Gordon's Sk8er Boi Blog

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

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


I skated the Chandler coffee club for patch practice as usual.  (no lesson this morning, it's moved to Thursday this week).  I had a pretty good skate, spent about half an hour on my FO8s, the rest of the time on BO8, waltz-8 and BI8.  BI8 is definitely going to take a while, and still trying to fix the LBO8 as I am still having problems coming back to center.  Waltz-8... maybe some small progress.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Artistry On Ice

Day two of the 2010 Sherwood Invitational... a short day (3 hours) of competition starting with junior and novice ladies free skate.  I had volunteered to announce so I had a great seat to watch some awesome skating!  By the time we were done I was chilled to the bone, despite having brought my heavy "Oregon" coat.

At the end of the competition I'd been asked to announce that right after the competition there would be an awards ceremony in the lobby.  We all went to the lobby to warm up and watch. The Artistry On Ice award was given out in 3 different categories (Snowplow Sam to FS6, Non-Test to Juvenile (?) and Intermediate to Senior).   The winner in the first category was... ME!

I was dumbfounded, surprised, amazed and very very happy.  Emmy was doing the announcing and Karly handed me the award -- it's a nice crystal rectangle with skates inside in 3D and the logo and the award name etc.  I immediately went to show it to Sonya.  It's very cool!

Zena (SFSC board member) was careful to point out to me that the award came from the judges, not from the board!

I'm really going to cherish this.  What a perfect (and surprising) end to the competition for me!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Sherwood Invitational 2010

Here's how my Apollo 13 free skate program went. 

I was originally scheduled to skate at 2:48, in a combined warmup with a pre-pre boy.  However the pre-pre boy was actually a girl ( there was a mistake) so that was cancelled and I had a warmup to myself.  This meant that I had a 4-minute warmup, but since I needed to come off a minute early to rest I really only had a 3-minute warmup -- and no practice ice today (I had skated for 1.5 hours yesterday).  So a slight "eep" there.

The competition was running late, so I estimated I would skate around 3 (I think it wound up being more like 3:15 or 3:20).  I went to the (deserted since there were only myself and 2 boys skating in the whole competition) men's locker room to put my skates on and double-check my costume around 2:30 or 2:35 (I could not bring myself to do it later as I was starting to get nervous).  I also warmed up a bit with some jumping jacks and did some stretching.  Then I went and checked in with the ice monitor and waited and talked with Sonya.

Finally it was time to take the ice for my warmup.  I skated my usual lap of slaloms to get to feeling my edges, but I cut it rather short in the interests of time and went straight into the mohawk/BXO/waltz jump part of my program, followed by a spin.  From there I went to do the RFI3-toe loop sequence but instead did RFI3 RFI3 -- what the heck?  Told myself not to do that, then went and did RFI3 - toe loop.  Came back to the Zamboni end of the ice, went into the mohawk-salchow sequence and it went well (went straight into the salchow w/no hesitation and landed it!).  At this point I went to confer with Sonya and she told me that I was not straightening my free leg on my jump landings.  So I went out and did a waltz jump and tried to fix that, then quickly did a two-foot spin.  Went to confer with Sonya and she said I'd fixed the landing position.  Went out and did another 1-foot spin and then they called the 1-minute warning.  

Went to Sonya for a last minute pep talk and took off my jacket and got some water.  Then they called my name and I skated out to my starting position, trying to skate a little faster and with no scooter pushes :-).  Took my position and started....

The first part went pretty well.  I started the two foot spin as soon as I heard the music start (not waiting for the drum roll -- I'd decided it was too easy to misjudge and I was better off just starting).  The spin went well but I had to do more revs than usual since I'd started early; but I finished it just right and did the back pivot and the forward glides etc. 

I was feeling pretty good at this point and started the mohawk and BXO section right when I was supposed to and was counting the music and getting to a good speed...  and hit the waltz jump JUST RIGHT.  It made me so happy!  Straight into the mohawk section which was perhaps a bit sloppy (it's a little hazy to me) and then went STRAIGHT into the salchow from the last mohawk -- no hesitation or think time.  YAY!  The salchow *almost* came off but I was a little off balance on the landing, and almost fell but didn't (not sure exactly what happened).  I also got really nervous at this point.

