Gordon's Sk8er Boi Blog

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

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Competition Prep

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler coffee club.  I warmed up with edges, FO8, FI8 and waltz-8 (i.e. the Preliminary figures test).  I didnt' scribe any circles.

Today's lesson:
  • waltz-8 -- spent a little time on these.  They actually are improving.  Some of my 3s were quite nice, others not so -- difference seems to mostly be whether I actually have a good edge going in vs. flat. (duh).  Step forward was a little improved.
  • FO8 -- we did these in a competition style, i.e. no references etc.  Not too bad.  I had a small goof on the first RFO that I fixed subsequently; it was a good correction.  Biggest issue is that I'm still tending not to fill out the second half of the circle.
  • FI8 -- pretty decent.  Still had an issue on the LFI that I wasn't filling out the circle.  I trace these a lot nicer than FO8!
  • BO8 -- ugh.  First set was not so great, did another set that was much better.  I really need to concentrate more.  I tend to get a little sloppy, especially on the subsequent ones where I tend to not keep my free foot in front.  I get on some sort of autopilot and don't think about those things.  Grrr.
All in all, despite my whining I'm feeling like I won't do so badly at the competition.  I'm not where I was last year but I feel like I'm coming back fast.

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Monday, July 29, 2013

Patch Perseverance

I skated the Chandler coffee club for patch practice.  Nice ice and only 3 or 4 skaters.

I warmed up with the Preliminary test, as usual, then worked mostly on FO8 and FI8.  Then on to some quality time on BO8 and BI8.  All in all a good workout; no breakthroughs but just some good solid practice.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Competition Prep

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler coffee club.  Coffee club has been pretty quiet the last couple of weeks; today there were just 5 skaters.

I warmed up with edges, then scribed my circles and warmed up FO8, FI8 and a little bit of waltz-8. 

When we started the lesson we had a brief discussion with skate buddy Melissa about our duet and came to some conclusions about what we wanted to do and how to proceed.  Lynne agreed to choreograph for us.

Next we discussed the upcoming Sherwood competition and what figures to do for it.  We decided on FO8, FI8, and BO8 (last year I did FO8, BO8 and BI8).  I'm hoping there will be some competition at least on the forward figures for me.

We went on to work extensively on those three figures.  Ugh.  FO8 needs a lot of practice as I really have lost some of my instincts.  We made some good progress, though, in getting me to really stick that shoulder back on the push and stand a little straighter.  FI8 was pretty good though I need to be sure not to take it for granted, lol.  And BO8.... yikes.  I need to concentrate more and it's going to take a lot more work as it's kinda sloppy, especially the LBO I am tending to cut off the circle.

Lots to do!  Competition is 4 weeks from tomorrow.

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Roman Holiday....

... in Oregon, lol.  I had a lesson with Kelli at 6:30 a.m. at WSC.  I got on the ice at 6:15 and stayed 'til 7:15 so I straddled two FS sessions (6 - 6:45 and 6:45 - 7:30).  The ice was really, really nice, and just me, Kelli, Sierra and Nakira. 

Today's lesson:
  • stroking & edges -- of course.  Kelli said my stroking was nice but on the FXOs I was not holding the crossed position long and the underpush was lacking (duh!).  Edges were relatively okay though I need to stand up a little straighter, and she'd rather I brought my leg through more promptly.
  • FO8 -- hadn't done these in FS blades much.  My push is lacking and I'm still working on standing up straight and keeping control of the shoulders and upper body.
  • power-3s -- hmm.  Actually the 3s were not that bad.  Kelli was not so happy with my back lobe, though, esp. since my BXOs didn't really have any "cross" in them at all.  I was just happy to do the 3s.
After my lesson I worked on perimeter stroking and did some spins, including a really nice 3-rev one.  That was a pleasant surprise.

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013


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

I told him I wanted to work on improving my speed and power.  We worked for a while on half-swizzle pumps around the circle -- he had me holding a hockey stick (he's always got them) so that I had to have it inside the circle the whole time.  Eeep.  After that we worked on two-foot slaloms down the line, again with the stick.  I really need to bend my knees on these but they were better than I expected.  Mercifully we ran out of time before he could make me do them backwards!

