skated in my patch blades since last week's lesson, eeep.

Today's lesson:
  • FI edges -- Lynne caught me pretty much right when I got on the ice and I reeled these off and they actually were not bad! I am pleased that I have gotten a lot more comfortable with my patch blades and it's not so daunting to be in them.
  • FO edges -- eeep. These are still pretty inconsistent. I'm doing better on the initial push-off and first edge but when I come to do subsequent edges (already moving) I'm not setting myself up well. It helped to make a conscious effort to turn the pushing foot out so that I'm reminded it's not a "stroking" kind of push.
  • FI8 -- these were not too bad. I'm still not usually getting all the way around on one push but my circle size and tracing were pretty good.
  • FO8 -- a bit rough in spots, but improving.
That's all we had time for today! I know that I tend to whine a bit about my figures lessons, but I did have one moment today -- I think it was on the FO8 on my L foot -- where I was reminded why I'm doing this. I pushed off and was on a really, really good edge, and my body position and everything was just right and it just *flowed*. It felt so magical! Now if I can just make that happen all the time...

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Blog Maintenance

Okay, as long as I am having to move away from Haloscan commenting I'm going to be trying to update to a more modern template. Hopefully I won't mess things up tooooo much.

Keepin' Keepin' On

Today's lesson on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Gilbert as usual.

Today's lesson:
  • power pull prep -- we spent some time working on prep for these, specifically just working on slalom-ing w/feet reasonably close together and working on feeling the FO edge. Weirdly enough I seem to trust my RFO more than my LFO. Hmmph. These will need a lot of work.
  • waltz jump -- some more work on keeping it clean and straight off the toe. A couple good and a couple not so good.
  • salchow -- arrrgh. Still working on the timing on this. I don't think I did any good ones.
  • toe loop -- double arrrgh. On the 3rd or 4th one I had a really weird fall. I somehow didn't really jump and then my R toe pick got stuck in the ice and I fell forward but it torqued my knee sideways. Ouch. Got up and did a couple more just to not let myself freak about it. Not so great though.
  • spins -- I'm still not letting it happen. I swear some day I am going to be able to just relax and spin and it will be wonderful... but right now I'm very frustrated even though I'm a lot closer than I was a year ago. Grrr.
I didn't stay for the last session today as I was a bit out of sorts and tired and concerned about my knee. I took some ibuprofen as soon as I got off the ice and it seems to be fine now.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Workin' It

My figures lesson with Lynne at Chandler coffee club as usual....

Today's lesson:
  • F edges -- started with FI and they were pretty good. FO still a bit weak but not too bad.
  • B edges -- My LBO was better than it has been, I'm doing a better job of sitting on the blade more and getting my weight off the toe. I have some issues when I rotate though, I'm tending to flat then. RBO good, and BI edges were nice.
  • FI8 -- I actually am (barely) getting around on one push now, which is nice. Not too bad, my tracing was pretty good.
  • FO8 -- Arrggh. Even my RFO edge was causing me problems, and I'm still having that issue where my edge tends to push out to the side (on the pushing foot) when I push. Grr. Also wide-stepping my push onto the LFO.
  • FO3s -- We worked a bit on trying to relax on these and have better prep and better control. Grrr. Some progress on the LFO3 but the RFO3 was just bad. Two offerings to the skate gods today (falls forward). Bleah.
There is a hockey tournament over President's day weekend so not sure how much ice time I will get before my next lesson, there's no FS or coffee club Friday or Monday.

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Tuesday, February 09, 2010


FS lesson w/JJ on the 7:30 a.m FS at Gilbert as usual. Nice ice and only 3 skaters.

Today's lesson:
  • lunges -- JJ was looking through the rulebook and decided we needed to look at some of these elements. My L foot lunge is okay, R not so great. Still dragging the toe a bit on setting down and picking up. I was able to fix the dragging on set-down but couldn't quite figure out what I need to do to fix the pick-up. JJ says I need to get my weight a little more forward and really feel the lift in the leg.
  • spirals -- yes, I have guy spirals. My L spiral not too bad, R not as good. Not hip height. JJ also says I still need to get my weight a little further back on the blade (esp. on R side).
  • 1-foot spin -- one good one and several not as good. I'm still fighting to not bring the R side around so quickly.
  • backspin -- JJ wanted to look at these again, from a 2-foot spin picking up the L foot. It's so weird. Yuck.
  • waltz jump -- not too bad. I am still not coming straight off the pick so JJ had me try doing them from a standing start and that fixes it there. I'm basically letting my R side get ahead (again with the R side!).
  • salchow -- JJ had me work on using a 3-count on each edge and THEN jumping. This helped my timing a bit. I did have one that had good timing and some that were not too bad.
After my lesson I skated the 8:15 session (so 1.5 hours total). Worked on moves and 3s and some more work on toe loop. I did several toe loops where I managed to bring my R foot even with my L foot (toepick) but did a 3 with the R foot before jumping. Still I think it's an improvement since I got the foot back. I'll have to play around with this more.

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Monday, February 08, 2010

Monday 30-30

My usual Monday practice at Chandler coffee club...

