Gordon's Sk8er Boi Blog

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

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

(Almost) Everything

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler coffee club.  Lynne caught me as I had just finished FI and FO edges, so we continued from there (Preliminary test scenario).

Today's lesson:
  • BO edges -- these were pretty nice!
  • BI edges -- not quite as nice -- first lobe is a bit small, but not bad.
  • FO8 -- these went pretty well.  Good flow, and I was working harder to trace more exactly with good results.  Of course there's always room for improvement :-)
  • FI8 -- oddly enough, not quite as nice as the FO8.  Pretty good though.
  • Waltz-8 -- ugh.  Better than last week (I didn't fall, though I did come close once on the R side first time step forward).  These are getting a little better.  After I ran them through in the test scenario we ran them some more, working to keep the free leg close on the BO edge and improve the step forward.  Maybe slightly better.
  • BO8 -- still not happy with the RBO... and the LBO last half is a little shallow.  We worked on it and I did get some improvement on both sides though.
  • serpentines -- about the same.  We worked both the FOI and FIO.  I'm generally doing okay through the transition (except for the RFIO?) but still only getting 2 half circles, so I'm half a circle short. Grrr.
  • 3s to center -- about the same.  The turns are maybe a little improved but getting some control afterward is going to be a bear.
All in all a pretty good lesson and we worked almost everything!  After my lesson I worked the one thing we didn't (BI8) pretty extensively and then some more time on BO8.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Patch Practice

I skated Chandler coffee club as usual for patch practice.  I spent a bunch of time on waltz-8 and BO8.  My RBO is still being icky -- I was having trouble getting around and my flow was just off.  Waltz-8, I spent a lot of time on the step forward and also trying to improve my 3s.  Bleah.

At the end I worked on serpentines and 3s to center.  My 3s are improving, but the check after the turn is still lacking, so I am having better flow through the turn but then I'm not holding the edge and it's turning in.  Serpentines are flowing better through the change of edge but I still am not pushing hard enough.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Skating At TCC

Once again I was down to Tucson to skate at TCC with my clubmates.  I worked quite on bit on crossovers and the FXO-BXO pattern.  Also a bit of time on circle-8 and spins and 5-step mohawk.  We had a pretty good crowd, about 11 for the first hour and another 11 for the 2nd.  Awesome!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

All My 8s

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler coffee club.  Pretty uncrowded today, just 5 or so.  I warmed up with edges, FO8 and BO8.  I'd just gotten my blades sharpened on Saturday and this was my first time on them but they felt great.

Lynne decided to start by running the Preliminary figures (minus the edges).

Today's lesson:
  • FO8s -- not bad.  A couple of small glitches but probably passable, at least for Preliminary.
  • FI8s -- pretty good.
  • Waltz-8 -- ugh.  I almost fell on the step-forward on the very first one!  But I kept going since we were doing all the test stuff.  The rest was somewhat better... but I don't think I'd pass me on this if I were the judge :-(.
  • BO8s -- The last part of the RBO is just a little wonky on these right now; it's a bit of a struggle to hold the edge as I'm really having to fight not to have a lot of swing.  The LBO was actually really awesome!  I was really happy with it.
  • BI8s -- these are still a work in progress!  I am doing better on the initial push, both in terms of speed and also initial edge (both still need improvement though).  The LBI still needs more control and a better push though, as I'm not making it around.
  • 3s to center -- these are about the same, maybe a little better now that my blades have edges :-).
  • serpentines -- these are a little improved also but I still am going to have to push a lot harder to get around that last half-circle.  Grrr.
All in all a great lesson!  We got a lot done and I'm relatively pleased.  After my lesson I stayed and mostly worked on 3s and serpentines.

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XOs & Spins

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

Today's lesson:
  • XOs -- we started just by working on FXOs and BXOs, including some quality time working on my CCW BXOs... we made some good progress at descraping them!  Of course later on I forgot everything I'd just learned :-( but it IS possible!
  • FXO-BXO time trial -- so we ran this as usual.  My time was 1:04.9, about a second faster than last week.  I really think I'm slowest on the BXO portion... but I should get JJ to video me sometime (or someone else, for that matter).  
  • Spins -- we finished up with these.  I did get a couple of pretty decent ones...just need to work them a lot more!
After my lesson I stayed and skated the next session, it was just me and Brenna and Amber and one of Tammi's skaters and an adult.  I worked on bunch on 5-step mohawk and power-3s and some circle-8 also.  I feel like I'm never going to be ready for this test :-(.

