Gordon's Sk8er Boi Blog

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

Monday, September 29, 2014

Spin Progress!

My spins lesson with Lynne on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Chandler.  Unfortunately I was running late due to an early morning errand and didn't get there until 7:45.  Grr.

Today's lesson:

  • standing start -- some good progress here.  I actually got a nice 3-rev spin and several 2-rev spins.  The two things that seemed to help are 1) really trying to just relax and 2) thinking about bringing the knee up and in.
  • windup -- again good progress here, including one really nice 3-rev spin.  Pretty much the same stuff applies as from the standing start.  Hmmph.
All in all good progress but still very very inconsistent.  Grrr.

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Friday, September 26, 2014

Duet Choreo!

Melissa and I met on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Gilbert to work with Coach Olivia on the duet choreography.  We pretty much finished it up (phew!) although there are a couple of places where there may be a small gap. Still we have a strong foundation and a lot to work on ... costumes are coming along nicely also.  Just lots and lots of practice!


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Duet Choreo!

Melissa and I worked on our Autumn Antics duet choreography at Gilbert adult skate today with Coach Olivia.

This is coming along well.  We alllmost made it through to the end although there are still some gaps here and there I think.  It's very high energy and upbeat which is kinda tiring!  But if we can manage to really execute I think it will be terrific and definitely a step up from last year.  Lots to do!



My spins lesson with Lynne on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Chandler.  This was a 20 minute lesson (the new norm).

Before my lesson I had a good 30 minutes to work so I spent it on Bronze moves.  I worked on all of them except the 5-step mohawk.  The good news on the power-3s is that I am now more-or-less able to do an entire pattern.  The bad news is that the 3s are not placed well... yet.  Still, it feels like progress to me.

Today's lesson:
  • standing start -- my entrance is getting more consistent, which is nice.   On those rare occasions I'm able to relax a bit and take my time I can get a 2 rev spin before I bail.  Biggest problems now are trying to remember to open the arms, and really getting over the L side.
  • windup -- some progress here.  Toward the end of the lesson I actually managed a really nicely centered 2-rev spin!  I was pretty happy with that.  I'm very inconsistent though.  Urph.
I have some extra time next week (had to cancel my figures lesson yesterday due to work commitments) so we're planning some off-ice spinner training for the end of the week.  I guess I'd better go find my spinner!

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Duet Choreo!

Today we started choreography for our duet for Autumn Antics.  My friend Coach Olivia is choreographing us and since I had the day off we got started on the adult skate at Gilbert.

We worked for an hour and 15 minutes and got about halfway through... *phew* there's a lot of stuff here!  I think Melissa and I both agreed that it's a lot of work but we feel like once we get all this stuff down we will really have an awesome program.



My lesson with JJ on the 10 a.m. FS at Gilbert.  I had the day off today so I moved my lesson to today.

Today's lesson:

  • perimeter stroking -- this is actually looking a lot better.  JJ reminded me not to do too many BXOs in the end pattern.  I actually managed to run through it more-or-less correctly once without stopping and then we worked a bunch of small issues.  I mostly just need lots more practice so I'll be more confident.
  • BXOs to BO edges -- we worked on getting the RBO to go more diagonal/down ice (the LBO is fine).  I guess the summary on that is that I need to bring the L leg back and hold it, not let it rotate me around so that I curve so much.  I've fixed most of the other stuff on this move and fixing the RBO also fixes the issue of me not coming out to the center enough.
  • 5-step mohawk -- this is actually coming along, finally.  The R side is pretty good (for me), JJ pointed out I need to hold the 4th and (esp.) 5th step longer so that I get all the way back to the long axis.  The L side mohawk itself is kinda sucky but if I remember to keep my head up it's better.
I'm realizing one of the things that I am most missing on this is running the whole test from beginning to end without stopping.  I need to start doing that in my practices.

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Friday, September 19, 2014

Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head

My spin lesson with Lynne on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Chandler.  As usual for this session it was just me, Cameron and Jaclyn (and coach Tammi).  We were delayed by 15 minutes as the ice was so bad (fog, bumps) that the skating director (Lord bless her!) told them to Zam it again before she'd let us on.  That helped a lot but it was still quite foggy and raining in the rink.

I warmed up with moves, then we started our lesson:
  • standing start -- mmph.  I don't think I got more than 1.5 revs the whole time.  I just could not get over my L side.
  • windup -- not any better.  Yuck.

A very very frustrating lesson (my glasses were fogged up halfway through so I couldn't see).  I feel like I'm just not getting anywhere and I don't know what to do.  More of the same just does not seem to be cutting it.  I've worked with, what, 5 different coaches on these over the years?  I have been skating for 11 years and I can't spin worth a damn and practically everyone, even adults I know who have been skating for just a few months, can spin much, much better than me.  It's so frustrating.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Preliminary Test, BI8

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler Ice Cafe... We both got there about the same time so all I had done was scribe my circles.

Unfortunately it's been very humid this week (another tropical storm approaching) and apparently they have not really fixed their issues with humidity as it was very, very foggy in the rink and somewhat bumpy also (though clearly they had Zam'd before this session otherwise it would have been worse).

