Gordon's Sk8er Boi Blog

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

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Bronze Moves; 3s; Jumps

My lesson with Holly on the Gilbert adult skate.  This is my last lesson in this time slot 'til fall, sigh!  As usual nice ice and just 3 skaters!

I warmed up with stroking and some edges and circle-8, which was not so great.

Today's lesson:
  • perimeter XOs -- still too slow, and no underpush on FXOs.  But the pattern is good and the BXOs were mostly okay.
  • power-3s  -- ugh. Still pretty horrible, but I get through them.
  • BXOs to BO edges -- getting better.  I mostly remembered to get my arms right, speed was better and the pattern was okay.  I need to hold the last one out a bit more.  I don't think I look comfortable going backward though and I have to fix that as I think I got dinged on it on the test before.
  • circle-8 -- better than in my warmup.  Actually it was fine except I didn't make it around on the RFI circle, I just didn't push hard enough.  The rest of it was good though.
  • 5-step mohawk -- this is getting better. Still dragging my toepick on the BO edge on the L foot though.  But pushing "out" more on the LFI mohawk really fixed that side a lot, thank goodness.
  • 3s -- after running the test (which took about... 15 minutes?) we worked on power-3s and especially the step forward into the 3.  I think we made some progress.
  • jumps -- we finished with a waltz jump, which was pretty good, and one salchow -- which was really good! Good takeoff and landed on one foot!  I was stoked.
I am off the ice next week, and when we come back we will be in our new timeslot (Friday mornings early, ugh!)

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Thursday, May 25, 2017

FO8, FI8, BO8

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler Ice Café.  This is the last week for Ice Café 'til fall.  We will continue on the 11:45 a.m. adult freestyle next week. Hopefully that will be a good environment for patch!

I warmed up with edges and FO8/FI8.  Not too pleased with my 8s as I was having trouble making it around the circle, pushes were not great and body position not optimal.

Today's lesson:

  • FO8 -- worked on being more consistent in getting immediately to a good position after the push; also holding back the free shoulder on the RFO.  
  • FI8 -- not too bad, but some issues on the return to center on the RFI where I felt off-balance and was way too far forward on the blade.
  • BO8 -- had not done these in a while.  Had some real issues with the RBO as far as holding position and fighting rotation.  My position on the LBO is so much better!  On the LBO I keep my free foot close and it looks and feels much better, more secure.  On the RBO I tend to be in "landing position" which is stable but not really what judges want to see.  Grrr.
Starting the 2nd week of June I will have a second hour of patch per week. I'm hopeful that doubling my ice time will help me really progress -- it's badly needed.

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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Bronze Moves; 3s

My lesson with Holly on the Gilbert adult skate.  I'm still getting over being sick so not in the best of moods, but my lesson was okay.

Today's lesson:
  • perimeter XOs -- not too bad.  Still too slow and I need better FXOs.  BXO side was not bad except for one place where I stepped too early.
  • power-3s -- these are really sucky, still.  Both sides, but RFO3 is worst of course.
  • BXOs to BO edges -- slow, but the pattern is good and I remembered to do my arms right :-)
  • circle-8 -- not too bad.  Holly was really pleased with circle size, tracing and lineup of circles and said it was passing.  I told her it needs to be .2 over to make up for other stuff :-)
  • 5-step mohawk -- really slow, still, and a loss of balance moment, but in general it's getting better.
  • 3s -- we spent the last part of the lesson working on improving my 3s since Holly feels (and I agree) that the power-3s are the weakest part of my moves right now.
 I also played part of the music for my light program and so far it seems like it should be okay.  I need to rework the 2nd part though.

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Tuesday, May 23, 2017


I skated the 5:30 p.m. FS at Chandler as usual.  This is the last time for this session 'til fall.  I am getting over a nasty cold so I was not horribly energetic nor productive.  I mostly worked on just feeling the ice and stroking, crossovers, and edges.  Bleah.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017


My lesson with Holly on the Gilbert adult skate.  I was running late so a shorter warmup and lesson; also I was not feeling well so we kept it simple.

Today's lesson was just on the circle-8.  I'm still having a lot of problems getting a good enough push to consistently get around the circle, especially if the ice is not so great, and especially pushing onto the right foot.  So we worked a bunch on things that I'm familiar with from my patch lessons -- really bending into the push, sitting back on the blade, all those things I know I'm supposed to do.  We did make some progress, I think.

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017


I skated the 5:30 p.m. FS at Chandler as usual.  I will really miss this session when it's gone for the summer!

I spent 30 minutes working on Bronze Moves.  They are improving... that's the good news.  The bad news is that as I look at the "focus" for each move, the first three moves have "continuous flow and strength" -- a.k.a. power.  I'm too slow.  Way too slow.  Need to fix that.

I spent the last 15 minutes on jumps.  YAY ME, I managed a real salchow!  And a couple that were almost as good... and of course a large number that were crappy.  Oh well.  A little time on toe loop, not much to say there :-(.

Monday, May 15, 2017


I skated the 7:30 a.m. FS at Chandler for practice.  After missing this session for several weeks due to illness, late nights, and just laziness I got my butt in gear again.  Yay!

I spent the first half or so of the session running through Bronze Moves.  Bleah.  Okay most of it wasn't that bad, other than the power-3s.  5-step is a little rough still, but I think if I slow it down (tempo-wise) I can improve it actually.  Anyway I got through it which, for right now, is probably progress.