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Skating Wit Da Homies

I was down in Tucson to skate at the TCC with the Tucson FSC (my home club).  We had 2 hours of ice time but I dawdled so I was a little late getting on the ice.  Mostly worked on moves, FXOs and BXOs and a little time on circle-8.  Mmph.  Not much progress but it was good to see the homies.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Patch Practice

I skated the Chandler coffee club as usual for patch practice.  Had a decent skate.  Lots of time on waltz-8, maybe some small sliver of improvement.  BO8s, 3s to center, serpentine.  Nothing exciting, just solid work.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Test Stuff, 3s To Center

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

Before I got on the ice I was inspecting my blades (I am about due for a sharpening) and found that I basically have no inside edge in the middle of my L blade (there is still some edge at the ends of the blade).  Weird!  I need to get them sharpened.

For today's lesson I had only done my edges (FO/FI, BO/BI) for warmup, so Lynne decided we should continue with the other figures from the Preliminary test as if it were a test.

Today's lesson:
  • FO8 --a little shaky at the beginning (hey, I had almost no warmup) but not bad; I think they were passable.
  • FI8 -- decent.
  • Waltz-8 -- ugh.  I put my foot down like twice and had real difficulties returning to center on my very egg-shaped circles.  Yuck.  Yep, these need a lot more work.  After the first one set we moved and did some more, and then spent some time just working the step forward.    Sheesh.
  • 3s to center -- we continued with these (they are on the 1st test, not the Preliminary test).   They are slowly improving.  On the L side in particular I have problems getting really turned into the circle for the turn.  

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Moves, Spins

My lesson with JJ on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Gilbert; my lesson was moved to Wed. due to a work trip.

Today's lesson:
  • FXO-BXO pattern -- JJ timed this out at 1:05.9, or roughly half a second longer than last week :-(.  I am doing too many BXOs and my BXOs are too slow.  We spent some time working on this pattern and getting me to slow down the actual BXO (just as we did for the BXO to BO edge pattern a few weeks ago).  I'm rushing the BXO, probably because I don't want to/can't hold the actually cross.  Hmmph.  Much work required.
  • 5-step mohawk -- just a little time on these.  I am rushing the initial FI edge and JJ says the reason I'm slowing down once I get into the pattern is that I'm not pushing, plus I'm up on my toe on the BO edge (I can hear/feel the toepick dragging :-().  I need to hold the FI edge a bit more and do a *good* mohawk!
  • push -- we worked briefly on the push for the circle-8.  JJ says on the L (?) side I am shortchanging the push a bit so we worked on it.  Not surprisingly a "good" push in my FS blades is the same as a "good" push in my patch blades so I just need to work on this in general.
  • spins -- just a couple of minutes on these at the end.  Still working on holding back the free side 'til after the 3.
After my lesson I stayed for the next session and worked on moves and spins some more.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Patch Practice

I skated the Chandler coffee club as usual for patch practice.  I worked on BO8 (R side is better, L is better but still needs work); 20+ minutes on waltz-8 (ugh!), and some time on serpentines and 3s to center.  Don't feel like I'm making any progress right now.  Grrr.  My blades need sharpening and that might be part of it.

Friday, November 11, 2011


I skated Chandler coffee club today... since I had already had 3 hrs of patch time this week I took my FS skates.  Had a pretty good skate, although I was pretty social so didn't get as much done as I probably should have; it's okay though.

I worked on spins a bunch and finally got a couple of okay ones. Also worked a lot on bad-side FXOs and some 5-step mohawk.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Patch Practice

My noon meeting was cancelled (yay!) so I escaped to Chandler coffee club for an hour of patch practice.  I spent about half an hour working on waltz-8!  Geez.  Cheryl videotaped me and it looks like I am actually turning my foot out on the step-forward push more (much more) than I thought... so that's not the issue.  I'll have to look at it more.

Spent some time on 3s to center and serpentines, including the FIO serpentine ; they are remarkably good, actually.  I was surprised because the FIO serpentine is about as good as the FOI in spite of being, from my perspective, harder.  Hmmm.

Spins Etc.

My lesson with JJ on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Gilbert.  This is an awesome session.. there were just like 3 or 4 of us.