Today's lesson:
  • edges -- Pretty good in general.  BI8 first lobe is still kinda small compared to the other BI lobes and other lobes in general.
  • FO8 -- pretty good.  Had a small issue with my shoulder on the first one.  That happens too much; I really need to focus more from the beginning.
  • FI8 -- not bad.
  • waltz-8 -- Some parts were a bit improved but I felt like I was not on very good edges the whole time and Lynne said she felt I was rushing things too much.  Hmmph.
  • BI8 -- we had not done these in a long time... despite that, not actually that bad.  Still needs a lot of work but I improved a lot just in the 5 minutes or so we spent on them.
I really need to find some dedicated patch time when I can practice... otherwise I'm feeling like I am not making any progress.  Alas it's not likely to be like it was when we had 5 days/week of coffee club and I worked 5 minutes away.  But if I can find a good solid hour a week of practice time I think I can make some good progress.

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Power-3s, 5-Step

My lesson with JJ on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Gilbert.  During the warmup I worked through BXOs to landing position, circle 8 and a little 5-step.

Today's lesson:

  • power-3s -- still.   JJ brought out the dreaded hockey stick and worked with me to really make me turn into the circle more.  Actually, it worked.  Then we tried without the stick and it kind of stuck... mostly.  It felt a lot more aggressive on the rotation into the circle, which presumably is what I've been lacking.  Of course then the 3 was early and a bit out of control but at least it happened.  So I'll call this progress.
  • 5-step -- just a little time on these.  I am kind of flat on step 4 but all in all I'm happy with my progress.  I need to work a bit on flow and to get the lobes to be equal on each foot.

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Monday, September 15, 2014


I skated the 7:30 a.m. FS at Chandler. Lynne asked to move our lesson today to later in the week so I had just a normal practice session -- actually the first time in quite a while that I had just a skate with no lesson.  To top it off I had private ice!  A lot of folks were competing this weekend so they skipped today.

I had a really good practice.  I worked on Bronze moves pretty much the whole time.  The BXOs to landing position are okay; I can do them but they still could use more speed and better flow and the RBO still curves around more than I'd like.  Perimeter XOs are okay but still want more speed/flow and I'd like the CW FXOs to be not so clunky.  5-step is slowly improving but at least I get through it now so I call that progress.  Circle-8 I am still having problems with getting all the way around (I find this frightfully ironic considering how easy this is for me in my patch blades).  Power-3s... ugh.  These are by far the weakest link.  My 3s ... I feel like I just need to relearn them entirely.

Finished off with 5 minutes worth of spins and one waltz jump.  Yay!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Preliminary Test

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Ice Café at Chandler.

It was very foggy and the ice had a lot of bumps :-(.  After the drama we've had the past couple of weeks I'd hoped that we would be past this but apparently not.  We've had a lot of rain this week and it's been quite humid (for Arizona).

I had just scribed my circles when we started our lesson.

Today's lesson:
  • edges -- Not too bad.  BI first lobe is too small, but the rest are mostly pretty good.
  • FO8 -- actually, really nice.
  • FI8 -- also pretty nice although I did have some upper-body loss of control moments.
  • waltz-8 -- ugh (as always).  Actually on the R side I was doing a bit better on leaning into the LBO edge across the top.  Not so much on the L side.  I have been working on these forever...

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My lesson with JJ on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Gilbert.  It has been very humid and there were a number of bumps on the ice, grrr.

We spent our lesson on power-3s.  We worked both sides.  On the positive side the back lobe has improved a lot.  It's just, y'know, the actual 3 that's the problem.  I need to relax (again, not my strong suit) and not force it.  I did make some progress but it will take more work.

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Thursday, September 04, 2014


My spins lesson with Lynne on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Chandler.  Before my lesson I worked on Moves... they were okay.  Nice session, just 3 of us (me, Cameron, and Jaclyn).  This was a 30 minute lesson to make up for last week.

We spent 20 minutes pushing from the line.  Eh.  They got better but still not so great.  The last 10 minutes we worked on them from the windup.  I had a couple where I got myself to relax into a bit and they were better.

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Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Preliminary Test, BO8

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Ice Cafe at Chandler.  Beyoootiful ice!

Today's lesson:

  • FO8 -- Not bad.  Still need to work on posture.
  • FI8 -- Decent.
  • BO8 -- wow, I had not done these in a while.  Some control issues.  Flow is generally good and all in all it went better than it should.  Still need to relax and sit back on the blade more.
  • Waltz-8 -- ugh.  This sure hasn't gotten better in the interim.  Again I think I really need to relax and be more methodical about it, esp. the push to BO and the step forward.

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Perimeter Crossovers, 5-Step Mohawk

My lesson with JJ on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Gilbert.  We continued working on Bronze Moves.  Before my lesson I ran the circle-8 and it was improved from what it has been, though the RFI needs more work.

Today's lesson:

  • perimeter crossovers  -- these are actually improved. I'm feeling more confident about the FXOs although I'm still too slow and need to bend my knees more.  We worked a bunch on the BXOs and especially the end pattern.  Good progress on getting down ice more but they still should be smoother and more powerful.
  • 5-step mohawk -- the R side of these is improved.  The left is still pretty rough.  JJ told me to keep my head up more.. on the L side he specifically told me to look at the top of the hockey glass.  This did help some.  On the positive side I am able to do a whole side of them without feeling like I'm going to die... so that is progress :-).

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