Gordon's Sk8er Boi Blog

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

Friday, September 29, 2017

Perimeter XOs, Spins, Jumps

My lesson with Holly on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Gilbert, as usual.  I warmed up with stroking. It was really cold in the rink and I was sleepy :-(

Today's lesson:

  • perimeter XOs -- ran these once through and it was so-so.  Holly pointed out that I'm too much on my toes on the BXOs so I'm either dragging my toepicks a little, or even if I'm not I don't have enough blade on the ice to get enough surface to push from.  She had me try doing the FXOs by the hockey boxes and the BXOs on the other side, the theory being that there are often a lot of people by the hockey boxes so maybe I'm intimidated in pushing harder because I'm afraid of a collision. So I did it again and it was better.  Not sure if it was that reason, or just that I did it again but I'll practice it that way since it doesn't really matter to me anyway.
  • spins -- from a standing start.  I did have one that was pretty good, I was in the sweet spot and I didn't (immediately) freak out.  Still working to keep my head up and not look down.
  • jumps -- waltz jump (meh), several salchows (got better as we went) and then some toe loops (maybe a little bit of progress).
Next week we need to look at my blade alignment on the L foot again -- I think it's a bit off and since I will be off the ice for a week for Regionals it would be a good time to get it adjusted if that's what we need.

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Thursday, September 28, 2017

FO8, Waltz-8, Serpentine

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler Ice Café as usual. Nice ice and just me and Donna skating today.

I warmed up with edges and FI8 and scribed my circles.

Today's lesson:

  • FO8 -- pretty good, except my return to center on the LFO was a little diagonal.  We did a 2nd layout (both in random places, but on a line for the long axis the 2nd time) and it was better.  Flow was pretty good.  Considering the short warmup I thought it was pretty good, actually.
  • waltz-8 -- first set not so great.  Second set was much much better until I fell on the 3rd RFO3.  Urph, I was just going a bit fast and got too forward on the turn.  We worked some more after that and I fell a number of times, I was just trying too hard I think.
  • serpentines -- we just worked on the RFO-LFI side.  I realized I was not really bringing the free leg forward before the change of edge in any considered way, so we talked about that and worked to do that a bit earlier.  This really helped on the FOI to help me stay on a better edge and not anticipate, and I had better flow.  However on the FIO I was really struggling to get the change of edge to happen.  We'll have to revisit that.
After my lesson I worked a bit more on serpentines but still no progress on the FIO change.

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Tuesday, September 26, 2017


I skated the 5:30 p.m. FS at Chandler, as usual. About 9 skaters and 5 or 6 coaches.

I ran through Bronze Moves.  Again circle-8 really is not good.  Other than that, and still being too slow on perimeter XOs (at least forward, anyway) and my power-3s stinking, the rest is not too bad.

After that I worked on portions of my dramatic program -- the mohawk sequence and the bunnyhop->lunge->toe loop.  Then I worked just on spins and toe loops briefly.  I finished up by running the program.  I managed to do pretty much everything (including the bunnyhop, yay!) but again I'm finishing way late.  Of course it didn't help that it was a bit crowded and I had to navigate around people.  Oh well.  Still it's coming along.

Monday, September 25, 2017


I skated the 7:30 a.m. FS at Chandler today to work on choreography with Tammy.  I warmed up with Bronze Moves -- in general not bad except circle-8 :-(.

We started off by working the problem areas for me -- the waltz jump->bunny hop->lunge->toe loop sequence and then the mohawk sequence.  Really good progress on both, really.  After some brief bunny hop review on the wall I was able to do the whole sequence and it was fine.  The mohawk sequence is still kinda rough but it has improved (I think the 5-step mohawk progress I've made was helpful).

After that we worked the end sequence a bit, then talked through some of the "where" for the program, then we finished by running with music.  The good news is that I was able to do the whole program more or less correctly; the bad is that I was probably 15s late!  Eeep.  Well, that will improve.

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Friday, September 22, 2017

Circle-8, Spins, Jumps

My lesson with Holly on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Gilbert, as usual.

I warmed up with perimeter XOs and stroking.

Today's lesson:
  • circle-8 -- it's pretty ironic but I am actually very concerned about this move as I just have issues with it.  We spent some time on it but without much success.  The push is weak and I'm still leaning out of the circle.  Yuck.
  • spins -- quite a bit of time on these.  Still having issues getting over the L side and bringing in the free foot and arms, but I am at least doing a better job of not looking down. Ugh.
  • jumps -- just a quick waltz jump, a couple of salchows, and a toe loop at the end.  

