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.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Warm Ups On A Sad Day

Before I left for the rink I heard briefly about a school shooting.  It wasn't until I got in the car and was headed to the rink that I heard the unbelievable early details of the elementary school shooting in Connecticut today.

I proceeded to the rink to try and skate, but my emotional state left me weak and sick to my stomach and I didn't get much practice in other than the raw footage you see below.   Senseless.




Thursday, December 13, 2012

Center Ice Practice

No progress today.  I practiced a lot of stroking and Moves In The Field off camera.  Due to the number of people skating today I only taped from the center ice.

Working on Three Turns for the Silver Moves In The Field.  My posture is terrible.  I really need a lesson.  Perhaps next week.  I would really like to take the Silver MIF test in January.



Really excited that my ballet barre arrived the other day.  I am going to dedicate an extra bedroom to a warm up and stretching studio.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

No Video This Week

Another week with barely any ice time.  I skated on Tuesday for part of a public session, but the ice was crowded with a class of learn-to-skate toddlers and I couldn't leave my phone resting on the rails.

I did see my skating friend Jill who is bravely skating at 76 years young!  Another helmet wearer.  I suppose if I am still alive and skating at 76 I too will wear a helmet at that point!  She skates very gracefully and loves to practice figure eights.  She used to skate with Holiday On Ice (circa 1958).

Today I went to the rink to watch some of the girls from the Lilac Figure Skating Club test.  There was one younger adult who tested Intermediate and passed.  I overheard she was judged on the "standard track" and not on the "adult track".  She was very pleased indeed.  I watched the young girls testing Pre-Juvenile on the standard track.  Those moves bear the closest resemblance to my next test which will be Adult Silver Moves In The Field.  Hopefully I can shoot for January 2013.


Adult Silver Moves in the Test
1. Eight-step mohawk sequence
The skater will perform two eight-step mohawk sequences counterclockwise. The step order is: Forward crossover into a LFO mohawk, followed by LBI, RBO,
LBI cross forward and RFI. The skater should maintain a march cadence (one beat per step). Between the circles is a two-beat left foot transition. The sequence is then repeated twice in the opposite direction. Introductory steps are optional. This move may start in either direction. Focus: Quickness, continuous flow and strength

2. Forward and backward free skate cross strokes
The skater will perform free skate cross strokes the length of the ice surface.
Forward cross strokes will be skated for one length of the rink and backward
cross strokes skated for the second length of the rink. Introductory steps and end
patterns are optional. This move may start on either foot. Focus: Continuous flow and strength

3. FO-BI three-turns in the field
The skater will perform forward three-turns alternating to backward three-turns covering the length of the rink. One length of the rink will start with RFO-LBI three-turns. On the second length of the rink, the skater will perform LFO-RBI three-turns. The end sequence and the choice of introductory steps are optional. This move may start on either foot. Focus: Edge quality
4. FI-BO three-turns in the field
On the first length of the rink the skater will perform RFI-LBO three-turns.
On the second length of the rink the skater will perform LFI RBO three-turns. Introductory steps and end sequence are optional. This move may start on either foot. Focus: Edge quality

5. Consecutive outside and inside spirals
The skater will perform right foot and left foot spirals. The outside edge spirals
will be skated for the first length of the rink. Forward crossovers may be utilized
(optional) around the end of the rink. Forward inside edge spirals will be skated
for the second length of the rink. The exact number of spirals will depend on the
size of the rink and the strength of the skater, however a minimum of four spirals
down each length of the rink must be skated. The extended leg in the spiral should
be held at hip level or higher. Introductory steps are optional. Focus: Extension and edge quality

Adult Silver Moves in the Test (cont’d)
6. Forward and backward power change of edge pulls
The skater will perform consecutive power change of edge pulls — FIO to FOI — for the full length of the rink followed by backward change of edge pulls — BOI to BIO — for the second full length of the rink. The skater will change feet at the center of the rink. Introductory steps and end sequence are optional. This move may start on either foot. Focus: Continuous flow and strength 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Post Turkey Trot

I am thankful that Thanksgiving is over.  I must say, I love the holiday.  I love every morsel of the feast, the libations, the leftover dinners, the turkey sandwiches, the turkey soup, etc.  However, a summer of a lack of skating, going to the gym and NOT SAYING NO to fattening foods and extra helpings caught up with me.

