Gordon's Sk8er Boi Blog

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

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Program Work

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

Before my lesson I ran through Bronze Moves as usual.  I'm really looking forward to having time in lesson to work on these as they are a lot more comfortable now so maybe I would have better luck fixing my power-3s.  I'm actually relatively happy with most of the rest of it.

The sound system was not working :-( so we ran the program once, then started to work on it in chunks.  JJ reminded me to check the rotation on the mohawk-cross step.  I managed a 1.5 rev spin so that was progress considering it was actually in the program.  The salchow... was bad.  We spent more time working on it.  I mostly know what I need to do but somehow I get in the moment and it all goes out the window :-(.  Grrr.

Two lessons on this next week, and then sectionals.  Ack!

Labels: ,

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Preliminary Test & Serpentines

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler Ice Café.

I got on the ice and scribed my circles and then we started!

Today's lesson:
  • FO8 -- not bad
  • FI8 -- nice.
  • waltz-8 -- I'm not happy with the 3s but I think Lynne has decided they are not the first priority (she's probably right).  I'm doing a better job of holding the BO edge around the circle, but my step forward is still usually pretty bad.  Every once in a while I manage to get my foot turned AND to hold that free shoulder back... and then it's almost okay.
  • serpentines -- we just worked on the FOI-FIO ones.  Still not making it around the circle on the FOI but almost there on the FIO!  I was very excited.
After my lesson I worked on waltz-8 a bit more and also 3s to center.

Labels: ,


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

Before my lesson I ran through Bronze Moves, then ran my free skate (using RinkMusic, fun) and then worked a bit on salchow and spins.

Today's lesson:

  • standing start -- mmph.  Not nearly as good as last week -- how frustrating.  I eventually managed to get some 2-rev spins but I'm so darn inconsistent.  Grrr.
  • program entrance -- the first couple were pretty bad but then I did 2 or 3 that were much better -- i.e. they actually looked like a spin and while they traveled a lot (Lynne said not to worry about this too much for now) they were 2 revs.  So that was a positive.
After my lesson I worked on salchow some more and then ran my free skate with music again.

Labels: ,

Saturday, February 21, 2015

TFSC Club Skate

I was in Tucson to skate at the last TFSC club skate of the year.  Nice ice thought a little bumpy on the edges, and only 5 of us so nice conditions.  José was not present so the boombox was not available :-(.

I ran through the Bronze Moves to warm up, then worked on my free skate.  Ran it once with music, then worked on elements of the program, then ran it again with music, then a little more time on elements especially the salchow. 

The good news is that I really do feel like I know this program (again).  But... the salchow is still really horrible and the spin is too :-(.  Ugh.  Oh well.

I really feel like I've lost some ground on my jumps while I've spent so much time on moves.  On the other hand I think I'm skating a little faster and my turns etc. are a bit more comfy.  Ugh.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Program Work

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

Today we continued working on the program.  We ran it twice with music.

The good news is that I am remembering (mostly) the elements and mostly doing them.  The bad news is there are still a lot of rough spots in this program -- the salchow is horrible, the spin is mostly bad, and there are some real weak spots in the footwork.  We worked a bit on the salchow and also some of the footwork but not a lot of progress.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Preliminary Test & 3s To Center

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler Ice Cafe.

I was running a little late so I had just scribed my circles when we started (no warmup, no edges).  Today's lesson:

  • FO8 -- a little shaky to start with.  I keep forgetting to work on getting my pushes to be even -- I keep wide-stepping the push onto the left foot.  Grr.
  • FI8 -- a little wonky, but partly because I was trying to fix that wide-step push.  The push was better but it made my LFI a bit weird when usually it's been quite strong.
  • waltz-8 -- same 'ol same 'ol.  Trying to keep my head up, better posture, relax and hold that BO edge around and then turn to step forward.  Grrr.  I have literally been working on these for 5 years.
  • 3s to center -- just 4 minutes on these.  3s are relatively okay but still working to try to get a better BI edge out.  Lynne suggested I go ahead and put my foot down to fix my position so that I could get a feel for how I should really be -- to get into the same position I have for my BI8.  Whoa!  Pretty different so that was educational.  Bleah.
After my lesson I worked on BO8 and BI8 a bit.

