Gordon's Sk8er Boi Blog

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

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Toe Loop & Salchow

My lesson with JJ on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Gilbert.  Got to see skate buddies Brenna and Amber before they head out to competition... nice! Other than that and a couple of others it was pretty quiet.

Today's lesson:

  • toe loop -- some more work on this.  I am getting myself to jump but the timing is still wrong.  We worked on it off ice briefly -- JJ had me practice just jumping up from the  "9 o'clock" position on the left foot and landing on the right (so, a 3/4 jump).  Then back on the ice.  The irony is that before I was jumping too late (toe-waltz) and now I'm jumping too early.  Oh well, it's actually progress I think.
  • salchow -- I actually made some progress on getting myself to slow this down a bit and not rushing.  Timing is better but I'm not doing much of a jump, yet.  Still, it's progress I think. 

Labels: ,

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Toe Loop

My lesson with JJ on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Gilbert.  This was a make-up lesson from a couple of weeks ago.

Today's lesson was just focused on the toe loop.  First we looked at my RFI3 and did a little work to improve my control on the entry and exit.  After that we went to work on the toe loop.  The entry is now pretty solid, usually, but I'm still struggling to actually jump once I'm in the right position.  I did manage it once but landed two-footed.  Grrr.  On the positive side the technique is better and there's no toe-waltzing here.

Labels: ,

Monday, July 27, 2015


I skated the 7:45 a.m FS at Chandler today for practice.  It seems like the first time in a lonnng time that I've just skated a freestyle without a lesson.  I worked a little bit on Bronze Moves, then some time on spins and jumps.  I was not very focused, though, and I didn't run my program. :-(.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Taking Stock; Jumps

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

Today's lesson:

  • taking stock -- we spent some time talking through what I learned from the test and what I want to work on now.  The summary is that I'm going to spend the next few months fixing my jumps with JJ, working on spins and figures with Lynne, and on my own I'll work on maintaining my Bronze Moves and free skate.  I'm also going to try to set up time to work with Holly on power.
  • waltz jumps -- we worked on holding the check on the landing.  JJ says I am tending to bring the right side around to much, so I'm jumping "around" instead of "out".
  • salchow -- we worked just on not over-checking.  I actually did one that was pretty nice although lacking in "jump".

Labels: ,

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Ice Dance #7

Our final installment of the ice dance class at Chandler.

We started out by working on "pretty stroking", crossrolls, then swingrolls/crossrolls.  Then more crossrolls with the dreadful cones (eep!), followed by the lilt and the tuck-behinds.  Ugh.

From there we went through Dutch waltz, canasta tango and rhythm blues several times each both without and then with music.  I can't say they were perfect or even good but I definitely made progress.

I've really enjoyed this class and I felt it did improve my skating.  It was a lot of fun.  I wish it were offered all the time, I would definitely take it.


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Preliminary Test & BO8

My figures lesson with Lynne on the adult skate at Gilbert.  Like last week, somewhat crowded (10 skaters) for figures.

I didn't get to warmup before my lesson, I just had time to scribe circles.

Today's lesson:

  • Edges -- pretty good.  I was really happy with the BI edges, in particular, as my pushoff was really quite good and my lobes were about the same size as for my other edges. Yay!
  • FO8 -- pretty good.  I had one uncontrolled moment but managed to get through it and it was generally ok.
  • FI8 -- pretty good.  I'm doing a better job of bringing my pushes together so they are even and matched.
  • waltz-8 -- Meh. Not as good as they have been.  Not feeling really controlled; too rushed and not taking my time on each element.  They did improve however.
  • BO8 -- about 10 minutes on these.  A little rough to start; the RBO was pretty good after a bit.  The LBO weaker for sure and having a hard time holding the circle out.  Yuck.
The Sherwood competition is one month away!  Lynne and I decided to do FO8 and BO8.  Eeep.  I would have liked to have done  serpentines but they are just too rough and I've not had enough practice time this summer so they are not improving as much as they had.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Ice Dance #6

Installment #6 of the Ice Dance class.  I missed last week due to travel.

For the first part of class we warmed up and reviewed some elements - we worked on keeping our arms still while doing swingrolls & crossrolls.  Naomi had us first hold gloves or guards in our hands, then had us wear cones (!) on our hands/arms to illustrate where our arms actually were.  Eeep.  It is tough to keep those arms straight and not moving when everything else is.  After that we learned inside swingrolls and the "lilt" from the Rhythm Blues.

After that we spent the rest of class learning the Rhythm Blues.  We didn't have music at this point, just worked through the dance, which was hard enough.  As usual I am okay on remembering the steps but not so great at actually skating them.  I do think I am skating a little faster, which is nice.



