Gordon's Sk8er Boi Blog

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

Monday, May 30, 2016

Patch Perseverance

I skated the Gilbert adult skate today for patch practice.

I ran through the Preliminary test.  I didn't bring my scribe, and my waltz-8 circles were... not very circular.  The bottom half of each circle was definitely cut in.  Yuck.

Next I worked a bit on BO8, which was not so bad flow-wise but return to center was not so great.  I'm not used to practicing without scribed circles anymore but I will have to before the competition in August!  Eeep.

I finished up with 3s to center and some general work on 3s.  LFO3 is not that bad but really forcing/throwing the hip into the RFO3.  Yuck.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Preliminary Test, 3s

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler Ice Café.  I just had time to scribe circles before our lesson.

Today's lesson:

  • edges -- in general pretty good.  Still wide-stepping the BI takeoff a bit, but I'm doing a better job of getting the foot over and my balance is good.  First couple of BI lobes seemed a bit small.
  • FO8 -- a little shaky in places but okay.
  • FI8 -- pretty good.
  • waltz-8 -- ugh.  The first couple were bad and I put my foot down.  Started again and had issues on the other foot.  Restarted all over again and they were better.  At their best they are maybe 70 - 80% of passing, but mostly not.  Still I do feel I'm making progress, it's just slow.  I need more practice time.
  • 3s to center -- mmph.   I did one LFO3 that was really pretty nice!  In generally that side is better (duh).  The RFO3... I'm still tending to throw my hip into it.  My knees are too stiff on these, that's a large part of the problem. Grrr.
After my lesson I worked on 3s a bit more, then BO8 and BI8.

This is my last time in this time slot for a while; summer schedules mean I have to shift my lesson schedule too. Oh well.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Power Pull Prep & Spins

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

Today's lesson:

  • power pull prep -- that's one description, I guess.   We worked on a drill of skating backwards with C-cuts and working to really get the weight over the skating side.  Ugh.  R side is not bad but the left is a challenge. I'm really having to bend my knees more for this!
  • spins -- JJ gave me a drill to get me to enter the spin stronger, basically on the step forward from the windup to really put the weight over the L foot and then really scoop with the R foot so that it is always to the side and not back.  Yow.  It really made me realize how much my weight is usually NOT in the right place.  Eeep.
All in all I'm really feeling there's a lot of synergy between my power lessons and my freestyle lessons the last several weeks. It's pretty encouraging.

I mailed my freestyle skates off to Oregon at lunchtime to be worked on by Jim at NW Skate Authority so I will not have them back until 6/5.  I still have my patch skates so I won't be entirely off the ice.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016


I skated the 5:30 p.m. FS at Chandler as usual.  Alas, this is my last time for this session for a while as it's being cancelled for the summer.  Hopefully I'll be back on this session in August.  I'll miss all my fellow skaters.

I had a pretty good skate, even though I was tired from a full day of work and power lesson at lunchtime.  I spent some time working on some of the stuff I did with Holly today; then some time on power-3s.  I spent the last 15 minutes working 5 minutes each on salchow, toe loop, and spins.  I have to say that while I'm still not overly happy with any of those I feel like I did get some good practice in.   Yay!


I skated the Gilbert adult skate today for a power lesson with Holly.  My schedule is a little wacky this week, thus the lesson today instead of the usual Friday.

Today's lesson:

  • stroking -- a hard lap.
  • slaloms -- of course
  • fwd c-cuts -- emphasis on getting a good rip from the free leg.  Eeep.
  • fwd/back 2-foot turns -- down the length of the rink.  We spent a fair amount of time on this, alternating directions.  This wasn't really the standard two foot turn, it was almost like a pivot but without the toepick -- by that I mean that for the fwd turn I was sliding one leg out and back around, and then for the back turn sliding one leg out in front and around, if that makes any sense.  It was kinda weird but got better.
  • slalom/hockey glide -- slalom-slalom-glide around a circle, alternating sides.  It really made me get down in my knees to hold that glide, so I guess that's a good thing.
  • lunges -- one lap.  Ugh.
  • FXOs -- as last week, figure 8 around the big circles and then skate to the middle circle.  Holly said I was a bit faster than last week, but it didn't feel like it to me.
I honestly am not certain if I'm getting better or she's going easier on me.

