Gordon's Sk8er Boi Blog

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

Monday, December 31, 2012


I had my back-3 lesson with Lynne on the 8:15 FS at Chandler.  Had a good warmup, then we started our lesson as usual with 2 foot turns on the circle and BO3s on the wall.

RBO3s are slightly improved.  I'm trying to be more consistent about turning my head before the turn and I did make some progress.  I'm really working on getting the knee to bend again after the turn but it's slow.  We finished with LBO3s with Lynne holding my hand again. I did manage to get just ONE where I had my weight allllmost back far enough to really turn.  Progress.  We'll keep working it.

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Sunday, December 30, 2012

More TCC Ice

I was back at the TCC for TFSC club ice again.  I was a bit more motivated than yesterday and I got some good work in on spins and moves.  Nothing exciting though.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Perseverance At TCC

I skated the TFSC freestyle at the Tucson Convention Center.   Hadn't skated FS in over a week so it was a little wonky for a bit.  Worked mostly on moves.  I was somewhat unmotivated and didn't accomplish a lot ;-( but it was nice to see my clubmates!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Serpentine Success

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler coffee club.   I warmed up with edges, then drew my circles and then we started.

Today's lesson:
  • FO8 -- A little wobbly on the first RFO but otherwise not bad.
  • FI8 -- Decent.
  • Waltz-8 -- Lots of time on these.. it's still a struggle.  I had one of those slow-motion forward falls as I was trying to step forward.  Too funny! I'm doing a little better at standing up straighter on the BO edge and trying to keep my feet closer (not widestep).  Still not doing a great job of turning my foot under me to step forward though.  I did a little better at holding the FO edge back to center, I think.
  • serpentines -- finished up with these... another breakthrough!  I actually did a complete set on one side (L, I think) and restarted and got almost another complete one!  The FIO change of edge is still pretty rough, and I really need to push harder on the FI edge when I get to it.  Really good progress though!  I'm very excited.
After my lesson I worked on BI8 for a while.  RBI is looking a lot better, LBI still a bit rough.

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Monday, December 24, 2012


I skated the Chandler coffee club for patch practice (I have a lesson Wed.).  I had the ice to myself the whole time!

Warmed up with edges, did FO8 and FI8, drew my circles, worked on waltz-8 for about 20 minutes.  Then I decided to try a new exercise I'd been thinking about, which is basically doing just one side of the waltz-8 on a hockey circle.  I.e., FO edge, FO3, step to BO edge, step forward, FO edge, FO3...  as I suspected, this shows that my FO3s really suck.  The first one was okay but the ones after.. really really bad.  I think I could get a lot of profit out of working this exercise.

Finished up with some serpentines, they were not as good as in my lesson last week.    Oh well.

Thursday, December 20, 2012


My back-3 lesson with Lynne on the 7 a.m. (yikes) FS at Chandler.  I had postponed this from Monday as I wasn't feeling well that day.

The usual routine, warmed up, then we started our lesson with front & back 2-foot turns followed by BO3s on the wall, then back out to the big circle.  RBO3s were not flowing quite as well as last time but they were almost as good.  I certainly am a lot more comfortable with them, but I have to watch not to be too sloppy.  I noticed I'm tending to not turn my head and some other issues that make them harder.  I really want to build good habits here.

On the LBO3s we still weren't getting anywhere so I asked Lynne to hold my hand during the turn.  I normally don't like to do this but it seemed like the only way to get past this block I'm facing.  It did help a lot.  I didn't manage to actually do any turns but I was at least able to get my weight back further and *try* to initiate the turn.  So that's progress.

After my lesson I had about a half hour, so I worked mostly on moves.  Nothing big.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Waltz-8, Serpentines

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler coffee club as usual.  I warmed up with edges, then Lynne came on the ice and I drew my scribe circles.

Today's lesson:
  • FO8 -- not bad.  Still need to work on posture.
  • FI8 -- pretty good.  A little wonky on the first RFI but I wasn't really warmed up.
  • waltz-8 -- a bunch of time on these, of course.  They are improving.  I'm doing a much better job of holding the BO edge, and the 3 is pretty good also (although I'm a little forward on the LFO3).  Doing a better job of holding the FO back to center, too.  Still need to improve the step forward to be around more (of course).
  • serpentines -- these are improving!  I actually made it a whole serpentine (I think it was the RFOI-LFIO?)!.   I need to work on these a lot more, especially, now, the FIO change and pushing harder into the FI edge.  
After my lesson I worked some more on BO8 and BI8.