I spent the last half of the session working on jumps, and I also tried a few spins -- which were uniformly awful.  Salchow... not that bad.  Not as good as I did last week in lesson but I did land one almost on one foot, and another almost that good.  Tried some single toe loops which were not good; waltz-toe I didn't land on one foot :-(.

It takes me a long time to warm up on Mondays, presumably 'cause I've been off the ice since the previous Thursday.  Yuck.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Waltz-8; Serpentines

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler Ice Café.  Just 3 skaters and nice ice :-).

I warmed up with edges, FO8, FI8, and some work on pushing harder.

Today's lesson:

  • waltz-8 -- almost the entire lesson.  Ugh! This rotten step forward, it's horrible.  Not that the rest of it is terrific, of course, but really... just very frustrating.  I don't feel like we really made any progress.
  • serpentines -- just about 3 minutes on these.  Push is still lacking and I was changing edge too early again.
I have got to find more practice time.  One hour a week just is not cutting it as I spend half my time just getting back to where I was the week before. Ugh.  I talked with Lynne about some possibilities but there seem to be only two, really -- 1) find another weekday lunchtime (this might be possible after May when I have to move my Wed. FS lesson to early morning) or 2) go old school and get up at crack o' dawn.  I'm not a morning person... we'll have to see.

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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Bronze Moves, 3s, Salchow

My lesson with Holly on the Gilbert adult skate. Beyootiful ice and just me today!  What a treat :-)

I warmed up with Bronze Moves and worked on alternating 3s -- I still can't do these.  Ugh.

Today's lesson:

  • perimeter XOs -- wasn't too thrilled with the FXOs, but BXOs were not bad.  I need more speed though.
  • power-3s  -- bleah.  Pattern is good but everything else is pretty stinky.
  • BXOs to BO edges -- not too bad.  Needs more speed and still up on my toe a bit on the RBO.  I reminded Holly that the focus for these first 3 elements is "continuous flow and strength" which is USFSA's adult euphemism for "power". I need more power.
  • circle-8 -- better than in my warmup, but I still came up a little short on the RFI circle to LFI.  I need a better push!
  • 5-step mohawk -- somewhat better.  The change I made to the L side mohawk (pushing out more) really helps, but this is still really rough. Still, at this point it's not the worst move -- that's the power 3s.
  • 3s -- we worked just a bit on FO3s to try to get me to have more control.  As usual for me it's about taking my time and not rushing.  Urph.
  • salchow -- just a few minutes on these.  Took a few tries to get back to taking off in the right place.  After some more work, though, I actually managed a couple that were landed on one foot, so YAY ME! :-) We'll keep working.

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Tuesday, May 09, 2017


I skated the 5:30 p.m. FS at Chandler as usual.  I warmed up with some stroking, then ran through the Bronze Moves test.  Meh.  It's a little nervewracking doing some of these moves on a busy freestyle session, but I managed.

After moves I had about 15 minutes so I worked on jumps. Salchow was (eventually) about the same -- take off was at the right time but landing on 2 feet.  Toe loop, I'm still not bringing it around.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Back Mohawk; Waltz-8

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler Ice Cafe.  A bit crowded today.

I warmed up with edges, FO8 and FI8.

Today's lesson:
  • back mohawk -- at my request we spent some time working on just the back mohawk/step forward that I'm struggling with on the waltz-8.  I'm pretty well able to characterize what's wrong but fixing it is another matter.
  • waltz-8 -- after working on the back mohawk we worked on it in the context of the waltz-8.  I learned (again) that my mind has an amazing ability to view the exact same thing as different when it's in a different context.  So actually the back mohawk is slightly better in the waltz-8 than standalone.  I don't know why.  Anyway it was a little better. I need to keep working on this.

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Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Jumps; 5-Step Mohawk

My lesson with Holly on the Gilbert adult skate... as usual, great ice.  And just 2 skaters!!

I warmed up with edges, circle-8, stroking, and some work on crossovers.

Today's lesson:

  • toe loop -- we worked on this from waltz-toe loop combination.  Holly held my hand while I did them for a bit and this really helped me to slow down and let the R foot come around after the pick-in.  Some really good progress on getting the feel of it back.  When it's good it feels.... not so frantic, lol.  Slowed down and a different, slower tempo; and that feeling of "jumping over" to land on the R foot that I vaguely remember.  I was really happy with this.
  • salchow -- just a few minutes on these.  Again it's all about timing and tempo and down-up-down (and as usual I have problems with the final "down").  After some work we got me to do an almost-okay one... so we moved on.
  • 5-step mohawk -- these are coming along.  As usual the R side is not so bad, the L side is a bit wild. In thinking aloud about why the LFI mohawk on this move is so horrible when I know I'm capable of doing a not-so-bad one, I realized that when I do the LFI mohawk into my spin windup I push it "out" to the left a bit, whereas in the 5-step I'm trying to do it straight which means it's more difficult for me.  So I tried to push it out more and that does indeed help a lot!  So I'm really pleased.
All in all some good progress!

The Wednesday adult skate is going to be going away for the summer so Holly and I discussed new lesson times. It looks like we'll go to Fridays at 7 a.m.... ulp.  Oh well!

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Tuesday, May 02, 2017


I skated the 5:30 p.m. FS at Chandler as usual.  Only 10 skaters today but probably 6 coaches.

I felt like I'd not skated forever!  So it took me a while to warm up. After that I worked on power-3s, 5-step mohawk, and crossovers. I spent the last 10 minutes or so on salchow and toe loop.  No great breakthroughs but some good practice.