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.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Moves Practice and Lesson Plan Going Forward

It's always good to move forward ... As tempting as it is to stay at the Bronze level I feel compelled to try and make some progress and move up to Adult Silver and not wait until the end of the year so that I am so rushed to get my programs together.  Coach Berkley agreed and she was happy to hear I wanted to keep trying to move on.

First thing I am working on are the Silver Moves In The Field.

TR 25.11 Adult Silver Moves in the Field Test
Candidates must skate the correct steps and turns on good edges showing good form, continuous flow and strength, and preciseness to their steps.
1. Eight-step mohawk sequence
2. Forward and backward free skating cross strokes 

3. FO-BI three-turns in the field
4. FI-BO three-turns in the field
5. Consecutive outside and inside spirals
6. Forward and backward power change of edge pulls

One element may be retried, if necessary.
(Approximate time for test: 14 minutes)
Judging panel required: Three bronze or higher rank singles/pairs or dance judges who are certified to judge moves in the field tests.

 I feel pretty confident I can tackle these by the next test date at our club in July.  My 3 turns need some work and my power pulls and my 8 step mohawk sequence.

Here's how my first practice (before a lesson on Silver Moves) went:

Thursday, April 17, 2014

2014 U.S. Adult Championships - Hyannis MA

I am finally home from Cape Cod and Adult Nationals (AN's as we like to call it).  When I think about how close I came to canceling my trip and not going I am so glad that I talked myself into it.
I can't take all the credit however, my skating friends here and online all convinced me I would regret not going and being there no matter what happened on the ice.

What happened on the ice was a complete miracle to me.  I don't have the video yet of the three events, but here is what happened on paper:

Despite a fall on my first (Flip) jump when my knee "blew" - and a hand down after my Lutz, I still managed to get 1st place.   I really could not believe it when I was told.  I didn't see everyone else skate because I was SO NERVOUS I could hardly keep from throwing up before I skated and afterwards I was exhausted! There were 3 groups of 5 skaters (1 w/d) I was in the final warm up group, but 1st to skate after warm ups.  My coach was really happy with all the 1st place ordinals by 6 of 7 judges.  

2014 U.S. Adult Figure Skating Championships

Adult Bronze Ladies 4

Final Standings

PlaceName1234567Maj.Tie Br.
1.Diane Rudnick, Lilac City FSC13111116/1
2.Sheila Gaillard, Individual Member92222226/2
3.Suzie Weaver, Colonial FSC61333964/3
4.Melissa Parker, All Year FSC1211444374/4
5.Johanna Ehrmann, SC of Natick26555436/5
6.Sharon Silberman-Hummels, Individual Member57966555/6
7.Jane Koehler, University of Delawar...45610611104/6
8.Terryl Allen, Albuquerque FSC8877121045/8
9.Erica Rand, North Atlantic FSC13138896114/9
10.Elizabeth Fukushima, Individual Member310101287125/10TOM 38
11.Terry Williams, Penguin FSC104121110885/10TOM 40
12.Vicki Busch, Los Angeles FSC791191113135/11
13.Kymberle McElwee, The Skating Club of S...11121313131294/12
14.Susan Sharon, Richmond FSC141414141414147/14
Nancy Hughes, SC of Central New YorkWithdrawn

Panel of Officials for the Free Skating

RefereeGerald MieleGreenville, RI
Assistant Referee
AccountantEsther WinslowChatham, MA
Judge 1Janice AndersonMaple Grove, MN
Judge 2Roberta ParkinsonMcMurray, PA
Judge 3Kim DowningTulsa, OK
Judge 4Deborah HagenauerAllentown, PA
Judge 5Paula NaughtonVancover, WA
Judge 6Terri LevineSan Diego, CA
Judge 7Alison ArnoldDuxbury, MA
Last Updated: Wed, Apr 09, 2014, 06:54PM (Competition local time)

After a day off the ice and some sight seeing around Cape Cod with my hubby and a round of 18 holes of golf at the Par3 course in Hyannis I came back on Friday with my Dramatic Skate and wound up on the podium again!  Beat by "Wonder Woman", Sandra Flanagan who looked amazing.  It's really hard to watch anyone skate when you are waiting your turn and trying to stay warm and focused.  I look forward to watching all the videos when ICENETWORK finishes posting them.

