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.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Missing Adult Nationals ...

I have been glued to Facebook and Ice Network for the past few days watching all my skating friends posting their triumphs and tribulations during Adult Nationals.   Today I thought I better act like a skater and get out there on the ice.

Only my second trip to the rink this week, but I had a pretty good practice - despite it taking my sore areas about 45 minutes to warm up and stop hurting.

After a brief warm up I ran through most of my Gold Moves In The Field.  If you want to see them done right - click here ... if you want to see how someone learning them looks .. watch my video!

I did manage to capture all my jumps and most of my spins today.  There is so much I want to correct and get stronger at.  I guess it's just one day at a time and I am learning to accept that some days my 55 year old body just doesn't want to skate!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Lacing A-B-C's

This is how I lace my boots.  I am not the authority on lacing, but this is the way I was taught as a child by my first coach Tony Howard.

I use the OVER/AROUND method on the hooks.  It seems to lock the laces down better for less slippage.  There are lots of techniques people have and it really varies from skater to skater and boot to boot.  Personal preference has a lot to do with it, but this is a widely used method.

You can see my tongue has a groove in it that nearly turned into lace bite when I first got them.  You should try to not let that happen for as long as possible by moving the tongue around to different positions each time you skate in new boots.

I started with really loose laces before this video was taken with the tongue all the way out -  but then I had one lace longer than the other by a lot and I had to fix that and start over and I forgot to run the camera from the beginning... but you get the idea.


Below is some of my practice today.   I revisited my program without the jumps and spins.  Boy was I tired.  I did a little improv to the rinks music - worked on some different position spins.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

In Figure Skating: It's Important To Keep A Stiff Upper.....

.....  what?  You were expecting "LIP" ...   Naw ...   That was a sentence.  A statement.  A proclamation!

In figure skating it's important to keep a stiff UPPER - as in the upper part of your boot.  Mine was breaking down after only 3 years.  This is completely normal for all good skating boots.

Elite skaters - skaters who consistently land triple jumps go through 1-2 pair of boots per year.

High level skaters - skaters who consistently land all their doubles and work on triples go        through 1 pair every 1 1/2 - 2 years.

Adult Bronze Skaters like me  -  skaters doing single jumps and hoping to someday land an Axel we should get 3-5 years from our boots.

 But all this depends on a few factors.
  1. How often we skate
  2. How hard we practice
  3. How we care for our boots and how we lace (yes it makes a difference)
  4. How much we weigh.  This factor is probably my worst enemy.  I weigh about 138 lbs (today) but should be about 128 - I know my knees would sure appreciate it if I weighed 120-125.  I am 5'4".  Funny how getting older - I don't really care about saying that out loud!

Not that I haven't seen many-a-skater out there (you coaches especially) with worn out boots.
Seriously ... Check out my own coaches boots just prior to me taking her on as a coach.

Actually, that is how I met her.  When I was getting fitted for my new custom boots Phil from Harlick's asked me where I skated and I told him Spokane.  He asked me who my coach was and I told him I didn't have one yet and he recommended Berkley Villard to me.  Then he told me about her boots.

So here is what MY SKATES looked like:

After the retrofit

  I was so excited to get my skates back today.  As I drove home up my hill I passed a Fedex truck who was coming down the hill.  I thought I would find a box on my doorstep, but when I got there about a minute later and pulled into my driveway I could see there was a note stuck to my door !!!!  Accch!

3 point (nearly skreeching) turn out of my driveway and back down the hill in the hopes of catching up with the Fedex driver.  Lucky for me he had another stop on the way down the hill in my sub division and I was able to catch him.    Whew!

Couldn't wait to try them out.  Headed to the rink at another club for their 5:45 free style session.

First impression:

They felt more snug around my feet and after lacing up I felt more "locked into the boot".

Nice Kankles
Second impression:

New pressure points (no blood this time)

  They felt like I was wearing someone else's skates.  The nicest thing about customs is they are really made for you and you only.  Now they feel a little tight and pinched in places I never felt the pinch before.  My arches ached too. Should have thought this on out thoroughly before I had it done.

However, my jumps felt stronger than they have in the past few months and I felt sort of "energized" wearing them .. even with my feet a little sore and my arches aching.  I know I will need to give it some time and my feet will probably settle into them.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Dutch Waltz

Today I skated again at Frontier Ice with my friend Sheila.  She tried to teach me how to do the basic steps of the Dutch Waltz.  It's so much harder than it looks and it's a great workout.

At the end of the session I did some power circles for my moves in the field practice.

