Gordon's Sk8er Boi Blog

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

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Toe Loop

My lesson with JJ on the 8:15 FS at Gilbert -- postponed from yesterday.  I'd not skated at this session for a long time, it was nice to see Amber and Brenna, Emma and Tammy and Mark.

We spent the whole lesson working on the toe loop. Ugh!  I have regressed.  Not surprising considering how little time I've had to skate in the last couple of weeks. I did manage one that was pretty good toward the end of our time together.  Either I'm not bringing my upper body around, or I'm not bending the skating knee, or I slip off my toepick... it's always something. Well, almost always.  All in all it doesn't bode well for PCAS.

I have an exhibition in Tucson with TFSC on Saturday, and potentially a lesson with JJ on Monday.  Then a lesson with Sonya on Tuesday while I'm in PDX and then that's pretty much it (a couple more practices).  Eeep.  This will be the last time for this free skate.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Waltz-8, BO8, Serpentines

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler coffee club as usual.  I warmed up with edges, scribed my circles, and did FO8 and FI8 before Lynne came on the ice.  I had to borrow Donna's scribe as I left mine at home.

Today's lesson:
  • waltz-8 -- Argh.  Actually we did make some progress.  My 3s were kinda crappy so I reminded myself to lean into the edge more before the turn (press down on my pinky toe) and that helped a lot.  We did fix some issues with the BO edge but the step forward continues to stink.
  • BO8 -- still working on fixing my posture etc.  We made some progress but while I'm keeping the free leg/foot close it's not really tucked in like I think it needs to be.  Hmm.
  • serpentines -- Ugh.  Not too great.  I'm really not getting a big enough push, and I really need to strengthen my core when I go through the change of edge so I don't get forward on my blade.  Hmmph.

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I skated the 8:15 FS at Gilbert this morning.  I was supposed to have a lesson with JJ but he had to stay home as his daughter was sick.

I worked a lot on my toe loop, plus salchow and spins.  I ran each program once.  Free skate was okay.  Dramatic -- I forgot part of my program (after the spin) and so I was a bit late finishing.  Grrr.  Worked some more on the toe loop to finish.  I finally got a good one at the end.  Needless to say I'm concerned about the waltz-toe in the free skate as I think I've managed to do it exactly once at this point. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


I skated the last 45 minutes of the 5 p.m. FS at Chandler to get some practice in since I'd not skated since Friday.  Worked on toe loop, spins, salchow, and ran the free skate once.  Urp.  Mostly okay but didn't get the toe loop.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Patch Perseverance

I skated the Chandler coffee club for patch practice.  Not my best practice; I was kinda tired and out of sorts.  I ran through the preliminary test, then worked a bit on waltz-8 and then a bunch of time on serpentines.  Ugh.  Not much progress.

Program, Waltz-Toe

I had a second lesson with JJ this week at Gilbert this morning on the 8:15 FS.  Sectionals is two weeks away and I'm starting to get a bit freaked out.

For most of today's lesson we worked on the dramatic program; we ran it, critiqued it a bit and then ran it again.  We touched up a couple things, like the slaloms in the first part.  In general it was a lot better than Wednesday; the last time I finished on time, even.  I think at this point the main thing for me to remember is to push harder/faster, and to sell it more -- no relaxing!  Think about each part of the program and what it means and project that.

For the last 8-10 minutes we worked on the waltz-toe combo from the free skate.  Eeep.  I did a couple that were okay, but I had to really slow down in order to make that happen.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Serpentines, BO8, 3s

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler coffee club as usual.  Warmed up with edges, scribed my circles, FO8, FI8, waltz-8.

Today's lesson:
  • serpentines -- better than last week.  The first couple were not so great but I fixed my issue (poor FO edge mostly) and it was better.  I'm still tending to get forward on my blade right after the change of edge; I need to work on that.  Made it to one restart so that was progress.
  • BO8 -- still working on fixing my posture ... ugh!  so hard to hold that shoulder back and get the rest of the position correct. Yikes.  Not much progress.
  • 3s to center -- mmph.  The LFO3s were really nice turns!  The RFO3s not as good. Still lacking control after the turn so I'm not making it back to center at all.  Grrr.  After all this time you would think it would be better.