Labels: ,

Spin Progress

My spins lesson with Lynne on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Chandler.   I warmed up by running Bronze Moves (I can do the test in 8 minutes now), then ran some elements from my free skate that I have issues with.

Today's lesson:

  • standing start -- these were really good today!  About the best they've ever been.  Several 3 rev spins.  I was doing a much better job of relaxing and not rushing things.  Some initial issues with getting a good hook on the spin but I managed to improve that.  I was really, really pleased with this.
  • program entrance -- once again we worked on the entrance I'll use for the free skate.  Not nearly as good as the standing start... I'm really rushing things.  We did get some improvement toward the end of our time but the best one was only about 1.5 revs.  Bleah.
After our lesson I had 10 minutes so I worked some more on program elements, then ran the free skate with music.  I finished on time... but only because I left some things out.  Oh well.  The first part was pretty good but I feel like I'm a bit slow and I need to pick up the pace in the second half of the program.  Really, it goes by so fast!

Labels: ,

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Program Practice

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

I warmed up with the perimeter XOs and power-3s from the Bronze Moves test, then ran through the first part of the free skate without music.

Today's lesson was all about the free skate.  First we worked on some elements that I was having issues with - the side toe hop after the waltz jump (I had just forgotten to do it), then some time on the FO mohawk (ugh) and then more work on the salchow.  After that we ran the program with music.  I got a bit behind in the beginning and while I didn't fall further behind, I didn't catch up either AND I forgot the final forward and back pivots.  Grrr.

We took a moment to discuss, then ran the program again.  It was better, and I stayed on time so that was pretty awesome.  I will still need to work a lot on the spin and the salchow as both are pretty horrible.

After my lesson I talked with JJ a bit about new showcase programs.  No firm conclusions but some ideas about how I should approach them -- in particular spend more time/$ learning the program over a longer period of time.  We'll see.

Labels: ,

Sunday, February 15, 2015

2015 MidWinter Warmup

I skated my Showcase Light Entertainment program "She Blinded Me With Science" at the MidWinter Warmup in Artesia, CA (East West Ice Palace).

I was in the second event (scheduled for 8:05 a.m.). I got to the rink about 7:15 (short ride from the hotel), checked in, ate an apple and drank some Gatorade, then got my props sorted out and got into the rest of my costume (coat, wig).

We were called out for the warmup (5 in my group, I was the only male).  Warmup was just okay.  Fresh ice (again, only one event since the surfacing) so it was really fast.  Ran through some stuff but almost biffed it on a waltz jump (bad landing, yuck) which threw me a little.

I skated 3rd.  As usual I didn't watch those ahead of me.  Then Boom!  It was my time.  Jose was nice enough to help me get my table through the door and I skated out.  Set up, assumed my pose and started...

Everything went really well!  I felt like I was skating at a reasonably good pace.  Spin was not too great (as usual) but in general I thought it went quite well.  Finished, took a short bow and skated my stuff off.

As it turns out I got 4th (of 5).  A little disappointed (I won with this program last year, but there were more competitors this time) but glad I skated well.


Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Busiest FS Ever

Melissa and I got in to Artesia last night and today we skated the 9:15 FS at EWIP to get us used to the ice there and get some (for me, MUCH needed) practice.

This was one of the busiest freestyle sessions I've ever been on (not THE busiest, actually, but probably 2nd or 3rd).  19 skaters (including a pairs team) and 4-5 coaches!  Ugh.  Despite that I was able to be reasonably productive and worked on some of my props issues and ran my program in chunks (no music).  It was only 45 minutes but at the end I felt like I was in reasonably good shape for tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Preliminary Test & Serpentines

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler Ice Cafe.  I scribed my circles and warmed up with edges before we started.  Lynne commented that my edges are looking strong and secure.