I was a little jarred by the near fall but went into the 1-foot spin -- I can't say if it was any good or not.  I think I forgot the arms thing before the spin, but I'm not sure.  Came out of the spin and forward into the T-stop right on time.

Did the bunny hop and lunge, into the RFI3 and toe loop.  I was still a bit nervous here so the toe loop wasn't so great :-(.  Went into the final spin and I was running out of time, then into my final lunge thingie.  I was sliding and sliding but JJ and I had decided I should just let it go and not try to brake.  As it was my L foot (skating foot) started to get away from me (I think) but I managed to squeeze enough to keep from going kerblooie.... and I was done!

Got up, took my bows and skated off a very happy and relieved man!

I have to say that all during the warmup and my skate there was an awful lot of cheering and clapping and support from the audience.  It really made me feel great!  I can't begin to describe how much the support of the SFSC homegirls and parents meant to me.  It was awesome!


Long Day At Sherwood

(I will blog about my competition skate separately)

I spent most of the day at the 2010 Sherwood Invitational competition.  I wasn't scheduled to volunteer (announcing) until Sunday morning but the organizers asked me to come Saturday morning for the beginning of the competition to help a new announcer get settled in.  This proved to be a wise request since the first hour or so of the competition was a bunch of double-paneled compulsory events (spins, jumps, compulsory moves).  There was some confusion as skaters had to be directed which half of the ice they were supposed to be skating on, we didn't initially have some of the paperwork we needed (it was available, we just didn't have it).  After the double-paneled events were finished it settled down and I was able to watch some skating.  After watching some of my homegirls skate I had a good 1.5 hour break so I went to shower and change into my costume and then come back to the rink.  Watched more skating, ate some baked goods from the bake sale (yum!), then checked in at registration, had some lunch (lunch for competitors was included in the cost of the comp., a nice touch), watch more skating. 

After my skate I watched more skating until the end of the competition.  There was some really great skating!  It was the last time for Karly's "doll" program (here it is last year http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kR-TADCDpo).  What a great program!  Pretty much every Sherwood skater I know skated, it was really awesome to see them out there working hard :-).  All in all it was just terrific to be spending the day with so many wonderful friends.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Practice Ice

I had practice ice for the competition from 7 to 7:30 tonight.  There were about 15 of us.  Of course I was the only adult and the only male (as usual!).  It was pretty intense!  Everyone was working really hard, but people were careful and polite and I got a lot done.  I worked on my program elements and especially hit the mohawk-salchow segment.  I was able to actually go straight into the salchow from the preceding mohawk (no scooter push!) -- in my mind I heard Sonya and JJ cheering :-).  I did it several times in order to get it comfy.

All in all it was productive.  I didn't get a chance to run my program with music, but since I did that twice this morning I wasn't too worried.  Anyway I know this program pretty well.  I think the main thing for tomorrow is just to relax and take it one element at a time.

Program Prep

I skated the 6 a.m. FS at Sherwood and had a lesson with Sonya to prep for the competition tomorrow.  As usual, wonderful wonderful Sherwood ice and all my fave homegirls out there workin' hard.  It was invigorating (and a little crowded!).

We worked through the program and focused on some key elements -- the mohawk sequence and salchow, the opening and the toe loop.  We ran it twice with music; I don't think I got the salchow either time :-( although I did two just fine in my warmup (of course).  Sonya really wanted to eliminate my scooter pushing and we did seem to get rid of at least the one in the transition from the waltz jump to the mohawk.  There's still one before the 2nd mohawk and one before the salchow, and one before the toe loop.  Grrr.  I'll keep working on it.

Practice ice tonight at 7 and then skate tomorrow!

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wednesday Night Zoo

I skated the Wednesday night public at Gilbert as usual, but only stayed half an hour as I really had ot get home and pack.  Despite the short time I did some decent spins and two good salchows so I was happy.  YAY!

B8s & Waltz-8

Today's figures lesson on the Chandler coffee club:
  • BI8 -- I wanted to look at these since I wanted to work on them but I wanted to make sure I had some input from Lynne.  The push is probably the hardest thing!  I actually did some that were not bad, on the best one I got almost 3/4 of the way around the circle! Most were not that good though.  These are going to take a lot of work.
  • waltz-8 -- these are slowly improving.  The step forward is a lot better and I actually did manage some kind of control a couple times, esp. on the L foot.  A lonnnng way from testable though!
  • BO8 -- Lynne wanted to look at these again.  Wow, they have come a long way!  My R side is pretty good, actually.  L side I'm still having problems on the second half of the circle, I tend to go flat.  Lynne reminded me I need to bend into that more on the 2nd half, not try to "steer" the edge.
All in all a pretty good lesson.