2014 U.S. Adult Figure Skating Championships

Adult Bronze Dramatic Skate 4

Final Standings

PlaceName1234567Maj.Tie Br.
1.Sandra Flanagan, Starz Of Houston FSC32113134/2
2.Diane Rudnick, Lilac City FSC15322345/3
3.Brian Hemenway, St. Moritz ISC24651415/4TOM 12
4.Vicki Busch, Los Angeles FSC41244755/4TOM 15
5.Thom Mullins, Body Zone FSC67435224/4
6.Melissa Parker, All Year FSC56576666/6
7.Karen Watson, Richmond FSC73767577/7
8.Cindy Mullarkey, Bay Country FSC99988884/8
9.Elizabeth Fukushima, Individual Member88899997/9
Ben Daidone, All Year FSCWithdrawn

Panel of Officials for the Showcase

RefereeAlexander EnzmannStow, MA
Assistant Referee
AccountantSuzanne SchlechtFond du Lac, WI
Judge 1Richard KernPeoria, IL
Judge 2Eric HamptonMarquette, MI
Judge 3Roberta ParkinsonMcMurray, PA
Judge 4Susan MillerHavertown, PA
Judge 5Judith ReinerArlington, VA
Judge 6Joyce KomperdaMenomonee Falls, WI
Judge 7Terri LevineSan Diego, CA
Last Updated: Fri, Apr 11, 2014, 02:08PM (Competition local time)

On Saturday I had my final skate in Light Entertainment.   Again, shocked beyond belief to take the Gold and get 1st place.  As you will see both Light Entertainment and Dramatic categories both now include both genders.   This year they changed the rules and put these two categories under the "Showcase" guidelines which do not have separate mens/ladies categories.  Personally I don't like it, nor do I like the "showcase" guidelines that allow us to use props on the ice.  To me it's too theatrical and takes away from the skating... but that's just me.   There were some really wild and fabulous costumes and themes in both categories. 

2014 U.S. Adult Figure Skating Championships

Adult Bronze Light Entertainment Skate 4

Final Standings

PlaceName1234567Maj.Tie Br.
1.Diane Rudnick, Lilac City FSC52111725/2TOM 7
2.Thom Mullins, Body Zone FSC31322215/2TOM 8
3.Brian Hemenway, St. Moritz ISC43233355/3
4.Sandra Flanagan, Starz Of Houston FSC14744684/4
5.Sharon Silberman-Hummels, Individual Member28665544/5TOM 16
6.Johanna Ehrmann, SC of Natick65457394/5TOM 17
7.Cindy Mullarkey, Bay Country FSC86576165/6
8.Cheryl Croll, Individual Member77999834/8TOM 25
9.Elizabeth Fukushima, Individual Member99888974/8TOM 31

Panel of Officials for the Showcase

RefereeLisa Erle*Dublin, CA
Assistant Referee
AccountantSuzanne SchlechtFond du Lac, WI
Judge 1Debbie GriffinColorado Springs, CO
Judge 2Anne Marie MurphySunfish Lake, MN
Judge 3Susan MillerHavertown, PA
Judge 4Kim DowningTulsa, OK
Judge 5Roberta ParkinsonMcMurray, PA
Judge 6Judith ReinerArlington, VA
Judge 7Paula NaughtonVancover, WA
Last Updated: Sat, Apr 12, 2014, 11:34AM (Competition local time)

Friday, April 4, 2014

Haven't Posted All Week

Sorry everyone.  I have had a terrible week.  After being off the ice for 22 days following Sectionals … I got back on the ice Monday and could barely skate forward and backwards.  I kid you not.

Tuesday was slightly better but I had such a lack of stamina and weak ankle .. sore this and that .. that I nearly threw in the towel for Nationals.  I skipped skating altogether on Wednesday and played golf …
That relaxed me and I returned to the ice Friday and skated both a public session alone and had a lesson with my choreographer on a freestyle session.

My stamina is gone (what little I had worked up to before Sectionals), but practice was good and I even forced myself to run my technical program with the jumps as they were choreographed.

So my next post will probably be after I get back from Nationals or maybe during nationals…

Wish I knew how to tweet!

Ta ta for now!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Pacific Coast Adult Sectionals 2014

I apologize for the late post regarding sectionals.  The day I got home from Sectionals I found out my Dad had a severe stroke.   I didn't have a chance to even unpack from Ontario.  We jumped in the truck and headed back to Oroville, CA where he lived.  Sadly he passed away, but he had a good long life living on his own in his own home until the end.  We just got back March 29th as we had so much to attend to.

