Gordon's Sk8er Boi Blog

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

Thursday, July 31, 2014


My spins lesson with Lynne on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Gilbert.

Today's lesson was somewhat the inverse of last week's.  This time my standing start spins were really off; I didn't get any that were good at all.  When we moved on to the windup I had a couple that were better (though, not as good as I've done in the past).  Ugh.  I need more practice on this stuff.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

5-Step Mohawk and BXOs->Landing Position

My lesson with JJ on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Gilbert.  Good ice and only about 6 skaters.  We continued working on Bronze Moves.

Today's lesson:

  • 5-step mohawk -- the good news is that we got me to keep going instead of giving up in disgust.  Besides that, I actually made some progress on fixing my body position on the BO edge on the L side (so, an RBO edge).   The mohawks are pretty horrible though and the pattern's not great either.
  • BXOs to BO edges -- these are about the same.  I was having issues with the RBO curving around too much, when JJ pointed out to me that my arm position is EXACTLY the same between the RBO and the LBO.  That is, I'm facing into the circle on the RBO and out of the circle on the LBO.  Duh.  We tried it once the right way and it was a little better but I didn't do it quite right, and we were out of time.  Oh well.  This is progress!

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Patch Perseverance

I skated the 5:10 FS at Arcadia today... same crowd as last week.  I worked on FO8, FI8, then a little bit of time on 3s to center and serpentines, then back to FO8 and FI8 and finished with a brief look at BI8.

3s were pretty horrible.  Serpentines were better than last week but a long way from the best they've ever been. FO8 and FI8 were much improved from last week.  I was tracing better and I think my circles were better shaped though still need work.  Yay!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


My lesson with JJ on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Gilbert.  Nice ice and only about 7 skaters, most of whom I know pretty well.  Homey :-)

Today's lesson:

  • FXOs -- ugh.  Actually my CW ones are not that bad -- they just feel horribly awkward but JJ says the edges are actually okay.  Underpush is lacking but the position is okay.  I just need to work them a lot more so I won't feel so uncomfortable doing them.  CCW is relatively okay but I don't like doing them either.
  • BXOs -- more ugh.  We spent a fair amount of time working on de-scratching these.  JJ worked with me on having the crossing foot go more diagonal (not the straight-back-and-scratch, lol) and to keep my weight into the circle.  We made very small progress but at least I know what I should do.  Again, more practice needed.
All in all a good lesson.

At lunchtime I was back to the gym, where I met with the personal trainer.  Not a hard sell, which I appreciated.  He showed me some routines, some of which were new and some of which were familiar. My goal for now is to work out 3x/week (MWF) for 35-40 minutes.   If I can do that consistently over the next few months it will put me in a much better place, I think.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014


I skated the 5:10 p.m. FS at Arcadia for patch practice.  There were 6 of us (plus 2 coaches) -- 5 adults (including a pairs team) and one child in a lesson.  I was concerned I wouldn't be able to practice efficiently, especially since I didn't know most of the folks there, but it was fine.

For my first time on patch blades in 2 months (and only the 2nd time since the end of March!) it went okay... after the first half hour (which was horrible!).

I worked mostly on FO8 and FI8 but also a little BO8, BI8 and even some serpentines.  I studiously avoided the waltz-8 :-).  FO8 and FI8 came back somewhat, eventually, though I think my tracing was pretty sad.  Lights were kind of bright so it was hard to see tracings, but I feel like my circles were rather egg-shaped.  Serpentines were pretty pitiful, didn't even make a half circle after the change of edge.  Yuck.  BO8 was surprisingly good (strong, but again bad tracing and return to center inconsistent).  BI8 was really bad.

The deadline for the Sherwood competition (which includes figures) is this Friday.  I think I'm going to sign up for FO8 and FI8.

In other news I joined a new gym that is relatively close to work and worked out there today... yikes I am out of shape.  It's a start.

Monday, July 21, 2014


My spins lesson with Lynne on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Gilbert.

Today's lesson was much the same as last week's.  We started with the standing start.  We worked on them for about 15 minutes and I did about 3 that were really pretty good (2+ revs and some control).  Then we moved on to the windup... ugh.  I don't think I got any that were particularly good.  I'm having a hard time translating my success in the standing start, obviously.  I tend to rush too much and I'm not getting over my skating side as well.   Hmmph.

I talked with Lynne about the upcoming figures competition -- we agreed that if I can get some time to practice patch I will go ahead and sign up.  I'm going to try to see if I can practice at Arcadia after work; in the past the Tu-Th freestyle has been pretty quiet so it might work.  It's worth a try.  Until Chandler opens again it's pretty much my only option.

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Thursday, July 17, 2014


My spins lessons with Lynne on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Gilbert.  Our first lesson in quite a while!

We started with the standing start spins... I hadn't actually lost too much.  After shaking off the cobwebs a bit I was doing a reasonably good job of holding the entrance edge and bringing things together and about 50% of the time I remembered to open my arms up.  Still not doing a good job of bringing the free leg in and standing tall though.

Then we went on to the windup.  Not too bad, all things considered.  I did one that was pretty nice but then (of course) I got all excited and started to rush things, so I had to work on slowing things down and being a bit more deliberate again.

We spent a little time talking about figures and trying to do the figures competition at Sherwood next month.  The deadline to register is 7/25.  I'd like to do something just to keep working on it but of course I've not had a chance to skate patch in a lonnnng time and the Chandler rink is not going to open for a few more weeks.  We decided to see if I could work on patch at Arcadia's evening FS sessions next week -- if so then I should be able to sign up.

In general I'm pretty pleased -- despite all the time off I didn't lose too much.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Back In The Saddle

My lesson with JJ on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Gilbert.  I had not skated in 4 weeks!! Ugh.  I had planned on skating yesterday but some work activities got in the way.  It took me most of my 15 minutes of warmup time just to get somewhat comfortable on the ice.

Today's lesson:

  • backward stroking -- for some reason JJ wanted to start with these.  Of course I was up on my toe a lot at first, but it got better.
  • power-3s -- mmph. Still struggling to get myself turned forward after the BXO.  It's a real struggle on the RFO3 side, on the LFO3 it's better.
  • BXOs -- yuck.  Very scrapey and a lot of the time  I'm not doing a full cross.  I need to practice some back swizzles to get used to putting my weight into the circle and keeping it there.

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