I am off in the morning to Portland for work and also for the Sherwood Invitational on Saturday.

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Patch practice at Chandler coffee club as usual.  I was kind of tired from this morning's skate but it was okay.  I worked on F8s, BO8, waltz-8, and a little bit of time on BI8.  Waltz-8 is slowly improving.  BI8 -- I am going to have to actually learn how to do this push well.  As it is I'm getting about halfway around a small circle.  Oh well.

Program Polishing

My lesson with JJ on the 7:30 FS at Gilbert this morning (we started late though).  The scoreboard/clock was off this morning which was annoying, and the ice at the north end of the rink had a number of "stalagmites" (bumps from condensation dripping from the ceiling) which I'd never seen at Gilbert -- usually their ice is pretty good.  It was very distracting.

We spent our lesson (JJ was very generous with his time) working on the program, cleaning up some issues.  We worked on the timing of the waltz jump and the lead-in to it so that I would have a better idea of exactly how to time it with the music.  I think this really will help!  We also worked on spins and some placement issues (where elements are placed on the ice).  All in all not very exciting but good stuff.

I have patch practice today and a figures lesson tomorrow, but as far as freestyle I have a little time on public tomorrow night, then hopefully some time with Sonya on Friday morning, practice ice (half hour) Friday night and then I'm competing Saturday afternoon. Whee!

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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Bonus Skate

It's not in my regular skating plan to skate Sunday a.m. FS but since I actually had time and there was FS available at Chandler I took advantage of it!  Just skated for an hour, session was a little crowded at first but for most of it only 7 skaters or so

I worked program elements, no runthroughs today.  I did manage 4 pretty decent (for me, for now) salchows which I thought was good.  I am hoping (knock wood) that I've kicked my mental block on these since they are going so well -- I hope it sticks!

Friday, August 20, 2010


I skated Chandler coffee club for patch practice as usual.  Had a reasonably good skate, although I was rather social so perhaps not as productive as I should have been.  Worked on F8s, BO8s and waltz-8.  No breakthroughs but some good solid practice.


I skated the 8:15 FS this morning as usual.  Now that school's back in session this is a pretty quiet session.  The downside is that with no ice cut since 6:15 the ice is pretty crappy by then. It was just 3 skaters and one coach.

I had a pretty good skate!  I ran my program twice (the first time I'd run it with music since my lesson w/Sonya last week in PDX).  The first time not so great.  The second time I actually landed the salchow!  I was so psyched!  I did a bunch of salchows today.  The mantra that worked for me (today, anyway) was... bend, and waaaait.  Bend the knee on the entrance edge, and waaait on the exit of the 3.

Beyond that spins were ukky.  I spent some time working on the waltz jump at speed trying to de-scrape the BO edge before the turn.  Not much success.  I know I just need to think of this like the moves pattern (I don't scrape there, duh) but it's not happening yet.  Hmmph!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wednesday Night Zoo

Wednesday night public at Gilbert.  I've been skating these mostly to have quality time w/skate buddy Lisa, but now that I've been there for a while I've made some other friends there so I will probably keep skating.  Plus, it was not nearly so crowded tonight, especially the last half hour.  Good stuff.

I had a pretty good time, even managed a couple of decent salchows.  Spins were not happening though :-). Still a lot of fun.

Usual Suspects

I had my figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler coffee club as usual... nice ice and only 5 of us.   Tucson skater Marge was there -- always nice to see my Tucson skating friends!  Marge is a judge and also membership chair for TFSC.  Her husband Bob was there also but alas he says he is not able to skate anymore due to an injury.  It's very sad :-(.

Today's lesson:
  • FO8s -- duh, of course we worked on these.  Not much to say.  Still working to get over on that edge from the get-go.
  • waltz-8 -- these are still slowly improving but still very uncontrolled on the final FO edge.  Grr.  The step forward itself is getting better though, so that's something.
After my lesson I spent some time working on BO8 and briefly on BI8, which I had not done before.  I don't seem to be pushing quite hard enough on the BI8 to get all the way around and it's hard to get the initial push right so I get a good round circle to start with.