Patch -- spent a LOT of time on FO edges and FO8. Geez. It seems to take forever for me to get these decent. When it is I feel like I'm in a nice "plane" over my skate and my weight's in the middle of my blade. Also worked on all 4 turns and they are coming along okay.

Freestyle -- moves were okay. Spent some time on 3s, trying to get better control. Hmmph. Waltz jumps okay, salchow eh, toe loop as usual. I'm frustrated. On a positive note I did a couple of okay 2-rev spins where I actually pulled up and didn't rush too much. Bleah.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Perseverance/New Gear

I skated the 8:15 FS as usual. Not a bad skate, worked on moves for half an hour, FS for the other half. Spins, toe loop, salchow. Salchow.. eh. Spins, I got a couple that weren't bad. Toe loop, eh.

I bought some new skating gear, some warmup pants from Jerry's Skating Wear (the 365 fleece). I called them first and they told me they are unisex (one vendor claimed they were just for women). They are tight and stretchy and I did feel pretty energized wearing them... on the other hand they are not lined and it was COLD! At least 'til I warmed up a bit, after that it was more or less okay. I might explore wearing long johns or something under them though that would probably spoil the line... or maybe just wait 'til summer.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Spins & Jumps Still

Today's lesson on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Gilbert -- this was Tuesday's lesson rescheduled to today. We had to start the lesson promptly at 7:30 due to a schedule limitation, but it worked out fine. I didn't sleep well and felt a little off during the lesson :-(.

Today's lesson:
  • Warmup -- JJ watched me warmup (less time than usual) and reminded me I have to do backwards skating as well as forwards :-) so after a lap around the rink I did the APB BXO pattern.
  • Waltz jump -- just to warmup some more... my timing felt a little off but I did manage a couple of good ones.
  • Salchow -- just "eh". A couple of good ones. JJ reminded me not to bring the arm/body around early... waaaaait for it.
  • Toe loop -- just "eh" also. Still working to keep the R hand/arm back until I'm ready to bring it through for the jump.
  • Spins -- Just "eh" as well (geez!). Nothing great.
Not the best lesson, unfortunately. JJ wants to look at some different stuff next week (I don't blame him, we/I have been working this stuff hard and it might be nice to have a little change).

After the lesson I skated the remainder of the session and then left. I was just a bit tired and didn't think skating the additional session would be very productive.

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Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Haloscan Shutdown

I received an email that Haloscan, which provides the comments for this blog (this is an olllld blog, it predates Google buying Blogger) is shutting down 4/16. There are some options for migrating comments etc. that I will have to explore.


Today's figures lesson on Chandler coffee club as usual. There were 6 or 7 skaters present and fairly good conditions.

Today's lesson:
  • B edges -- started with BO edges. LBO still problematic but it did improve a bit, just tend to get up on my toe a bit (this has been a persistent problem in my skating); then if I did better at holding my position I was so tense and "stuck" I couldn't rotate for the RBO edge. Bleah! I need to just practice holding the LBO edge more. BI edges were nifty as usual.
  • FI8 -- started with a beyooootiful LFI8 that was really nice. RFI8 not so nice, it's the push is a bit off and lacking. Lynne reminded me to bend my knees into the push off and not wide-step the push, keep my weight on the middle of the blade.
  • FO8 -- actually not that bad. Push is still lacking but improving and the LFO8 wasn't as bad as I feared it would be.
  • FO3s -- the good news is that I am getting a lot more comfortable with these. We worked on making them more natural (less forced) and with better knee action. The RFO3 is actually better in that regard; LFO3 did improve a bit though. Check needs work though.
  • FI3s -- RFI3 is actually pretty good though some of the same corrections as for FO3s apply. We finished the lesson with the debut of my LFI3 which actually seemed better than in FS blades. I did two of them and didn't fall, at which point I decided to not tempt the skate gods any more (we were out of time anyway).
All in all I'm pretty pleased with my progress. Need more practice of course, but it's coming along.

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Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Tuesday 30-30

I have been off the ice since last Wednesday's lesson since I was traveling for work and then I was feeling ill. I'm mostly better now but I postponed my lesson with JJ from this morning since I knew I would need to sleep a bit late. I skated coffee club at Chandler so I could get some ice time before lessons tomorrow (figures) and hopefully Thursday (freestyle).

I had a pretty good skate! In the past I've done 30 minutes of freestyle and then 30 minutes of patch, but this time I did patch first. In my patch blades I mostly worked on FO edges since they were atrocious; but I found that I was able to place my weight more in the middle of the blade than I have been and that helped a lot. I'm going to try to remember how that felt! I only worked briefly on 3s and didn't try the LFI3 (chickened out).

For freestyle I had a pretty good skate as well. After 30 minutes in patch blades, FS blades gave me a real sense of freedom and speed! Salchows and toe loops are about the same. Made some progress on my spins though, I had several that I had good relaxed entrance on and one in particular where I actually felt myself to (finally) be on the sweet spot (not that you could tell much from the print, I was traveling so much)! Still inconsistent though.

I was really pleased to spot an old sk8 buddy at this session, one of the skaters (Bob) that I'd skated with at coffee club in Tucson back in the day. He was up to skate. It was great to see him. He's kind of a personal hero since he is probably in his 70s and still skates beautifully (he's an ice dancer). I hope to be like him someday.