Gordon's Sk8er Boi Blog

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

Thursday, April 30, 2015

BXOs & Toe Loop

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

Today's lesson:

  • BXOs to BO edges -- we worked on this move for about 20 minutes, trying to keep me off my toe on the RBO and also work on making the lobe size the same on each side and each lobe.
  • toe loop -- I have not done these in a long, long time.  JJ emphasized that I should really just think about the entry and not get too excited about the actual jump.  We also worked on checking the 3 and holding the R side back until the actual jump.  Maybe next week we can work on waltz-toe :-).

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Serpentines & BO8

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler Ice Cafe.  Apparently Wednesdays are now "patch day" for me... and I am fine with that :-).

Today's lesson:

  • serpentines -- the lion's share of our time today.  We worked some more on the change of edge; specifically on fixing some issues with the FIO transition and also timing of the change so that I don't anticipate the change of edge but try to put it dead-on the long axis.  I think we made some progress.  We also worked a little on trying to get a better/stronger push as I am still not making it all the way around the 1.5 circles needed.
  • BO8 -- just 5 minutes on these.  The RBO is pretty good and consistent; the LBO not so much.  Considering how little time I've had on these I'm not too upset though.  I really need more practice time.
After my lesson I had a few minutes so I worked on practicing a harder push.  I'm just pushing onto an edge (I did all 4 forward edges) and trying to see how many times I can go around.  Other than LFI I am generally only getting 1 1/4 circles, which is consistent with my experience on serpentines.  Hmmph.

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My figures lesson with Lynne on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Chandler.  As per my current policy, since I had private ice I decided to work on figures.

I warmed up with edges and ran the Preliminary test as usual, then scribed some circles and worked some more on the waltz-8.

For today's lesson we continued to focus just on the waltz-8.  It really has improved from where I was a few months ago.    We continued working to get hold the BO edge longer, with much success.  This made the step forward a lot easier and better.  A lot of improvement here.  There is still a lack of consistency on the BO edge and step forward, but hopefully that will come with continued practice.  Posture is better in general but I still have to watch it on the step forward to keep the shoulder back and bend the knee.  All in all good progress.

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Friday, April 24, 2015

Circle-8, Power-3s

My lesson with JJ on the 8:15 FS at Gilbert.  I got to the rink and skated the 7:30 a.m. FS, then we had our lesson at 8:15.  I warmed up with Bronze moves and then spent some more time on circle-8 and spins.

Today's lesson:

  • circle-8 -- my experience with these is that unless I have really perfect ice (which I didn't today) I often don't have enough speed/flow to get around the RFO and RFI.  I don't have these issues in my patch skates but the freestyle blades are sufficiently different as to make it an issue. So, we worked on pushing harder/quicker and sitting back more.  JJ also suggested I not put my free hand/arm back so much but just out to the side and to really try to be on the back of the blade from the beginning of the push.  We made some progress on it.
  • power-3s -- we worked on the back lobe, to improve the BXO and get the body position adjusted a bit better.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015


My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler Ice Cafe.

For this lesson we had decided to work on serpentines since we worked on waltz-8 this morning.  We worked on a number of things -- not anticipating the change of edge, body position into the change of edge, etc.  I managed to have a funny fall in the process (no harm done) -- I swear I am the only person who could fall doing a serpentine! Lynne had me bring the free foot forward well in advance of the change of edge so that I am on a stable edge for the actual change.  This had the side benefit of letting me think about the change of edge without having to also think about bringing the foot forward :-).   So I was able to do a much better change of edge (smoother and quicker).  These improved a lot today!  I was really pleased.

I still need to improve my flow through and after the change of edge, and also to get a better push.  Lynne suggested I should work on pushing harder into an FO or FI circle and seeing how many times I can get around the (same) circle -- this is more realistic than pushing onto a flat.  So after our lesson I spent some time on this.  Eeep!  It's really challenging to try to push really hard and still be on a good edge.  Uck.  More work required.

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My figures lesson with Lynne on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Chandler.  Lynne was out last week so we are catching up with two figures lessons today.  I got on the session (private ice!) and warmed up with edges, scribed some circles and then went through the Preliminary test.

We spent our whole lesson on the waltz-8.  As I said to Lynne, it's a good thing I'm not 10 (lol) or I wouldn't be able to stand 30 minutes on just one figure.  We made some really good progress on fixing the BO edge and step forward.  I'm doing a much better job of holding the BO edge around long enough, and that is making the step forward a lot easier.  There's still more to be done but I'm really pleased to be making this progress.

