Gordon's Sk8er Boi Blog

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

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

B8s, Waltz-8, Serpentine

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler coffee club as usual.  It was pretty quiet today!  Most of the time there were only 3 skaters present.  How odd.

Today's lesson:
  • BO8s -- RBO side is really good!  LBO is improving.. I got on a really good LBO and scared myself (I bailed!) because it was a really deep BO edge and I thought I was going to fall (though I wasn't falling).  Ha!
  • Waltz-8  -- turns were better today.  My L side step-forward is still not coming around enough -- Lynne mentioned that I am tending to wide-step that side, which I don't on the R side.  Worked on fixing that, with some progress.
  • BI8s -- these are getting better too.  Circle size is almost right!  Biggest limitation is that I am not getting a good enough push to comfortably hold around the whole circle.  I realized that on the subsequent pushes I am trying too hard -- instead of "trying to push hard & fast" I just need to push firmly, and no need to make it all that quick.  This helped a bit but it's going to take more practice.
  • Serpentines -- just a few minutes on these.  The position and transition is getting better.  I'm mostly limited now by my poor FO edges.  Grrr.
All in all a good lesson.  We agreed next week we should trying looking at 3s to center.  Eeep!

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Patch Practice

I skated the Chandler coffee club as usual for patch practice.  No breakthroughs but BO8 is slightly better.  Waltz-8 turns were better but steps-forward...yuck.  I worked on them a bit but... yuck.  Not stepping onto a good outside edge.  FO8s were just so-so.

Power-3s Etc.

My lesson with JJ on the 7:30 a.m. freestyle at Gilbert as usual.

Today's lesson:
  • Power-3s -- we continued working on these.  JJ says the turn itself is pretty good, it's the placement that needs work.  We spent some time on it but not convinced it got any better.  Back lobe needs work but okay for now.
  • Spins -- just a few minutes on these.  The first one I did was 2 revs nicely centered, even though I did many things "wrong".  The subsequent ones weren't as well centered but averaged 3 revs in a variety of different qualities.
  • Waltz jump -- just a couple at the end.  Good spring, reasonable height and good landing.  Arms are improving.

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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Unexpected Practice

I thought I was having a lesson with JJ this morning, but we had a miscommunication -- he is out of town :-(.  So I skated the 7:30 a.m. FS and just worked on miscellaneous stuff.  I was really tired and not very motivated anyway... I'd rather have slept!  Oh well.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

FO8, BO8, Waltz-8, Serpentine

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler coffee club as usual.  I have a scheduling issue this week and next week so we started a bit earlier and I was out of there after 45 minutes.

Today's lesson:
  • FO8 -- I was working on these when Lynne came on the ice so of course we started with these.  RFO is not bad but LFO takes too long for me to get set up and stable.  Reminders to keep head up, palms down, and bring the free foot in promptly.
  • BO8 -- these are coming along quite nicely.  Still some issues with needing to keep a solid core so I don't break at the waist, and to just sit on that edge and let it come around.
  • Waltz-8 -- slow improvement.  When the FO3 is bad it seems it's usually because I didn't take time to set the new edge up appropriately; and that seems to happen when I am distracted coming back to center by fighting to keep a good edge.  It's all related :-).
  • Serpentine -- just eh.  It's all dependent on the quality of my FO edge, so if I have a good one, the change of edge is easy and I have good flow.  If not, not..  Grrr.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Patch Perseverance

I skated Chandler coffee club for patch practice as usual.  Before I got to the rink, I stopped off at Dave's shop to get my freestyle blades permanently mounted.  For some reason I just had not gotten around to doing this and it was overdue!

I had a pretty good skate.  Worked a bunch on BO8s and BI8s, and some quality time on FO3s for waltz-8.  A few serpentines at the end -- LFOI is soooo much better than RFOI.  Grrr.

Monday, April 18, 2011

More Stolen Time

I couldn't go to Pilates today due to a 1 p.m. work meeting, so instead I managed to get 45 minutes of skating in.  I took my freestyle skates as I still need to get more time in on them. 

I spent my time mostly working on 5-step mohawk and BXOs to BO edges, especially just working on mohawks.   I am getting a little better about holding the entrance and exit edges. 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Borrowed Time

I skated the Chandler coffee club as usual today, but instead of patch practice I skated in my freestyle boots.  I've had so little time in them this week I figured I really needed the time.

I had an okay skate.  I mostly worked on 5-step mohawk and BXOs to BO edges as I worked on in my lesson yesterday. Yuck.  I am confronting my mohawks and they really stink.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


My freestyle lesson with JJ on the 7:30 a.m. session at Gilbert.  I had not skated freestyle since my last lesson (!) and of course my boots won't break themselves in.  Geez.

