Gordon's Sk8er Boi Blog

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

Wednesday, March 30, 2016


My lesson with JJ on the 8:15 FS at Gilbert.  I warmed up with stroking and edges and then did some spins.

Today's lesson:

  • FXOs -- my CW one are really crappy.  The CCW ones are not too bad; if only they looked like that when I'm doing MITF! :-(
  • BXOs -- ugh.  Can't bend in these boots yet and trying to get myself to really fix these... not fun.
  • 3s -- just on the circle.  LFO3 are sort of okay.  The RFO3s are really bad.  Like, I really can't do them without forcing them, anymore.  I'm not sure how they got this bad (neglect, I guess) but I'm not happy.  Yuck.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2016


I skated the 5:30 p.m. FS at Chandler as usual.  I was kind of tired from my power lesson and a full day of work but I did manage to get some good work done.  I worked on stroking, crossovers (forward AND back), as well as some Bronze moves.  Still having a hard time bending so BXOs are pretty stinky.  I also spent some time on spins... eh.  No jumps yet.


I had my power lesson with Holly (makeup for last week's missed lesson) today on the Gilbert adult skate. Nice ice, as always, and just 3 skaters and 2 coaches.  I worked on the forward-8 from Bronze moves and it flows really nicely, which does make me think the blade alignment is a lot better now.

Today's lesson:

  • stroking -- of course.  Just one lap.  Holly thinks I look more steady with these boots.  I'm not so sure.
  • slaloms -- one lap.
  • swizzles -- forward and back, a lap each.  Not too bad.
  • half-swizzles -- around the circle, each side for... a while.  Ugh.  My quads weren't happy after the first couple of circles.
  • power-3s -- just the LFO side.  We worked on the back lobe, mostly -- stepping to a a BI (not BO) edge after the 3, getting the head turned and a real BXO.  Some progress, I think.  I really hate these things, and this was the good side!
She kind of took it easy on me, I think, since this was our first time back in a while AND I have new boots.  I was still pretty wiped out though.

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Monday, March 28, 2016


I skated the 7:30 a.m. FS this morning at Chandler.  We are back on the east rink (yay) and the new ice is pretty nice.  Just me and Denali and one other girl, and coaches Tammy and Jamie.

I'm still getting used to my boots.  Ugh. I made myself do crossovers (FXO & BXO, BXO were pretty bad), 3s, and even some spins from a standing start (surprisingly, not that bad!).

I also made myself do a lap of swizzles and another of slaloms, in prep for my lesson with Holly tomorrow.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Patch Perseverance

I skated the Chandler Ice Café for patch practice, as usual.  I was running late, so I only got to skate for 45 minutes.

I ran through the Preliminary test as always.  Someday maybe I won't have to do that.... who knows?  I spent the remainder of the session working on waltz-8.  It was pretty cruddy for a while but did improve a bit. Still the same problems... ugh.

I had a note from Lynne that we can resume our lessons in April.  Yay!!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016


My lesson with JJ on the 8:15 FS at Gilbert.

I am still having a hard time getting used to these boots, though it's getting better.  I'll be really glad to get past this.  I warmed up with stroking and edges and some FXOs.

For today's lesson we just went back and worked on some basics:

  • change of edge -- FOI and FIO.  Actually these are really easy, which again makes me suspect that the blade alignment was not so great before and is better now.
  • FXOs -- not too bad.  On the harder side I need to work on pushing to the side, not back.
  • back swizzles  -- hadn't done these in a long time.  JJ had me get going fast and then lift the free foot (so a BO edge) which was okay.
  • 3s -- just a quick one at the end of the session.  It was okay.
I don't remember my boot adjustment being like this last time, but it was a long time ago so maybe I've blocked the memories :-).  I just need more time in them and life is really busy right now so it's difficult.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Bambi On Ice

I skated the 5:30 p.m. FS at Chandler as usual.  This was my 3rd time in the new boots.  Eeep!

I made myself do edges (forward AND back), stroking (still really slow),  some FXOs and a (very) few 3-turns at the end of the session.  This is still really scary, but I think that's just me being weird.  I keep feeling like I'm back on my heels but I suspect that's mostly that it's hard to bend into these.  I'm only lacing up the bottom 3 hooks right now.  Still, it's slowly getting better.  Eeep.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Patch Perseverance

I skated the Chandler Ice Café for patch practice today.  As usual, nice ice and not too crowded.

I ran through the Preliminary test, and then spent some extra time on waltz-8.    The L side step forward is actually not bad, now.  The R side is still weak.  I realize I approach it entirely differently than the other side so I tried to do it the same, but without much success.  Of course that step forward from the LBO to RFO is the harder direction.

After that I spent a few minutes on 3s to center.  The L side I was actually getting pretty nice flow through the turn and I did hold it out a bit longer but still curving in too early.  The R side was not as good.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

New Boots Still!

My lesson with JJ on the 8:15 FS at Gilbert as usual.  I love this session, it's not crowded and the ice is usually not too beat up.