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010


I skated Chandler coffee club for patch practice as usual.  I had not been in my patch skates since the competition!  It was a little rough for the first few minutes.

Once I had warmed up a bit I worked on FO8, FI8, BO8 and waltz-8.  FO8s still kinda stinky.  BO8 about where I left. it.  Waltz-8 seems a little improved, my step forward feels more comfortable but still lacking control and not stepping to an FO edge.

Spins, Toe Loop, Half Loop

Today's lesson on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Gilbert.  As usual pretty nice ice and only 4 or 5 skaters and 3 coaches.  They have moved us over to the "North Pole" side this week, presumably until next summer.

Today's lesson:
  • spins -- just a few minutes on these.  Still working on slowing it down a bit.  JJ wants me to push into it more.  I've been resisting doing that because that tends to be part of me rushing things, but he says I need more push if I'm going to get more revs and make it happen.  Also working to open the skating side more and then bring the free side around.
  • toe loop -- we worked quite a bit on these.  We went back to working the RBO pivot and JJ told me that I need to work on keeping the L shoulder forward a bit more, and then to open the hip as the pivot progresses.  After some work on these we went back to the toe loop and I was able to get one that was only very slightly cheated.  YAY!  It felt very different though!  Alas I only got that one, and a couple others that were somewhat less good, and several that were the same as ever.  It's progress though.
  • half loop  --  JJ wanted to start on a new jump so he introduced me to the half loop.  So far it's just an RBO edge (hold free foot in front) then turn on the skating foot (as JJ pointed out, turn on the ball of the foot, not the back of the blade, so it's not the same as a BO3) 180 degrees and then jump.  If you can do the turn on the RBO edge the actually jumping part of it is pretty simple.  We worked these for a while against the boards but didn't try one out on the ice.  It's kinda scary.
After my lesson I skated the next session (had the ice to myself for 15 minutes and then shared it with one other skater).  Worked a bunch on moves, toe loop (got one more good one!), spins, waltz jump and a salchow or two.

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Monday, August 16, 2010


I skated the 5 p.m. FS at Chandler this evening, since I didn't get up in time to skate before work.  I've skated this session before (a while back) but decided to give it another try.  However it was a) a little crowded (like 12 skaters and 4 or 5 coaches) and b) the ice was pretty bad (last cut was before the 2 p.m. session I think).  So I wasn't happy.

Nevertheless I did get some good work in on spins, and on 5-step mohawk.  I did manage one or two salchows but I was being somewhat wimpy about it :-(.  Oh well!  Lesson in the a.m.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Spins, Waltz Jump & Mohawks

Today's lesson w/JJ on the Gilbert 6:45 a.m. FS.  We are moving our lessons to Tuesdays at 7:45 starting next week, but since I was out of town this week we had it this morning.  There were a few skaters at the 6 a.m. session, but they all left at 6:45 and I had the ice to myself for an hour and a half!  Nice :-).

Today's lesson:
  • Spins -- some work to clean these up a bit.  JJ wanted to figure out exactly what I need to do to improve them so that I will know what's working and what's not.  After some experimentation the two things we've come up with (so far) are 1) looking over the left shoulder on the step forward into the spin, and 2) really sucking in that core (navel to spine) when I start the spin.  That really helped a lot.  The biggest issue now is that I am still tending to have my weight moving forward and back (can't reliably find and stay on the rocker).
  • Waltz jump -- we spent just a little time working on these in the context of the program; working on skating into it with more speed, and to work on the on-ice placement of the jump (i.e. where it is positioned).  We also worked on holding the BO edge cleanly before the jump -- not a two foot back glide but just a nice BO edge.  As I realized, this is just the same BO edge as in the Bronze Move I've been working on (see those tests are good for something!).  So we got that cleaned up a bit.
  • Mohawk sequence -- having done all that we continued to the next thing in the program, and picked up where I left off with Sonya on Wednesday; working on the mohawk sequence in the program and trying to clean them up.  I explained to JJ that (from my work w/Sonya) the reason I'm scooter-pushing before the LFI mohawk is because I'm on an outside edge and I have to push to an inside edge.  So we worked a bit on that transition, from the BO edge of the waltz jump landing to the LFI edge.  For a bit JJ had me try doing a side toe hop after the jump to help me transition (I was lacking in enthusiasm for this :-)) but since it didn't help much and made things more complicated I think our consensus was to not put it in. (yay!)
We ran a bit long this morning!  After my lesson I finished out the rest of the 7:30 session working on my Bronze moves and some other things.  My power-3s really need work, there's not much power there and I never place the 3 at the top of the lobe :-(.  I worked my 5-step mohawk a bit and went back to something I'd not tried for a while -- doing them around the hockey circle.  This is a nice way to work just one side of them without having to work the other side or worry about where you are on the ice.   I mostly worked the LFI side since it's worse.  I also spent a little quality time on my CW FXOs since I never do those and it shows :-(.  All in all a great skate!

