Gordon's Sk8er Boi Blog

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

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

3s & Step Forward

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler Ice Cafe.  We had a 30 minute lesson as we had some extra lesson time due to cancellations etc.

For today's lesson I told Lynne I wanted to break down the problem areas of the waltz-8 and work on them... so we did.

Today's lesson:

  • 3s - we spent the bulk of our time on these, working first on the small half-circle by the hockey boxes and then on the bigger circle.  Too much of the time my 3s are slow in tempo ; and my check is lacking.  Made some small progress on getting me to lean into the edge more going into the turn, and I had some that were decent.  It's just a lot harder to really get that edge in my patch blades I think.  Also trying to keep the free leg close all the time and not let it pop out on me after the turn... ugh.
  • step forward -- we spent the last few minutes on these.  Some improvement.
All in all some good work but I really just need a lot more time to practice.  After my lesson I spent the remaining few minutes on BO8 and serpentines.

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RFO Power 3s

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

Today's lesson was just the RFO3 side of the Bronze power-3s.  JJ was shocked because I actually ASKED him to bring Le Stick. (Le Stic? lol). So we spent our whole lesson working through the right side of the power-3s.

I realized a little ways into this that part of my issue is that I would finish the BXO and then pause on the LBI before stepping forward -- which is where I would get stuck.  So part of the solution is to slow down the BXO and then immediately step forward to the RFO.  This actually worked!  I worked through it two or 3 times.  The lobes are really shallow and the 3s are way early... but they happened.  So that's real progress.  Much more work to do but I'm feeling more optimistic about this.

I talked with JJ about our status of these moves.  The plan for now is to try to get a critique of my moves in December sometime, and then if that's okay we'll work on testing in January.  Then I will have to throw my free skate back together in time for MidWinter. Eeep!

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Duet Practice

Melissa and I met up at the 7:30 a.m. FS at Chandler for duet practice this morning.

We had a pretty good practice.  I needed some warmup time and then we worked for about 45 minutes and ran our program... 6 times?  Something like that, with a lot of time also spent just working on pieces as well.

In general I think it's in good shape.  There are some places where we need more guidance and stuff to do, and I still need to work on the last 20 seconds or so but it's in pretty good shape.  We should have two more choreo sessions with Coach Olivia next week and we should be set for Autumn Antics.

Monday, October 27, 2014


My spins lesson with Lynne on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Chandler. We are back to a 20-minute lesson.

During my warmup I ran the Bronze Moves test as I did yesterday.  About the same.  There are two or 3 things that I still need to fix (besides the RFO3 side of power-3s that needs much more work) but I'm really pleased at the progress I've made.

I also quickly ran my Light program and the duet.  Pretty much okay.

Today's lesson:

  • standing start -- meh.  Not nearly as good as last week :-(.  It took a while just to get the entrance edge to come around as much as last week (we did get there) and then I did get some not-so-great spins.  I'm a little disappointed but not surprised they weren't as good.
  • windup -- not so great either, but a little bit of progress at relaxing more and getting the entrance edge longer and around more.  Mmmph.

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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Club Skate

I was in Tucson today to skate with my club (TFSC) at the TCC.  This was our first club skate of the year.  Ice was really nice and we had a great turnout!

I spent the first half of the time warming up and then ran through the Bronze MITF in order (except that I did NOT do the RFO3 side of the power-3s -- still need to work more to get comfy on that).  It's come along really well and most importantly I can get through the whole test okay and not freak out.  I think that's progress.  The goal now is to do this every time I skate.

Next I ran my "Science" program, first without music (or glasses) and then with the music AND the glasses.  It actually went okay and I ended on time.  The spin in the glasses is still scary but it goes okay so I should stop whining I guess.

Last I ran through my half of the duet.  It was okay although I still am having issues getting into the spin.  I'll keep working on it.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Preliminary Test, BO8

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler Ice Cafe.

Today's lesson:

  • edges -- pretty good.  BI lobes are still smaller than I'd like but okay.  The rest was good.
  • FO8 -- pretty decent.
  • FI8 -- pretty good.
  • waltz-8 -- about the same, unfortunately.  Still struggling with the step forward and checking the 3.  We tried pulling part of my scribe out to use as a stick (like this morning w/JJ) but the issue on the step forward here isn't really to turn the upper body quite so much -- if I do then I set up too much rotation and can't hold the edge.  So that was a nice idea that didn't quite work.  Hmmph.
  • BO8 -- ahhh.  These were a little rough at first but after a bit of work they were really quite nice!  I love doing these.
After my lesson I had a couple of minutes so I worked on BI8 (yikes) and serpentines.

I think we need to try a different approach on the waltz-8.  Break it down somehow or something.

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My lesson with JJ on the 7:30 a.m. FS.  I warmed up by running most of the Bronze Moves test (though not in order) -- circle-8, 5-step mohawk, BXOs to BO edges, and perimeter stroking.  Not great, but not that bad and I get through them okay.  I'm just slow.

Today's lesson was all power-3s.  We worked on the left side and that went... okayish.  I got through them and did them, but my lobes were small (and got smaller with time).  I did maintain the axis though.  I went ahead into the R side and did like 3 before I fell (not hard).  So then we went and worked on the R side a bit.  Ugh.  I have a hard time making myself do the step forward from the BXO, much less the turn. So JJ brought out Le Stick :-) and that does help me get turned into the turn.  Hmmph.  We'll need to work on this some more.

