Gordon's Sk8er Boi Blog

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

Monday, December 23, 2013

Test Runthrough, BI8, 3s

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler coffee club, moved up due to the holiday.

I warmed up as usual...

Today's lesson:
  • FO8 -- pretty good.
  • FI8 -- not bad.  We staggered these as in the test.  Lynne noted that I was pushing off a little early (or perhaps wide-stepping) onto the R foot, which made the first part of the circle a bit diagonal.  Went back and fixed that.  Something to keep an eye on -- I've gotten a bit complacent on the FI8.
  • waltz-8 -- ugh.  About the same.  It's better when I slow it down.
  • BI8 -- these are def. improving.  The LBI is loads better than it used to be.  I still need to be more careful about my position esp. after the push, though.
  • 3s to center -- mmph.  LFO3s are pretty nice, really.  RFO3s are a bit forced/rough but not too bad.  Flow through the turn is a bit improved but I still need to work on keeping upright and not letting the free foot pop out into the circle and pull me off.

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My lesson with JJ on the 8:15 FS at Gilbert.  Due to the holidays we had our lesson today.

JJ is still not ready to choreograph my new free skate (he says we will start when he is back from his break) so we spent our lesson on backspin.   The same exercises, and then into attempting the backspin.  I got a bit closer today.  I get into position and get my foot crossed, but then I either put it down crossed or I freak out and uncross it.  Grrr.  Still I think I am slowly, slowly getting closer. Grrr.

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Saturday, December 21, 2013

Duet At Gilbert Recital

Melissa and I skated our "Grease" duet at the Gilbert recital today.

I got to the rink around 10:30 a.m.; plenty of time to get my skates and wig etc. on.  We got on the ice for our warmup a couple of minutes early so we had about 8 minutes for a warmup -- nice.  Plenty of time.  Warmed up individually, then we did some side-by-side stroking and then worked a couple of points in the program.

We were the 3rd to skate.  We had a great skate!  It was the best we have done to date, I think.  Everything went really well and about the only glitch I can think of is mine -- at the end for some reason instead of looking down at Melissa I was looking up at the audience (they were a great audience) and Melissa whispered "look at me!" and so I did.  Ooops!  :-(

I was very pleased that my stepmom, my friend Kirsten, and my cousin Les and his kids all came to watch.  Other than my stepmom, none of them had seen me skate before.  Yay!  I was really pleased it went so well.  Afterward I stayed for a while to watch some of the other skaters, then I had to go.  Great fun!

Friday, December 20, 2013


I skated the Chandler coffee club for freestyle practice.  With the recital tomorrow I wanted to have an opportunity to work on my elements.

I had a decent skate.  Worked a little on toe loop (ugh), salchow (one almost-decent), spins and a little time on backspins. 

I really need more practice time.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Test Runthrough, BO8, Serpentines

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler coffee club. 

I warmed up with edges, scribed my circles, then ran through the Preliminary test, all as usual.

Today's lesson:
  • Preliminary test runthrough -- Lynne thought it might be helpful to run through the figures (skipping edges) as they would be done on the test, i.e., 3 separate layouts that are staggered.  So I used my scribed circles for the FO8, which was really pretty good.  FI8 was also pretty good, though again I really have to watch that LFI sometimes. Waltz-8... still pretty ugly.  I do better when I slow things down. Bleah!
  • BO8 -- the first one was kinda rough, but then I restarted and did some really nice ones.  That really helped my mood!
  • serpentines -- ugh.  Not as nice as they have been, didn't make it around the 1.5 circles even once.  Lynne says I need to really focus on pushing harder.  So... I guess I will!
A good lesson.  I'm still very frustrated with the waltz-8.  I talked with JJ about it this a.m. and he really thinks that a large part of my problem is that I need to work on my turnout and core strength, i.e. , off-ice.  He's probably right, and that is a couple more reasons I really need to get my butt in gear on that.

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Toe Loop, Spins

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

Today's lesson:
  • toe loop -- we worked a bunch on this, and actually made some progress.  First, some wall exercises and then out on the ice.  I think my main takeaway was not to rush, and to just let the feet come together.  That said it's really a step and not a jump right now.  Lots to do but some good work.
  • spins -- agggh!  I keep dropping my right side when I go into the spin.  It's very frustrating.  Or, in trying to lift the free hip I drop the right side OR straighten the skating knee too early. Grrr.  Lots to do here.
We did not start choreo on the free skate.  I'm concerned. I will probably have to have additional lessons in January to get through all this.  Not happy :-(.

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Duet Practice

I skated Chandler coffee club today for duet practice with Melissa, in prep. for Saturday's recital.  I had about 30 minutes to warm up (M was having her lesson with Lynne), then we had about half an hour to work.  We ran the program a total of 3 times with music and once without, and tweaked a few small things.  I feel like we are even better prepared than we were for Autumn Antics!  It's going to be good.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

FO8, Waltz-8, Serpentines, BO8, 3s

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler coffee club.  I had a work commitment previous so my warmup was short, just edges, scribed my circle, and once through FO8.

Today's lesson:
  • FO8 -- pretty good! I'm realizing we rarely look at FI8.  Maybe next week.
  • waltz-8 -- ugh.  So sick of these. I'm doing a little better on staying on the circle on the BO edge but the rest is about the same.
  • serpentines -- not too bad.  I'm doing a better job on the change of edge but I really need to get a better push still.  Grr.
  • BO8 -- had some issues on the first try but after that, really pretty quite good.  I was happy.
  • 3s to center -- just a couple at the end.  3s were actually pretty decent, still working on holding the BI edge longer/better.

