Gordon's Sk8er Boi Blog

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

Monday, July 31, 2017

FI8, Waltz-8

My figures lesson with Lynne on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Chandler.  Summer's over (rink-wise) and we are back on the east rink.  I'd forgotten how much softer this ice is than the west rink.  Bleah.  And of course it had not been cut for a while so not the best.  4 skaters and 4 coaches.  I warmed up with edges, scribed some circles and then just a couple of FI8s.

Today's lesson:

  • FI8 -- I was having some issues getting around the circle -- partly me and partly crappy ice.  Which I ought to have enough flow to overcome.... just sayin.  It's the RFI that I was having issues with so we worked a bit on getting me to stand up straighter on/after the push, and to hold that R hand/shoulder back.  Some improvement.  Sherwood's ice is pretty hard/fast so I think that will be okay.
  • waltz-8 -- about 20 minutes on this.  The good news (and it is pretty good news) is that I was not having an issue with the RFO3 on the restart.  Yay!  The bad news is that my step forward/return to center was really awful on the L side.  Yuck.  We finally made some progress when I reminded myself to really focus on the step/push to the BO edge.  That helped a lot and I did do some okay ones at the end.
After my lesson I worked mostly on FI8 again.

Competition is less than 3 weeks away! Eeep.

I was having a weird issue this morning.  It was really humid in the rink, and my glasses kept fogging up... I'm hoping that was a contributing factor.  Anyway I kept having this sort of "whiteout" moment while skating where it was just all white, and I felt like I didn't have any sense of how far anything was. Urp.

Labels: ,

Friday, July 28, 2017

5-Step, Power-3s, Waltz Jump & Salchow

My lesson with Holly on the Gilbert 7:30 a.m. FS.  5 skaters and 3 coaches.

I warmed up with stroking, power-3s, 5-step and perimeter XOs.

Today's lesson:

  • 5-step mohawk -- just working on the improvements we made before and trying to get me to keep my head up on the mohawk. It is actually improved, so that's something.
  • power-3s -- Similarly, trying to keep the head up on these.  Some success and it did help a little.
  • waltz jump -- just a couple that were actually nice.
  • salchow -- after some messing around I got one that was really good!
We also spent some time talking about my light program.  I had a great idea for a program so I'm going to put the other idea aside for now and work on this one.  It's very clever and fun and I think it could be highly effective, though I suspect I can only keep it for a year or so because it has a definite "gimmick" and that kind of gets old.  We'll see.

Labels: ,

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Waltz-8, Serpentine

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler adult FS.  7 skaters and 3 coaches, so a little busier than I'm used to.  This is the last week for adult FS, next week we are back to Ice Cafe and my patch schedule will be a bit wonky 'til after the Sherwood competition.

I warmed up with edges, FO8 (much better, actually) and FI8 (just okay).

Today's lesson:
  • waltz-8 -- literally all but 2 minutes of our time.  We spent most of our time working on the LFO step forward and we did actually (eventually) make some progress in getting a better edge out of it.  I think the key for me was to try to think of the step to the BO edge the same as for MIF BXOs to BO edges; and then to really hold the shoulder back and stand up more on the step forward.  The restart RFO3 is still a bit wonky but it was at least happening, so that was something.
  • serpentine -- just 2 minutes on these.  Ugh, they were rough!  
So I am going to sign up to compete FI8 and waltz-8 (ugh!) at the Sherwood competition.  I'm a bit terrified of doing the w-8 in front of judges, but Lynne's right, I need to get it out there.  I've been told there will be at least one other person doing w-8 so I can lose to someone :-).

Labels: ,

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Patch Perseverance

I skated the Chandler adult FS for patch practice as usual. 6 skaters and 2 coaches... nice ice.

I warmed up with edges, FO8 (actually, pretty good) and FI8 (not as good as usual -- not sure why).

I spent the remaining time (45 minutes) working on waltz-8.  Ugh.  On the positive side my turns in general have improved.  The LFO3 is really nice, and the RFO3 is at least usually good.  On the negative side, my LFO return to center is really bad, still -- I'm coming in like 2-3 feet wide. And I'm still trying to fix my RFO3 on the restart, with not much success.  I'm really concerned.  Yuck.

Monday, July 24, 2017


I skated the 7:45 a.m. FS at Chandler this a.m.  Proud of myself for getting my butt out of bed to get some icetime in -- yay!

I spent about 30 minutes on Bronze moves - ran the test, then came back and worked some more on 5-step to incorporate the stuff Holly gave me to work on.  I'm still not entirely in the groove on this but I feel like if I keep working it will be better.  Pushing onto that 3rd step (when I can do it) does slow me down a bit and give me a rhythm I was lacking.

