Gordon's Sk8er Boi Blog

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

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Waltz-8, BI8

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler Ice Cafe as usual.  I warmed up with edges and FO8/FI8.

Today's lesson:
  • waltz-8 -- ugh.  3s have improved and BO edge has improved so the sticking point is (mostly) the step forward.  On the positive side that's where I was before I broke my ankle.  On the negative side... this is where I've been stuck for a while.  But, things are different so I'm going to work diligently to fix that step forward so that it works.
  • BI8 -- These are somewhat improved.  The actual edge is mostly not bad.  The push is lacking, but to be fair it probably is the hardest push to do in skating.  At least I enjoy these!

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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Bronze Moves & Jumps

My lesson with Holly on the Gilbert adult skate.  I forgot my jacket today!  I had to borrow one... good thing.  I had pulled all my stuff out of my car so I could transport gear for Fiesta Skate and I forgot to put the jackets back in... oh well.

I warmed up with circle-8 and perimeter crossovers.

Today's lesson:

  • perimeter XOs -- Holly wanted me to run the test, so I did.  These were mostly okay except I got a little off balance and skipped one of the CW FXOs.  The BXOs were somewhat better so that's good. I'm doing a better job of slowing the tempo down on the BXOs.
  • power-3s -- ugh. I did the RFO3s first and they were pretty stinky.  LFO3s were better.  Holly says I need to slow the tempo down on the back lobe BXO here also.
  • BXOs to BO edges -- mmph.  I think my arms are still weird on these but they were better.
  • circle-8 -- these were the best I've done since I came back, and better than in my warmup!  I actually got around the RFO just fine.  LFO circle was a little too large. 
  • 5-step mohawk - yuck.  Holly wanted me to watch the 4th and 5th step, so I did.  The actual mohawks are pretty ugly, especially on the L side.  Grrr.
  • half-flip -- Holly briefly considered working on toe loop from the half flip so I did a couple half-flips, the first since I broke my ankle.  They actually were just fine but doing a toe loop from there seemed a bit much so we moved on.
  •  waltz jump->toe loop -- mmph. The actual waltz jump seems mostly pretty nice.  The toe loop... I'm not bringing the right side around very well and I'm landing two-footed.  Lots of work still to do.

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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Waltz-8, Serpentines

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler Ice Café as usual.  7 skaters and one coach and really nice ice!

I warmed up with edges, FO8, FI8, then did some practice pushing harder and also some 3s.

Today's lesson:

  • waltz-8 -- ugh.  We spent about 20 minutes on these.  Other than inconsistency (!) the step forward is still pretty bad.  Even if I remember to keep my shoulder back, I then wound up leaning out of the circle on the return to center -- skid city.  Yuck.  People make this look so easy!  I know it would seem easier if I were in freestyle blades, but I wouldn't really solve the issue here. Grrr.  Lynne says the first circle on each side is better, but when I restart I'm tending to get ahead of myself.  I agree. Bleah!
  • serpentines -- the good news is that my FOI change of edge is actually improved.  I'm not anticipating and it's relatively short and smooth.  The bad news is that my pushes are still too weak (I'm about 1/2 circle from making it around) and am too far forward on the blade on the transition so I lose speed/flow.  Yuck.

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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Perimeter XOs & Toe Loop

My lesson with Holly on the Gilbert adult skate.  Beautiful ice and just 2 skaters!

I warmed up with stroking, circle-8, edges, and some FXOs and 3s.

Today's lesson:

  • perimeter stroking -- Bronze move.  We ran through this, then focused on the BXO portion.  Some frustration on trying to get the pattern right.  It took a while to figure out that the issue was really that on my CCW BXOs I'm doing a very minimal 1st push and then immediately going to the 2nd push.  So the whole thing is over quickly instead of being a slower tempo and more powerful like the other side is.  So once that was understood I made some progress, though I still need to work on it.  Of course I had considered this one of my best moves, but I did get dinged on it when I tested so...
  • toe loop -- I had worked on these on Tuesday a bit.  Still having issues with it though... Holly asked me to try doing a waltz-toe combo and I did (badly) but she was thrilled.  I did jump, but two-footed the landing and while it wasn't exactly a toe waltz the placement of the pick-in was a bit off.

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Tuesday, April 18, 2017


I skated the 5:30 p.m. FS at Chandler as usual for practice.  A little less crowded than usual, I think it was 11 or so plus 4-5 coaches.

I was really tired and didn't feel great but since I missed practice yesterday and lesson is tomorrow I hauled my butt on the ice anyway.  I had an okay skate.  I worked on FXOs, a little on 3s, some time on spins (yuck) and some time on jumps.  I worked on just doing the toe loop and bringing it around without trying to jump and that much was actually not bad.  Salchow was about the same as lesson last week so I guess that's something.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

FO8, Waltz-8, BO8

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler Ice Café.  As has been the case recently, a bit more crowded than in the past -- 8 skaters and one coach.

I warmed up with edges, FO8 and FI8 and then some practice pushing onto the R foot.

