Gordon's Sk8er Boi Blog

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

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

More Choreo

My lesson with JJ on the 7:30 am. FS at Gilbert.

For this lesson we worked on the choreography for the 2nd half of the program.  JJ liked my suggestions re: toe loop and waltz-sal sequence.  We dropped the side toe hop (yay!).  JJ really wants me to do 2 half-flips back to back but I'm resisting, lol.  We worked a bunch on the footwork around the circle. 

I'm liking this program and I'm not intimidated... maybe I should be!  I just feel that I have a lot to work on to get some of these moves smoother.  The waltz jump from landing position is really getting me right now.  Eeep.

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Monday, May 30, 2011

Patch Practice

Since I had the day off and there was no ice at Chandler (hockey), I stayed out in Gilbert after my lesson, with a quick trip to grab a bite to eat.  I came back and got on the coffee club session (fresh ice, whee!) and it was good, just 3 figure skaters (me and skate buddy Melissa and another skater, Kerry) and a couple of hockey skaters.  I worked a bunch on BO8 and BI8, just a little on waltz-8, and a little time on serpentines and 3s to center.  The serpentines have improved!  Esp. the R side, I am not having to fight so hard to keep my L shoulder back.

Return Of The Half Flip

My freestyle lesson with JJ on the 9 a.m. FS at Gilbert.  There were about 8 skaters on this session.

Today's lesson was just a chance to refine the choreography for the first half of the program, and work on the second half.  Skate buddy Melissa had mentioned to me that she had a half flip in her program and it occurred to me that that would be more interesting footwork than what I currently have in the first half of the program, so I mentioned it to JJ ("I'm going to regret suggesting this!") and we agreed it was a good change.  So in place of the two cross steps I'll do the half flip with the RFI mohawk.  Not sure whee the side toe hop fits in here, I will have to ask JJ.

We then worked on the 2nd half of the program.  From what I'm calling the "punch-punch-punch-booge!" it goes:
  • BXO
  • Back inside mohawk
  • "something" #1
  • at the middle circle...CCW FXO
  • RFI mohawk
  • L slide step
  • R slide step
  • 2 BXOs
  • BO edge/landing position glide
  • "more something"
I'm suspecting "something" #1 should probably be a toe loop, and the "more something" will probably wind up as waltz-sal sequence, step forward, spin, some closing pose.

After my lesson I skated for another 45 minutes and worked on some of these things, in particular the half flip, and trying to do a waltz jump straight out of the landing position. Some progress.

After my lesson I got to say hi to skate buddies Megan and Caitlin who were hanging out at the public skate today.  I hadn't seen Caitlin in forever.

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Saturday, May 28, 2011

New Skating Director

Woohoo!  My coach JJ is now the skating director at Polar Ice Gilbert!  Everyone I've talked to seems to be pretty jazzed about his selection.  Uyen is stepping down at skating director (she was their first and got the program started), but she will continue to coach.

Congrats JJ!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Patch Practice

I skated for 45 min. at Chandler coffee club, in my newly-sharpened patch blades.  Nice!  Edges felt good, confident, firm.  Yum!  Worked on a bunch of stuff.  Still trying to improve my waltz-8, not much progress there.  Worked on serpentines and they are much improved!  Some 3s to center, the LFO3 is scaring me.  RFO3 not too bad.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

BO8, Waltz-8, 3s To Center

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler coffee club as usual.  Nice ice today, and just 4 or 5 of us.