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Duet Practice

Melissa and I met up this morning on the Chandler FS for duet practice.  We warmed up individually, then did some side-by-side stroking & crossover.  Then we ran the program with music.  Pretty good, some small timing issues that we talked through after.  We ran it again and it was better.  Then we practiced our entrance as it will be for the Gilbert recital a couple of times, then ran the program again with music and it was quite good.  Then we talked through some business and worked with some positioning questions and ran it again with music.  This last time was not quite as crisp; I think we were a little tired perhaps.

We have practice next week and then the recital Saturday 12/21.  Yay!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


My lesson with JJ on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Gilbert.  We spent our time reviewing most of my elements in prep for starting choreography next week for the new free skate.

Today's lesson:
  • waltz jump -- not bad.  JJ reminded me that now that I have an actual rocker I need to bend my knee more and really get good spring.
  • salchow -- first one was ucky but the second was not bad, actually.
  • lunge -- not bad, but JJ wants me to work on picking up the trailing leg without scraping the blade.  Ugh.
  • spirals -- JJ asked me if I wanted to try a back spiral, so I said sure :-).  Worked through it a bit and did several.  I have a hard time keeping them on the flat but they weren't that bad.
  • spins -- meh.  They were inconsistent, as usual.
  • backspin -- finished up running through my exercises a couple of times each; they are getting better.  Then some time working on attempting the backspin.  A little better/closer than before but still not there yet.  Someday!

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Monday, December 09, 2013

Toe Loop, Mohawks, Inside Spread Eagle

I had a lesson with Sonya on the tail end of the WSC public.  By the time I got there from work, I only had 5 minutes to warm up before my  lesson.  I'd not had a lesson on a public session in literally years, and it was kind of crowded -- plus 1/3+ of the rink was sectioned off for some kind of hockey lessons.  Urp.

Today's lesson:
  • toe loop -- we worked on pivots, again, and on getting the hips opened up.  We worked for about 15 minutes with not much progress though :-(.
  • mohawks -- we worked on trying to improve these since they are so hopped/jumped.  Sonya had me work on holding the edge longer before the turn, and to really bring the hand/shoulder/upper body around more.  There was some improvement.  The other issue with these is bringing the free foot in and placing it correctly but we didn't work on that much.
  • inside spread eagle -- for some reason we got to working on these.  They are kind of scary for me because I always feel like I am going to fall out of the circle, but I did manage several of them (they were more like 2-foot spins with the legs apart :-( ).   I needed to really bend my knees and try to lean into the circle a little/have a good inside edge.
And that was all we had time for!  Sonya was really excited about the progress on the spread eagle.

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Thursday, December 05, 2013

Duet Practice

I skated the Chandler coffee club for duet practice with Melissa.  We are going to skate our duet again, for the Gilbert recital 12/21.  I got to the rink a bit late due to a work meeting.  Warmed up a bit, then we warmed up with some side-by-side stroking and crossovers, then ran the program without music.  A little rough in places but not too bad.  We worked out a couple of small things, then ran it with music.  Not too bad!  A couple of minor tweaks, and we ran it again and it was pretty good!

We'll practice a couple more times before we do it.  I'm very pleased at how well we remembered things -- for not having skated this for almost a month, we did really well.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

FO8, BO8, Waltz-8, BI8

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler coffee club.  As usual, I did edges, scribed circles, and started on the Preliminary test, however I'd only finished FI8 when Lynne came on the ice.

Today's lesson:
  • FO8 -- these were really good!
  • BO8 -- these were not so good, though they did get better.  Really, the first RBO is what I'm struggling with right now, trying to hold that position for the first half and get a good push in.  Subsequent BOs were really pretty good, actually.
  • waltz-8 -- About the same. We spent more time just working on the step forward again.  Nothing really new here. :-(
  • BI8 -- okay, despite my constant whining (or whinging, if you're British :-) ) these have actually improved somewhat.  I am getting around (more-or-less) the full RBI even though it's a full size circle now.  The LBI still needs more control but it's better also.  Still a ways to go on these.

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Backspin, Still

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

We spent the first part of our lesson discussing program stuff.  JJ has still not made up his mind about which music he wants.  He asked me to put together a list of elements that were in my last program, so I need to get that to him.

After that we spent our time on backspin, again.  On the 2-foot spin forward-backward push-push exercise I made some progress on getting the backward push to be more like a backspin.  Then we went on to the RFI3-RBO exercise and I had some issues getting that to curve more, but eventually we got there.  Then on to the backspin entry; about the same.  I need to practice this a lot more.  JJ reminded me about the "snap" of the free foot coming around into place but I'm really struggling with it.

I need more practice on this!

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Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Patch Perseverance

I skated the Chandler coffee club for patch practice.  Had a decent skate, worked a bunch on BO8 and waltz-8 and a bit on BI8, 3s and serpentine.

BO8 I finally made some progress when I got the R shoulder to really stay back for the first 1/3 to 1/2 or so.  You would think I wouldn't have to keep re-learning the same lessons over and over...

BI8 is coming along, actually.  RBI is not too bad, LBI weak.

Waltz-8 is just the same.  Ugh.

3s were the same.  Serpentines I still need to push just a bit harder so that I can reliably get around the first 1.5 circles and still make a good transition of the feet.  And I need to push a lot harder when I finally get to change of feet!