Today's lesson:

  • FO8 -- mmph.  Still a bit inconsistent on getting promptly to a good edge (esp. RFO) and holding it.  Better on the LFO, but there I have an annoying tendency to lean out of the circle a bit on the 2nd half of the circle, which pulls me off onto a flat and slows me down.  Ugh.
  • waltz-8 -- after a couple of false starts I was able to get my 3s back to the nice place they were at last week. The key is to keep the free leg close and work on sinking back down in the knee after the turn!  So these were better, except for the step forward on the R side which is still pretty bad.  Yuck.
  • BO8 -- we worked really hard on keeping the R shoulder pressed back on the RBO, with some good results; however my pushes were insufficient and I still wasn't making it around in spite of having a good position and feeling like I was in good control :-(.  Worked on the LBO and there I was really struggling to keep the L shoulder pressed back; the difference is I have better control over all so I never really noticed it before.  That still needs some work.  I really love working on these though :-)

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Tuesday, April 11, 2017


I skated the 5:30 p.m. FS at Chandler as usual. A little more crowded than usual (13 skaters, 6 or 7 coaches).  I don't like skating this session when I've already skated that day as I'm too tired to get much out of it but I was already signed up... so...

I worked on spins (horrible), FXOs (okay but still having problems getting good crossovers from the very beginning).  A few waltz jumps and some time on salchow.

Back Outside Edge Move; Salchow

My lesson with Holly on the Gilbert adult skate.  Move to Tuesday this week due to a work schedule issue.  I warmed up with stroking, edges, the circle-8 and some waltz jumps.

Today's lesson:

  • back outside edge Bronze move -- this is the back outside edge to landing position move.  We had not looked at it, as far as I know.  It's a bit rough in places.  We worked on filling out the pattern, and Holly was big on watching my upper body position.  She says I'm too square and I need to go ahead and rotate the upper body a bit more quickly.  The RBO is a bit rough still, I'm up on my toe and it doesn't feel secure.
  • salchow -- just a few minutes on these.  They are a little better than last week, so that's good.  Still landing on two feet though.  I think I need to relax on these a little more and just let them happen.

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Thursday, April 06, 2017

Waltz-8, Serpentines, 3s

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler Ice Café.  This session was pretty hoppin', as there were a couple of skaters from Scottsdale who joined us (big hockey tournament at the rink there so no ice time); a total of 8 skaters and 3 coaches.  For me it was a little problematic but it worked out okay.

I warmed up with edges and some crappy FO8 and FI8, and a BO8.  Ugh.

Today's lesson:

  • waltz-8 -- we skipped these last time... so... no more excuses.  Actually we made really good progress!  We worked on keeping the free leg in during and after the turn and this time I actually was able to more or less do this.  It helped a lot more than I expected!  Still need to work on not leaning out of the circle on the BO edge and step forward, and to keep the feet closer together (and BEND) on the step forward.  Still, these were better and that's very encouraging.
  • serpentines -- we'd not looked at these in a while.  The FOI was okay, but the FIO... yikes.  This is really bad right now, and it didn't used to be. And of course my pushes are horribly inadequate right now.  Oh well.
  • 3s to center -- just a few minutes on these.  I'm really tending to force these.  Lynne says I'm not turning into the circle with my whole upper body, though of course I think I am. Grrr.  I was able to retain some of my progress in keeping the free leg close, so that was something.
I talked with Lynne briefly about working on my pushes. She said I don't have to practice them on a circle, I can just push to the flat if I want at this point to just work on increasing my power. I need to spend some time on this every time I skate, I think.

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Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Perimeter XOs, 5-Step Mohawk, Salchow

My lesson with Holly on the Gilbert adult skate.  Very quiet session today, just me, Melissa, and Stephanie.

I spent a little time at the beginning of the session looking at the harness again to see if it's more adjustable than we thought, but no, there is no way this thing is going to fit on me :-( it's just too small.

I warmed up with stroking, the circle-8, and some edges and slaloms.

Today's lesson:

  • perimeter XOs -- forward was not too bad although it still takes me a while to get up the nerve to do a "good" crossover.  We spent some time on the BXO side trying to fix some of the issues I had feedback from on my test.  Mostly this involves getting more speed and slowing down the tempo of the crossover.  We made some good progress I think.
  • 5-step mohawk -- ugh.  We actually did make some progress in me filling out the pattern better, but the mohawk needs to be slower (don't rush the 2nd step, especially) and I need to get down in the knee on the BO edge so I don't drag my toepick.   R side is much stronger than the L side.
  • salchow -- continuing from my work yesterday, we made some good improvements in getting me to more reliably jump at the right time.  The issue now is that I'm two-footing the landing.  Still, it's progress as I have to think I get more credit from a recognizable sal with a 2-foot landing than I do from a spincow.
All in all a good lesson.  I'm psyched.

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Tuesday, April 04, 2017


I skated the 5:30 p.m. FS at Chandler as usual.  I had a good skate, although it was a little more crowded than usual (14 skaters and 6-7 coaches, including a dance team) so I was not in the mood to try some elements.

I worked on crossovers (forward and back), power-3s, a little bit on 5-step mohawk, and then spins and jumps.  Some good progress on salchow and waltz jump, toe loop not so much.

Monday, April 03, 2017


I skated the 7:30 a.m. session at Chandler for freestyle practice.  4 skaters and 3 coaches... this is a nice session.  And again I'm just pleased that I got my butt out of bed and made it :-)

I worked on a bit of everything -- spins, jumps, moves.  I had meant to put together some practice notes, but I didn't, so I was a bit inconsistent.  Need to fix that; but I had a pretty okay skate.