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mohawks & Program Cleanup

I had another lesson this morning with Sonya, on the 6 a.m. FS at Sherwood.  The session started slightly late due to an ice cut (woohoo).  The ice was just gorgeous.... Sherwood skaters are so spoiled/lucky!  It's been a long day so I may not remember all the details from today :-(.  I had a good warmup including landing both salchows I attempted, yay!

Today's lesson:
  • toe loop -- just a little bit on this to try to improve it.
  • mohawk sequence -- we reviewed from last night and expanded on it.  Sonya noted that part of my issue is that I'm tending to not do these mohawks from an inside edge but more of a flat.  She had me work to consciously step to an inside edge, hold the edge briefly and then do the mohawk and hold the BI edge briefly.  It makes the whole thing a lot curvier but also takes longer.  We worked on starting the sequence from the waltz jump landing.
  • misc program cleanup -- we ran the program a couple of times with music and parts of it several times.  Sonya noted (again) that I need to especially hold my head up (chin up) in the 2-foot spin and pivot and on the push.  She also noted that I really need to hold some tension in my free leg on each of the 1-foot glides.  I confess I've been so concerned about the free arm and general upper body position I wasn't thinking about the free leg much.  Sonya also suggested starting the program about another 10 feet down ice than I have been to give me more room to skate faster :-).
All in all we really packed a lot into 30 minutes worth of lesson :-).

I had so much fun this morning! All my fave homegirls were there -- Karly, Emmy, Madison and Kayla (and of course Sonya lol!).  It was just a blast to be out there working hard w/my friends.... they are all so amazing!  It was inspiring :-), even at 6 a.m. :-).

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

"No More Scooter Pushes!"

I am still in Oregon, and I had a lesson this evening with Sonya on the 5:10 FS at Sherwood.  The title comes from Kelli's comments to me after watching video of my Cactus skate -- Sonya made much the same observation.

For those that don't know what a scooter push is, it's a little push (I usually do them w/my right foot) to gain speed, and sometimes to help change an edge.  It's not a full-fledged push like you would make while stroking.  Generally speaking it's a bad habit.

Today's lesson:
  • Scooter elimination -- there were a couple of places I'd noticed these scooter pushes creeping in.   The first one we worked on was in between the RFI3 and the toe loop entry toward the end of the program.  So we worked on it, paying special attention to let the end of the 3 curve around a little more and to bring the feet together before stepping forward after the 3.  That helped a lot to make me more stable and avoid the s.p.  The other one was after the waltz jump, going into the mohawk sequence, so it's much the same kind of setup.
  • mohawks -- from there we looked at my LFI mohawk.  Sonya asked me to look back over my R shoulder going into the mohawk, to let it curve around more before stepping to the R foot.  It did help.  It seems a bit counter-intuitive to me since I am used to being told to look where I'm going.  She also asked me to pause a bit on the LFI edge before stepping down and I had less success with that.
That was all we had time for!  We have another lesson on the 6 a.m. FS tomorrow, then I need to fly home.  It's been a fun vacation though!

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Sunday, August 08, 2010

2nd Annual All-Figures Competition

This morning was the 2nd Annual All-Figures Competition at the Lloyd Center Ice Rink in Portland, OR. 

