Gordon's Sk8er Boi Blog

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

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

More Power-3s

My lesson with Lynne on the 6:45 a.m. FS at Gilbert.

Once again we worked just on power-3s and really just the R side.  Lynne had me work to improve my body position for the step forward into the 3, getting more turned into the circle.  We also worked on getting me to put the R foot down further inside the circle from the L foot -- that way my weight is magically over the R side when I step and I'm not having to struggle to try to get it moved over.  We had some success with this, actually.  These things still stink but they are stinking slightly less with every lesson so I guess I'm satisfied, for now at least.

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Moves & Salchow

My lesson with JJ on the 6 a.m. FS at Gilbert.  Only 2 more 6 a.m. lessons!  Then we can move to a somewhat more reasonable hour..

Today's lesson:
  • Perimeter XOs -- reasonably okay.  BXOs could use some improvement but I think it is more-or-less passable.
  • Power-3s -- LFO3s are almost okay -- BXOs need improvement and I need to place the 3 better.  RFO3s... still need a lot of work.
  • BXOs to BO edges -- not bad, actually.  Need to have better posture/carriage on the BO edge and again, BXOs could be more deliberate w/better cross.
  • circle-8 -- pretty good.
  • 5-step mohawk -- meh.  Not that bad but I slow down a lot.  I tried to push harder into the last one, got a bit too forward on the blade and almost fell.  Bleah.
  • program review -- we spent about 5 minutes going over what we could remember of the free skate (neither one of us looked at it before our lesson, duh).
  • salchow -- we spent some time on these.  We managed to improve the check on the 3 and to hold the exit longer but I'm still waiting too long and there's not much jump in my jump.  It's mostly a timing issue.  Grrr.
All in all a very productive lesson.  We video'd the Moves so I can look at them later (and cringe, I'm sure).

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Tuesday, December 23, 2014


My lesson with Lynne on the 6:45 a.m. FS at Gilbert.  I am not working on figures for the next couple of weeks as there's no Ice CafĂ© and the morning sessions at Ice Den are not as deserted as they would be at other times -- so instead per JJ I am working with Lynne on my Moves, so of course we worked on power-3s.

Lynne had me skate the move for her and then we worked on the R side.  I'm still not getting over my R side very well.  We worked on the BXO and step forward; Lynne had me work to really turn the body into the circle and turn the head to (duh) actually look where I'm going.  We worked on making this more pronounced and deliberate and it actually did help.  I will still need to work on holding the edge longer... but one thing at a time.  All in all we got a lot out of our 20 minutes.

We'll do this again next week.

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My lesson with JJ on the 6 a.m. (ulp!) FS at Gilbert.  This is our 3rd (of 6) lesson on this timeslot and while I really don't like getting up that early we are being productive... I'm just wiped out later in the day.

Today we went through the Bronze Moves test without stopping:
  • perimeter XOs -- not bad.  Pattern is good.  I need to take my time on the BXOs and get a better cross and better push.
  • power-3s -- still rough.   I almost fell on the RFO3s.  Bleah.  JJ reminded me that I need to do a complete set of lobes on each side -- I did 4.5 on the L side (Didn't do the last BXO lobe).  Ooops.
  • BXOs to BO edges -- mmph.  Not bad but I  still need to work on keeping my head up and sitting back on the edge more.
  • circle-8 -- really good, actually.  I need this to be really good... I'm hoping it will somewhat compensate for weakness elsewhere (*cough* power-3s *cough*).
  • 5-step mohawk -- mmph, just okay.  Again I need to take my time more especially on the first two steps.
After the runthrough we worked on 5-step some more.

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Monday, December 22, 2014


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

Before my lesson I ran through the Bronze Moves test (it took me 10 minutes). R power-3s continue to stink major big time.  The rest of it is actually, while not great, at least not that bad.  Hmmph.

Today's lesson:

  • standing start -- ugh.  I did not get any that were better than 2 revs and most were pretty bad.
  • windup -- not too great either.  We spent a little time just working on holding a deep(er) LFO edge with the free leg back.  Ugh.
Very frustrating :-(.

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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Chandler Holiday Spectacular

Melissa and I skated our "Bop to the Top" Duet at the Chandler recital today.  We were 3rd from the end so we had to wait a while to skate, but as the whole event was only about an hour and 20 minutes we didn't have to wait that long.

It went pretty well!  Not perfect, there were a couple of small things that didn't work as well as we'd practiced, but no major gaffes and it was a lot of fun.  We had a lot of compliments after, which was nice.  We were the only adults skating in the show so I'm glad we were there to represent.

Next stop is testing (hopefully) and then MidWinter in February!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Duet Practice

Melissa and I skated the 7:30 a.m. FS at Chandler for our last practice before the recital tomorrow.

We had a pretty good practice.  We ran the program four times with music and worked on a bunch of small corrections/refinements.  We also ran some individual chunks and worked out some small issues.

