Gordon's Sk8er Boi Blog

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

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Skatin' At TCC

I skated for an hour this morning at TCC with my home club (Tucson FSC!).  I mostly worked on moves, especially FXOs, trying to get more comfortable doing the clockwise FXO at speed.... ugh.  I have like no underpush on this.  Grr.  Also spent a little time working on figures (even though I was wearing my FS blades) to demonstrate some stuff to Jose and Jennifer.  Fun!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Patch Practice

I skated Chandler coffee club for patch practice today.  Nothing exciting.  I spent a bunch of time on BO8 to try to bring them back to where they used to be -- made some progress but still needs more work.  More quality time on waltz-8, and then a little time on 3s to center. 

3s, Circle-8, 5-Step

My lesson with JJ on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Gilbert.  This was a make-up lesson for last week's missed lesson.

Today's lesson:
  • 3s -- we spent a good chunk of time just working on 3 turns (a continuation of yesterday), working on holding the edge and being more controlled.    Made some progress, but I'm skeptical it will stick.
  • Circle-8 -- we'd not worked on this much.  Unfortunately I'm finding that while I can do this in my sleep in my patch blades, in my FS blades I have a hard time making it around.  So we worked on pushing harder and holding a truer edge.  Hmmph.
  • 5-step mohawk -- just a little time on this.  I ran through the pattern.  It feels achingly slow to me, like, I can't imagine if *I* had to watch it how bad it would be.  Yuck.  JJ says I need to practice this more and he's right.
After my lesson I stayed for the next session and worked through most of the remaining Bronze moves except the power-3s, also revisited all my jumps (except half-flip) and did some spins.

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Thursday, October 27, 2011


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

Today's lesson:
  • FXO-BXO time trial -- ran the pattern, my time was approximately 1:12 (approximate because JJ didn't start the timer until I had completed the introductory steps).  This is better than last week and almost as good as my best so far, or better depending on how approximate it was.  Still needs to be a lot faster though.
  • Power-3s -- almost all of our time for today.  Ran through the L side and I did 6 on that side.  Then we worked on the R side, working to get me to holllld the FO edge before the turn.  We made some good progress on this although the resultant lobe was pretty wimpy.  I had a kind of a nasty backwards fall in the middle of this -- going into the RFO3 and my free foot went in front and I fell backwards.  Grrr.  I managed to roll a bit so I didn't land flat on my back, but I did manage to whack my R wrist a bit.    In general we made some progress on these though.  JJ also reminded me that on the back lobe I need to turn into the circle on the BXO so that it's nice.
  • Spins -- just a couple of these at the end.   They are about the same as they were.
I have another lesson tomorrow as a make-up from last week's missed lesson.  After I came off the ice I took some ibuprofen, and iced my wrist when I got home.  It seems like it's fine albeit sore.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

FO8, BO8, Waltz-8, 3s To Center

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler coffee club.

Today's lesson:
  • FO8 -- these were pretty good!  My tracing was better than it has been.  The biggest challenge now seems to be consistency; being mindful and collected enough to start each edge well.
  • BO8 -- I was a little disappointed in these.  The R side was not bad but the L side was quite disappointing.  Grrr.  It's all about the setup (see above).  If I can be more careful to start each edge well I have a pretty good chance of being okay.  I didn't practice these last week and it showed :-(.
  • Waltz-8 -- these continue to improve.  I still need to improve the step forward -- it's usually to a nice FO (yay!) but I'm still not turning enough so my circles are distorted.  I'm doing a much better job of holding the BO edge around though.
  • 3s to center -- these are improving as well.  Lynne's main correction to help the check after the turn is to be sure to keep looking where I'm going (duh!) and of course work on keeping the free shoulder back.  I'm really pleased with my progress on these.
After my lesson I worked a bunch on BI8 (eep!) and serpentines.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Patch Progress

I got in 45 minutes worth of patch practice at Chandler coffee club today.  Quality time on waltz-8 (I marked my 3-turn and step forward) and 3s to center.  Waltz-8 is definitely improving but I'm building up a lot of speed so it is harder to control  Geez.  3s are coming along, I am finally getting some flow out of the turn, even (occasionally) on the L foot.