So other than the issues with the R side step forward the biggest issue remaining with the power-3s is that I am placing the 3 waaaaay too early, not at the top of the lobe.  Still, JJ pointed out I have to be able to do them first before I can fix that.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Duet Practice

Melissa and I met up on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Chandler to practice our duet for Autumn antics.  Since I have been off the ice and we had not practiced in 3 weeks I was concerned... and it was kinda rough for a while.

We have some work to do, no question.  We tweaked some things and added some really small little business but I have to practice some of this stuff.  I find that I really have to practice this with the music, otherwise I can't seem to really remember what I'm supposed to be doing and I really can't emote properly.  Still I think we have enough time that we'll be fine.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Spin Progress!

My spins lesson with Lynne on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Chandler.  During my warmup I worked a bit on moves and also walked through my light entertainment program which I am doing for Autumn Antics 11/9.  Eeek!  Being off the ice for 2.5 weeks made things a bit daunting but it was okay.  I have a lot of work to do to be ready to compete though.  I had private ice!  Apparently people don't want to skate on Mondays, at least not that late in the morning.

Today's lesson:

  • standing start -- major progress!  First, my entrance edge was much improved.  I did a better job of relaxing and letting it curve around more, so it was pointing more or less back to the line.  With that I managed to do several pretty good spins, and one that was excellent -- 3 revs, nicely centered and with a small circle (maybe 5-6" in diameter).  Awesome!
  • windup -- alas, I couldn't translate that progress into the windup.  I was still tending to rush things and so I didn't hold the entrance edge long enough and things were kinda forced.  Grrr.
All in all I was quite happy with my progress!

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Preliminary Test

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler Ice Cafe.

I am still getting over a cold so I have been off the ice since my return from NWP Regionals... but I figured ( :-) ) I would be okay with some patching.  I had fixed my scribe also!

Today's lesson started pretty much right when I got on the ice w/no warmup.

Today's lesson:

  • edges -- pretty good.  BI first lobe still a bit weak, but overall I'd say passable.
  • FO8 -- pretty good although for some reason my circles were a little small.
  • FI8  -- decent.  We spent a little time trying to make my push for the LFI match the RFI one -- as it is the RFI ones are nicely placed but the LFI ones are too far out, i.e. I'm widestepping a bit. Not too hard to correct if I am actually paying attention...
  • waltz-8 -- what can one say? About the same.  After we went through it we spent some time breaking down the step forward.  I watched Lynne do it once and noticed that she really keeps her hands/arms close immediately before & after the step forward.  So I ran just the step forward and was actually able to improve it a lot... so then we ran it with the turn before it and whammo... Clearly part of the problem is that I don't check the 3 very well and so I'm still fixing my position when I push to the BO edge, which doesn't set me up well for success.  So there's more to fix here, really.
All in all good progress; at least I know more what's going on. 

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Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Preliminary Test

My figures lesson with Lynne at the Chandler Ice Café.  My scribe needs some maintenance so I did not have it today.

Today's lesson:
  • edges -- FO, FI not bad.  BO was pretty good. BI was not that bad; we spent some time working on the first push; trying to get a bigger first lobe with a better edge.  Some improvement.
  • FO8 -- a little uncontrolled at the start but not bad.
  • FI8 -- for some reason I got confused on my LFI circle and it was waaaay too small.  Oh well.
  • waltz-8 -- eh.  About the same.
After our lesson I worked on 3s to center and BO8.  I love BO8!

I really am going to have to find some time when I can practice figures; I'm just not getting enough time and the Ice Café is both a) pricey and b) too far from work to be practical more than once a week.  

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Duet Practice

After my lesson, Melissa and I skated the 8:15 a.m. FS at Gilbert for duet practice.

It's coming along well.  We ran it with music 3 or 4 times and spent a bunch of time working on some difficult areas; we also worked out some additional business for some "dead" areas that we had.  I tried out the hat I'd bought with Olivia on Saturday, and it worked great!  No problems staying on, I actually forgot I was wearing it for a while.

I'm feeling pretty confident about this program.  We have to work it to get more comfortable, but already we are getting faster and more into the program.

Bronze Moves

My lesson with JJ on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Gilbert.  During my warmup I worked on circle-8 and perimeter crossovers/stroking.

Today's lesson:

  • power-3s -- these are getting better.  We worked more on the R side where I have tended to get "stuck" on the back choctaw to start the new turn.  JJ had me hold the stick (ugh I hate the stick!) to get me to really rotate the body for the turn.  It did help a lot.  We made some good progress though, I think.
  • 5-step mohawk -- these continue to improve though they are darn slow...  JJ pointed out that my RFI mohawk and my LFI mohawk look entirely different... it's true.  I tend to hop the R one but not the left.   I really think I just need a LOT more practice and it will get better though.
All in all not a bad lesson.  JJ really thinks I should get a critique and then test sooner rather than later.  I think he thinks I'm aiming for a higher standard than what's really needed to pass.  He may be right, but I also know that with test nerves I have to be somewhat better than I am now so that I can be nervous and still pass.  We'll see. I do think he's right about the critique though -- maybe after Autumn Antics.

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