So today I am back, hopefully on track.  A few weeks of rigorous calorie reduction, increased exercise and willpower should do the trick.

Oh yes, back to the basis of my blog ... skating.  Technically I think this has become a v-log.  I post mostly videos and not too many photos.

Today I skated twice at two different rinks a few hours apart.  Lesson learned today: My joints and muscles didn't appreciate an explosion of exercise in a cold rink, followed by a ride in a hot car, followed by another cold rink.  Simple rules in sports... WARM UP-EXERCISE-COOL DOWN-REST ..... or else you will get injured!

This is a raw clip from my first practice.   This is a pretty typical practice session for me when I am not working on elements for a test or getting ready for a competition (my one and only thus far).  Skaters generally just wander aimlessly on the ice until some little voice in their head says ... "do this" or "try this" .. sometimes it's a conscious plan.  Other times it's really random.  Today it was random.




Saturday, November 17, 2012

Slow Motion Anayization

I skated at Frontier Ice Arena today.  My friend who lives closer to this rink met me there for the "adult" morning session.  With about 10 skaters it felt so CROWDED!  I know I am spoiled having a rink to skate public sessions at that is really quiet.

Skating with a friend means not getting much practice in.  We end up going round and round while chatting and freezing.  At the end of the session I did a little jump and spin practice and decided to slow-motion all of it so I could try and analyze what's good, what's bad, what's wrong.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Attempted A Back Camel Spin !!

I dragged myself to the rink today.  I can only equate this feeling to going to the gym.  If you go often, you enjoy it.  If you haven't been for a long time, you dread going.  I know once I get on the ice I will enjoy it.  Even if it's a bad practice day.  Even if it means taking several steps backward before I can progress forward again.  Being on the ice has only two drawbacks:  #1 it's cold (I really hate being cold) and #2 it's hard when you fall wrong.  Actually at my age it's hard when you fall right!

On a positive note; I did skate today AND I attempted something new.  A Back Camel Spin.  This came out of nowhere.  It wasn't in my head to try it.  I think I was going into a Back Scratch Spin but I wound up trying the Back Camel.  There is plenty of room for criticism, but I thought it was a good start.


At the end of the clip my skating friend Hank came by to say "nice attempt".

Friday, November 2, 2012

Dusting Off The Halloween Cob Webs

After another WHO KNOWS HOW MANY DAYS off ...... I snuck into the rink today for 30 minutes of practice.  Seriously, I don't even know where to start.  I have been away from the gym about as long as I have been off the ice.  UNKNOWN.  It feels like I was abducted by aliens and they have now returned me to earth to pick up where I left off.

Worked on basics today.  Not much else to say.  Did I mention I gained 8 lbs?


>

Monday, October 8, 2012

Now And Again ... I Skate

Someday soon I will get back to skating 3-4 days a week.  Lately it's been more like 1 x week if I am lucky.  I picked a great day to skate today as I ran into some fellow adult skaters.  Yeah!  Hank Landis and Sheila Geisler were there.  Here's is a photo of them back in the day.  (Which day?  I don't know)


They appear at the end of my clip today practicing.  Hopefully they will go to Adult Nationals next year so I will actually know someone there if I go!

Practice was short and basic today.


Friday, September 28, 2012

Frontier Ice Arena - Coeur d' Alene, Idaho

FINALLY Back on the ice today.  Only for 20 minutes because I got there late.  Skated at the new ice rink in Coeur d' Alene, Idaho. Frontier Ice Arena It will be the closest rink to my new house in Liberty Lake, Washington, but door-to-door it will still take me 18-20 minutes.  My regular rink Eagle Ice-A-Rena in Spokane will take me 30 minutes from my new house in the other direction.

