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, August 19, 2014

S'more Hangover

We have our grandkids visiting this week and that means ... very little ice time.  We spent the day on the lake yesterday, then came home and had a BBQ and later made s'mores on the outdoor chimenea.

Before I went to bed I knew I needed to set the alarm for 6:00 am ... really Diane, s'mores?

7:00 am FS session.  You should have seen the surprised look on my coaches face!  I am not a morning person.

That ping is still going on in my right posterior ankle.  Wrapping with an ace bandage seems to quiet it down.  Joints were barking and flexibility was not cooperating.  Ah the joys of figure skating at age 54.

I worked on all my jumps prior to setting up the camera.  Took a nasty fall on a Lutz.. fell way back on my blade and then onto my back.  First time for that one.  Wrists are a little sore too.

I like my progress on the split flip.  A few weeks at the gym and doing flex should greatly improve that air position.

The back spins are really a road block for me ... haven't had a lesson for a while on them.




Thursday, August 14, 2014

Snippet of .....

....  a Back Spin ....

My phone was not charged as I ran out of the house to grab some ice time Thursday evening.

Practice was all over the place, but I have decided to start thinking I should attempt to learn an Axel one of these days... this snippet of a backspin was a prelude to a backspin-jump ... a kind of Axel prep exercise I see the kids doing.

I have not begun working on an Axel with my coach Berkley yet.. I think I should lose 15 lbs before I start putting my knee through that -

I wish my phone was charged.  I had a nice chat with one of the men skating out there - who just happens to be one of the three judges that recently judged my Silver MIF test.  He explained to me that had I tested as an Adult vs Masters - that I would have passed by the required  passing score (at least according to his marks) That was good to know....

Then he tried to teach me how to do the Dutch Waltz !!!  I never attempted a dance step before.
Harder than it looks folks!  This video is not that... it's just my back  spin.



Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Squeezing In Ice Time

My skating friend Penny came over to Spokane to visit for a few days .. so there hasn't been much ice time except in our cocktail glasses... however today we sneaked off to EWU to skate for about an hour.  The rink was cordoned off for a skate class, so there wasn't much room for jumping .. and I spent the hour working on the dreaded back and flying camel.  Emily was working and gave me a great demonstration ... I should study it well !!!


Friday, August 8, 2014

Reunited With My Childhood Skating Coach

Today was nothing short of amazing ... I keep saying it over and over because I can't believe it.  After ... 43 years I reunited in person with my childhood skating coach Tony Howard.  If you read my page on how I got started skating, I talk about my few years on the ice when I was age 9-11.  From age 9 to 10 I was taking group classes and from 10 to 11 I was taking "privates" from Coach Tony.  Many of the skills I now posses are fundamentally things he taught me as a child.

If you don't already know - I am nearly 55 years old (come October).  Tony told me today he is 85 years old. He still coaches 3 days a week and drives nearly an hour each way to do it.  Not for the money, but for the love of the sport.  No wrinkles .. he says because "meat that stays in the freezer lasts longer and he's been in the freezer a long time" - I am sure he looked younger when he coached me 43 years ago, but his general physique is the same and he still dresses in an overcoat, neck scarf and Russian style wool hat...

And it so funny how his voice was completely recognizable as though time had stood still; a charming English accent and the way he coaches, explaining in detail how to do something or NOT do something and peering over his glasses staring into your eyes to make sure you are listening and kind of yelling at you if get it wrong right away and also shouting out if you get it right... took me right back to being 11 years old.  He is a treasure.

If you are reading between the lines, my previous paragraph talks about his coaching technique... Yes I actually got an unexpected 45 minute lesson from the boards and on ice (shoes) when we met today.  He had so much to say about the way I skated ... and it wasn't all good!!  They were things my current coach has told me many times, but in different words and ways.

He watched me warm up and asked what I was working on.  I said I just started my Silver program and was suggesting jump combinations and sequences that would work.  He critiqued all my single jumps (boy did he) ... and gave me great tips to correct my problems.  We worked on my Camel spin and he gave me a new approach with my arms, but above all he said "if there is one thing you take away from this lesson today... LONG-SHORT .... and what he meant was on everything I do.....
every jump entry (except a Waltz jump because a long back outside edge and a big Waltz jump looks good) I am taking too much time on my 3 turn.  For example:  Toe Loop.  Long LFI edge - then short 3 - pick - jump.  My coach Berkley has been telling me this a lot lately when I do my Lutz.  Tony explained to me what was happens when I take too long on the 3 turn or when I take too long to turn into the Camel spin... I am losing all my energy and momentum for the jump or spin.  I really hope I can put the tips to use over the next few weeks.  I love my coach Berkley.  She has helped me achieve so much I never thought possible, but today was really an eye opener for me.