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Thursday, September 21, 2017

FO8, Waltz-8, BO8

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler Ice Café as usual. Nice ice, just 4 skaters and 2 coaches.

I warmed up with forward edges and an FO8, and scribed circles.

Today's lesson:

  • FO8 -- just 5 minutes on this -- we did a layout in a random spot.  Really, pretty nice overall. The first RFO circle still tends to be a little large, at least for the first half. I need to fix that.
  • waltz-8 - about 20 minutes on these.  We really worked on holding the exit of the 3 (and fixed a nagging problem where I was putting my foot down on the exit from the LFO3).  Then more work on the step forward.  I think a little progress here, esp. on bending the knee on the FO edge for return to center.  I'm still stepping out to much on that but it was a bit better.
  • BO8 -- just a few minutes on this.  I'm not getting all the way around on the RBO, I'm curving in to the center of the circle at about the 3/4 mark. Grrr.   We worked on improving the upper body position and holding the free foot in front longer, all things I know I am supposed to do :-).

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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Pursuing The Dreaded Bunny Hop

I skated the 7:30 a.m. FS at Chandler today to work on choreography for my dramatic program with Tammy.

For my warmup I ran through all of Bronze Moves!  Ugh. I was tired after.  Circle-8 is still an issue, the others still need work but are improving.  After the moves I had a couple of minutes so I worked on waltz jump.

For our choreography we reviewed the opening, then ran the program without music.  Urp.  Then we spent time working on the dreaded bunny hop-lunge-toe loop sequence.  Ugh.  I really hate bunny hops! We worked them on the wall and then I did manage to do a few off the wall, but they were very small. I need to work them some more in my practice.

After that we walked through the mohawk sequence.. I am too slow and I spend too much time thinking!  Grrr.   Then some discussion of placement of the mohawk->BXOs into the waltz jump so that I'm not too close to the curtain.  We followed that with a review of the end of the program.

After all that we ran the program with music (cue the scene from Young Frankenstein "Give my creature... LIIIIIIFE!" lol ).  Very rough (I didn't do the bunny hop) and I finished very late  -- although there was some weird glitch with Rink Music where it repeated the last 10-15s for some reason. I thought Tammy had hit the back arrow on the RM unit but she hadn't.  Since I needed more time I didn't really complain :-).

After that we reviewed the very ending pose as I didn't remember it.... and we were out of time.

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Tuesday, September 19, 2017


I skated the 5:30 p.m. FS at Chandler as usual.  As usual I was somewhat unmotivated, but I did work on power-3s, BXOs to BO edges, and 5-step mohawk.  After that I spent some time walking through my dramatic program.  I really need to remember that it's only 3/4 ice for Autumn Antics!

Friday, September 15, 2017

BXO Move, Spins, Toe Loop

My lesson with Holly on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Gilbert.  I warmed up with some Bronze Moves.

Today's lesson:
  • BXOs to BO edges -- this is really improving.  We worked on it just briefly, mostly to get me off my toe more on the RBO.  It's coming along.
  • spins -- we spent about 20 minutes on these. I don't really feel like we made any progress, but Holly was more optimistic.  Mostly working to get me truly over my left side and to pull in (and not look down).  Of course that's 3 things to remember and I can only remember two at a time! :p  
  • toe loop -- more working on this.  Ugh.

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Thursday, September 14, 2017

FO8, Waltz-8

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler Ice Cafe as usual.  I scribed circles & warmed up with edges and FO8.

Today's lesson:
  • FO8 - just one, a layout in a random spot.  Actually pretty good!  My first RFO was a bit big so I corrected on the 2nd and 3rd times around.  In general not bad.
  • waltz-8 -- about 25 minutes on this. A lot of time working to not put my foot down on the exit from the LFO3 (some success) and much work on the RBO and step forward for the left side.  At one point I had Lynne hold my hand right after the step forward to build some muscle memory on bending the knee more and looking to the left.  Key learnings for today were to really bend into the BO edge at the start and to stand up straighter on the RBO, similar to how I do the LBO; and then to (surprise) bend the knee more on the step forward and LOOK TO THE LEFT.  Lol.  No really, it helps.  Anyway I feel like we made some progress, we'll see how it looks next week.
After my lesson I spent some more time on waltz-8 and then just a little time on BI8.

