Gordon's Sk8er Boi Blog

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

Monday, December 31, 2018


I skated the 3:45 PM FS at Chandler for freestyle practice today.

I had a slight misdirection to start, as I didn't realize that there was a high-level FS on the west rink and open (the one I signed up for) on the east rink.  When I saw the FS book I realized my mistake and went over to the east rink.  I don't normally skate afternoons so I wasn't really thinking about such things.

So.. once I was on the correct side, nice ice and only 3 of us.  Considering I'd not skated for 2 weeks it was not bad.  I did some Bronze Moves (perimeter XOs, circle-8 & BXOs to BO edges).  Then I worked a bit on spins (no really good ones, but some that were more or less okay), salchow and toe loop. I got one sal that was not bad.  Toe loops were stinky.

Thursday, December 20, 2018


My figures lesson with Danette on the 8:30 a.m. FS at Chandler.  Just 3 skaters, ice was kind of beat up as you'd expect.

I warmed up with edges and FO8, FI8 and scribed some circles.

For today's lesson we focused on improving my push.  As I told Danette, when I watch "good" figures, the initial push is much more aggressive and confident than mine.  When the ice is less than ideal (like today) I sometimes struggle to make it all the way around the circle, much less do the 1.5 circles of a serpentine.

So, we worked on it.  Danette had me do a number of things:

  • Be sure the pushing foot is turned out at 90 degrees, not 60 or whatever I was doing :-)
  • Bend the pushing foot at the ankle to really push the blade into the ice
  • Plie'!  Like, really bend the knees.  When this is right I can feel my ankle pushing against the boot, and some torque in my knee
  • Weight just be almost entirely on the pushing foot, not the soon-to-be-skating foot
  • Push hard!
  • Pick up the back foot, starting at the heel.
  • Stand up straight!

All in all I think we made some progress.  I need time to practice!

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Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Spins & Toe Loop

My lesson with Holly on the 8:15 FS at Gilbert, as usual. Okay ice and 4 skaters.

I warmed up with stroking and then did some crossovers and worked a little on spins, which were not so great.

Today's lesson:

  • spins -- all from the windup.  I actually got one that was really good, and several that were not bad.
  • toe loop -- the majority of our time.  Holly held my hand again on the entrance to get me to slow it down. She says a large part of the problem is that I'm picking, trying to bring the R foot around, and THEN trying to bring the shoulder/body around.  It needs to be all together.  She had me try it doing an LFO3 and step to the R foot as an entrance.  This was slightly better in that I bent my knees much more and slowed things down a bit.  We'll keep working it.
We discussed the upcoming few months -- MidWinter is 2/17 and PCAS a month after that.  We will revisit my free skate starting our next lesson.  I need to look the video over and run it at least once before then!

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Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Skating At The Princess

I went to Christmas at the Princess last night with skating homies Melissa, Heidi, Mary, and Donna.  We walked around and admired the sights for a while, then went to watch the skating show at 6:30.

The show was good! Just a little over 20 minutes.  I saw several skaters I know, including Jaclyn C., Daniel Kulenkamp (awesome!), Caroline B., Hannah G and a few others.  At the very end our own adult skater Marlene B had a number.  She did great!

After the show we all went and got our skates and skated for a bit, just a half hour or so.  I had not skated outside in a long time, and not at a public session in quite a while.  It was crowded and the ice was pretty beat up, so not the greatest experience.  I forgot how annoying public sessions can be with people falling all over the place.  Eeep.  Still, it was a nice experience, though a bit pricey ($20 plus tax). 

Wednesday, December 12, 2018


My lesson with Holly on the 8:15 FS at Gilbert.  This was a make-up since I didn't have a lesson last week.  I had not skated in my freestyle skates since I got them sharpened!  Eeep.

I warmed up with stroking and crossovers.  It took me a while to get warmed up.

Today's lesson:

  • perimeter XOs  -- Urph.  My FXOs are really steppy and gross.  BXOs were okay.
  • BXOs to BO edges -- the LBO is great! RBO not so much (weird!).  We worked on getting me to bring that L foot back on the push to the RBO.  This did help a bit.  I'm still up on the toe, though.
  • circle-8 -- ugh.  Not getting around on the FOs.  FIs are fine.  We worked a bit on pushing harder and getting a better edge from the start.  

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Thursday, December 06, 2018

Step Forward

My lesson with Danette on the Chandler Ice Cafe.  Nice ice and only 3 skaters.

I warmed up with edges, scribed circles, and then worked on FO8 and FI8, trying to remember to have good posture.

For today's lesson we concentrated on the step forward that is such a problem for me.  We did these down the red line to start with, working to rotate the upper body and then wait (have control) before doing the step forward.  After working this for a while we went on to do them on the small half-circle by the hockey box.  We made some progress, I think.  The point to remember is to keep the lower body quiet while I turn the upper body, then step forward with the new skating foot close and TURN THE HEAD.

We'll have to keep working on this.

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