And that's it for me on the ice until my skates come back.  I shipped them off to Harlick's today to have them reinforced.  My landing boot is breaking down.  I am noticing my jumps are getting weaker and it might have something to do with my boot breaking down.  I'm not quite ready to pop for another $1000 in new boots, so Phil at Harlick's says he can do a temporary reinforcement.

I should be out of commission about a week plus or minus a few days depending on how busy they are.  Next week is spring break anyway and the rink is very crowded during public sessions.

Happy Easter !

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Skating With Friends

Skated at Frontier Ice today with my friend Sheila, who is breaking in her new boots.

I know everyone is getting really sick of hearing me say how TIRED AND SORE I am ... so I will
try to keep my whining to a minimum.  Yesterday I did a little extra - played a 9 hole round of golf after skating and this morning I walked and then did about 30 minutes warm up and barre work before heading to the rink.

Did it help?  Yes and no.  I felt more "ready to skate" but a little more sore and the jump rope takes it toll on my knees - but what the heck...

Monday, March 30, 2015

Monday Practice - Ho Hum

Monday practice -

Nothing new,  just trying to get most of my jumps in ..  energy was a bit low today.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Back On Home Ice

So happy to be home again.  The road trip was great, but there is no place like home  ... hmmm who said that ??? If I only had a brain....

... If I only had a brain... I would have put my camera on the rails like I always do during my practice sessions.... FACING THE RINK.  Instead I carefully made sure it was taking video and promptly turned it facing the cement wall behind it ... for an hour!

... Thereby missing my free style session and 15 minute lesson.  Here's what you missed:

  • Me, panting .. out of breath while I stroked and warmed up
  • Me, falling twice during my lesson trying to get more distance on my Flip jump
  • Me, trying to learn the beginnings of a Haircutter Spin
...  Seriously .. sometimes I wonder what my coach is thinking. I think she likes me to think outside the box ... the box of reason... the box of what I call the Double Axel box ... everything in that box ... 
has absolutely no chance of ever happening in my life... but I don't like to be negative... 

... I suppose if I stretch and practice trying a haircutter .. maybe eventually I might have a little layback spin.

... First thing - how to make my leg weigh like 1/2 of what it does now... otherwise .. there ain't no way I can do this.  My legs are so heavy I can't even lift and hold it long enough to grab my blade!

... We also worked on my Camel Spin .. which I somehow pulled of 6 revs and that made her happy. So we moved to a Cannonball sit... I collapsed onto the ice .. naturally.

Anyway... that's what you missed today!  I am so bummed I picked today of all days to have a brain fart and turn my camera the wrong way.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Road Trip

I just got back from a week long road trip to California via Oregon and Nevada!  My friend Sheila needed new skates and she is an SP Terii girl from way back.  I am a Harlick girl!

We left on Sunday and made a few pit stops in Bend Oregon and Oroville California for rest and errands, then onto South San Francisco for a fitting and new boots and blades.  Luckily she found a boot that fit so she didn't need customs and they had the right MK Professional blade there - ready to mount on the spot.

We spent another night near San Francisco on the beach in Pacifica California right on the beach with perfect weather and went skating the next day at Vacaville Ice Sports on a freestyle session with my friend Michael Tongko "Mikey" ...  to try and start breaking in her boots.

A few days in Truckee/Tahoe and we headed back up north via Medford Oregon and stopped to skate at The RRRink.

Here's a little montage of the skating related part of our road trip.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Adult Skate Day!!!

Today was a wow day... not due to my skating, but due to the fact that there were 5 adult skaters on the ice.. 6 if you count Stephanie who is a coach and manages our rink.  Nevertheless we were all out there like a mixed bag 'o nuts .. working on whatever.  It was great.

I know there are lots of rinks and clubs out there with a large adult contingency .. we are not one of them.. but things are looking up!

I am still far from feeling like I am "back", but at least I popped off a few jumps today.  Spinning really made DIZZY!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Toe Loops and Loop Jumps

I had a lesson today and I had no idea what we were going to work on - So I spent my first 10 minutes trying to do all the warm up stroking exercises I got last week and then launched into trying some jumps.  Fatigue and FEAR were my enemies today!  The Toe Loop .. as always is frustrating for me.  This jump should be a confident jump that I can pull off easily in combination at my level.  I am still afraid of it all by itself.

So that was our focus today.  I found out that I was relying too heavily on it being a "toe jump" and trying to vault off it rather than use my free leg - kicking it through - like a waltz jump or a salchow to achieve both the height and the small rotation.  Coach wants me to practice this on the center circle taking off and landing from the blue line.  (the approach inside edge and three turn is outside the circle)

I drew this to explain..