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

Today's lesson was all about the programs.  First we ran the free skate; probably my best performance on this ever!  I relapsed at the beginning and did a forward pivot/spin instead of the BI pivot I'm supposed to do... but other than that it was pretty good and I finished on time!  The waltz-toe even more-or-less happened.  I was pretty pleased.

After a bit of analysis we went on and ran the dramatic program... ugh.  I kinda forgot a chunk in the middle so it was not so convincing :-(.  My waltz jump was huuuuge though and I think I had pretty good speed.  I need to work on selling this more.

After some analysis/debrief we spent a little time on spins and salchow, just some review/touch-up.

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Thursday, February 14, 2013


I skated the Chandler coffee club today for freestyle practice.  Due to hockey tournaments there's no ice at Chandler OR Gilbert Friday - Monday (grr!) so I really wanted to get some time in.  I only had 45 minutes to skate due to work.

I spent the first half or so working on the toe loop, trying to solidify my technique.  It's about 50-50 right now; I think because I'm anxious about it and also I need to slow things down.  Still at least I know what I need to do so that's a definite plus.  I continued working on the RBO pivot too; key to that (as w/the toe loop right now) is to get the upper body to come around, and put my weight more on the toepick.

For the second half of my skate I worked on the dramatic program, since I hadn't run it, I think, since Autumn Antics (!).  I ran it a couple of times without music and had to fix a couple of things that I remembered wrong.  Then I ran it with music.  I finished a couple of seconds late.  It was a little crowded today (for coffee club), 9 people, so I was a little intimidated to run it fast.  I need to skate faster on this.

I had a chance to talk with Scott W. today, it looks like I might get to announce for Fiesta Skate.  Yay!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Waltz-8, Serpentine

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler coffee club.  I warmed up with edges and scribed my circles.

Today's lesson:
  • FO8 -- actually pretty good!
  • FI8 -- ahhhh.  I love these.
  • waltz-8 -- urgh.  Still working on the same stuff.   Not much improvement at this point.
  • serpentines -- ugh.  Not much better than Monday.  Not even getting around the first full circle.  I'm not sure why that is, or why I am so inconsistent.  Grr.
Just a bit frustrated on this stuff right now, especially the serpentines which were so much better a couple of weeks ago.  Don't know what's up with that.

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Toe Loop & Free Skate

I had my lesson with JJ on the 8:15 FS at Gilbert as usual.

Today's lesson:
  • toe loop -- most of our lesson on this to build on last week's good work. We worked on bringing the upper body around with the R foot.  I'm finally getting a feel for how this is supposed to work, except I'm not really clear on getting the landing right. 
  • free skate -- not too bad.  I need to go right into the RFI3s at the end and not hesitate or worry too much about my position on the ice.  I was a little late ending, mostly because of that and hesitation going into the salchow.

Here's a video of the toe loop.  It's an actual toe loop as far as technique but there's precious little "jump" in it at this point.  Still, it's progress.

Groupings are posted for PCAS.  It looks like I will be skating against a younger (group I) man for the dramatic, and for the free skate it will be me and the guy I skated against last year.  I was also asked last night about adding another man to our event (presumably the same guy I'm competing against in the dramatic), of course I said yes.  I don't know that I have any bronze medals yet, lol.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Patch Perseverance

I skated the Chandler coffee club for patch practice, just 45 minutes worth since I had work commitments but I really needed the time since I'd not done any patch since my last lesson!

I had a very frustrating skate.  I didn't scribe any circles, just commandeered Heidi's (I think they were hers).  20 minutes or so on waltz-8 and ... just yuck.  Then some time on serpentines and they were just awful also.  Grrr.  Oh well.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Back-3s, Toe Loop

I had my back-3 lesson with Lynne on the 8:15 FS at Chandler.  I had the ice all to myself the whole time.  Had about 10 minutes to warm up and then we started.

We did our usual, back 2-foot turns on the circle, BO3s on the wall, back out to the circle.  RBO3 continues to solidify although the first one was probably the best.  I'm still trying to get the knee to bend after the turn and get some flow out, and that is elusive.  The LBO3 is still a challenge.  I'm getting better at attempting the turn but not much better at getting my weight back.  Even with Lynne holding my hand I didn't really do one.  Grrr.  For the last couple of minutes we intro'd BI3s on the wall -- whoa!  That seems like a lonnnng way to turn.  Yikes.