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Sunday, April 19, 2015

GCCC Freestyle

I was still in Santa Fe this morning and skated the 10:30 a.m. freestyle there.  Alas I was running late so I only got 30 minutes in.  Still, at $6.50 it was not too bad.

This was actually rather crowded!  I worked on Moves mostly.  I think I've done better at fixing the feedback in my critique on the 5-step mohawk.  The mohawks themselves still need improvement though.  Power-3s are a little better but the RFO3 side is still pretty weak.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Skating In Santa Fe

I am in Santa Fe visiting coach Olivia while I'm in NM, and I had the opportunity to skate the afternoon public at the GCCC.

I got about 2 hours of skating in, which is a lot more than I usually do at one go anymore.  Also I hadn't skated a public in quite some time.  GCCC's ice is pretty soft.  The session was somewhat crowded and while I really wanted to work on Moves it wasn't a good idea.  I worked mostly on stroking and spins, and did some small chunks of moves in the middle.  I did one reasonably nice 2-rev spin from the windup, which made me happy.

Thursday, April 16, 2015


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

I'm still getting over my injury from last week so I didn't want to work on anything that involved too much twisting :-) so we decided to work on the perimeter crossovers from the Bronze Moves, specifically the issues that I had feedback on in my critique.

Today's lesson:

  • FXOs -- we worked on the weaker side FXOs, trying to get a more convincing crossover with an actual underpush.  Some amount of success, but clearly I need to spend more time on this.  We also worked a bit on holding the extension on the long FI edge in the move.
  • BXOs -- we worked on getting a better cross and more power.  Again, more work needed here.  JJ says these used to be better than they are now... uh oh :-(.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Patch Perseverance

My fall April 6 was harder than I realized at the time (or maybe not) so I have been off the ice since then.  I finally got back today at Ice Cafe.  No lesson today though as Lynne is on vacation, so I had patch practice.

I ran edges, FO8, FI8, BO8, then some extended time on serpentines, then some waltz-8 and just a couple of minutes on BI8.  Things were a little rough after first but got better reasonably quickly.  Serpentines... I am just not making it around.  I know I need to push harder, and I lose too much flow in the edge change.  Grrr.

Monday, April 06, 2015


My spins lesson with Lynne on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Chandler.  I had private ice :-).  I warmed up by running the Bronze Moves test, then I ran my free skate program (first time since PCAS!).  It went reasonably well.  The salchow was horrible but the spin was 2 revs so yay! 

Today's lesson:
  • standing start -- these started off not so great but then improved.  I took a nasty fall about 8 minutes into the lesson as I leaned back a little I think -- fell hard on my left arm and side.  The arm is fine but the ribs are sore :-(.  Anyway continued the lesson and they were just okay.
  • windup -- I got a few that were 2 revs but in general I was still rushing these a bit.  Also I was a bit distracted by pain from the fall, so not the best.

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Friday, April 03, 2015

Power-3s & 5-Step Mohawk

My lesson with JJ on the 8:15 FS at Gilbert.  I warmed up with Bronze moves.

Today's lesson:

  • power-3s -- we decided to start working through the critique feedback.  On the power 3s one point was "don't hold bkwd position so long after 3" so we worked on that.  We wound up making the back lobe a bit shallower so that I'm not waiting so long before doing the BXO and step forward.  This actually made it flow better.
  • 5-step mohawk -- we worked on correcting the two-footedness between steps 4 and 5.  This was partly due to poor balance after the step forward so we worked on that with some improvement.

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Wednesday, April 01, 2015


My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler Ice Cafe.  I warmed up with edges and scribed circles and then it was time to start.

Today's lesson:

  • FO8 - pretty good.
  • FI8 - really nice.
  • waltz-8 -- We worked some more on fixing the BO edge tracing to be on the circle.  I had Lynne stand by the 2/3 circle mark (where I should step forward) and dumb as it sounds it really helped me to wait before stepping forward.  The LBO is still tending to be outside the circle and the RBO inside, but we made some good progress on this.  When I actually hold it all the way it's much easier to step forward.  The LFO edge on return to center is still really weak though.
After my lesson I worked a little on serpentines.  Bleah.

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