Now for the FOUR LETTER WORD A-X-E-L.
Tony asked me if we started working on it yet.  NOOOOOO I said, of course not, nor did I know if we were ever going to!  He said .. listen.. I want to give you a tip I use for adults learning an Axel.
So he took me to the rail and had me do a backspin and then jump up before finishing it.  (That  have seen a lot on ice, but never tried it.  .... it's scary)  He also had me stand 3 feet from the wall and step hop jump .. straight up and land backwards (waltz jump) to get me used to jumping UP not around.  Hard to explain in writing.  But it was my first Axel lesson in 35 years.  I don't know if it will happen or not... it's like the flying dream... when you put your arms out and take off like Sister Bertrille from the Flying Nun.....  sometimes I dream I can do an Axel.

It was a day to remember I will cherish forever.





Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Headless Skater ...

That's the theme of my video today.  Went to a morning FS session and the rail was full of kiss and cry bags and I didn't feel safe leaving my phone on the inside with so many skaters.. so this is what I got -
Nameless and faceless ... but you can see I need to go on a diet!

Worked on many things off camera .. that went much better than my spinning.  Did quite a few good sized Flips and landed several Lutz jumps - minus the usual fear.. maybe it's getting easier.
I'll need some good lesson time to fix this backspin and back camel and flying camel thing.  It's going nowhere.

Good news:  My twangy ankle pain didn't rear it's ugly head today.

Coming up this week:  Choreographer lesson on Thursday to start working on Silver FS program!
         
                                      Friday I will be in the Bay Area and I am looking forward to reuniting with my childhood skating coach, Tony Howard - who is 83 years old and still actively coaching at Oakland Ice.  I signed up for a freestyle session on Friday morning ... sure hope the ice isn't loaded with elite skaters!


Monday, August 4, 2014

Monday Night Session

I missed my lesson this morning with my coach because I had a golf tournament I forgot about. I would have been better off at the rink as my golf game was terrible... 72 for 9 holes!

Later this afternoon I had to redeem myself (and cool off) ... it was nearly 100 degrees today in the Pacific Northwest city where I live. It felt great to get on the ice again even though it wasn't home ice.

Unfortunately my iPhone maxed out on storage so I only have a few minutes of practice. I still need to upload all my vacation photos and videos... note to self!


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Ice House in Wilmington North Carolina

I'm currently on vacation visiting my son and daughter-in-law and their new beautiful baby boy, Grayson... but alas too many days off ice is not good for me so I brought my skates along and I have been able to go up to Wilmington North Carolina to skate two days this week at FS sessions at the ice house.  I was really lucky because the Port City Figure Skating Club recently had a competition and most of the kids decided to take a few days off this week so the ice was very quiet... Just the way I like it.

I took video on day one and I spent quite a bit of time editing it and then I accidentally deleted the whole thing from my iPad before I was able to upload it.  :;($@@$(;:/-;)&@@& \{~#>^€*£+¥ !!!!

Today, hopefully I won't be such a dolt!


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Freestyle Session Practice & Lesson

Back on FS session this am.  Leaving for nearly 15 days to visit my new grandson and go to Oshkosh Fly-In before returning to home ice August 1st.  This was my last skate at home and I got a short 15 minute lesson to give me some things to work on.  I plan on taking my skates with me to North Carolina to skate in Wilmington  at the Ice House.

Jumps this week really felt weak and sometime painful in my R knee - I really need to shed 15 lbs so that I can reduce the impact on that joint.  Soon as summer BBQ's are over ..

My lesson focus was on a Waltz-Toe and Flip Jump.  Both are in need of getting my free leg/foot crossed over my jumping leg/foot.  Also controlling my left arm and not letting it get ahead of me..
We did work on the Lutz but it wasn't captured as it was in the Lutz corner .. but I found out I am taking too long after I prep cross my L foot over my R foot .. I need to cross-pick .. immediately.
(I do the L cross to help get closer to obtaining the proper outside edge takeoff of the Lutz) ..


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Freestyle .......What the ________? .....

.... Or so says my muscle memory, aching knee and general lack of balance!

I've been concentrating only on moves for the past few weeks and with all the other summer activities going on in my life I have avoided any freestyle.  It really shows.  But, you have to start somewhere, so I drug myself to the rink for a morning freestyle session.  My landing knee was really barking at me so I only captured some spins at the end of my session.


Friday, July 11, 2014

SILVER MOVES IN THE FIELD ........ PASSED!

I took my Adult Silver Moves In The Field test today and passed!  That's the good news.

The interesting thing that happened was that they asked me today if I was testing as an "Adult" or as a "Masters" skater.  I had never been asked this before.  I just looked at my other two MIF tests and they show "Adult" for Bronze and the Pre-Bronze tests don't have an option on them.

My coach had to explain to me that it was an age thing and that if you are over 50 you qualify to be "Masters" skater in the test.  The marks required for masters are lower than for adults.  She thought I would pass either way but she told the judges "masters".  I had no idea that there were two different categories.  I never noticed it on the forms before and I thought "masters" had to do with accomplishing a level of Intermediate or higher as a standard track skater before switching to adult skating.  What do I know?

So I skated my test and was informed I passed and I have attached my judges forms for your perusal.
I felt the test went pretty well.  It could have gone better, but I thought I would have passed under either standard.  If you see the scores they gave me I would NOT have passed as an adult.

YOU BE THE JUDGE !
VIDEO AT THE BOTTOM