Today's lesson:

  • FO8 - a little wonky on the first one on each side, then better.
  • FI8 - pretty good!
  • waltz-8 -- a good chunk of time on these.  We worked more on controlling the BO edge and not anticipating the step forward.  I still think I need to stand up a bit straighter on these.  The 3s have definitely improved.
  • serpentines -- just 4 minutes on these.   We just did the FOI-FIO ones.  Strangely enough my circle after the FIO was better than the FOI (which should be easier).  I was somewhat pleased on these but I still need to work to improve power & flow on the FOI part.
I did not skate yesterday morning and I missed my lesson with JJ this morning as well, as I have been feeling really under the weather.  Unfortunately that leaves me feeling woefully underprepared for MidWinter this weekend.  Oh well!

Labels: ,

Monday, February 09, 2015


My spins lesson with Lynne on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Chandler.  I had private ice!

Before my lesson I ran through Bronze Moves once, then ran through my showcase light program (sans props or costume) 2.5 times.  It actually was pretty good.  Tomorrow I have some time so I will run it with some costume (lab coat and wig) and one prop (the infamous glasses). I think that will suffice.

Today's lesson (we had 30 minutes instead of the usual 20):

  • standing start -- ugh.  We didn't have a lesson last week and I've not had a lot of ice time, and it showed.  It took me forever to get myself to hold the edge around long enough -- when I did I felt I was moving in slow motion.  I guess I need to hold on to that feeling, because it works.  Once I sort of fixed that I was working on getting myself to pull in better and stand up straighter.   No really great spins today but several that were 2 revs and kind of okay.
  • FS entrance -- I had told Lynne (and JJ) that I wanted to work today on spins from the entrance I have in my free skate -- which is an RBO w/brush back of the L leg, then step forward into the spin.  After a while we made some progress with this.  There's hope.

Labels: ,

Thursday, February 05, 2015


My lesson with JJ on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Gilbert. It was a bit more crowded than usual, but still pretty workable (6 - 7 skaters and 5ish coaches).

I warmed up by running the Bronze Moves. Since I'd been off the ice (other than figures yesterday) for a week I had low expectations but they were not bad.

For today's lesson, since the sound system was offline we decided to work on some of my program problem points:

  • side toe hop -- after the waltz jump. Actually this wasn't nearly as scary as I feared.  It's fine.
  • lunge -- really, getting straight into the lunge w/no scooter push.  I'm doing it now but I'm having a hard time doing a good lunge in this context, my trailing leg keeps coming around on me.
  • mohawk/cross -- ugh.  I was letting my upper body/arms swing around too much.  JJ got me to check with the arms better and it helped.
  • salchow -- again ugh.  We made a little progress on keeping the entrance straighter and watching the arms.  Part of the reason I am doing a "spin-cow" is I'm bringing my arms in instead of *through*.  We worked on it a bit.
I still need to work on the spiral w/arms and also the FO Mohawk.  Ugh.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Preliminary Test

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler Ice Cafe.

As usual I scribed my circles, then warmed up with edges.  Spent a couple of minutes working on the BI pushoff to try to get a pure BI edge with no BO at the start.  I actually did one correctly! YAY!

Today's lesson:

  • FO8 -- first circle on each foot was a bit weak, but the subsequent ones were pretty good.
  • FI8 -- pretty good.
  • waltz-8 -- as usual, the majority of our time.  We marked the 3 and the stepdown to the BO edge and the step forward on the circle and I worked really hard to actually step at those points.  We made some progress.   The exit from the 3 is really not setting me up for success here; I asked Lynne if we could work on just the 3 some more next week (we'll have an extra 10 minutes next week).  I still need to work on standing up straighter on the BO edge as well.

Labels: ,