Today's lesson:
  • 5-step Mohawk -- wow, these are bad.  We worked through the pattern a couple of times.  I need bigger lobes and to hold each step longer.  Not surprisingly my weakness on this pattern are the same that appear in my skating in general (which points out that the tests are valuable, if you think about it) -- specifically that my mohawks are too hoppy, and my BO edge/step forward are scrapy and not very smooth.  I am going to have to spend a lot of quality time on these.
  • BXOs to BO edge -- these are not so great either.  I need bigger lobes, and I need to feel a lot more comfortable sitting on that BO edge at some speed.   More practice required.
  • spins-- just a few at the end.  I did one that was pretty nice (4 revs!) but the rest just so-so.
The main frustration is that I'm not getting any freestyle skating time in right now due to work and other stuff so my boots are not getting broken in.  Geez.  I'm hoping next week will be better.

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

B8s, Waltz-8

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler coffee club as usual.

Today's lesson:
  • BO8s -- I was working on these when Lynne came in so of course she wanted to see them. The RBO is really looking good these days!  LBO not as strong.. I need to really concentrate on a good push, strong position in the first half, and not over-rotate for the second half.
  • Waltz-8 -- the bulk of our time.   We took a break in the middle to work just on the FO3s, then back to it again.  The 3s are improving -- the corrections I had today where to keep the head up, feel the twist of the upper body against the free hip (hip stays back), keep the free foot close, and push the palms down.  I actually managed a couple where I did all that and they weren't too bad.  It's sloooowly getting better but the step forward is still out too far on the L side, and on the R side I step okay but I really need to work to get a good RFO.
  • BI8 -- just a couple of minutes on these. The RBI is looking better, I am getting a decent size circle finally.  Really need to work on the subsequent push, to not let my weight be in-between my feet; need to have a more decisive/prompt change of weight as I push.
I do get kind of frustrated with this stuff sometimes.  At the same time I do know that I am making progress.  Ah well, Rome wasn't built in a day!

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Patch Perseverance

I skated the Chandler coffee club as usual for patch practice... geez, I am not getting *any* freestyle time lately :-( but I am getting patch time!

Had a pretty good skate, though I only got to stay for 45 minutes.  BO8s were pretty good, FO8s were better than last week.   BI8s, waltz-8 and serpentines about the same.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Patch Perseverance

I skated the Chandler coffee club for patch practice as usual.  FO8s... ugh.  Not cooperating.  BO8s were pretty good.  BI8s, waltz-8, serpentine all about the same. 

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

B8s, Waltz-8, Serpentine

I had my figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler coffee club as usual.

Today's lesson:
  • BI8s -- I was working on these when Lynne came in so we worked on them some more.  They are slowly getting better.  On the 2nd half of the circle I need to be sure to really open the chest and stay over the circle.  Pushes are getting better but could use a bit more bend-n'-push as we discussed last week.
  • BO8s -- not as nice as last week.  I do need to work to keep the flow, don't helicopter the arms in the rotation, and really sit back on the edge on the 2nd half especially.
  • Waltz-8 -- I was able to retain some of my improvements in my 3s from last week.  Lynne suggested I really think about counting out the elements and that does help a bit to get a better rhythm on the BO edge, as well as making sure I hold the BI edge out.  Still need to check the step forward better, and bend into the edge more.  I'm not checking the step forward so I am tending to swing around and not be able to hold a good edge.  Grrr.
  • Serpentine -- the change of edge is improving a lot.  Now if my FO edges were consistently good these would be much, much easier.  Grrr.

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Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Patch Perseverance

I skated the Chandler coffee club for patch practice as usual.  Had a pretty good skate!  Spent some quality time on FO8s as usual, also FO3s (improving), waltz-8, and serpentine.  I was pretty happy with my practice today.

After my skate I took my patch skates in to Dave Kimmel to get the blades permanently mounted since I'm satisfied that the alignment is good.  And of course I picked up some cotton-poly laces for my freestyle boots!  I'll put those on tonight.

FO8/FI8 Move Pattern

I had my freestyle lesson w/JJ on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Gilbert, moved from Thursday due to work travel.

Today's lesson was a bit odd.  I continued having boot/lace issues today (I had not skated since my lesson last Thursday due to travel so not that surprising I suppose).  I had just done a waltz jump and was just skating when my laces came off the hooks on the R boot.  Scary!  I just sat down on the ice and retied them and started to skate off to the hockey box, when they came off again.  So I managed to pull myself off and retied them more thoroughly.  Just then JJ got there for my lesson and he tied them up for me very securely.  Darn cotton laces!

For my lesson we decided to work on "safe" stuff until I can replace my laces, so we worked on the FO8/FI8 pattern from Bronze moves.  It's weird to me that I have issues getting around on these when I can do them so easily in my patch blades!  JJ told me my problem is that my weight is too far forward and that I really need to get it further back on the blade.  I was able to do this and it really did flow much better, though it felt pretty weird.  I still am not quite making it all the way around though.  Grr, how stupid!

Anyway, not the most productive lesson and it's all my fault.  Oh well.

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Friday, April 01, 2011

Patch Perseverance

I am on vacation today (half day) but I still had a chance to get about 45 minutes of patch practice in.  I spent the bulk of my time on serpentines, FO3s and waltz-8, and also a little time on BO8.  A good practice.  I really have to remember to keep my head up on the 3s, it makes a huuuuge difference.  BO8 not quite as good as Wednesday but still pretty good.