This was only my second time in my new boots so I'm still a little "Bambi on ice"... JJ took a few moments to look at my boots and the blade install/alignment.  Alignment looks really good.  He says they are set a smidge back from the front of the boot, which is not usual practice, but shouldn't matter.

We kept it simple, starting with forward stroking and then some backward stroking and swizzles.  I feel like I am back on my heels more in these boots (probably because I need to lean into the tongue more) which is a bit disturbing.

All in all not the most productive lesson, but we did get a chance to catch up my PT status and also some evaluation of my performance at PCAS so it's all good.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

New Boots!

I skated the 5:30 p.m. FS at Chandler.  This was my first time in the new boots!

I had picked up my new boots on Friday (3/11).  The blades are temporary-mounted and I'll need to go back after the first 8-10 hours of skating to get them permanently mounted.

The first 15 minutes.... really scary.  It reminded me of how I felt when I first got back on the ice after breaking my wrist. Well, not quite that scary, but pretty scary.  It definitely got better though.  I confined myself to stroking and forward edges, that was about all I could make myself do.

The boots are pretty comfortable, all things considered. I did have some pain in my left foot on the outside, but not too bad.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Patch Perseverance

I skated the Chandler Ice Café as usual today.  Lynne is still out enjoying quality time with her beautiful baby girl, so I just practiced.  I'd not done patch for two weeks due to the competition so some things were a little rough.

I ran through the Preliminary test.  A few minor weaknesses on FO8 and FI8; waltz-8 was about the same.  Step forward from RBO was pretty nice, from LBO not so much, so I worked on it some.

After that I spent the remainder of my time on BO8 and BI8.  BO8 I had a little bit of an issue holding the circle all the way around but it got better.  On the BI8 I had a pretty decent initial edge but the push was lacking and I couldn't hold the circle all the way around.  Grrr.

Monday, March 07, 2016

2016 PCAS Showcase Dramatic Program

Here's the debut of my new showcase dramatic program, "Years".


PCAS 2016 Free Skate Video

Here's the video from the free skate, "Ashton."  This was my last time to skate this program.


Saturday, March 05, 2016

2016 PCAS Free Skate

Today I skated my "Ashton" adult pre-bronze free skate for the last time!

I got to the rink just before 8:30 a.m.; my event was scheduled for 9:12.  I turned in my music and ate a banana and relaxed a bit, then got my skates on and checked in with the ice monitor.  The competition was running about 8 minutes behind at that point.

Finally we were called out for warmup.  I stroked around a bit, then did a waltz jump, then a couple o spins (meh), and then a salchow.  After that I practiced the spin entry from the mohawks, the lunge-3, the spiral into the waltz jump and side toe hop, some more salchows and then finished with some more spins as it was time to leave the ice.

I was the last of 3.  It was supposed to be four but Wild John Cohen (yes that's his name) didn't show so it was just 3 of us.  One competitor, Aziz, was also doing Bronze Pairs (!) and the other, George, was competing for the very first time.  As usual, though, I didn't watch the others since I don't like to compare myself with them before I skate.

Finally it was my turn!  I went out and took my position, and the music started.  Off I went... and after a few seconds I got really nervous!  I don't know why.  So that gave me some difficulty during the RFI3-LFO3 section and the BXOs.  By the time I went into the spiral I was pretty much feeling okay, though, and the waltz jump was HUGE.  Well, it felt huge anyway.  Side toe hop was fine and the whole section after that was okay.  The spin was probably about 2 revs so kind of average for me at this point.  Lunge-3 was okay.  Salchow was not my best but more or less okay.  I had some minor issues getting into the first pivot but it was okay.  I finished on time.

All in all I was pretty pleased.  I did all my elements and I thought I skated reasonably fast and did a better job on keeping my head up (though I'm sure there's lots of room for improvement).

As it turns out George took first, followed by Aziz (that was pretty close though).  I did get one 2nd place ordinal and the rest 3s.  

I'm a bit disappointed, but not surprised.  I needed another jump in this program (we never did add the toe loop onto the waltz jump), and most of all I really need to have decent spins and more than one, and more than one kind.  Like a backspin or a sitspin.  Ugh.

Anyway, onward.  This was my last time skating in these boots!  I'm getting my new ones heatmolded etc. on Tuesday and after they finish mounting etc. I will have the joy of breaking them in.  From there it will be time to buckle down and pass my Bronze moves, and get my spins to finally work.


Friday, March 04, 2016

Practice Ice

This afternoon Melissa and I took a break from watching the competition to go practice a bit at the 2:15 public at East West Ice Palace, since we have no practice ice tomorrow.

We got to the rink about 1:55 p.m.; there was a freestyle session going on, then a Zamboni break.  Alas, most of the skaters from the freestyle stayed and skated on the public session, so as I told Melissa, it was the least "public" public session I've ever been on.  It was hopping!

We only stayed about half an hour.  I worked on stuff from the free skate, especially spins and salchow. Spins were bad but improved. Salchows were really awful -- I could not get myself to bend my knee into them and they were just stiff, and the timing was bad. They did improve somewhat.

In the end we had done about as much as was reasonable so we called it a day and left.  I do think it was helpful.   Looking forward to my free skate tomorrow!