My spins lesson with Lynne on the 7:45 a.m. FS at Chandler.

I warmed up with portions of stroking, crossovers and some power-3s.  Then I worked a bit on waltz jump and some spins from a standing start.

Today's lesson:

  • standing start -- ugh.  These were pretty much uniformly horrible.  I didn't get more than 2 revs on any of them.  I just could not stay over my skating side, or if I did I could not bring the free leg in.  Yuck.  Just awful.
  • windup -- just a couple of minutes on these.  Still rushing too much and none of them were particularly good.
All in all, very discouraging.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Preliminary Test & BO8

I skated the adult skate at Gilbert for a figures lesson with Lynne.  There were 10 or 11 people so a bit crowded as these things go, but we were productive.

I warmed up with edges, then scribed some circle.

Today's lesson:

  • FI8 -- I started with these just before we started the lesson.  A little rough but not too bad.  Still working on not widestepping onto the left foot.
  • FO8 -- these were a bit rough also at first, but improved.  Again, more work on getting the left foot pushes to be correct but other than that not bad.
  • waltz-8 -- these were pretty rough to start with but did improve quite a bit, to the point where the last few I actually skated with some control (yay!) and didn't look too bad I think.  Finally getting the BO and step forward to be more appropriately placed and more on the circle.  Yay!
  • BO8 -- ugh.  The first few times were pretty rough.  They did come back to me somewhat but still not nearly as nice as they were.  It's the usual culprits; I just had to be reminded to hold that skating shoulder back on the first part of the edge and not let the rotation get away from me.

Labels: ,

Monday, July 06, 2015

Spins & Tuck-Behinds

My lesson with Lynne on the 7:45 a.m. FS at Chandler.  I warmed up with stroking and crossovers and then worked a little on 3s and power-3s.

Today's lesson:

  • standing start -- these were pretty bad.  I just felt off and couldn't get any kind of rhythm for it.  Either I was rushing, or I couldn't get my free side to come around at all.  Yuck.  I think my best was like 1.5 revs.
  • windup -- these were slightly better, actually (though that's not saying much).  Much the same issues.
  • tuck-behinds -- I had wanted to work on these (from the Rhythm Blues) as I couldn't do them at all before and I had worked on them a little bit on my own.  We actually made some good progress!  I was able to do one of them (can't remember which, lol) out on the ice okay; I did 5 or 6.  The other side was okay against the boards but I couldn't get myself to do it away from the boards.  Grrr.  Still, progress, for which I'm really grateful.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Ice Dance #5

Installment #5 of ice dance class at Chandler!  There was no LTS before us today so we had beautiful fresh ice :-).  We didn't have an assistant today, just Naomi and about 9 of us.

We started with the usual warmup of "pretty stroking" (mine is not that pretty) and then reviewed our chass├ęs and crossroll/swingroll combo.  Next we went on to spend a large amount of time reviewing the Dutch Waltz.  It did eventually come back to us, for the most part :-).

From there we went back to the Canasta Tango.  Again, a lot of review including working to get our pattern a bit more correct.  Finally we finished up with a quick practice of the tuck-behinds from the Rhythm Blues and then we were done.

All in all.... it is getting better.  I am still pretty slow, but it's improving.  This morning's practice did help, too.  I just need to get more comfort/practice at skating faster but that will come, I hope.

No class for me next week as I'm traveling :-(. 


Spins, Swing Rolls

My lesson with Lynne on the 7:45 a.m. FS at Chandler.  For the first time in forever, I did NOT warm up with Bronze moves. Instead I stroked and did crossovers and even a couple of jumps.  I also spent a few moments working on the cross chasse's / tuck behinds from the RB.  I can almost do them on one side, but not the other.

Today's lesson:

  • Test debrief -- we talked briefly about my experience with the test and what I learned from it.
  • standing start spins -- the first one I did was terrific! 3 revs.  After that, not so much although they got worse and then better again. Clearly I need to work harder.. at not thinking so much :-).
  • windup -- so-so.  I did manage to do a nice 3 rev spin (not the first one!) that is, I think, the best I've ever done from the windup.  Yay me!
  • swing rolls -- I had told Lynne I wanted to work on these since I have dance class tonight.  We spent about 10 minutes on them -- I put the music on so I would not be able to cheat on tempo.  We did make some progress.  The R side is a lot better than the left, I don't know why.  I did notice that if I do it right I do feel that I settle back on the blade on the 2nd part of the roll and get a little speed out of it. 
As we were finishing up, Naomi came on the ice and saw me practicing my swing rolls.  Yay for showing the teacher you're working on stuff outside of class! :-)

Labels: ,