Today's lesson:
  • BO8 -- LBO still working to control the last half.  I'm getting better lean into the circle (for some reason this is really scary) on the first half but when I bring the leg back I am tending to lean out of the circle a little.  I need to watch the rotation carefully.  On the bright side my flow has really improved and the circles are a good size.
  • Waltz-8 -- ugh.  RFO3s are a bit wonky, LFO3s are better although I sometimes am breaking at the waist in the turn. Occasionally putting my foot down before the step forward to the RFO, I really need to stop doing this as it's a really bad habit to get into.  The step forward to LFO is just not getting turned enough -- Lynne says I need to hold the RBO around a bit more and then get the foot turned more before stepping to the LFO.  Hmm.
  • 3s to center  -- not as good as last week.  I just need to practice these every time so that I start getting more comfortable with them, hopefully that will help me to flow through the turn.  I'm a lonnnnng way from being able to hold that BI edge a complete half-circle after the turn though!
This afternoon (after my lesson and a meeting at work) I ran over and got my patch blades sharpened as I was rather overdue.  I also picked up some skate tape as I've been meaning to tape my new FS boots before I start doing lunges in them and tearing them up.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Patch Practice

I managed to get 45 minutes of patch practice in at Chandler coffee club today.  Worked all my F8s and B8s.  BI8s are frustrating me, on the LBI I am not getting a good enough push and I can't make it around.  FO8s were a bit better though.  Also worked waltz-8 and some 3s to center.... had some issues getting myself to attempt the LFO3 but I finally just made myself do it.  Waltz-8 is a little better but I'm putting my foot down before stepping forward to the RFO. Grr.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


I skated the 11 a.m. FS at Chandler this morning... nice to get some actual FS time in, it's been a while since I skated a FS there.  Had an okay skate.  I was kind of tired and out of sorts, although surprisingly not sore after yesterday's fall (yay!).  I did do some good waltz jumps and a couple of pretty good spins; these actually seem to have improved somehow even though I'm still kind of rushing them.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Arcadia Field Trip

As usual, I trekked out to Arcadia for the noon public today.  Skate buddies Roland and Anna and D were there, and then as a special treat my buddy Lisa came (visiting from Tucson).  I had a pretty good skate and worked on a bunch of stuff, had some good spins and good waltz jumps... toe loop and salchow, eh. 

The only annoying thing is that toward the end of the session (I skated almost 2 hrs!) I was practicing my BO edges and as I stepped to the LBO I somehow rocked back a little, and the back of my blade dug into the ice and I went over backward.  UGH!  I *hate* those backward falls!  I wasn't hurt (thank God and St. Lydwina, I tucked my head) but I'm going to be a bit sore tomorrow, I expect.  More ibuprofen!  Oh well.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Toe Loop & Program Choreo

My lesson with JJ on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Gilbert.  This lesson, like last week, was 45 minutes and we used up all our time.

Today's lesson:
  • Toe loop -- we spent just a couple of minutes working on this on the wall.  I am tending to not land solidly on my toepick so we worked on that briefly.
  • Program choreo -- we spent the rest of the time working through the first half of the program and added some more stuff:
    • Opening pose -- head down, arms up to the sides, palms out
    • Music begins, arms down, clench fists, head up, spin or pivot.
    • Push out on L foot, kick
    • Step to R foot, kick
    • Step to L foot, LFO3, BXO
    • 2-foot back glide, weight L, arms up then down
    • Same w/weight R.
    • 3 or 4 BXOs
    • step forward 
    • RFI mohawk
    • step over (cross step) R over L
    • step over (cross step) L over R
    • side toe hop
    • L lunge
    • spin (end looking down the rink)
    • punch-punch-punch-gesture
I had not done a side toe hop in a lonnnnng time!  It was a little wonky at first.  All in all there's nothing horribly hard in this program yet, which means all the jumps and probably another spin are in the second half.  Eeep!  I am going to have to learn to really push through this program and be NINJA.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wednesday Night Zoo

I skated at Gilbert public tonight -- hadn't been at this session in quite a long time.  Just a couple of people I knew there. 

I had a yucky fall about 5 min after I got there, I fell out of a spin and fell sideways onto my L forearm.  It's okay but I think it will be a bit sore tomorrow.  After I made myself do another spin I took some ibuprofen.  I was kind of tired and out of sorts after that so I only stayed 45 minutes and then went home.  Bleah.

BI8, Waltz-8,3s To Center, Serpentine

I didn't think I would get to skate at lunch this week at all due to a heavy meeting load at work, but when my 11 a.m. meeting was done at 11:25, I texted Lynne and zipped out the door to get to the Chandler coffee club for 45 minutes worth of skating.

