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, May 26, 2015

Oh Where Oh Where Has My Stamina Gone?

Oh where or where can it be?

Short practice today due to A) Stamina (lack thereof)
                                            B) Wild Hockey Players
                                            C) Total Skating Frustration
                                            D) All of the Above

Answer:                               D



Monday, May 18, 2015

Drinking and Skating Don't Mix ...

... Just ask Lexi from Ice Castles, right?

Hubby came home from a trip yesterday and we went to our local winery for Sunday night wine and dancing.  It's quite fun, but too much wine really hurts in the morning.  After a hearty breakfast and soak in the hot tub - I headed to the rink.  Determined to skate, but not feeling my best.

Once on the ice I had issues #1 from my reinforced left boot... which makes my navicular bone in my foot sore.  I didn't want to stroke hard or try to jump until they loosened up.

So I spent the first 20 minutes doing compulsory figures from the Preliminary Test without my scribe. I didn't capture those on video.  Then I worked on a full set of Gold MIF, mistakes and all and as the bewitching hour approached when it was time for my lesson, I did a little FS warm up and a few jumps and spins.

In my lesson, we focused on the required spin elements for the Silver FS test.  A camel spin and a combination spin which I am doing just a sit spin combined with a scratch spin at the end of my program.  This is going to be a bare bones test program.

Coach Berkley helped a lot today in fixing my Camel spin.  My sit spin is ok, it just needs to be a bit lower and it needs more revolutions and I need to transition quicker into it and especially out of it... I really have to grunt my way back up.

Next we worked on my first jump in my program, the Lutz.  We started at the wall and that really helped too.  I need more distance in all my jumps.  I tend to jump around instead of projecting the jump forward.

Moving on we touched on the 2nd jump a Spiral into Loop Jump from my program.  Again, needing to jump forward more.

Turned out to be a good day despite not feeling so hot!  Next Sunday I think I will skip the wine!


Friday, May 8, 2015

Hiatus #1 - Anniversary Trip

I'm back from my first trip.  Had a lovely 4 days with hubby playing golf, wine tasting and bike riding in Lake Chelan, WA.  Returned home, had to prep for a golf tournament and monthly meeting for which I am serving as President .. and I signed up to skate in our club's ice show June 19, 20 so I had rehearsal on Thursday taking up all my ice time.

What was left was a public session today.  I even canceled my lesson with my choreographer to help me with my test program for July 9 (yikes) because I was too tired to skate 2x in one day.

Today I ran through all my GOLD MIF.  You won't see much progress, but I did them in real time by request from a reader.  Ha!  I have readers!




Later on - I worked on my program and it's missing elements.  I didn't throw any Lutz jumps today .. I didn't feel secure.  Still suffering from the boot problem following my "strengthening".  I seem to have completely lost my Camel spin... and a few other things.


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

I'd Walk A Mile For A Camel..

Really frustrated today with my Camel Spin.  It took 12 tries before I got one worthy of even posting.

Last night I went to a class at my gym called Barre Fit.  Guess what?  No barre.
That means we did it all while balancing - like ballet in centre (ouch)  I was so sore today
after all the Pliés,Tendus, Revelés, Rond de Jambes, Glissades, Dégagés, Battements.

My coach was on the ice with another skater so there was no getting by with not trying.  She didn't say a word but I know she can see whether or not I am working hard.  I did my best..

Had fun with Heather learning how to do Lunges putting the knee down and turning on the ice (in a slide).  I needed a knee brace however .. as kneeling hurts both my knees.

Golf tomorrow.. a day off the ice!


Monday, April 27, 2015

Let's See If I Can Fix This Today

Frustrated with this Ina Bauer that I can't get to go in a straight line or better yet, to an outside edge.
Maybe I can get some help today during my lesson.






Well, I didn't fix it, but I did get some good advice on it


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Thursday Figures AGAIN !!

Not sure if I will keep using a scribe daily, but I am liking this order of practice.
Problem is:  This is a lot to squeeze into a 1 1/2 hour public session.

Younger skaters who skate on our club ice (although they do not do the figures) can do all this over 2-3 even 4 FS sessions every day.  

1. Figures
2. Moves In The Field
3. Stroking and Warm Up
4. Free Style (misc jumps, spins and connecting moves)
5. Program Runs
6. Cool down






Later that session.....

I practiced some transitions from my lesson Monday for my program and tried a few runs, then worked on bits and pieces and did some spins to close out the session.

Sometimes I feel like I hardly skated or accomplished anything - then I get home and look at the videos which take me a few days sometimes to edit and I realize I am making some progress and getting good practice time in.  My frustration always seems to obliterate the joy of progress!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Monday Moves + Figures + Free Style + Lesson

It was like waking up and deciding to start a diet.  I said the words out loud to my coach, " I think I want to try and test my Silver Free Skate July 9th at our next test session".

Of course I did put a huge emphasis on TRY.  Today I got to the rink and wasted 30 minute with my scribe and doing some old school figures first.  Outside and inside eights and even a Serpentine (which I have not attempted in ... gulp ... 44 YEARS.  Try saying that with your breakfast cereal.

Then I finished "fooling around" with figures.  Stroked and warmed up and decided that actually doing at least one set of the Gold MIF would really warm up my edges and ankles (in my still painful boot retrofit).  The moves didn't look very good  but they did help warm me up.

Then came some free style warm up.  I tried most of my jumps and even as much of a program run as I could muster up the energy for before my lesson.

My lesson time was spent going over my test program - explaining it to my coach (who did not choreograph it - nor did she even remember the music - that's how long it's been since we worked on it)  She made some small corrections and gave me plenty to work on.  And at the end of our lesson as she was starting her preschool class she had me put my music on and do a sort of run-through.

That nearly put me in the hospital.  MAX HEART RATE EXCEEDED.  I am going to need a plan of action to build my stamina.  I can do all the elements of the Silver Free Skate Test ... separately, but having the stamina to put them all together in a choreographed 2:10 program is going to be a hard climb.

Video #1 of 3

My self made patch session.





Video #2 of 3

Warm Up and Gold MIF practice (except the back eight)





Video #3 of 3

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.

FOR BEST RESULTS - CONSULT WITH YOUR SKATING COACH!





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.