Practice ice was available at 6 a.m. (gulp).  I arrived at about 5:45.  Kelli, my old figures coach was already present.  They had divided the ice into patches and assigned us each a patch (just like the old days apparently!).  I was not used to working that way and it really forced me to keep my circles small -- not necessarily a bad thing!).  Practice was a bit rough.  FI8s were more or less okay though once again I had problems with the free hip on the LFI8.  FO8s... rough, rough, rough.  Kelli was great though!  By the end of the practice (was supposed to be 30 minutes but they let us run a little long) my RFO8 was almost okay but LFO8 was still a bit rough.

After practice ice they did an ice cut.  I had skated at Lloyd Center a few times when I lived in Portland, but I had never seen the ice as pristine as it was this morning.  It was seriously amazing.

Then it was time to compete.  As it happened, the Restricted section FI8s were the first event and I drew first in the starting order... eep!  The competition was set up so that competitors would warm up on either end of the rink, and there were two judging panels that were set up in the middle so that there was a left and right side panel.  Each competitor got approximately 5 minutes 30 seconds to warmup  before they started their figure, so the ice monitor was constantly staging the next competitors out to the warmup area.

My warmup went okay though I was rather nervous.  I also managed somehow to fall doing an LFO8 -- not sure how I did that.  Geez.  So my warmup finished and the referee called me over.  There were 4 judges and a refereee facing me, they indicated where I could do my figure.  Lloyd Center has a billion lines on the ice (thank you, curling club!) so I wasn't too worried, plus the light at that time was really good -- no direct sun (it's Portland after all!  Plus it was early morning).  So I made my mark and started the FI8... the first time around on each side went really well!  But starting the 2nd LFI8 (I think) I got a sort of attack of nerves and started shaking (geez) and I think I might have put my foot down, not sure.  I did manage to finish more or less okay.  The referee thanked me and I skated off.  I was disappointed.  I got 2nd place (of 2).

After that I had about a half hour to hang out and watch some skating, then it was time for my FO8s.  Same deal except I was the 2nd competitor and I saw a little of the first girl (a teenager) and of course she was terrific.  I went out to skate my figure and it was very rough.  The first LFO8 I really cut the circle off but more or less made it back to center and from there I finished okay.  Not very good but I did it.  I got 2nd place again (of 2, again).

So my first figures competition is over!  I'm disappointed in my FI8s but my FO8s went better than I expected (my expectations were low :-)).  After my skate I stayed to the end of the competition to watch the other figures -- there was some pretty awesome stuff including change loops (Fig. 30a/b), paragraph 3(fig. 34/35a,b) and back loops (fig.16-17a).  The control required is awesome to watch.

My friend John, who is a sports photographer (he took pictures of my 9/10/09 lesson with Sonya) came out and took pictures, so perhaps I will get to post a few here.  Skate buddy Mary also came down from Seattle to watch, which was so awesome :-).

I'm really grateful to the organizers, judges, referee, volunteers and Lloyd Center staff.  It was terrific!


Friday, August 06, 2010

Last Gasp

I had arranged a lesson with Kelli, my old figures coach here in Portland, for tonight at the Sherwood club skate.  I got to the rink just in time for the club skate after my skate at Lloyd Center (it's not that far but it was  a Friday rush hour).  I had a couple quick moments to greet some old friends (yay!  I love being "home" at Sherwood!) and get my skates on.

We had a good lesson.  We worked mostly on FO8, and while Kelli addressed mostly the same issues she tends to state things differently than Lynne so the combination is helpful.  Kelli suggested I place my hands more into the circle on the push-off and to find a spot *inside* the circle to spot for to help me make a smaller circle.  We spent most of our time, though, just trying to get a better edge.  I did eventually get a pretty good edge on the RFO8, and once on the LFO8.  It was all we had time for though.  After we were done but before she left I had a chance to show-off my BO8 to Kelli -- what a good feeling that was!  She was impressed and I was really proud.  It almost made up for my FO8s :-)

I had a lot of problems with layout at Sherwood.  I thought this was kind of ironic :-).  At Chandler there are so many imperfections in the paint, etc. -- pressure cracks, lines from the pipes under the ice, etc. -- that it's easy to find a 'memorable' spot in the ice to center on.  At Sherwood, since I was staying away (as usual) from the painted lines etc. -- it was really hard.  Sherwood's ice is SO nice there really are almost no imperfections to choose for a center!  Oh well.  A nice problem to have :-).