Today's lesson:
  • Time trial -- JJ changed the way he measures this AGAIN.  Grr.  This is the Bronze FXO-BXO pattern, he's decided to measure it from start of the move to when I do the last BO edge out of the BXOs.  His reasoning is that he doesn't want me rushing the very last part (glide, step forward, stop).  Anyway my time was 1:03, which is probably about the same as last week if you add in the stuff that wasn't timed.  I've decided my goal is 50 seconds.  I'm losing time on the BXOs... for one thing I am doing 7 of them and I really should just do 5.  I need to get down-ice more.
  • Spins -- we spent most of our time on spins.    I did a couple that were pretty good, and several that were not.  The main focus for today was (yes, you've heard this before) holding the free leg back before the 3. I'm very frustrated with these but JJ reminded me that I need to just work on one (or two) things at a time.   I think JJ would say that I need to do a lot more of these.
  • Salchow -- had not done very many of these in a while and they really stank.  Bleah.  JJ's trying to get me to hold the exit of the 3 for a little bit and I am having problems doing that.  Grrr.  I'm trying it's just not happening.
After my lesson (JJ was very generous with his time) I worked on other moves -- 5-step mohawk, circle-8, and alternating BXOs to landing position.

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Wednesday, November 09, 2011

FO8, BO8, Waltz-8, Serpentine

My lesson with Lynne on the Chandler coffee club.  There were only 3 skaters and 2 coaches today!

Before my lesson I mentioned to Lynne that I'm assuming she will let me know when she thinks I'm ready to test (just wanted to be sure we were both clear on that).  She said yes, she'll let me know -- she thinks (as I do) that the main factor right now is the waltz-8.

Today's lesson:
  • FO8 -- I was warming up with these when Lynne came on the ice.  They were not as good as last week... but still not too bad.  Actually for no warmup they are pretty good!  It's amazing how much they have improved from a few months ago even.
  • BO8 - these are better than last week but still not, I think, as good as they were a couple of months ago :-(.  Still not happy with the body position on the 2nd half of the RBO.  The LBO was much improved, though.  Needs a lot of work.
  • Waltz-8 -- ugh!  Some days these things make me just want to scream.  The main issue (still) is the step forward, especially on the L side.  To be fair they are probably as good as my APB moves test, but I am assuming I'll be held to a somewhat higher standard here even though it's just the Preliminary figures test.
  • Serpentine -- just a few minutes on these to finish.  The main challenges seem to be getting a better (stronger) push, keeping the free hip up coming into the edge change while still keeping the free leg free to swing forward, and keeping the free shoulder back.

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I skated the 8:15 FS at Chandler this morning.  Only 2 skaters and one coach (including me)... nice.  Ice was kinda stale but not too bad.

I had a good skate, worked most of the hour on moves and a few jumps and spins.  Wow... my 3s are just not that good.  I worked on doing them with the free foot close and it's really hard for me now!  Yuck.  5-step is getting better.  Alternating BXOs to landing position, I still need to improve the BO glide.. and did I mention how unhappy I am with my BXOs these days? Oh well.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Patch Practice

I skated Chandler coffee club for an hour of patch practice today.  Worked on BO8... ugh.  R side improved but still rough, L side still having problems filling out the circle on the 2nd half.  Waltz-8 is looking a little better.  3s to center are about the same, and serpentines also.

Thursday, November 03, 2011


My lesson with JJ on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Gilbert as usual.  About 6 skaters on this session... Brenna and Amber were rehearsing their "Hakuna Matata" program for Autumn Antics this weekend (which I will miss, unfortunately).  It's soooo cute!

Today's lesson:
  • Power-3s -- pretty much the whole lesson was spent on power-3s.  No falls this time :-).  We worked on the pattern, trying to keep the BXOs and step forward moving.  I need a lot of work on these :-(.
  • Spins -- JJ wanted me to do some of these, so we did 3.  The last one was not too bad.  JJ says I mostly need to do (a lot) more spins.
  • Time trial -- we finished with the FXO-BXO perimeter stroking pattern.  By now I was pretty warmed up and felt good and turned in my best time yet, 1:08!  Yay :-).
All in all a good lesson, I just feel like I have soooo much work to do if I want this test to look the way I want it to.  Mmph.

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Wednesday, November 02, 2011

FO8, BO8, Waltz-8, Serpentine

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler coffee club as usual.  A little more crowded than usual, about 10 skaters.

Today's lesson:
  • FO8 -- I had just warmed up with edges when Lynne came on the ice so we started with these.  They were really good!  Good circle size, good tracing.  I was really pleased.
  • BO8 -- we moved on to these.  They are improving but I still think they are not as good as they were (Lynne disagrees).  I'm having an issue with spotting my center coming back, so that my center tends to move "south" on subsequent circles.  Grr.  I need to spend more quality time on these.
  • Waltz-8 -- mostly focused on fixing the step forward on the L side.  Bleah.
  • Serpentines -- these are about where they were.  
I feel like I'm a little stuck here.  I'd like to get set to take the Preliminary test at some point but I feel like my waltz-8 is still lacking.   For the 1st test I will need to make a LOT of progress as I will need passable BO8, serpentine and 3s to center.  Eeep.

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