I have been off the ice ever since the competition in Ontario.  In theory - I leave for Boston on Sunday April 6th for Nationals …. All I can say is my skating will be interesting at best.

Here is what happened in Ontario:

My friend Penny and her coach Maria Murphy from Kingskate Figure Skating Club came to support me and have a "girls weekend".  I would have been all alone at practice and getting on and off the ice if she had not come.  She got a coaches credential and was my rock all weekend.  Even so, there was no way to calm down my nervous legs.  My practice went great.  I wish my free skate had been judged that day - I completed my program on time to the music, landed my Lutz, Waltz-Loop, both Flips and felt like.. ok, I can do this! Next day … competition day ….. the nerves set in.

One thing I learned about competition is that everyone ….(well 99%) get nervous.  It's what you do with your nervous energy that counts.  Had I not tripped on my blades it might have gone better.  My first jump was a Flip.  I slightly two footed the landing and that got my legs really shaking, so my spiral was not great and then my RFO edge lean was weak.  When I did the Mohawk I tripped.  When I got up (after sliding) I knew I would be in trouble on time, so I skated forward and tried to do a Flip.. two footed that…anyway, you can see for yourself how shaky the program was.  Nevertheless I placed 5th out of 9.  Wonders never cease!

If you received a tossie from me … you have my friend Penny to thank.  She was up there on the balcony hurling all my special made tossies for everyone in the Bronze category she could.

Bronze Ladies FS4:

Skate #2 went so much better, but the program isn't technically that hard.  There is only a Waltz Jump in it and a Camel/Scratch spin and a Sit/Scratch spin.  I placed 2nd out of 9.  I was thrilled and really surprised!

Bronze Ladies Dramatic 4:

The Light Entertainment skate was fun.  Still I wish it were more polished.  I have trouble ending my programs and holding still … gotta work on that.  There were only 2 of us competing and I placed 1st!

So we went out and celebrated at In/Out Burger

Bronze Ladies Light Entertainment 4:

Friday, March 7, 2014

Practice Ice - Ontario PCAS

Arrived in Ontario yesterday.  Met my friends here and we enjoyed a nice lunch, then went to check out the rink.  The session going on was CRAZY.  Super busy public/freestyle session with a few high level skaters mixed with some medium level skaters and a few tots!  My first impression is that the rink was cold.  Cold like my home rink.

This morning I skated a practice session at 10:15 am.  It might as well have been the competition itself as my nerves were horrible.  I had the shakes ... wobbly legs just trying to warm up.  I didn't plan on it but they let us run our programs with music.  I was able to run my entire FS program and it went REALLY well ..  in that... 1) I didn't fall  2) I landed my Lutz - Waltz - Toe sequence, a Loop Loop combo and 2 flips ... I think I two footed one of the flips.  My camel-sit at the end turned into a weak sit spin only and I did get rather inventive with my footwork and choreography.

We will see tomorrow how it goes.  I have another practice session at 8:15 am (yikes) then I skate around 11:35.  I am #4 out of 8 or 9 skaters ... good place to be, not first, not last.

My (skating) friend Penny from Seattle came to support me and she brought her skating coach with her: Maria from KingSkate in the Seattle area.  She was my rock today ... she really helped to calm me down while I was practicing .... THANK YOU !!!!

Off to bed to get some rest for tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

I'm Off To Ontario

Busy packing and getting toenails painted today.  Tomorrow I am off to Ontario.
Missed 2 days of ice time this week, but with how my nerves are acting, it's just as well.
Nothing is really going to change or improve with 2 more days of practice.  Now I have to rely
on my inner strength (anyone seen it?) and stamina (know where I can buy some?).

My goal this weekend is not to win or even get on the podium.  My goal is to try and remember why
I love skating and enjoy the moment.  It would be real nice if I executed every jump and spin perfectly to the best of my ability and don't fall and start and end my choreography with the music… but in the end it's about trying and realizing that skating is not something everyone can do and few can do really well.  I'm already a winner!

Wish I knew how to tweet ….   #2014PCAS

Monday, March 3, 2014

M-m-m-m-onday. Me? N-n-n-n-ervous?

No way.  I feel confident.  Strong.  Ready.

…….  hahahahahahahaha

Skated twice today.  Public session where I video captured 1 run of my free skate program.  I ran long and slapped another piece of music on it for fun.