No skating tomorrow.  Sunday morning practice ice is at 6 a.m.  Kelli is putting me on the ice for which I am very grateful!

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Practice Ice

I had a quick 30 minutes of practice ice at Lloyd Center today during the evening public.  The first 5 minutes was right before the z-break and then another 25 minutes right after (all I had time for).

Wow, it was majorly bad!  After the z-break there were about 6 of us present and we convinced them to cone off one end of the rink (it was not that busy) and we divided into patches.   That's the first time I've ever skated a 'real' patch session.   Despite being somewhat soft the ice was very fast!  Which was good because I was flatting all over the place but mostly getting around anyway.  It did get better.... I'm sure part of it was the 4 hours of sleep I've been working on today.  Still it was discouraging. 

After my time was up I had to zip up to Sherwood's club skate for a lesson with Kelli.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Back In The Saddle Again

Today was my first freestyle session since Cactus.  It was good to be back at Gilbert for an a.m. freestyle and feel... like a skater.  I did enjoy catching up on sleep and getting some rest though!

Today's lesson:
  • Program debrief -- we briefly talked about Cactus and feedback I received from Sonya and Kelli and others on my program.  Sonya's feedback was that she noticed I tend to push mostly with my right foot.  Kelli's feedback was "no more scooter pushes!"  :-).  JJ asked what I would like to work on and I told him I would like to work on solidifying/fixing my spins and jumps (salchow and toe loop) and learn some small moves.
  • Spread eagle --  the first 'small move' I wanted to work on.  Just *inside* spread eagles for now!  I think we have looked at these before very briefly but we spent about 5 minutes or so working on them on the boards and then a little bit on the ice.  The key seems to be to really bend my knees (as JJ said, "for now").  I think these will take a while to show up and I will need to be a little brave and persist and keep working on them.
  • Mohawks -- I told JJ that I was concerned in watching the video how rough my mohawks are, so we spent some time on it.  JJ had me work to keep my head up and not look down and to allow the turn to happen.  The RFI is much better than the LFI.  Again I'll just need to work these more.
  • Spins -- really the usual.  I did get a couple of pretty good ones.  JJ reminded me to keep my trailing arm high in the windup and not let it droop.
And that's all we had time for!  I didn't stay for a second session today as I needed to get home and pack for my trip.  Tomorrow I'll be in Portland getting ready for the figures competition.

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Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Wednesday Night Zoo

As usual for the summer I skated the evening public at Gilbert.  It was pretty crowded.  I had not worn my FS skates since last Wednesday!  Eeep.  I was mostly social (skate buddies Melissa, Lisa, Caitlin and Megan were there along with a couple others whose names I'm at a loss for :-() but I did do some jumps and spins.  Lisa worked with me a little on my toe loop.  Mostly just a fun time... it's good to remember that skating is fun as well as work :-).

Competition Prep

My last figures lesson with Lynne before the All-Figures competition in Portland Sunday!  As usual on the Chandler coffee club.

Today's lesson:
  • FI8 -- these are what I will start with on Sunday (at 6:45 a.m.!) so we started with these.  A little bit of a rough start but in spite of that they were pretty good, reasonably well traced and good circle size.
  • FO8 -- we spent the bulk of the lesson on these.  They are still too rough :-( which doesn't bode well for Sunday.  On the positive side I usually am getting around (at least when the ice is flat, lol!).  But it's a bit rough and circle size tends to be on the large side, I tend to be a bit diagonal from the push, and tend to cut off the last half of the circle.  Grrr.
So.. that's where it is.  No miracles are likely to happen between now and Sunday so I'll just have to see how it goes.  I'm hoping to skate at the competition venue (Lloyd Center) on Friday afternoon, hopefully while working with my old figures coach Kelli.

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Tuesday, August 03, 2010


I skated the Chandler coffee club for patch practice as usual.  Wow... I had not skated since Friday and the first 15 min were pretty horrible :-(.  My FO8s in particular were quite bad and didn't improve as much as I would have liked.  It's not looking great for the figures competition on Sunday.  Geez.

My BO8s are continuing to improve and waltz-8 is slightly improved, so it wasn't all bad.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Cactus Classic Video

Here's the video of my Cactus Classic Adult Pre-Bronze free skate.  The music is from Apollo 13.