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Moves, Spins, Jumps

My lesson with JJ on the 8:15 FS at Gilbert.  I felt like I'd not had a lesson with him in forever, but it's only been a week!

Today's lesson:
  • BXOs to landing position -- picking up on where these were with Sonya on Thursday.  Keys are to hold a good check position, free leg not too far back and with tension, good change of arms (definite change, not half-hearted), deeper lobes and of course head up!  These are improving, definitely.  I still feel like I'm really slow.. want to be able to pick up the pace.
  • BXO perimeter stroking -- the BXO portion of the perimeter XO pattern.  Again, follow-on to what Sonya and I worked on; deeper lobes, and really putting the weight over the BI edge at the top of the lobe.  Challenge here is to not let it come around too sharply or the lobe is too small.
  • spins -- ugh.  Not so great.  Either I didn't hold the free leg back long enough, or I was doing my arms wrong, or both.  Yuck.
  • waltz jump -- really only did one but it was actually really quite nice, so we moved on.
  • salchow -- JJ wants me to have a deeper edge going into the jump, and not to worry so much about having a flatter edge coming out of the 3 (although that is desirable).  I did one or two that were not too bad.
No lesson next week as JJ is out of town.

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Friday, December 14, 2012


I skated the 6 a.m. FS at Sherwood (Shiny Rink!) this morning.  Such beyoooootiful ice!!  Ahhhh.  Just me and skate buddy Madison for the first half hour, then Anna showed up for the 2nd half hour.  When I was leaving April and Kristen showed up.  Nice to see everyone :-)

I had a pretty good skate.  I went over the stuff we had worked on in the lesson yesterday.  I actually got myself to really do my left-side power push/edge/BXO as I do the other side... WHOA!  A bit scary.  I also spent a little time on back-3s since I have a lesson Monday on them.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

More Moves

I am in Oregon today (and tomorrow) so I had a lesson with Sonya on the 5 p.m. FS at WSC.  Had a good long warmup and got to see some of my homegirls (Amber, Madison, and Emmy!) and coach Kelli.  It made me happy :-)

Today's lesson:
  • Perimeter XOs -- Sonya had talked to JJ (lol!) so we started with these.  Sonya had me work on making my lobes deeper and less diagonal. Whoa!  I had been worried I wouldn't be able to fill out the pattern that way, but it's really not a problem at all.  It's a bit of an adjustment but I think it will help.  Still need to work on the check position on the BXOs more.
  • Power-3s -- I really wanted to look at the back lobe of the power-3s because the step forward has been driving me nuts.  Sonya wanted me (quelle surprise!) to make the back lobe deeper (see above!) and less diagonal... then we worked a bit on the actual step forward.  She had me practice just holding the BI edge and trying to turn out my free leg (keeping it close though!).  That's the crux of the problem right there!  She suggested I work on just skating that BI edge around the circle and turn the free foot out and then back repeatedly.
  • BXOs to landing position -- more of this.  We worked on keeping the head up, keeping the free leg lifted higher and not letting it curve around, and holding the checked arms like I worked on with JJ yesterday.  Eeep.  I think I made some progress.
All in all a good lesson.  I do think I made some progress... yay!

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012


My lesson with JJ on the 8:15 FS at Gilbert.

Today's lesson:
  • BXOs to landing position -- we worked on drawing the pattern out more and getting a better edge.  JJ reminded me to keep a strong check with the arms so I worked hard at that and it really did help settle the edge down a lot.  The transition between each lobe is a bit awkward still though.
  • Perimeter XOs -- I ran the pattern once and asked JJ to watch my clockwise FXOs.  He said that they actually don't look bad at all, which surprised me.  On the BXOs he reminded me that I need to have a stronger check position when holding the power transition/BI edge around; I do that well on one side but not the other.  Grrr.  Made some progress though.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012


I skated the Chandler coffee club for freestyle practice today.  Worked mostly on moves, specifically power-3s.  After a while I decided to just work on doing 3s.  I wound up working on doing 3s on the circle.  Some of them weren't that bad but they're not consistent.  I think I could profitably spend more time on these.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Waltz-8, Serpentines, BI8

My figures lesson with Lynne on the 8:15 FS at Chandler.  I had to move this lesson due to travel etc.