The recital is tomorrow at 12:45.  I'm feeling pretty good about it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


My spins lesson with Lynne on the Chandler Ice Cafe. It was weird to be skating at lunchtime in my freestyle blades...  I warmed up with just a couple of laps and some 3s before we started.

Today's lesson:

  • standing start -- ugh.  After a rough start I managed to start holding the entrance edge longer but I had a very rough time trying to get over my L side.  We spent 15 minutes (3/4 of the lesson) without a lot of progress.
  • windup -- I did manage to get these almost as good as my standing start (not saying a lot) after some work.  I did manage a 2-rev spin, that was the best one today.
I'm kind of frustrated.  I'm so inconsistent!  I know it's in my head, I have a hard time settling down and not rushing.  Wishing for some kind of magic bullet on this... grrr.

After my lesson I ran through the perimeter crossovers and then worked a bit on power-3s.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Bopping To The Top

After my lesson (see below) Melissa and I met up on the 6:45 a.m. FS at Gilbert to work on our duet since we are skating it on Saturday for the Chandler recital.

Whoa!  It's only been 6 weeks but it's definitely been... a while.  Also we needed to "turn around" the program, which wouldn't have been a big deal except instead of a straight rotation it was a "mirror" or "reflection" as the curtain will be on the same side as at Autumn Antics, but we will need to face the other way.  So we have to turn it around but also move to the right.

We ran the program 4 or 5 times and also practiced a bunch of individual chunks that needed attention.  We made a lot of progress.  I'd say we are getting through it but it's not particularly crisp right now.  Fortunately we have an hour on Friday which should be sufficient to get things in good shape. I'm not worried.  It will be a lot of fun to skate this with Melissa again :-).

Bronze Moves

My lesson with JJ on the 6 a.m. FS at Gilbert.

Today's lesson was all Bronze Moves.  We ran through the whole test in order without stopping, then worked on some problem areas:

  • Perimeter XOs -- Okay.  My pattern was a little short on the BXOs; that's never been an issue before so I'm not sure what was going on.    In general it was okay although I certainly should skater faster.
  • power-3s -- hmmph. LFO3s were relatively okay.  RFO3s... I did them, more or less, but I almost fell once and in general I think they looked like crap.
  • BXOs to BO edges  -- I was actually relatively pleased with these as I'm doing a better job of not curving around too much on the RBO.
  • circle-8 -- this was actually really good.  YAY!
  • 5-step mohawk -- ugh.  Ordinarily these are not too bad but for some reason I got kind of spooked because Peyton went by me (she wasn't even particularly close! geez) so the last half was kinda wonky.

After we ran the test we spent the rest of our time working on RFO3s.  Yuck.  I just have a bad time getting over my R side for those, at least today.

We talked about our plans for a critique.  I think we will do a video first before we ask any judge to be up at 0-dark-30 to watch me skate.

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Monday, December 15, 2014

3s & BI8

My figures lesson with Lynne on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Chandler.  We took advantage of the good conditions to work on figures today instead of spins (we'll do spins on Wed.).

I warmed up by running through the Preliminary test and then scribed some circles and worked a bit on waltz-8.

Today's lesson:

  • 3s to center -- I've been really focused on my crappy 3s lately.  Some of the things we worked on today were having a better entrance edge, keeping the hands/arms low and not letting them move, trying to keep the free foot close and looking where I'm going after the turn.  We did make some progress I think.
  • BI8 -- whoa. We had not worked on these for a while, though I think I looked at 'em a few weeks ago.  Lots to work on, esp. the push of course and trying to hold that free foot in front a bit longer than I want to.  Lynne emphasized to me that I really need to move the shoulder back and keep it there when I move the free foot back.  I actually made some progress on this issue so that was gratifying.  Yay!
After my lesson I worked a little on serpentines and BO8.  

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Friday, December 12, 2014


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

Before my lesson I worked on Bronze moves (ran the test).  Perimeter XOs - ok.  Power-3s... ugh. BXOs to BO edges... ok.  Circle-8 -- agh, I cannot reliably get around the circle.  Geez!  5-step -- mostly okay.  I feel reasonably comfortable with all of them except the power-3s, and that's mostly the R side.  Yuck.  Still I think I've made a lot of progress compared to a few months ago.

Today's lesson:

  • standing start -- ugh.  A few good ones but then I got all rushed and couldn't get myself to slow down, relax and just let it be.  Grrr.
  • windup -- these were all pretty crappy :-(.  Rushed and just all over the place.
Of course having had a good lesson last week, this one was not so good. It's all in my noggin though.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

FO8/FI8, Serpentine

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler Ice Cafe.  IDC is having an open house this week so the Ice Cafe is free, so there were several new people on the session.  Yay!  Let's hope they stay.

I had a very brief warmup, just time to do forward edges and scribe some circles.  I had my blades sharpened on Saturday so they felt a bit different.