In other news -- my new FS is in the process of being cut (along with the FS after that AND my light).  I guess I'd better get moving on a costume.  Also skate buddy Melissa and I have decided to do a duet for Autumn Antics.  It should be aweome!

I'm in Oregon for work, have a lesson with Coach Kelli bright and early in the a.m.!

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Monday, July 22, 2013

Patch Perseverance

I skated Chandler coffee club for patch practice today.  Good ice and only 4 skaters!

I had an okay skate.  I worked rather obsessively on the waltz-8 since this is really the limiting factor for me right now.  I really didn't make any progress though, my step-forward still stinks.  The rest of it's not so bad, though.  Finished up working on 3s to center and serpentines.  I got all the way around on the RFO serpentine! Well, until I got to the LFO part.  The LFO serpentine is weaker.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Cross Strokes, Waltz Jump, Spins

My lesson with JJ on the 8:15 FS at Gilbert.  Good ice and only 5 skaters!

Today's lesson:
  • cross strokes -- we worked a bunch more on the forward ones; JJ wants me to keep my lobes small.  A bit frustrating but they did improve a fair amount so that's encouraging.  Then we worked on backwards!  He didn't make me actually cross yet, we just worked on skating the BO edges in small lobes with the free foot close. He insisted I keep my head up :-).  Ugh.  Lots to do on these.
  • waltz jump -- I hadn't jumped since 3/14.  They were fine (even the first one!) although a bit small and tentative.  We worked on taking time with them and doing a better setup.  Really, if I just take my time and concentrate I can do a pretty nice waltz jump.
  • spins -- ugh.  I think I freak about these because didn't get even one good one.  I think JJ wants the same as waltz jump, for me to take my time and concentrate but I have a harder time with it.  We did at least fix the entrance to be better.

Next lesson is Tuesday morning, and then Wednesday I have a lesson with Coach Kelli while I'm in Oregon.  YAY!

I'm announcing and running music for Cactus Classic at the Ice Den this weekend.  Should be fun!

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Wednesday, July 17, 2013


I skated the 7:30 a.m. FS at Gilbert this morning.  I was supposed to have a lesson but there was a problem and we had to reschedule.

I actually started working on moves a little bit, mostly the perimeter XO pattern.  It was a bit weak and slow but not as bad as I feared.  Worked on 3 turns a bit and tried a spin for the first time -- didn't really happen.  Oh well.

Lesson tomorrow morning.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Test, BO8, Serpentines

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler coffee club.  Only 3 skaters so it was a good environment.

Before Lynne came on the ice I ran through my edges, then scribed some circles and worked on FO8.

Today's lesson:
  • FI8 -- not bad, actually.  I'm still working on filling out my circles better ( a little rough) and settling the upper body a bit.
  • waltz-8 -- we are back to working on this a lot.  Grr.  My 3s are really not so hot.  The RFO3 is very forced, in particular, and my old problems with the step forward haven't changed.  I'm not sure what I need to do to fix these, really, other than practice, but I feel like I practice and practice and things don't get fixed.
  • BO8 -- ugh.  These used to be pretty nice, but not right now.  They are improving though.
  • serpentine -- just a couple of minutes on these... allllmost made it around on the R foot to the change of foot.  Not so great on the L foot, my push is lacking and I'm back to losing too much on the change of edge.
After my lesson I just had a couple of minutes so I worked on 3s to center.  Eeep.

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Friday, July 12, 2013

Test Runthrough, BO8, BI8

Today I skated Chandler coffee club for my first figures lesson with Lynne since I've been back on the ice.  We started promptly at 12 so I didn't use my scribe.

Today's lesson:
  • FO, FI, BO, BI edges -- these continue to improve back toward what they used to be, but still a long way to go.  I need a lot more upper-body control.
  • FO8 -- not too bad, but some lapses of control that I was able to fix. I need to work more on stiffening my core and bending my knees more on the push.
  • FI8 -- not too bad.
  • waltz-8 -- including my first 3-turns since March!  Ugh.  They were not good 3s, very forced.  Not good tracing, and still no good control on the step forward.  Also I really need to watch the BO edge over the top of the circle.
  • BO8 -- still lacking in control for the upper body, but I did make it around.
  • BI8 -- yuck.  Just yuck.  Need to work these a lot harder to get it under control.
All in all despite my whining it's not nearly as bad as I feared.  I have a lot of work to do, though.  The Sherwood competition is only 6 weeks away or so (registration deadline is 7/26) so we'll need to decide what figures I can realistically hope to compete.

