Gordon's Sk8er Boi Blog

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

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Crossovers & Spirals

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

Today's lesson:
  • Crossovers -- we worked on the FXO and BXO pattern from Bronze moves.  JJ timed me at 1:10.  He said that in general the pattern was good but I need to fix the transition from forward to backward as it's not what is specified -- I need a couple of FXOs on the end, an LFO edge, then a RFI mohawk and one BXO and into the BXO side of the pattern.   We then spent a good chunk of time working on BXOs; JJ says that the FXOs are fairly strong (even the weaker side).  So the area of most concern is the CCW BXOs.  Bleah.  The issue seems to be that I never really get my weight on the R side all the way, and then I want to quickly move my weight to the L foot, not a smooth transition.  JJ wants me to work on just doing a back swizzle into a cross foot-grapevine kind of thing, lather/rinse/repeat.
  • Spirals -- eep!  JJ wanted to look at these and I had not done one in about a zillion years... just the L foot (phew).   They weren't toooo bad, although I wish I had gotten a video so I could see how high my leg is (or isn't) getting.  We worked a bit on stretching and he had my try a back spiral (still on the left foot)... eeek.  I'd never done one before!  Scary to be so blind.
After my lesson I skated until 9 and worked on a variety of things.   Did one spin that actually came out really nice -- 3 revs and nicely centered!

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

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

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler coffee club.   Only 4 or 5 of us and 2 coaches. I warmed up with FO8s and FI8.

Today's lesson:
  • BO8 -- The first set of these were just okay.  The second set were pretty good, even the LBO!  So we moved on.
  • Waltz-8 -- quite a bit of time on these.  We worked on pretty much the same stuff I worked on yesterday -- holding the LBO (especially) a bit longer, try to step forward onto a better edge, and try to hold the exit of the LFO3 a bit longer.  Some small progress.
  • 3s to center -- these are slowly improving.  Did a nice LFO3 (yay).  RFO3 is still a lot stronger but I need to do a better check coming out of the 3 so that I can have some hope of making it around in a reasonably large circle on the BI.
  • Serpentines -- not quite as good as yesterday :-(.  I was really struggling to hold the free hip up before the change of edge so that I wasn't flatting coming into it.  Grrr.  These are highly dependent on the quality of the edge coming in... if it's a good edge I have a high probability of success.  Now I just need to push hard enough to make it around another half circle and I'll be golden.
All in all a good lesson.  Unfortunately I'll get no more patch time before my lesson next week :-(.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Patch Practice

Wow, real life is really interfering with my skating lately!  I am in physical therapy dealing with issues with my L shoulder and it's impacting my skating.  Grrr.

I skated Chandler coffee club for an hour today.  Had a great practice.  A lot of time on waltz-8... I focused on improving my step-forward and holding the BO edge around more.  Not much progress on either front :-(.  Practiced 3s to center and they are really improving!  Even the LFO3 is improving nicely, I had one that was especially good with nice flow out!  Serpentines continue to improve also.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

BXOs To BO Edge; Toe Loop

My lesson with JJ on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Gilbert.  It was a little crowded (like 9 skaters and 5 coaches) but cleared out a bit at 8.

Today's lesson:
  • BXOs to BO edges -- continuing to work through the Bronze moves.  We reviewed the pattern and then spent time working on getting placement of the elements.  JJ reminded me that there's no need to rush the tempo on this move; the BXO can seem almost leisurely (slow tempo does not equal slow speed).  I'm tending to get up on my toe on the BO edge, which slows me down.  I'm still pretty slow on this move, it needs a lot more work.
  • Toe loop -- just a few minutes on these.  We worked mostly on bringing the R hand through on the jump -- JJ emphasized bring it down close to the body and then up/through, not just around.   This helps a lot! I'm still cheating them badly though.
After my lesson I stayed for the next session and worked on 5-step mohawk and power-3s.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