2nd skate was a few hours later.  Free style session on our rink #2 … colder, a bit smaller and it was crowded with club skaters today … the ice was great however.  Since it was so crowded we moved back to rink #1 after the hockey players were done practicing.  They cut the ice, but the hockey players left it really narly ….. I fell 3 times - it felt like skating on a pond.  We worked on some "presentation" issues I have … like looking up toward the audience and the judges … stiff neck and shoulders ….
This has been an issue for me since childhood skating….  to quote my first childhood coach "you skate like a linebacker for the Rams" ….. he was trying to get me to relax my neck and shoulders and be GRACEFUL …. I wasn't privy to all the dance and ballet classes the other girls took.  Obviously I don't have a natural ability as  a dancer.

I figure … hey… I am a Bronze level skater… as I move up, so will some of this technique.

Anyway, here's my snippet from the public session.  Time for me to start packing for Ontario!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Dress Rehearsal

I thought it might be a good idea to run this program with my dress on.  Yes there is a pill box hat (and maybe even a blonde wig) but I have yet to figure out how I will be able to keep either of those things fastened to my head while skating.  Talk about light entertainment … having a wig go flying off your head!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Back On The Ice

The cortisone shot has helped a little and I had a great practice today.  15 minutes at the end of the public session then back 1 1/2 hrs later for a free style session for my lesson with the choreographer.

First times running these programs with overhead music.  Went pretty well considering you are dodging other skaters and coaches and can't really open up.

Too bad my skating coach wasn't there to see me NOT HAVING A MELTDOWN today!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Major Meltdown!

Today I was really anxious about my freestyle lesson and I let it get the best of me.

I was really negative from the start of my lesson.  I didn't want to do the layback spin in my program because I don't think it looks good enough and it makes me dizzy as hell.  I tried it anyway and ran my program (not the video you see) and 2/3 of the way through I quit skating and got off the ice.

While my beloved coach tried to boost my skating ego and talk me out of the tizzy I was into, it just got worse and quickly turned into TEARS.  Can you imagine.  54 years old, crying like a baby because I "couldn't" or "didn't like" or "wish I were better" …. ridiculous.

I finally calmed down a bit and ran my program all the way through.  Fortunately my camera phone (for the first time) fell off the boards and hit the ice and shut down.  I only found out later that it was not recording my meltdown for my further embarrassment.  (I would have posted it!)

During my complete run, I forgot some of the steps, got tired two footed a jump, changed a loop to a salchow, but finished and it wasn't that bad.

Now that I am home I am evaluating my music.  I have 3 versions of Schindler's List that I have put onto the same run through.  They don't match up perfectly, but I think I am going to change it to version #2.

If I haven't lost you yet, and you get through the video - I would love to hear from anyone about which music choice you would think sounds/looks best.


PART II  of my day was a trip to the Orthopedic Specialist to see why my right knee is hurting (more than usual) and to get some advice on a non-surgical solution to my pain and problem.

I didn't hear much I didn't know already.  In 1980 and 1981 I had 2 (then.. ground breaking) arthroscopic procedures following a skating accident (damn Axel!)  to clean up torn meniscus and repair an ACL tear and on the 2nd surgery they did what they call a lateral release, which, as I understood it was to realign the patella (kneecap) and improve tracking.  All I know is that I recovered and have enjoyed 30+ years of walking, riding a bike, water and snow skiing and now figure skating again, notwithstanding some knee pain over  the years it's held up pretty good.  Lately my training has increased and so has the pain in my right knee (landing leg).

Now I don't expect anyone to have any interest in these sexy legs, but I find medicine fascinating and confusing.  Whenever I have something going on - I try to get as much information as I can to make good decisions.  I have a medical degree from GOOGLE !!

Long story .. longer:   Doc says I have osteoarthritis in the R knee and he can treat it with an injection called Synvisc.  A joint lubrication injection.  But before he can get that approved by insurance they have to first try a cortisone injection.  You should have seen my eyes pop out of my head when I heard the word NEEDLE twice in one conversation.  I agreed to the first injection and I'm sitting home tonight … wondering if was a good idea.  I will stay off it tomorrow and try to skate on Thursday again.  48 hours.  To quote Nancy Kerrigan ….. "Why Me?"

R Knee (on the left) shows the lack of cushion (meniscus) from previous surgeries + osteoarthritis

Same image position but my knees are bent into a small squat position + you can see my chubby thighs!

This side view shows an abnormality in the end of the femur bone (flat line should be curved)