Gordon's Sk8er Boi Blog

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

Thursday, March 30, 2017

FI8, BI8, BO8

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler Ice Café as usual.

I warmed up with edges and FO8/FI8.  FO8 not so great, pushes to the R foot are lacking.  FI8 a little better.

Today's lesson:
  • FI8 --  about 10 minutes on these; mostly working on better push and filling out the circle better on the return to center.   Again, need to really bend the knees and dig in for the push!  Urph.
  • BI8 -- On the first couple I needed to work on getting the soon-to-be-skating foot out (and turned out) more so the circle would be a good size. Made some progress here.  Worked on the push using the blade better and to be a quicker, more forceful push and to bring the free foot in faster after the push.  Some progress but I'm still not getting around the circle. The LBI side is so much nicer!
  • BO8 -- Some same issues from BI8 but push is much better.  My biggest issue on the RBO is controlling the upper body and really sticking that R shoulder back for the first part of the circle.  Also I'm trying to keep the free foot closer (it's really not supposed to look like landing position!) but not much progress there.
All in all a fun lesson and some good work.  Next week we'll have to hit the waltz-8 again.  Still need to find some time to work on this outside of Thursdays!

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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

FXOs & Jumps

My lesson with Holly on the Gilbert adult skate. As usual, great ice.  They are installing a RinkMusic system!  It's not running yet but should be handy when it's done.  Yay!

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

Today's lesson:
  • FXOs -- we worked on getting a better cross and some underpush.  On the CW FXOs I tend to set my foot down with the toe pointing slightly outside the circle, which is problematic.  We managed to greatly improve the CW (harder) side and also a bit on CCW.
  • waltz jump -- I told Holly I thought it would be good to get back to jumping before it became a mental "thing"... so we did.  Did a couple on the wall, then one with Holly holding my hand from a standstill, then several from a moving start.  They were actually just fine and not scary. So yay!
  • salchow --so we went on to these.  They are about as I remembered, which is actually not so bad at this point.  Lots of improvements needed but at least I did some bad ones.
  • toe loop -- similar for these -- not good, but at least I'm trying them and not balking so that's good.
I'm really pleased to get past this last hurdle. Now I just to fix stuff but I'm at least sort of able to do what I was doing before the ankle break, so that's progress.

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Tuesday, March 28, 2017


I skated the 5:30 p.m. FS at Chandler as usual.  I had a decent skate.  I worked on power-3s, FXOs, edges, and a bit on mohawks.  I also spent a little time working again on salchow and toe loop entrance.  I finished up with a few minutes on spins (they were horrible).

One note of progress -- while I wouldn't say I was full of energy and vigor, I was much more focused and productive today than last week. Still not as good as, say, Monday morning, but better than it's been, so that's encouraging.

Monday, March 27, 2017


I skated the 7:30 FS at Chandler for freestyle practice.  3 coaches and 4 skaters! Nice.  Again, I was just happy that I dragged myself out of bed to be there :-).

I had a decent skate.  I worked on FXOs, a little on BXOs, edges, stroking, power-3s... my RFO3s really need work.  And I need more control.

I also worked a bunch on spins, and I made myself do the entry for salchow and toe loop (but not the jump).   I also convinced myself to do the R side of the 5-step mohawk (just one!).

So all in all it was a good skate... need to get myself to do jumps in my lesson Wednesday, I think.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Patch Perseverance

I skated the Chandler Ice Café for patch practice -- Lynne was out today, so no lesson.

I worked on almost all my elements (EXCEPT waltz-8 -- I was not in the mood!).  Edges, FO/FI8, some quality time on BO8 and BI8, and even a little bit of serpentines and 3s to center. Ugh, those last two were not so great. :-(

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Spins & FXOs

My lesson with Holly on the Gilbert adult skate.  As usual, nice ice and just 4 skaters!

I warmed up with stroking, edges, FXOs, a couple of power-3s and a spin.

Today's lesson:

  • stroking -- just one lap.
  • slaloms -- just one lap.  Ugh, I need to stand up straighter on these. I tend to crouch and it makes my lower back hurt after a while.
  • spins -- a bunch of time on these.  It took a while for me to remember to stay low in the knee longer.  I'm still not bringing my free leg in, which is annoying.  And I'm not staying over my left side, I keep dropping my right shoulder... which led to...
  • FXOs -- I whined at Holly about how I don't feel like I am over my skate on the LFO for these.  After doing a bunch of FXOs and LFO edge, I think we've determined the problem is that I keep dropping my right shoulder which pulls me off the edge.  So I made a determined effort to keep the left shoulder down also and to realllllly turn into the circle and that helped a lot.  Must remember this.

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017


I skated the 5:30 p.m. FS at Chandler, as usual.  About 13 skaters and 6-7 coaches, so kinda busy.

This is def. not my most productive ice time but I did spend a lot of time on power-3s, spins, edges and FXOs, as well as making myself do some mohawks.  Bleah.

Monday, March 20, 2017


Yay me! For finally getting my butt out of bed and making it to skate before work!  I skated the 7:30 a.m. FS at Chandler.  4 skaters and 3 coaches, so not bad at all.

I worked on a bunch of stuff - FXOs, BXOs (briefly), power-3s, spins, edges, circle-8, stroking.  I did work reasonably hard most of the session, but I'm a bit scattered.  I need to dig out my skating notebook and start making plans so I will know what to work on instead of figuring it out as I go.

I took a couple minutes at the beginning of the session to play my proposed free skate music for next year (I uploaded it to Rink Music over the weekend). It sounds pretty cool :-).

