On The Edge... Again

The last time I skated regularly, you needed 2 pair of skates, a scribe and skated patch. Triple jumps were almost unheard of, so were Bielman spins. Twizzles were only done by ice dancers and Ronald Regan was just elected into office.

Fast Forward 32 years. Starting January 2, 2012, I am back on the ice doing something else that was unheard of .... Adult Figure Skating. We had "coffee club", which was like adult swim, but there was no opportunity for testing or competition.

It has now been 8 years since I got back on the ice. I have not competed since 2016 , but my blog is still going. My YouTube channel has over 1600 subscribers. That’s just crazy!

Friday, October 23, 2020

October Snow Day - Final Coffee Club for me in Spokane 2020

Today was my last skate at coffee club for this year.  We head south for the winter soon .. and not a moment too late.  Woke up to a beautiful crisp sky and ended the day with a snow blower and having to leave my car at the dealership downtown because it’s not suitable to drive in winter conditions!  

So my footage is short - the first 15 minutes of coffee club with Kim.  I hope anyone who reads this blog from the area knows that Adult Drop In Coffee Club will continue even though I am not posting video.  For current schedules and sign ups see the eaglesicearena.com website.

Friday, October 16, 2020

Some Practice During Coffee Club

 I got on the ice first and took advantage of the clean ice to do some figures.  I sped them up because as we know .. this is why figures went away.  THEY ARE SO BORING TO WATCH! (Unless you are a skater .. then you can feel the effort it takes to hold an edge or stay within the tracing.)

In a few weeks we will migrate south for the winter and I hope to get some regular coaching on everything from ice dancing to moves in the field to free style - maybe.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Three Turns - Doing Them vs Doing Them Right

 If you ask me if I can do a three turn.  My response would be YES.  But doing them correctly, with strong edges and good flow going in and coming out with speed and control and extension !!!  That is the difficult part.  Videos of myself show me how off base I am, but somehow don’t give me the insight I need to correct them.  Words are easy - but execution of any element of skating thrown into the soup pot of 61 year old bones (some with spurs) and joints (minus the necessary cartilage) - slows me down to a crawl sometimes.  Progress does come, but not quickly.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Coffee Club is Back ... Minus the Coffee !

Nice to see some familiar faces today like my friend Wendy Bauer and coach Kim Ferraro.   

I worked  on the Fourteen Step and my moves in the field with a dash of freestyle for fun.

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

One Month Later....

 Talk about resting on your laurels… After returning from a fabulous week of skating in Sun Valley culminating in taking and passing all three bronze ice dance tests, I proceeded to hang up my skates for 30 days.

All the pressure was off and we set out to enjoy the remainder of the beautiful summer. It’s 2020 hadn’t given us enough already he gave us a horrific fire season followed by several weeks of air quality so poor I didn’t hardly leave the house. 

When the smoke finally started to dissipate we packed up our trailer and headed to Yellowstone for some much-needed fresh air.

I signed up for this freestyle session at the spur the moment knowing I need really need to get back on the ice. And of course… As always… I did not properly stretch or warm up and when I launched into a camel spin I managed to pull my left hamstring. This has been happening lately as in when I was in Sun Valley it happened some thing about going up into the camel is pulling it. 

I skated about 3/4 of the hour long session and decided to crack out my camera during the last 10 minutes. We had been told not to take photos or video when the rink first allowed us back on the ice after lockdown,  but now I’m seeing other skaters doing it so… All bets are off.

Doing what I could today ending in trying out the 14 step the first of 3 pre-silver ice dances.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Bronze Ice Dance Tests

Finalizing my extraordinary week in Sun Valley for the adult skating week 2020 - was testing my three Bronze Ice Dances:  The Hickory Hoedown, The Willow Waltz and the Ten Fox. 

Back in 2017 the last time I came to Sun Valley during the solar eclipse - I took a lesson with Brent Bommentre and he reviewed the steps with me for the Hickory Hoedown.  I took another lesson with Chris Obzansky and he attempted to teach me the steps of the Willow Waltz and the Ten Fox.  After that I didn’t have any coaching for ice dance and I really didn’t put any practice in on the dances.  I find practicing the dances solo quite difficult.

Toward the end of 2019 at my winter residence in Arizona, I found a new coach Sue Burdick who worked with me on all three dances.  Maybe 3-4 lessons.  I also went up to Scottsdale Ice Den once and took a long lesson with Todd Gilles so I could know what these dances felt like partnered. That was March 6, 2020 just before all the rinks closed during the COVID19 pandemic.

With no practice until July of 2020 - without a coach I attempted to recall what I learned from those few lessons and I showed up at Sun Valley determined to test at the end of the week.  I signed up for a daily lesson with Brent Bommentre - Masked up due to COVID19 protocol we hammered out the dances as best as we could in 5 days.  Skating at nearly 6,000 feet with a mask ... need I say more?  It’s difficult to breathe and relax .. 