I'm feeling more positive about things but I need to find another hour to practice.  Not sure how I will make that work since I really do have to show up to work :-).

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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

2017 Sherwood Invitational Video - FI8

Here's the video from my FI8 at this year's Sherwood Invitational.



I skated the 7:30 a.m. FS at Chandler to work on choreography with Tammy - brushing up my showcase dramatic program that I competed only once, at PCAS in 2016.

I warmed up running through Bronze Moves.  Circle-8 pretty stinky (how ironic!).   Power-3s meh.  Reasonably happy with the rest.  I still need to get down in my knees a bit more and push the heel down on the BXOs though.

For our choreography, we walked through the program without music, then worked on some of the elements.  We went over the chainé turns and these came back more easily than I expected.  Reviewed the mohawk sequence and that is a bit rough.  Went through the side toe hop that I left out when I competed (oops).  Somewhere around this point we realized that I've never done this at Autumn Antics before and we need to move things down in order to accommodate the smaller ice for that event.

All in all we got a lot done, actually.  I was really pleased with our progress.

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Tuesday, September 12, 2017


I skated the 5:30 p.m. FS at Chandler as usual.  And as usual I started off the session feeling pretty unmotivated... fortunately it got better!

I spent almost all of my time on Bronze Moves -- power 3s, 5-step mohawk and BXOs to BO edges.  I'm actually feeling relatively with the last two -- power-3s are a struggle, mostly because I feel like I really need to settle myself down on them and not rush and not force them.

I also did spend about 5 minutes on spins -- they were pretty ukky. :-(.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

FO8, Waltz-8, BO8

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler Ice Café.  Beyootiful ice and only 5 skaters.  I scribed circles, then warmed up with edges.

Today's lesson:

  • FO8 -- just one layout of these, off the circles.  For no warmup, really pretty good. I was having some issues holding the shoulder back on the LFO.  
  • waltz-8 -- most of our time on these.  Usual sorts of issues plus I was going crazy fast (or so it felt) since the ice was so fresh.  Reminded me of Sherwood's ice actually.  I did make some progress. Weakest area is definitely return to center, plus I do need to watch the exit from the 3 so that I hold it out as I should.  
  • BO8 -- just a couple minutes on these.  Reasonably good flow but I need to watch my free leg position so I don't curve in on the RBO.
After my lesson I worked a little on 3s and also some time on BI8.

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My lesson with Holly on the Gilbert 7:30 a.m. FS. Nice ice and just 4 skaters.  I warmed up with most of the Bronze moves.

Today's lesson:
  • waltz jump -- 3 or 4.  Generally okay, but I'm not holding the landing well.  My check is somewhat lacking.  On the positive side the jump was coming straight off the toe and there was decent height (at least for me).
  • salchow -- we worked on these to keep my head up and to be patient.  One good one, several that were so-so and a number of bad ones.  I mostly need to not rush these.
  • toe loop -- I did a few on my own, then Holly held my hand after the 3 to help me slow it down. That helped, but it's not a panacea.  Lots more work on these.

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Tuesday, September 05, 2017


I skated the 5:30 p.m. FS at Chandler as usual. Just 7 skaters and 4 coaches.

I was feeling blah and unmotivated.  I worked a bit on crossovers, trying to get down in my knees more. Also some work on power-3s and BXOs to BO edges.  Then some time at the end on jumps.  Blah.  Just blah :-(.

Friday, September 01, 2017

BXOs To BO Edges; Jumps

My lesson with Holly on the 7:30 a.m. FS.  Ice was fresh but kinda bumpy.  Just Brenna and I.

I warmed up with stroking, circle-8 and perimeter XOs.

Today's lesson:

  • BXOs to BO edges -- these are looking better.  I'm still up on my toe a bit on the RBO (?!).  Still playing with the starting point to get my pattern centered better. Ugh. Still I'm happier with these. If I can get off my toe they will actually be kind of okay.  I'm doing a better job of looking over my shoulder, so that's good.
  • waltz jump -- just one. Good height and a nice takeoff.
  • salchow -- some work on these to get me to not look down and to consistently land on one foot :-).  It's better.
  • toe loop -- meh.  These were not so great (very cheated) so I had Holly hold my hand after the 3 to get me to slow it down.  This does help.  I think we need to do it a bit more to get the muscle memory in place though.
I am going to work with Tammy a bit this month to get my showcase program brushed-up/refreshed.  Also I talked with Holly about working on spins again -- it's time.  Bleah.

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