Thursday, March 16, 2017

FO8, Waltz-8, BI8

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

Today's lesson:
  • FO8 -- still working on getting my muscle memory back -- bend knees, PUSH, sit back on the blade. Ugh.  And LEAN IN to the circle, especially when passing arms!
  • waltz-8 -- BO edge is better.  The step forward is improving, slightly.  3s are okay when I don't force them, but unfortunately that's 40% of the time :-(.  Still, we made some progress I think.
  •  BI8 -- just a couple of minutes on these.  Actually not that bad.  My push stinks so I'm not getting around (just 3/4 or so) but the position is okay.

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Tuesday, March 14, 2017


I skated the 5:30 p.m. FS at Chandler as usual.  About 11 skaters and 5 or so coaches.

I worked mostly on spins and power-3s, with a warmup of stroking and edges and a little time on crossovers.  No big progress, I'm just still trying to get more comfortable.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Preliminary Test

I skated the Chandler Ice Café as usual for my patch lesson. Beyootiful ice and only 4 skaters :-)

I warmed up with edges and FO8/FI8.

Today's lesson:

  • FI8 --just a little work on body position as there's a point in the last third of the circle where I feel like I'm struggling to hold my edge.  It's partly that I need to keep my upper body quiet but also I need to bend the knee a bit more.
  • FO8 -- a bunch of time on this; mostly working on the push.  On the restart I tend to not bend my knees much so I have a weak push, so we worked extensively on pushing harder, including just pushing onto a flat and seeing how far I can go.   Part of it is bending the knees much more and another part is something Melissa had mentioned to me via an article she passed along, about feeling like you're lifting your toes on the soon-to-be-skating foot when you push.  Definitely some progress here.  The point is to have the position correct from the beginning, not (as I currently do) rocking forward and then having to sit back to fix it.  Part of this too is just being more mindful on making *every* push a good one and not getting distracted.  
  • waltz-8 -- just a little bit on this at the very end.  I had some really crappy RFO3s (of course I fell on one), the LFO3s were better.  Step forward still weak but I'm doing a better job of holding the BO edge so I guess that's something.  Really need to work on keeping the free foot close too.  On the RFO3s I really tend to force them around, not so much on the LFO3.  

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Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Mohawks & Power-3s

My lesson with Holly on the Gilbert adult skate.  As usual, nice ice and only 4 skaters for most of the time.

I warmed up stroking, edges, some crossovers, and the FO8/FI8 Bronze move.  The last was not so great :-( as my push onto my R foot (inside or outside) is weak and I don't make it around.  Grr.  My speed is somewhat improved but I'm still tentative.

Today's lesson:

  • mohawks -- we worked just briefly on these, both forward and then some back mohawks (F mohawk/step forward) which were relatively okay.
  • power-3s -- most of our lesson.  Down the line at first, then down the rink.  We spent most of our time on the weaker RFO3 side.  They are still pretty rough but they are happening, so that is something.  Two helpful tips from Holly today -- 1) I'm raising my hip too much after the BXO, which makes it hard to step forward.  Keeping it lower really helped.... 2) after the BXO I was coming back to the axis too perpendicular, which makes it harder to step forward.  Coming back to the axis at a smaller angle helps a lot.  After a bunch of time on the RFO3 we briefly looked at the LFO3, which is more comfortable but not actually a lot better.  Hmmph.

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Tuesday, March 07, 2017


I skated the 5:30 p.m. FS at Chandler as usual.  Worked on stroking, edges, crossovers, power-3s and some spins.  I also made myself do some mohawks on each side. Ugh, but it was okay.

Thursday, March 02, 2017

FO8, BO8

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler Ice Café as usual.  Seven skaters and two coaches and really nice ice!

I warmed up with edges, FO8 and FI8, then started playing around with BO8 a bit.

Today's lesson:

  • FO8 -- we spent about half the lesson on this.  Still working to have a better push and to have more control right after.  Some good improvement; but I still feel like I am not pushing hard enough (or very hard).  Grrr.  
  • BO8 -- lots of work on this, actually all on the RBO.  Push is okay and I'm doing a pretty good job of position but then having problems in the last part of the circle.  We worked on keeping the free foot close after I pass it back, with some good results; but having a hard time controlling rotation and keeping that right shoulder back. Lynne also reminded me that I really need to keep the head turned (look over the right hand!) for the first part of the circle.  Duh.

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Patch Perseverance

I skated the 8:30 FS at Chandler for patch practice.  As I'd hoped, I had private ice!  Of course it was private, horribly torn-up ice.  Still I was proud of myself for getting to the session since morning skating hasn't been happening for me lately.

I worked on edges,  FO8, FI8, a little bit on waltz-8, and just a little time on 3s to center and serpentines.  Also some time just working on pushing, and on 3s.

I only stayed 45 minutes as it was cold and I have my lesson later today anyway so I didn't want to wear myself out.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Spins & Mohawks

My lesson with Holly on the adult skater at Gilbert.  I warmed up with stroking and edges, FXOs, and a spin.

Today's lesson:

  • spins -- I showed Holly the last spin I'd done, it was actually okay (for me), about 2.5 revs and actually centered.  So we spent some time working on spins.  Holly emphasized that I need to stay down in the knee not just longer, but until I've actually come around.  After some tries I was able to do this (somewhat). The next point was to stay over the L side while simultaneously bringing in the free leg and straightening the skating leg.  Ugh, this is hard!  Not doing so great at bringing in the free leg.  The last point was to bring in the arms.  Not so great. Still we definitely made some good progress, especially considering where I was just a couple of weeks ago.
  • mohawks -- I told Holly we needed to do these today -- I had not done once since I broke my ankle doing them June 14th.   I had done some at the boards but not on my own on the ice.  So... I did a couple with Holly holding my hand, then TA-DA I did them on my own.  Not really a big deal, but I'm glad to have that over with.
  • program planning -- we spent a little time going over the program I have now (Dramatic) and discussing plans for a future free skate and light program.

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