2016 PCAS Showcase Dramatic Program

My Showcase Dramatic program "Years" at the 2016 Pacific Coast Adult Sectionals.

My event was the first one of the competition. There were 3 of us in this event (myself and 2 ladies).  After Ian C. sang "God Bless America" and the National Anthem was played, we took the ice for our warmup.  I warmed up spins, bunnyhop and toe loop as well as waltz jump.  It was only a 4-minute warmup so it went by pretty quickly.  I was skating second, so after the warmup I just had a couple of minutes to wait so I took off my jacket and gloves and tried to relax.

Finally they called me out for my skate, I took my position and off I went!  The first part of the program went pretty well, except that for some reason I don't understand, I forgot to look over my right hand at the very beginning.  I don't know why.  The first spin was not great, like 1.5 revs.

After that I went into the back stroking and for some reason I got way too far down ice, so I was practically in the crease.  Then I came out of that and I should have done one more push than I did, so I was still shifted too much to that end of the rink in the attitude and mohawk/cross that came after.

I didn't do the side-toe hop!  Argh!  I had done this a couple of times.  I'm not sure why.  The rest was that I was still shifted too much to the other end of the rink.  I went through the rest of that part (LFI mohawk, back stroking into BXOs into waltz jump) and it was okay.  The bunnyhop and lunge were fine, and the toe loop was more or less okay.  The rest of the program was fine and I got a pretty good spin at the end, so yay me!  I think I finished a second late or so but I had a little slop in the music so it was more or less okay.

All in all I was pretty pleased with this, for the first time out of a new program.  I know I can fix the small things wrong that I did and it will be fine.

In the end I placed 2nd. I did get one 1st place ordinal, so I was pretty happy with that.  Considering my past results in general this program is off to a pretty good start.


2016 PCAS Practice Ice

Skate buddy Melissa and I had a late arrival in Artesia Thursday night due to a wreck on I-10, so my 6 a.m. practice ice was not exactly something I was looking forward to.  Nevertheless we were at the rink around 5:30 a.m.

Practice ice went pretty well.  There were only 3 of us on it, which was nice.  The ice was pretty good, but hard (fast!) and there were quite a few ruts.  The ruts were small, though, and more a distraction than an actual problem.

I spent most of my time working on the Dramatic program, especially the bunnyhop, the toe loop, and spins. I got a couple of decent spins.  My toe loops were cheated but mostly landed on one foot.  Bunnyhop was okay.  Then I ran my program with music and it was pretty good.  Finally I had a little time so I worked on salchow a bit.  Not too great, but okay.

After practice ice I had almost 3 hours to kill so I got some food and rested a bit.

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Last Practice

I skated for 45 minutes at the Chandler Ice Café, my final prep for Sectionals.

I warmed up jumps and spins, then ran my Dramatic program once with music.  Mostly okay but I was a bit rough in places.  I then worked on stuff from the free skate (salchow etc.), then ran the free skate.  Ugh!  It was pretty bad.  Just some dumb stuff.

I was short on time so rather than spend more time on the free skate, I ran the Dramatic program again.  This time it was pretty good so I called it a day.

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Jumps & Spins

My lesson with JJ on the Gilbert 8:15 FS.  Nice session, just two skaters and two coaches.

Today's lesson:

  • toe loop -- not so great at first.  JJ had me go back and do a couple of waltz jumps, then we went back into them.  After a bit I was doing much better at waiting and bringing it around.  Still two-footing the landing (argh!) but that's a psychological thing -- I know I could have landed it, the position was correct.
  • salchow -- I was rushing these, but managed to fix that so yay me!  Much better.  Still not much spring, though.
  • spins -- these were pretty bad.  I am bringing in my arms in too soon (rushing).  We kind of fixed that and they were better, though not great.
That's all we had time for!  Tomorrow I am skating at Ice Café and then off to SoCal for the competition.

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Tuesday, March 01, 2016


My power lesson with Holly on the Gilbert adult skate.  This was postponed from Friday due to the test session that day.

Today's lesson:

  • stroking -- 2 laps
  • slaloms - one lap? 2?
  • forward swizzles -- one lap.
  • slide swing rolls -- FI and BI swing rolls sliding the free foot.  Ugh.  I'm trying to get deeper edges.  The BI ones were a little awkward at first.
  • toe-toe-toe-toe -- several toe-y things, first, two turns all on toepicks, then, toe-toe and side toe hop.  Eeep.  These went better than I expected though, so yay me!
  • lunges -- one lap.
  • back swizzles -- not too bad.
I do think this stuff has gotten better.  And I'm not nearly as exhausted so that is something I guess.

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Toe Loop & Spins

My lesson with JJ on the 8:15 FS at Gilbert. I'd not skated this session for a long time (Tuesdays I don't usually skate in the a.m.); it was okay.

I filled JJ in on how Sunday went and then we spent a little time on toe loop.  I really just need to be patient and bend those knees on the draw in and let it come around.  Grrr.

We spent of the lesson on spins.  Ugh.  I am so frustrated.  They just stink so badly.  We didn't make much progress.

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