Both my skating and my videography is out of practice.  The camera was out of focus and the memory card was nearly full so it's a short video of me doing not much of anything.

BIG MISTAKE taking the summer off the ice.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Practicing Silver Moves In The Field

I'm getting a slow start back to skating regularly.  No matter what I did today, I never felt loose and limber.  I have been doing a lot of sitting at the computer lately and I think it's taking it's toll on me.

I ran through the Adult Silver MIF twice today.  This was the 2nd attempt.  The 1st attempt went better, but the camera was focused improperly and the whole video was blurry.


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Here We Go Again......

No more excuses.  Back on the ice today.  Summer is officially over.  The only white I am wearing now is my winter white North Face jacket while I skate!

I figure it will take 3-4 weeks to get back in skating shape.

Today I kept it very simple:  On camera I did some crossovers, single jumps, scratch spins.  Off camera I did a back spin, started working on a camel spin, spirals and attempted all the Adult Silver Moves In The Field.


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Skating at EWU in Cheney

It's Sunday and my rink has no ice for the next week so I skated at Eastern Washington University.  The ice is so different here.  It's warmer inside (which is why I wore a skirt) and the ice is softer than my rink.  It's very bright inside and that actually makes me dizzy sometimes!

I practiced all of the Adult Silver Moves In The Field or MIF.  I only captured some of them on camera and I had to use the short end of the rink because they won't allow me to take my camera onto the ice there to position it on the board in the corner.  That is also why there is a haze on my video as it was behind the glass of the penalty box shooting out.

Adult Silver MIF don't feel too scary to me.  I think in a few months when the time comes I will be able to pass them.  This is how it goes as you move up the food chain of figure skating.  The moves are usually attainable, but the freestyle will hold you back from competing at higher levels.  I am still technically ADULT PRE BRONZE because I still have not taken my ADULT BRONZE FS test.

I can "skate up" at competitions, except at Adult Nationals.  You need to have passed the level in which you are competing.  Next year Adult Nationals will be held in Scottsdale, AZ.  I'm really excited and I hope to be able to bring 2 programs:  1 Adult Bronze and 1 Adult Bronze Artistic/Dramatic.  The latter has no required elements and you are judged on how well you interpret the music as well as the technical skills of your program, but again... no required elements.  So that is a lot on my plate between now and April 2013.

Here's some footage of my practice today:




Adult Silver Moves in the Field Descriptions
  1. Eight-step mohawk sequence
    The skater will perform two eight-step mohawk sequences counterclockwise. The step order is: Forward crossover into a LFO mohawk, followed by LBI, RBO, LBI cross forward and RFI. The skater should maintain a march cadence (one beat per step). Between the circles is a two-beat left foot transition. The sequence is then repeated twice in the opposite direction. Introductory steps are optional. This move may start in either direction.
    Focus: Quickness, continuous flow and strength

  2. Forward and backward free skate cross strokes
    The skater will perform free skate cross strokes the length of the ice surface. Forward cross strokes will be skated for one length of the rink and backward cross strokes skated for the second length of the rink. Introductory steps and end patterns are optional. This move may start on either foot.
    Focus: Continuous flow and strength