I warmed up with edges, then drew my circles just before Lynne came on the ice to start our lesson.

Today's lesson:
  • FO8 -- LFO was pretty dicey the first time around (didn't keep my shoulder back) but generally okay.
  • FI8 -- not bad.
  • waltz-8 -- still a work in progress.  I have all the individual pieces but making them all come together at the same time is still a challenge.  I'm trying to be more mindful of what I'm doing and be more collected about my approach to each part of the move.
  • serpentines -- good progress.  I actually made it all the way around on the left foot for LFOI-RFIO!!!  I was so excited!  Couldn't match it on the other foot though, the LFIO change of edge is just a bit harder for me.  Still, I'm really pleased at my progress on these.
  • BI8 -- these are improving also.  I noticed today that I'm not struggling so much to get the bigger circle size anymore.  Haven't really looked at whether I am on a clean BI edge to start (I need to check).   I still have a long way to go with these as far as getting them reliable and making it all the way around every time.
After my lesson I worked some on BO8 (these are going well) and then some more time on waltz-8.

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Saturday, December 08, 2012

Skating With TFSC

I skated at the TCC with my home club, Tucson FSC.  Not my most productive skate; mostly worked on moves but I was a bit tired and unmotivated.  Bleah.  Not much to report.

Thursday, December 06, 2012


My back-3 lesson with Lynne on the 8:15 FS at Chandler.  Warmup, then we started as usual with forward and back 2-foot turns on the circle, then BO3s at the boards, then back out to the circle.

The RBO3 is coming along nicely.  I'm finally getting some flow out of the turn (just a little bit) before I wind up putting my foot down.  We spent a lot of time on the LBO3 but I still can't even initiate the turn.  I really don't know what to do to get past this at this point :-(.

I think on our next lesson we will start working on the BI3.  Yay!

After my lesson I had about 25 minutes, so I worked on moves a bunch and also just worked on BXOs since they are still quite scrapy in the CCW direction.

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Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Waltz-8, Serpentines, 3s

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler coffee club.  I warmed up with edges, FO8 and FI8, then drew my circles.  Lynne came on the ice just in time for the waltz-8.

Today's lesson:
  • waltz-8 -- same ol' same ol'.  I've gotten in the bad habit of touching my free foot down on the R side BO edge (LBO) before the step forward, so I made a conscious effort NOT to do so.  It's tough, it's like a crutch.  3s were better after I reminded myself to keep my head up.  Lynne reminded me I really need to hold a checked position on the BO edge so I don't start swinging around.
  • serpentines -- these are progressing.  I made it all the way around once on each foot (FOI) and started the FIO side but didn't make it around there (close though!).  FIO will need a lot more work, mostly to improve the change of edge and to push just a bit harder.  I'm pleased.
  • 3s to center -- mmph.  RFO3 is still kinda forced and I'm not holding the exit well.  I did one LFO3 that was pretty nice - good turn, and held a good BI after for about a quarter circle.  Yay!
After my lesson I worked on BI8 for the remaining time.  I enjoy these but they sure need a lot of practice.

Today's lesson was a first, and not in a good way (okay not that bad either) -- I forgot to pay Lynne!  Argh!  I had her check in my pocket and I totally forgot to give it to her, and when I was getting in the car I put my hand in the pocket and found it.  Grrr!  I texted her and told her I'd pay her in the morning (Back-3 lesson in the a.m.) and she said that was fine.  Grrr!  I've been skating 9.5 years and never done that!  Oh well.

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Power-3s & Spins

My lesson with JJ on the 8:15 FS at Gilbert.  I'd not skated since Friday (eep!) so I felt a little rough.

Today's lesson:
  • power-3s -- we worked on getting more rotation into the turn (followup from Friday's lesson with Sonya), and then we spent a lot of time on the BXO/step forward.  I think I finally got it through my skull that I need to treat this differently than just an ordinary BXO.  JJ showed me that I need to start rotating as I'm coming  out of the BI edge (as it comes around) so that when I'm in the BXO I'm turning my upper body forward; then I can actually step forward onto the FO edge.  We spent most of the lesson on this!  I feel like some real progress, finally.  Yay!
  • spins -- finished up with a little time on these.  Not much different. So much to remember, and I stink and remembering more than one thing.  Grrr.

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