During one of my tests he said .. BREATHE ... honestly I think I held my breath for the entire Hickory Hoedown!  

Results are in:  I passed all three even with some honors points by some of the judges. I am happy and of course also regretful that the errors I did make showed their ugly faces!

Thanks to all the coaches mentioned above - you were all part of my success this week.

Hickory Hoedown

Willow Waltz

Ten Fox

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Sun Valley Adult Skating Week 2020

 It’s Saturday August 29, 2020.  Sun Valley Adult Skating Week 2020 has come to and end. My week will be over this afternoon - after the test session.  As always Sun Valley Adult Skating Week did not disappoint.  All of the group classes were both fun and very helpful when returning home to continue practicing.    

Due to COVID there are some changes this year.  Smaller attendance obviously, but most people are wearing masks on and off the ice.  It’s required on ice only if you are in a partnered pairs or dance lesson, but you will notice more skaters wear a mask than not in the group classes.  I find it very difficult to skate with a mask on.  It’s terribly uncomfortable, hot and humid.  I know I am not being oxygen deprived, but it feels as though I am -so it affects my stamina... which is waning by the year anyway! Masks are also required on the benches outside the indoor rink - which is where we are putting on our skates and leaving our belongings. Outside we use the bleachers to lace up and we only pass through the chalet to check in for sessions and classes.  If you take a private lesson you are also required to have your temperature taken just beforehand.  For the record I was 95, 95, 96, 96, 96 !  

This year I decided to try and test at the end of the week.  I have been taking a daily lesson with Brent Bommentre on the indoor ice every day late in the afternoon.  I never feel completely “ready” for a test, but having a professional skater and coach propping you should take off some of the pressure.  I’ll be testing the Hickory Hoedown, Willow Waltz and the Ten Fox - the Bronze level ice dances.

Sorry the indoor videos - they are difficult to see - It’s impossible to capture ice dancing without someone following you with a camera.

In summary, COVID or not.  Sun ValleyAdult Skating Week is worth the splurge.  The energy, love, camaraderie and scenery are all icing on the cake to a great week of skating.  Thank you Scott Irving and Pam Farr for putting it all together once again.

Patch 7:00 am Monday!

Coffee Club Monday with Frank Sweiding

Arms In Space with Stephanee Grosscup

Spin to Win with Craig Heath

Lesson 1 with Brent Bommentre

Advanced Edge Class with Erin Reed

                                                                    Lesson #2 with Brent Bommentre

Group Photo during Wednesday Coffee Club

Edges and Extension with Erin Reed



Lesson #3 with Brent Bommentre

Wednesday morning patch 8:15


   Program Dance Session

MIF with Anita Hartshorn

                                                                    Lesson #4 with Brent Bommentre

                                                                 Friday morning last patch of the week


Coffee Club Friday with Stephanee Grosscup

Edge Jumps with Jonathan Hunt

Lesson #5 - Last lesson with Brent Bommentre before my test!

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Peek a Boo Skate before Sun Valley

I’ve been skating about 2 times a week for the past couple of months. It’s been slow going. I haven’t had any coaching. I have been concentrating on the Bronze Ice Dances and Gold Moves in the Field. 

At the end of today’s freestyle session I decided to video a few clips - I am very out of shape still and have lost a lot of skills. 

Sunday I’m heading to Sun Valley for Adult Skating Week 2020 and plan on daily lessons with Brent Bommentre and testing 3 dances on the 29th  (if he thinks I’m ready).

I think we have to wear a mask 😷 for lessons adnd testing!!!

Friday, July 3, 2020

Still skating unable to video

I’ve been skating 2 to 3 times a week unlimited freestyle sessions at my rink and they are still discouraging anyone from taking pictures or video and posting them on social media. They don’t want any controversy surrounding the business as everyone knows ice rinks are hurting badly these days and we need to keep this rink open!

I just to prove that I’m still here.. my blades are full of ice and at one point I got my heart rate up to 167 bpm!

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Another session - progress report

I skipped skating my pre-paid session on Monday because I had to wait for a service call at our home.  So Tuesday I had to show up and give it my best.  Each session has exactly 12 skaters on it.  Today there were a few faces I didn’t recognize. 

I skated on the 2nd of 2 sessions our club has right now.  The high level skaters had just gotten off and the ice was a bit chewed up.  That makes it harder for me to work on moves in the field.  My back eights and double three turns are slow enough on fresh ice!

Im still struggling to maintain good edges on the double three turns.  All of them.  Some feet/edges are better than others but none of them show real control.  If I get the edge right my body is fighting and has no composure or look relaxed.  If I carry myself calmly - I usually lose the edge and get “subcurves”.  All that is from years
 of improper edging.

In the dance department - all 3 of the bronze ice dances are coming along.  I am learning to get more comfortable doing backward chassee’s, backward progressives, backward swing rolls and just about every step on the Ten Fox is challenging either mentally or physically!  The Hickory Hoedown, while not nearly perfect is probably testable.

Friday I have another session - we’ll see.