BO8, Waltz-8, 3s, Serpentines

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

Today's lesson:
  • BO8 -- LBO is still a bit weak.  I reminded myself to press down the skating hand at the beginning of the edge (esp. on the left side) to help the edge be more stable.  I also need to work to keep the free foot in front longer on the L side.  Lynne also reminded me to keep the free foot close on the L side after the rotation.  All of this helped a bit.
  • Waltz-8 -- RFO3 is still a little skidded, and I still occasionally tap my foot down on the step forward; but otherwise the R side is not bad (still not passing quality though).  L side... 3s are better, and the step forward is improving, but I still need to hold the BO edge around a bit more.
  • 3s to center -- these are improving!  I had about a 50% rate of not putting my foot down on the L side after the turn, so that's improvement.  R side is pretty good in that respect.   Biggest issue on the R side is to have better flow through the turn, and to improve the check so that I can fill out the 2nd half of the circle.  The L side has a long way to go in that regard.
  • Serpentines -- we worked on the FOI side and also the FIO side.  The FIO side is improving.  I tried pushing harder and was able to get 3/4 of the way around the new circle!!  The FOI side not so much.  It's all about the quality of the FO edge.  If that is good then things can really flow.
I'm really pleased with my progress.  It's slow but it's happening, and I'll take that any day.

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Friday, September 16, 2011

Sherwood 2011 Video

This is the "official" video.. Many thanks to all my Sherwood homies for all the love!!

Patch Practice

I skated Chandler coffee club today.  Had a good skate, but not as productive as I should have been :-(.  Worked a bunch on waltz-8, but never got to 3s or serpentines.  Grrr.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

5-Step Mohawk

My lesson with JJ on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Gilbert.   This session is a bit more crowded than it had been, maybe 8 or 9 skaters and 4 or 5 coaches.

Today's lesson was focused on the 5-step mohawk test pattern.  We worked on just the mohawk itself, trying to get them to be less hoppy.  When I do them well the leading foot feels like it slides off the ice like a slide chasse'.  We also spent time going over the pattern placement on the ice, and working on not scraping the BO edge. I complained that I'm slow and JJ reminded me that he'd rather me be slow but correct than fast and sloppy... good point.

After my lesson I skated the next session and worked on 5-step, power-3s, and FXOs.  At the end of the session it was just Amber and me.  2 minutes before the end of the session Amber looks at me and says "are you going to stroke?" (she always ends her session by stroking a couple of laps).  So what could I say but "sure!".  Of course she lapped me halfway through :-).  It's a good reminder though.

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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

B8s, Waltz-8, 3s To Center

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler coffee club.  We had quite the crowd today! I think there were 12 skaters and 2 coaches.

Today's lesson:
  • BO8 -- The only real issue with these is the last part of the LBO is a bit twitchy sometimes.  Too often I come in shallow, or I overcompensate and go flat.  Grrr.  I need to remind myself to lean into the edge more when I'm having problems.
  • BI8 -- there's lots to work on here.  RBI first circle tends to be small, and I am usually pushing to a BO and then flipping it to a BI instead of being on a BI to begin with.  The L side is better; we worked on getting a better push though.  I really need to bend the knees and dig in to get a better push.
  • Waltz-8 -- these are slightly improved.  The 3s are definitely better.  Step forward is slightly better, though I need to hold the BO edge around longer; and I still need to improve these,  esp. on the L side.
  • 3s to center -- We only had like 4 minutes on these.  I did a really nice RFO3!!  It was really awesome and made me really happy.  I managed one pretty good LFO3 (the first one) but the subsequent ones not so much.  I really just need more time on these. Grrr.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Field Trip Skate #2

I skated at the "adult open free style" at Las Vegas Ice Center today, just for an hour.  It was a pretty nice session, about 8 skaters and 2 coaches.  People seemed nice enough and the ice was good.

I worked more on CW FXOs, and power 3s and 5-step mohawk and other miscellaneous stuff.  I find it interesting that it takes me so long to get my CW FXOs to be less scary, even after all this time.  Oh well.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Field Trip Skate

I'm on vacation in Las Vegas, so I skated coffee club at Sobe Ice Arena.  This is the same rink that hosted this year's  Adult Sectionals.