Friday, October 21, 2011

FO8, BO8, Waltz-8, 3s

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler coffee club.  Nice ice and only like 4 skaters!  Due to a late ice cut and my schedule I only got a 5 minute warmup and then a 30 minute lesson and then I had to leave.

Today's lesson:
  • FO8 -- These were actually pretty good, esp. for no warmup! I was really pleased.  I traced the L side quite well, R side the first circle was kinda big and I traced the other two inside 9 - 12 inches (but they were both very close to each other).
  • BO8 -- these were a little rough, esp. the L side.  Especially when I am not warmed up, I really need to be sure to be really careful to prepare/setup the new edge well and to HOLD THE FREE FOOT IN FRONT (how many times have I said that?!).
  • Waltz-8 -- the improvements I've made are sticking, so that I'm reasonably happy with the first 2/3 of this pattern (for now! -- of course there are improvements to be made). We spent some time working specifically on the step forward to bring it around more so my circles aren't egg-shaped.  The big challenge seems to be to turn the skating foot at the end of the BO edge; need to have my weight in the middle of the blade for that to really work, not toward the front as is happening now.
  • 3s to center -- just a couple minutes on these.  Left side not as good as it has been.  Grrr.
Next week we will back to our usual Wed. time slot.

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Thursday, October 20, 2011


I skated the 7:30 a.m. FS at Gilbert.  I was supposed to have a lesson, but there was a mixup and I didn't get a lesson :-(, we will make it up on Monday.

I worked through moves, esp. BXOs, power-3s and 5-step Mohawk.  I only got 45 minutes in but it was reasonably productive.   I was really tired from my trip.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Nostalgia Skate

I am in Oregon for work (came up last night) and so I escaped to Sherwood to skate the 6 a.m. freestyle.  The ice was SOOOOO NICE!  It was just gorgeous.  I wouldn't say I'd forgotten how nice Sherwood's ice is, but I would say that it was really wonderful to experience again.

The other really nice thing was the chance to skate with old friends again... I knew everyone on the session!  Besides myself we had Madison, Megan, Mickey, and later on Christina also joined, as well as Coach Leone.  It made me very nostalgic :-).

I had a good skate, and spent most of my time on Bronze moves.  FXO-BXO perimeter stroking, BXOs to BO edges (fixed my pattern and reminded myself to do slow, deliberate BXOs), power-3s (worked on holding the FO edge), 5-step mohawk (improve my L side, esp. the BO edge) and even F8 pattern (finally pushing hard enough!).  All in all very productive.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Patch Perseverance

I skated the Chandler coffee club today and got an hour's worth of patch practice in.  That included about 20 - 25 minutes of waltz-8: Pam was kind enough to *give* me a marker, so I went ahead and marked in the 3s and the step forward and worked on it quite extensively.  It's getting better... the biggest remaining problem is that I'm still stepping "out" too much on the step forward, so my circles are rather egg-shaped.  Grr.

I also spent some quality time on 3s to center and serpentines, BO8 and of course I warmed up with edges and BO8/BI8.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Workin' The Moves

Today's lesson with JJ on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Gilbert, as usual.  Nice, ice, only 4 or 5 skaters.  Michelle was working on her Christmas program -- Josh Groban's "Believe"... one of my favorites!

Today's lesson:
  • FXO-BXO Perimeter Stroking -- another time trial.  This one was 1:15.  That's better than the previous 1:22 but not as good as the best so far, 1:12 (or 1:10?  I gotta check!).  Bleah.
  • BXOs to BO edges -- most of the lesson on these.  The thing I wasn't getting was that the BXO needs to be nice and deliberate and drawn out... not rushed.  We also reviewed the pattern.  I am sooooo slow at these!  It makes me want to scream.  Fortunately it also makes me want to fix them.  It's just kind of daunting.  I have a hard time watching while doing these and I get nervous I'll clobber somebody.
I couldn't stay and skate the 2nd session as I had an early work meeting.  Grrr.

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

B8s, Waltz-8

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

Today's lesson:
  • BO8 -- These are not as good as they have been in the past :-(.  I'm trying to stay more upright and keep the free foot closer after the rotation and it's a bit of an adjustment.  The L side in particular I had issues with keeping the circle size consistent and coming back to center.
  • BI8 -- These are slowly improving.  We worked especially on getting a better strike onto an actual BI edge vs. a BO that I flip over to a BI :-) and also not to widestep on the initial push.  Some progress but these need much, much more work.
  • Waltz-8 -- I went and borrowed Pam's marker again :-) and was able to reproduce my improvements from last week, so YAY!  Soo much better when I make myself hold the BO edge around, and also (again) keeping the free foot close on the BO edge. Much improvement!