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Friday, May 20, 2016


My power lesson with Holly on the Gilbert adult skate, as usual.  I warmed up with stroking, perimeter XOs and power-3s.

Today's lesson:
  • stroking -- 1.5 laps.
  • slaloms -- one lap.
  • forward swizzles -- one lap.
  • backward c-cuts -- just stroking backward with large c-cuts.  I was getting a nice rip from the BI edge, yay, but was still kinda up on my toes.  Just one lap of these.  I did all 4 of these moves right after the other with no stop.
  • FXOs -- alternating sides L & R on the circles, then stroke to the middle and CCW around the big circle.  I was going pretty fast by then and it was kinda scary.  Holly says it's all in my head, there's no problem with my FXOs and I can do them fast if I just can get myself to do them.... so I tried.  I think I did a little better but it's very frustrating. Just so scary :-(.  Grrr.  It's so annoying to be holding myself back like this.
  • 3s -- we did some alternating FI3s (yikes!).  Down the line, then we moved to the crease and did some there.  LFI3... ugh.  Clearly I need to make myself do these on a regular basis since I could barely manage them :-(.

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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Preliminary Test, B8s

My lesson with Lynne on the Chandler Ice Café.  We started a little early, so I just had time to scribe circles before we started.

Today's lesson:

  • edges -- Pretty good.  First lobe of the BI is still a bit small but the turnout on the initial edge and push is better.  I was pretty happy.
  • FO8 -- pretty nice.  First RFO was a little large (I've noticed this problem recently) but I fixed it on the subsequent circles.
  • FI8 -- pretty nice.
  • waltz-8 -- also pretty nice, actually.  Some small issues and I'm still going out on a bit on the step forward; but the BO edge and the placement of the step forward is pretty good.  I was pleased with my progress on these.
  • BO8 -- wow!  I'm not sure where this came from, but these were really good!  I was so happy!  They felt controlled and generally spot-on.
  • BI8 -- meh.  We've not looked at these in a while so my expectations were low.  I'm not quite getting around the circle, either side.  The initial push was weak, but my position and edge were actually pretty good so I wasn't too disappointed.  Needs some work.
After my lesson I worked a bit more on waltz-8, then some time on 3s to center followed by some work on 3s in general to try to get them more smooth and controlled.  Then a couple of minutes on serpentines so that I could say I worked on all the figures I know today!


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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

BXOs & 3s

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

Today's lesson:

  • BXOs -- we worked on getting me to sit back on the blade more.  A couple of different exercises -- 1) push, back chassé, push.  Idea is to keep the weight in the same place and not shift back and forth. 2) alternating BXOs down the rink, emphasis on straightening that outside leg and really getting a push/rip from it.  JJ says on the perimeter BXOs the judges would like to hear that rip from more than one push :-).  R side is not bad, L side is weak.
  • 3s -- just 5 minutes on these, working to hold that entrance longer and to keep the free hip lifted on the exit.  Ugh.  Still kind of up on the toe there.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2016


I skated the Chandler 5:30 p.m. FS as usual for practice.  I warmed up with some jumps and spins, but then wound up spending most of my time on power-3s and 5-step mohawk.  Nothing really to note but I at least put some time in.

I really feel like I need to be getting more ice time, like, a lot more, and to really work this stuff more so I can get back to where I was last summer, and then improve from there.  Grr.  JJ asked me to start keeping a notebook of my practice, and I have one, but I've not been using it.  Grrr.  What's the point in having a coach if you don't listen to what he tells you??!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Preliminary Test

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler Ice Café.  I warmed up with edges, scribed circles, and then did FO8 and FI8 to warmup.

Today's lesson:

  • FO8 --much better than in my warmup.  Flow was good.  It was hard for me to see my trace (glare) but I though it was just okay; return to center could have filled out more.
  • FI8 -- not bad, though it's been better.
  • waltz-8 -- ugh.  We spent the entire rest of the lesson on these, but that's okay.   I was having a lot of issues on R side.  We spent some time just working on getting me to feel that LBO edge the same as the RBO for the other side, and we did actually make some progress.  Hopefully it will stick; we'll see.