Today's lesson:
  • BI8 -- these are slowly improving.  My circle size is pretty good now for the most part.  Observations for today are to really work on the subsequent pushes (getting the skating foot turned and push onto the new edge); holllld that free foot in front longer, and don't cut the push short, go ahead and bring the free foot in naturally (don't pick it up until it's next to the skating foot).
  • Waltz-8 -- despite my whining these are improving.  My 3s were actually not too bad, at least when I remember to look up and keep my hands down.  BO edge better and the step forward is coming around more (usually).  Still needs a fair amount of improvement before it's testable though.
  • 3s to center -- these are actually improving!  I was so excited.  Several times on the R foot I actually held through the turn and flowed out a little on the other side without putting my foot down (until I ran out of speed).  The L side is not as good (weird, eh?) but it's improving a little also. 
  • Serpentine -- these are slowly getting better.  The biggest limiting factor (as it is for so much in my figures work) is the quality of the FO edge.   The other challenge for these seems to be to not go flat when I bring the foot forward for the change of edge -- it's that cross-body position that is kind of tricky.
All in all, really a pretty awesome lesson (and especially since I'd not skated patch since my lesson last Friday!).

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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Arcadia Field Trip

I trekked out to Arcadia to skate the noon public.  Unfortunately none of my skate buddies were there today :-(.  I had a pretty good skate, actually.  Did some waltz-sal sequences and they were not bad.  Spins... a couple of pretty decent ones.  I'm noticing I am more aware now of where my weight is on the rocker and I actually have a little control, I was able to make some small adjustments.  Interesting.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Waltz-8, 3s To Center

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler coffee club.  I had to postpone this from Wednesday as I was out sick that day.

Today's lesson:
  • FO8 -- just a little time on these, working on getting to a better LFO from the beginning of the push, especially on the restart.  The RFO is so much better!
  • Waltz-8 --  still pluggin' away.  I really need to remember to keep my hands down going into the 3, it helps a lot.  Pretty much the same as last week though.
  • 3s to center -- just a couple of minutes on these; about the same as last week.  I'm not bringing my shoulder around enough; and Lynne reminded me to feel the twist between the upper and lower body going into the turn.  This will be a long project :-).

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My lesson with JJ on the 7:30 a.m. freestyle at Gilbert.  We had agreed to have a 45 minute lesson, starting at 7:45.

Today's lesson:
  • Power-3s -- we started with these because I needed a bit more warmup.  The L side is...not good, and the R side is pretty bad.  I felt totally out of control.  Yuck.
  • Choreography -- we started working on the new program today.  Eeep.  It's a good thing we had extra time.  We only got maybe 1/4 done, although we did get in agreement on what we are trying to do so it should go faster.  Basically we are going for a warrior/ninja kind of theme.  Program elements will be about the same, although we agreed we should put a jump sequence (probably waltz-salchow) in that wasn't in the previous program.  The first part looks like:
    • Opening pose -- head down, arms up to the sides, palms out
    • Music begins, arms down, clench fists, head up, spin or pivot.
    • Push out on L foot, kick
    • Step to R foot, kick
    • Step to L foot, LFO3, BXO
    • 2-foot back glide, weight L, arms up then down
    • Same w/weight R.
That's all we had time for!  Much to do... This program is going to be very demanding in terms of energy and focus, it's all about the character.  I'm looking forward to it.

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Adult Moves Changes

A couple of people had mentioned this to me but I hadn't seen it.  Finally found it in the US Figure Skating Governing Council minutes.

303. The Adult Skating Committee made changes to the Adult Pre-Bronze, Adult Silver and Adult Gold Moves in the Field Tests, effective September 2, 2011.