I spent the last 15 minutes on jumps.  I just did a couple of waltz jumps -- they are a little sloppy, actually, and I'm not getting a good solid landing.  I'm having to step forward soon after which says I'm not in control.  Toe loop - ugh.  I'm still not bringing it around.  I practiced it on the circle like Holly had me doing and also just straight out. Salchow -- meh. I did one that was really nice except I did something weird with my L foot as I was taking off.  Which is too bad because the timing was perfect on it. I am getting a better feel for this though - it's more relaxed and not so rushed, so yay.

Friday, July 21, 2017

5-Step Mohawk, Salchow, Toe Loop

My lesson with Holly on the Gilbert 7:30 a.m. FS.  I warmed up with stroking and some crossovers.

Today's lesson:

  • 5-step mohawk -- we ran through these.  Holly asked me to try doing more of a "push" (and less of a "step") onto the BO edge (3rd step).  It took me a while to sort this out, but it does seem to help me get on a better BO edge and to get off my toe (yay!).  Need to work this more but pleased with some progress.
  • salchow -- had not done these in a while, they were pretty awful to start but improved.  Finally got a nice one at the end.
  • toe loop -- whoa, these were awkward.  Holly had me do them on the circle to try to get me to put more curve into it.  Then they were better but still landing on 2 feet. Finally got a nice one at the end... yay!

Labels: ,

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Preliminary Test

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler adult FS.  We moved my lesson to noon today so only 15 minutes for warmup (edges) and scribe circles.

Today's lesson:

  • FO8 -- ugh. RFO was great; LFO -- I kept leaning out of the circle.  I just could not consistently hold that shoulder back and stand up straight. Ugh. We spent like 10 minutes on this! Grrr.
  • FI8 -- pretty good.
  • waltz-8 -- ugh.  We actually spent most of our time working on the L side step forward to LFO which was really bad. Yuck. Some of that is the same issue as I was having with my LFO edge but of course compounded by the context.  Only got to do the restarted RFO3 a couple of times; it was better but since not so great.
After my lesson I 15 minutes of practice on the waltz-8, still.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Patch Perseverance

I skated the Chandler adult FS for patch practice.  4 skaters and 1 coach!

I warmed up with edges, FO8 and FI8. FO8 was much better today!  Better push and flow, yay!

I spent almost the entire session working on waltz-8. Ugh.  Some progress but I'm still really struggling with the restart RFO3.  Also my return to center on the L foot was horrible, which really doesn't help matters.  I'm kinda freaked out on this.

About 3 minutes at the end of the session on BI8.  Needs a lot of work.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Waltz-8, BO8

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler adult FS.

I warmed up with edges and FO8.

Today's lesson:

  • waltz-8 -- 25 minutes on this! I *think* we figured out (a, or the) key to fixing my restart RFO3 mental block -- it's to restart with the upper body more like the initial start (free side/arm back, R arm leading) and not start off square.  Then when I rotate the upper body for the turn it's what I already know how to do.  Not a cure-all but it helps a lot.  Still more to do on this but grateful for progress.
  • BO8 -- just 5 min on these.  Much, much better than Tuesday!  My first push was awesome and I had a great RBO!  LBO was good also, although I need to watch my body position and get a little more aggressive with the push.  I didn't quite make the full 3 circles on either side but I'm feeling more confident about this.  Yay!

Labels: ,

Moves Etc.

I skated the Gilbert 7:30 a.m. FS today for my lesson - moved due to Cactus Classic tomorrow. I warmed up with stroking and some 3s since I've not skated FS in a while.

Today's lesson:

  • waltz-8 -- I wanted to look at these to see if I have a mental block in FS blades like I do in patch on the RFO3 restart.  Short answer - no.  Hmm.
  • blade alignment -- spent some time looking/experimenting with the blade alignment on my L boot.  It appears that it's a little off.  Holly had me skating a LFO edge and I feel... resistance.  I don't see that with my RFO.  Hm.
  • perimeter XOs -- first time was a little rough, second time was better. I'm just soooo sloooowww.  Ugh.
  • BXOs to BO edges -- mmph.  Holly worked with me to get me to look over my shoulder on the BO edge (AND have the arms right).  Tough.  Some progress, but more work to do.  For some perverse reason it's harder on the RBO than the LBO!?

Labels: ,

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Patch Perseverance

I skated the 11:45 a.m. adult FS at Chandler for patch practice.  I was freshly zammed but still lots of hockey ruts :-(.  5 skaters.

I warmed up with edges and FO8, FI8. Then some time working on 3s, and then about 30 minutes on waltz-8.  Yuck.  My 3s improved and are much better in general, but I'm still fighting that mental block on the RFO3 after restart. I just can't seem to be in the right groove to turn. Ugh.  Gotta find a way to fix this!

I spent a little time on BO8 also. I love these but my push is still a little lacking.