After my lesson I spent most of the remaining time working on serpentines.  Ugh.  My push is so weak now!

A correction -- MidWinter is in LA (Artesia) not Escondido.  Don't know why I thought that.

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Patching It

I skated the Chandler coffee club for some patch practice today -- just 45 minutes.  I worked through all my edges, FO8, FI8 and a brief foray into BO8 (whoa!).

I spent a fair amount of time fixing my body positions, especially on the FI stuff.  I was getting a lot of swing and it was really hard to hold the edge until I fixed it.  I was pleased with my progress.  The BO8 I tried was wildly uncontrolled though!  Eeep.

I skated a total of 90 minutes today.  The knee was pretty much okay although it does occasionally bug me; I've not exactly determined what the particular trigger is.  In general it seems to be okay although when I sit for longer periods of time it's stiff for a bit when I get up. 

Beginning Again, Yet Again

My lesson with JJ on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Gilbert.  Had an okay warmup... a little more comfy since Monday.

Today's lesson:
  • Stroking -- not really any feedback, just JJ getting a feel for how I'm doing.
  • BO edges -- I whined about these a little so we looked at them.  Some improvement; JJ got me to stand up a little straighter and to control the free leg more so it didn't get out of control.
  • cross strokes  -- I actually hadn't really done these before; just doing them down the line very shallow.  They were not so good, for the same reasons my swing rolls in ice dance weren't so great -- edges not deep enough.  Anyway we just worked on getting some better knee bend and cross.
  • mohawks -- I told JJ I had done some and they were about the same as ever.  Actually I took my time and they were not so bad; not so jumped as usual.  Good stuff.
Afterward we talked a little about some off-ice stuff he wants me to do -- there's a new gym franchise called Orange Theory Fitness that he wants me to try.  They do some good all-around workout stuff.  I will give it a try (first workout is free) as I really need to do *something*.

We also talked over some of the music choices for my new free skate.  Our conclusion was that he'd like me to get two of them cut, one for this coming season and the other for the next one.  Also we agreed on my new artistic light program (I'm going to ask Holly to choreo that one) so I can get that cut.  It's too late for any kind of free skating at Sherwood (it's only 6 weeks away) so next up will be Autumn Antics.  After that I'm probably going to try my free skate out at MidWinter Warmup in Escondido (?).

Lots to do!

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Monday, July 08, 2013

Taking Stock

I skated for 45 minutes at coffeeclub today, in my freestyle blades.  I had private ice!  Rather bizarre for a Monday in July, but there it was.

It wasn't as bad as Friday.  I spent some time trying to go through basic elements and see how they were.  Here's a list:
  • FO edges -- meh.  LFO not bad, RFO a bit weak.
  • FI edges -- same as above.  My body position seems a bit weak and I have trouble holding my upper body still.
  • BO edges -- whoa!  Really crappy.  Scrapey and insecure and weight too far forward.
  • BI edges -- meh.  Not great but better than I expected.
  • Stroking -- tentative but okay.
  • FXOs -- couldn't get myself to do the clockwise ones.  CCW were weak but okay.
  • mohawks -- as crappy as ever!
  • FO3s -- couldn't get myself to do these.
It's going to be a long slog back.

Friday, July 05, 2013

Back On The Ice

I finally felt well AND had time to skate today, so I skated for just 30 minutes at Chandler coffee club today.  I used my patch skates both to prevent me from doing anything stupid and because they are bit more comfortable than my freestyle skates.

I was pretty stiff!  It was a little scary.  I was rather reluctant to skate on my right foot.  I mostly just stroked around and eventually worked up to doing FI and FO edges, which were pretty bad.  Still, Rome wasn't built in a day. 

I only skated for a half hour, didn't want to push it.  I don't feel sore at all though so that's good.  I'm going to skate again on Monday hopefully and then restart lessons next week.

Oh, and I had to buy a new annual pass as my old one expired in May.  Didn't get as much use out of that one as I usually do but still saved some money so it's all good.