Adult Pre-Bronze: replaced forward three turns with forward right and left foot spirals (moved from adult silver)
Adult Silver: replaced forward right and left foot spirals with consecutive outside and inside spirals (from preliminary)
Adult Gold: replaced inside slide chasse pattern with backward circle eight (from pre-juvenile)

Having struggled through the 3-turn pattern I have to say I don't think it's a good idea to take it off the APBM test.  This means that there are no 3s at all on APBM test, and adults won't be tested on 3s until Bronze.

On the other hand it seems to make a lot of sense to move the spirals from Silver to Pre-Bronze -- I always thought that was kind of strange to have a PPM move on SM.  As for Adult Gold -- whee, a move I can actually do!

Patch Practice

I managed to get 45 minutes of patch practice in at coffee club today.  I had a pretty good practice.  BO8 continues to improve, worked on BI8s a bit, serpentines, waltz-8, and a couple of tries at 3s to center.  My step foward from LBO in the waltz-8 is probably my biggest sticking point right now.  Grrr.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Field Trip

I made the trek out to Arcadia to skate the noon public.  Only skated an hour, and had some good social time with skate buddies Tracy, Anna, Roland, Andrea and Emily.  Did a couple of good spins, some good waltz jumps.  Sal and toe loop were pretty sucky.  Oh well.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

3s To Center!

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

Today's lesson:
  • BO8s -- Still a little inconsistent on the LBO.  RBO is pretty good; although I just realized I don't really know how well I'm tracing my repetitions.  Need to work on that.
  • Waltz-8 -- I'm doing a better job on the BO edge and the step forward.  The LFO to center is still week but improving a little.  The R side is better in general; I'm probably not practicing the L side as much, need to fix that.  3s were a bit better also.
  • 3s to center -- finally something new!  I was a bit nervous about these, but as I told Lynne -- if I can get these down, my power-3s for the Bronze moves should be a lot easier.  Anyway, the main goal for today was to be able to hold the FO edge for the full half-circle and attempt to turn.  And I did!  Okay, I put my foot down immediately after the turn, but I'm still very pleased.  I was afraid I wouldn't manage to make myself attempt the turn at all, so I count this as real progress.  It helped that my FO edge was actually better than it was in warmup!

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Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Patch Practice

I skated the Chandler coffee club as usual for patch practice.  Unfortunately my work schedule has changed so that I can only skate for 45 minutes on Tuesdays AND Wednesdays (and not the full hour I was getting before) for the next couple of months.  Grrrr.  I hate it when work gets in the way of my skating! lol.

I had a pretty good skate.  Worked on all my usual stuff.  BI8... RBI is actually improving!  LBI still week.  BO8 continues to slowly improve.  FO8s... I swear I could spend all my time working on them, I don't know what my deal is with these.  Gaah.  A little progress on the waltz-8, the L side step forward is improving (but the LFO edge after still is bad).

Moves, Etc.

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

Today's lesson:
  • Power-3s -- we worked on FO3s on the crease first to establish some control, then worked on the pattern.  Ugh.  I really just need to make myself do this pattern a couple of times every time I skate, or it will never improve.  It was a little better, though.
  • BXO perimeter stroking -- these are pretty ucky right now, mostly because I can't bend my ankle very well in these boots yet so they are really scratchy.
  • BXOs to landing position -- these actually aren't that bad.  I'm getting more comfortable with holding the BO edge.   Just needs (much) more practice!
  • Spins -- I hadn't done any in my warmup, but JJ asked for them... and I reeled of a really nice, perfectly centered 3 rev spin!  Wow!  I don't know how I did that.  Of course he asked for another spin and while it wasn't as good (only 2 revs) it was pretty well centered also.  Woo!
  • Waltz jump -- finished up with these, just did a couple.  I finally seem to be getting the arms fixed, I'm holding the FO edge before the jump, and I'm getting good spring and a good landing position.  All in all these are pretty good right now!
Work has been pretty crazy and I've not had much time to skate (freestyle), but that should get better next week.  I asked JJ if we could do two 45-minute lessons the next two Thursdays to do choreography, so that we'll have some time to get some repetition on the program when I'm first learning it.  I'm hoping that will help.

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