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Wednesday, May 11, 2016


My lesson with Holly.  We had to move it to today from Friday due to a work conflict.  I warmed up with the first couple of Bronze moves.

Today's lesson:

  • slaloms -- 2 laps.  The first lap is pretty nice, then my quads start to get tired and my form suffers. :-(
  • power pulls -- just backward.  We spent a lot of time on these.  We mostly worked on just the R foot.  Trying to really bend into the BI edge is hard, and then to release onto the BO is not quite happening.  Still I think we actually did make some progress.
  • cross steps -- forward and back.  Forward are kind of okay. Backward really stink right now, for the same reasons as the power pulls, basically.
  • FXOs -- in a figure 8, twice around.  Ugh.  Still kinda slow.
  • lunges -- one lap.  Ugh.  I think we haven't done these in a couple of weeks and the R side was a bit rough.
  • stroking -- one hard lap! I couldn't object since for the first time that I recall we didn't start with a lap.

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My lesson with JJ on the 8:15 FS at Gilbert.  I warmed up with jumps and spins.

Today's lesson was just on 3s.  We spent a lot of time working to build my control going into and coming out of the 3.  The LFO3 was not so bad but then we went to the RFO3 and ugh.  So forced.  We did make some good progress though.  Basically I feel like I need some method/technique to calm me down without having to actually take mind-altering drugs, lol.

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Thursday, May 05, 2016

Patch Perseverance

I skated the Chandler Ice Café for patch practice (no lesson today).

I ran through the Preliminary test, and spent about 25 minutes on waltz-8.  I didn't scribe any circles today (maybe I should have) but it seemed like after a rough start I was doing somewhat better.

I finished off by working on serpentines, BO8 and BI8. BI8 was a bit improved. BO8 was a little rough.

Wednesday, May 04, 2016


My lesson with JJ on the 8:15 FS at Gilbert.  Nice ice (well, a little bumpy in places) and just two or three of us for the session. I warmed up with stroking, spins and some salchows, which, sadly, were nowhere near as good as they were last night :-(.

Today's lesson was focused on BXOs and the BXO to BO edges pattern from Bronze moves.  We first focused on getting me to put my weight on the "outside" (pushing) foot.  JJ had me do alternating BXOs down the rink (again, as I told him, I worked with Holly on this last week), working to put my weight on that side as I push from it.  It got better.  After some time on that both down the rink and around the circle, we went on to work on the actual move.  I was having some trouble holding the LBO edge and JJ pointed out that I am picking my free foot up next to me instead of behind. So if I let the free leg come behind me and then pick it up I'm on a much better edge and it all goes better.  Progress!

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Tuesday, May 03, 2016


I skated the 5:30 p.m. FS at Chandler as usual.  11 skaters and 6 coaches!  It's hoppin'.

I spent all my time on jumps and spins.  I made some good progress on my salchow!  They were just not happening so I did the following: 1) practiced on the boards just doing the 3, holding, and then jumping up from the toepick and straight down again to get the feel of getting myself to jump.  Then 2) I practiced them just pushing onto the LFO from the line.  Once these were good I 3) did them from a moving start.  Much better.  I am tending to land on 2 feet; but the entrance and jump are correct and that's most of what I was after.  Spins were pretty ucky.  Toe loop mostly about the same, I still need to get myself to bring the RBO around more.

Monday, May 02, 2016


I skated the 7:30 a.m. FS at Chandler for practice.  Nice ice and just 5 of us plus 2 coaches.

I spent the first 40 minutes on Bronze moves.  I didn't run the whole test, just worked on individual parts that I needed to improve.  I was finally able to see what the judges were getting at when they said I was not on the right edge coming into the BXO portion of the perimeter XO move.  It's pretty easy to fix but I will need to be aware of it every time I do the move, I think.

I spent some time on spins and jumps.  The first salchow I did was actually not bad but the subsequent ones were ucky.... toe loops I'm still struggling to bring that RBO edge around before I jump.  Spins were... bleah.