Ice was really nice, and it was cheeep! $5!  Only 7 skaters.  Had a good talk with a woman, Denise, who was working on her sit spin.  She's a good skater.

I spent quality time on my clockwise FXOs, and some time on power-3s and 5-step mohawk.  I also did some spins and waltz jumps.  It was a nice skate.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Patch Practice

I skated the Chandler coffee club today, but I only had time for 30 minutes of practice :-(.  Worked on FO8s, BO8, waltz-8, 3s to center and serpentine.  I don't know how it is that I warm up my FO8 and feel okay with them, and then go to do 3s to center and my FO edges are crappy again.  Gaaah.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

FXOs & Power-3s

My lesson with JJ on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Gilbert.  Per our earlier discussions we are going to focus on getting me to skate faster and with more confidence, using the Bronze Moves as the vehicle.

Today's lesson:
  • FXOs -- JJ wanted me to just work on skating alternating FXOs down the length of the rink; not the Moves pattern, but a squished version that you often see people doing for warmups where the axis goes through the hockey dots and you only go 3-4 ft on either side of it.  This quickly showed up just how much I hate the clockwise FXOs... grrr.
  • Power-3s -- JJ reminded me of the pattern for these.  The diagram in the book shows 4 FO3s per side.  I'm not sure what I wound up doing before.  We worked on them down the red line, just working on the 3.  JJ wants me to go into the 3 a bit more squared-off than I'm used to, and reminded me to keep the lobe with the 3 shallow.  Hmmph.
After my lesson I stayed and skated another 45 minutes and worked a lot on the above stuff.  Made good progress on the alternating FXOs so that they are more comfortable and I am not so scared of the clockwise FXO.

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Wednesday, September 07, 2011

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

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler coffee club. In my warmup I worked on FO8, FI8 and BO8.

Today's lesson:
  • BI8 -- I was working on these when Lynne came on the ice.  They are improving.  My R foot circle is a bit small.  L foot is a good size but I'm having a hard time holding the edge all the way back around and I'm a little slow. We worked a little on getting a better push and holding the free foot in front longer.  I think I just need more time on these and I'll get them.
  • Waltz-8 -- we worked on these for a while.  Working to improve my LFO3, I finally got a good one; the difference was to have a better edge going in with a little more curve.  Step forward is slowly improving.
  • 3s To Center -- these continue to slowly improve.  L side is still quite weak but it's getting better, I got several where the turn was okay and didn't put my foot down immediately.  I still need a lot of work on these.  
  • Serpentines -- these also are improving.  We worked on on both the FOI and FIO flavors.  We spent some time working on getting a better push -- that's really the limiting factor here now.  I'm doing a reasonable job on the edge change and making it a full half circle after, but that leaves me a half-circle short on this figure.  I just need to bend-and-push more and then be able to control the resultant power/speed.
All in all I am happy with my progress. 

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Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Patch Perseverance

I skated the Chandler coffee club for 45 minutes today.  I worked on all my basic 8s. BI8 seems like it is slowly improving.  I also worked on waltz-8 and that seems like it's a little better also.  Finished up with 3s to center, still working especially on the LFO3.  Hmmph.

Friday, September 02, 2011

B8s, Waltz-8, 3s To Center

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler coffee club.  I had not skated patch since my last lesson!  My warmup went well though.

Today's lesson:
  • BO8 -- LBO side was giving me issues but after some practice it improved quite a bit.  RBO side much stronger as usual.  I need to watch to keep the skating knee soft otherwise the edge gets a bit fragile.
  • Waltz-8 --  R side is looking almost okay, although I still tend to put my foot down briefly on the step forward.  L side is still a bit rough, still not bringing it around on the step forward enough.  I did make some progress on improving the LFO3 though.
  • BI8 -- these are looking a little better.  Still having issues on the initial push, I tend to push to a BO and then flip it to BI.  They are improving though.  Lynne says I need to really be over my skate more, even if it feels like I'm leaning out of the circle I'm actually a long way from that.
  • 3s to center -- R side is stronger and getting slightly better.  L side still weak but my last one had really good flow-out finally!  YAY!
All in all a pretty good lesson, I was really pleased.

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