After my lesson I worked pretty hard on toe loop (starting off with RBO pivot).  It's actually coming together!  I was really stoked.  Still not really any "jump" to it (no lift) but the timing seems pretty good.  I did a number in a row and most of them were okay.  Pretty exciting stuff!  Then I went and ran the free skate program and that was okay; I still can't do the waltz-toe right now.  I'm just going a little to fast into the toe loop to handle it just yet.

I need to work on my dramatic but I was short on time, plus I need to watch the video again as there's a part in the middle I'm not sure of.  Sheesh.

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Friday, February 08, 2013


I skated the morning FS at WSC today to followup on my lesson from yesterday.  I only had 45 minutes to skate due to work.  It was a great session, fresh ice and just me, young Anna who I know from SIA, and the current novice dance champions!  They are really fun to watch.

I spent pretty much the whole time working on toe loop (it took me forever to get warmed up :-().  After a lot of work I did manage to replicate my progress from last night, which made me really really happy and gave me hope.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Toe Loop

I am in Oregon for work and had a lesson with Sonya on the 5 p.m. FS at WSC.  I got to see my homegirls Karly and Sierra, which was awesome (had not seen Karly in quite a while).

We spent our whole lesson (at my request) working on the toe loop.  Sonya had me do some exercises at the boards, then we worked on RBO pivot.  Wow!  I stink at these but it's good practice and I did make some good progress; it really made me get the upper body turned and knees bent more.  I still need to work on getting more weight on the L foot though!

After that we spent a bunch of time working on stepping through the toe loop.  Sonya emphasized that after I jump (or step, lol) off the toe pick I have to get the "snap" of the hips to get backward.  We made some really good progress on this (eventually) and I did manage to do a couple that were technically correct though there wasn't any "jump" in them.  Still, this is good progress and I was really happy!

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Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Waltz-8, Serpentines, BO8

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler coffee club.  I warmed up with edges, scribed my circles, and did FO8, FI8, and waltz-8, then we started.

Today's lesson:
  • waltz-8 -- I am doing a little better at the step forward.  I ascribe this to standing up straighter and engaging my core more.  It did help.  I also improved my FO3s by remembering (finally) to keep my head up.
  • serpentines -- alas these were not as good as on Monday :-(.  A little frustrating.
  • BO8 -- still working on improving my position on the RBO; it's a bit of a struggle but all in all not too bad.

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Toe Loop, Spins, Free Skate

My lesson with JJ on the 8:15 FS at Gilbert as usual.  There's some problem with the ice, there was a strip in the middle that was coned off because they had been working on it.

Today's lesson:
  • toe loop -- about 20 minutes on these.   We worked on getting the upper body/shoulders to come around with the R foot.  Argh. Then we worked on getting into it from the waltz jump, and I really get stuck in the check position and can't let go and let it come around.  Some progress, maybe but it's pretty rough.  I'm wondering if I should have some additional lessons just to work on this?  Mmmph.
  • spins -- I am so inconsistent on these!  Got some good ones, and others not so good.  I'm not consistent about keeping the free leg back on the entry, and I don't stay with the spin when I really could.  Grr.
  • free skate -- ran this just once.  Not too bad, finished slightly late but that was partly because I was maneuvering around the cones in the middle.

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Tuesday, February 05, 2013


I skated Chandler coffee club for freestyle practice today.  Just 45 minutes due to work issues.  Worked on jumps and spins mostly, and ran the free skate program once.  Not too bad, finished almost on time, didn't fall, but I need to pick up the pace just a little in the first half -- I need a couple more seconds for the spin to be comfy.  Still, not too bad.

Monday, February 04, 2013

Patch Perseverance

I skated Chandler coffee club for patch practice today.  Warmed up with edges, scribed circles, FO8, FI8, waltz-8.  Spent about 20 minutes on serpentines -- RFO was awesome!  I got all the way around the R foot and alllllmost on the left, I was about 3 ft. short of the restart :-(.  Good stuff.  Alas the LFO was really bad today, couldn't make it the 1.5 circles, I was about .5 circles short.  Oh well.

Went on to work on 3s to center. I got *one* LFO3 that was really nice, the rest were bad to mediocre and so were all the RFO3s.  Oh well.  We won't talk about the BI edge after either.

Finished up working on the step forward.  Made some progress on the RBO but not on the LBO.  Oh well.