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Friday, October 07, 2011


I managed to get to Chandler coffee club for some freestyle practice -- only 30 minutes but it's better than nothing!

I did some good spins!  Besides that I worked on my CCW BXOs, CW FXOs, a little bit of power-3 and the Bronze move circle-8.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Patch Practice

I managed to skate Chandler coffee club for patch practice.  It was really quiet (just 4 of us). 

I spent about 25 minutes just working on waltz-8 -- borrowed Pam's marker and marked where the step forward should be, as well as the 3s so I would be sure to space them appropriately.  This really helped.  The other change I made that really helped was to try to be more upright and skate the BO edge with the free foot close.  These two changes made for a marked improvement!  I'm still tending to make the circles a bit egg-shaped but much less than before -- holding out to the line helps because the subsequent FO edge is shorter, and keeping the free foot close helped me step to a much better FO.  I'm really stoked.

I also spent some quality time on 3s to center and serpentines.  Not much to report on those.


My lesson with JJ on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Gilbert as usual.  Between traveling and physical therapy I am just not getting any freestyle time in right now!  Grr.

Today's lesson was focused on back crossovers.  We started by running the perimeter stroking/FXO/BXO Bronze move pattern; my time was 1:22 (12 second SLOWER than last time).  Grrr.  Then we spent our time working on BXOs.  JJ had me do another exercise where I did a backward 2-foot glide in BXO position (outside foot further from my body than inside), do a push with the outside foot, a chasse' with the outside foot, then one with the inside foot.  The point was to hold the position and bring the feet back to the original position after each chasse'.  I kept wanting to have the inside foot further out after the chasse' and not bring it in closer to my body.  JJ says I need to get used to that position so I don't have to think about it.  Then he made me keep my head up :-).  Eeep.  Anyway... wow, back to basics but it's what I need now I guess.  Grr.

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Wednesday, October 05, 2011

FO8, BO8, Waltz-8, Serpentines

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler coffee club as usual.  We started my lesson a little early so the only warmup I had was all 4 edges.

Today's lesson:
  • FO8 -- a fresh layout of these.  They were decent!  Passable, at least for Preliminary.  Tracing was pretty good (there's room for improvement of course).  
  • BO8 --  not bad, but comparing them with FO8 -- there's a lot of improvement needed before these will be passable (fortunately they are on the 1st figure test, not the preliminary test, so no hurry).  I'm really inconsistent on the circle size on the L foot, I'm not tracing that well (either foot) and push on the L foot is a bit weak and not consistent.  And here I used to be happy just to make it around! lol.
  • waltz-8 -- gaaah.  Okay these were a little better, actually.  I am holding the BO edge around longer, the turns are a bit better and better placed; and I'm getting a better FO edge on the step forward.  Still stepping out too much on the step forward and I lack consistency.  I haven't even worried about tracing on these yet.
  • serpentines -- we started working on these the way they really look -- so I am allowing myself a helper push on the FI edge after the change of edge so that I can get back to center and try the other side in context.  A lot of improvement required but these are kinda fun, really.
After my lesson I stayed and worked on 3s to center a little bit.  My LFO3 is really improving!  Awesome.

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2012 PNW Regionals

I took a short vacation to Spokane to attend the Pacific Northwest Regionals, hosted by the Lilac City FSC.  I had about a dozen friends/buddies competing and a number of other friends in attendance. 

I had a great time!  Highlights were probably 1) seeing my buddy Shayna take 2nd in Senior Ladies (go Shay!!) 2) spending time with former coaches Sonya and Kelli, 3) seeing Regina K.  take 4th in the Intermediate Ladies QR and getting to see her SP and FS, 4) seeing Madison show great courage in finishing her Pre-Juv program after a really hard fall that clearly left her dizzy and in pain.  Add to that getting to see all 3 Rowe girls, Gina S, Anna, and both Lees skate, some great sightseeing, great weather and relaxation, and it was an awesome "skating vacation".  YAY!