Today's lesson:

  • FO8 -- ugh.  R side was not so great, I had trouble getting over my R side.  L side was fine.
  • FI8  -- pretty good!
  • serpentine -- we had not touched these in some time.  Lynne had me go ahead and push to finish the circle rather than keep stopping all the time.  I'm still not making it the full 1.5 circles on one push (at best it's 1.25, often just 1).  Change of edge is improving though.
After my lesson I worked on 3s to center mostly.  Yuck.  No backwards skating at all today.

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Tuesday, December 09, 2014


When buying my ice contract for Chandler I had bought ice for this Tuesday a.m. since I was getting home late from a trip Sunday night/Monday morning.  Then when JJ told me we needed to move our lesson time I was concerned because I had bought ice time... until I realized I would be done at Gilbert at 6:45 and didn't need to be at Chandler until 7:30.  No problem!  I just drove straight over and it was fine.

I had a fun practice.  I worked on spins a bunch -- just from a standing start, and mostly so that I wouldn't be starting from scratch in my lesson.  I did some that were pretty good!  But then they went downhill from there and unlike last week I couldn't bring them back. I think I was a little tired so that didn't help.

I also worked on moves some more to try to reinforce what I'd just worked on with JJ.  Ugh.

Bronze Moves

My lesson with JJ at our new timeslot, the 6 a.m. FS at Gilbert (*yawn*).

I'd not been on the "first FS of the day" at a rink in quite some time... and of course I was there 15 minutes beforehand only to find the doors weren't even open.  Staff arrived at maybe 8 minutes before (to be fair they probably aren't paid to be there early).  So of course I was a little late getting on the session.  Grrr. I had my blades sharpened when I was in Portland over the weekend but they were just fine. I had my blades sharpened when I was in Portland over the weekend but they were just fine.

Today's lesson:

  • perimeter XOs -- meh.  I'm slow.  Pattern is okay, but I think one side of my BXOs are not fully crossed.
  • power-3s -- ugh.  I got through them but the R side is still pretty ugly.  I'm starting to almost like the L side though.
  • BXOs to BO edges -- these are okay.  I just need to be aware of the things I need to do and make them happen and then they are okay.
  • circle-8 -- just okay.  I really need to work on these more as doing them in my FS blades is waaaay harder and different than my patch blades.
  • 5-step mohawk -- we spent a little time on these.  The R side is okay but I'm still jumping the L side so we worked it with Le Stic.  I need to stand up straighter.
They are slowly coming along.  I think I really just need to keep practicing them a lot.  Not sure how I feel about the concept of testing these 1/30 though.

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Wednesday, December 03, 2014


My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler Ice Cafe.

Today we spent our lesson on the BI8.  We've not looked at this in a while.  The RBI is actually not too bad; after some initial wonkiness I was doing a reasonably good job at the push and making it around the circle okay.  The LBI is still pretty weak though;  the push is lacking and I need to stand up straighter over my skating side and have a stronger core.  Ugh.  Still, some progress.

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Power-3s & Salchow

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

Today's lesson:

  • power-3s -- we worked on both sides, then worked on the R side with Le Stic (Le Baton).  Ugh!  The L side is so much smoother.  On the R side I feel like I'm just throwing myself around.  Anyway JJ gave lots of helpful (more or less) feedback but it mostly comes down to not forcing it and keeping my weight over the edge (duh).
  • salchow -- warmed up with a couple of waltz jumps then on to the salchow again.   Working on checking the entry 3 and holding the LBI a bit longer.  We're almost back to where we were, namely that I wait too long to jump and so the BI edge curves around too much.  Grrr.

Lots to practice.... I feel like I need more ice time but I know part of it is that I've had very little for the past several weeks so I don't feel like I am making any progress.  Ice time Friday morning so I can practice, yay!

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Monday, December 01, 2014

Spin Progress!

My spins lesson with Lynne on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Ice Den Chandler.

I had a half hour before my lesson so I ran through the Bronze moves.  I actually did a complete runthrough including the dreaded power-3s.  I didn't die :-). Still kind of concerned about whether I can make enough progress on these between now and Jan. 30 to actually pass though as the power-3s and 5-step seem quite a ways from passing still and I'm not likely to be above on anything else to make up for it.

Today's lesson:

  • standing start -- we didn't draw any half-circles for me to use as a guide today, and that was fine.  After a rough start I started doing much better... was able to relax a bit more.  They were good, they got worse, then they got better again ... very encouraged as usually once they're bad, they're bad and they don't improve.  I got several 3-rev spins and even one 4-rev spin!  Very exciting.
  • windup -- these are still kinda rough.  The first dozen were not so good (way too rushed) but by the end I did manage a good 3-rev spin.  Yay! 
All in all I'm quite excited by this progress.  I just pray it lasts :-)

Here's a pic of my 4-rev spin (entrance from the right):

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