  3. FO-BI three-turns in the field
    The skater will perform forward three-turns alternating to backward three-turns covering the length of the rink. One length of the rink will start with RFO-LBI three-turns. On the second length of the rink, the skater will perform LFO-RBI three-turns. The end sequence and the choice of introductory steps are optional. This move may start on either foot.
    Focus: Edge quality                                   
  4. FI-BO three-turns in the field .On the first length of the rink the skater will perform RFI-LBO three-turns. On the second length of the rink the skater will perform LFI RBO three-turns. Introductory steps and end sequence are optional. This move may start on either foot.                                                                                                                        Focus: Edge quality                                                                                                                                                                                                      
  5. Consecutive outside and inside spirals .                                                                                                                                    The skater will perform right foot and left foot spirals. The outside edge spirals will be skated for the first length of the rink. Forward crossovers may be utilized (optional) around the end of the rink. Forward inside edge spirals will be skated for the second length of the rink. The exact number of spirals will depend on the size of the rink and the strength of the skater, however a minimum of four spirals down each length of the rink must be skated. The extended leg in the spiral should be held at hip level or higher. Introductory steps are optional.                                                                  Focus: Extension and edge quality 
  6. Forward and backward power change of edge pulls                                                                                                              The skater will perform consecutive power change of edge pulls — FIO to FOI — for the full length of the rink followed by backward change of edge pulls — BOI to BIO — for the second full length of the rink. The skater will change feet at the center of the rink. Introductory steps and end sequence are optional. This move may start on either foot.           Focus: Continuous flow and strength  

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

25 Days Later ......

I finally got back on the ice today after nearly a month off.  Wow, I will never intentionally do that again.

Things affected by taking that much time off:


  1. Energy
  2. Stamina
  3. Muscle Tone
  4. Muscle Memory
  5. Balance
  6. Dizziness
  7. Edges
  8. Confidence
.... But I am sporting a nice tan!

I skated about 1 1/2 hours today.  I didn't push myself as I knew all of these things above were going to be a factor.  I will have to ease back into it.


On a brighter note there was a big announcement today by USFSA:

Adult Nationals 2013 & 2014

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

One Week Turned Into Three

No I didn't get inured or quit skating.

What happened?  Summer.  Since my last post we had family visiting on two occasions, then flew back to Oshkosh WI for our annual trip to the fly in convention.  Now we're home, but headed out camping for a few days in our trailer with the dog.  Meanwhile we are in the beginning stages of building a new house.

It's all fun, so I can't complain..... I will save that for when I get back on the ice next Monday and can't do anything, feel sore and frustrated!

Fun on the lake

Grandkids

Heading to Oshkosh

Camping with our plane

Annual photo under the brown arch

Getting ready for footings

View from our house being built


Monday, July 16, 2012

Taking The Week Off

I feel physically and emotionally drained from Saturday's event.  Taking a few days off.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Jo Williams Memorial Cup Jul 14, 2012

My first competition ever.  Wow.  I was so nervous.  I skated from 12:00 to 1:00 at EWU and somehow pulled my groin or something down there from not warming up properly.  Ouch it smarts.

At the wall with my coach Berkley during warmup
Skating out getting into starting pose



Here is how it went down:

What went wrong:

  1. My legs were shaking from warmups to end of my program
  2. I did a Waltz - Waltz instead of a Waltz - Toe Loop (kind of planned with my coach moments before we went on the ice)
  3. My spread eagle ended too close to the wall (out of the sight of the judges)
  4. My salchow-loop was way smaller than normal
  5. My straight line sequence was on a diagonal (I was trying to get back to the center of the rink)
  6. At the end of my crooked footwork sequence I two-footed the flip
  7. Then I made up the ending unlike what we planned
  8. The music ended… I was still skating for 5 seconds and omitted a pivot for the sake of time
  9. Camera failed for hubby 30 seconds into it.


What went right:

  1. I skated
  2. I did not fall
  3. I actually enjoyed about 20 seconds of the 1:50 of it… 
  4. It's over
  5. I'm not discouraged and want to try again

We had to buy the $40 video from the professional since my camera stopped taping in the middle.  5-6 weeks they say.

I was the only one in my event.  I have no idea if I placed 1st or 2nd .. I would guess 2nd since I didn't do all the required jumps correctly.  Somehow I didn't have enough discussion with my coach about how it all works.  I was really hoping for a judges critique.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

I Skated Exhibition Today


On Thursdays during summer the Lilac City FSC does what they call "Pops".  Anyone in the club can run their program once.  This was a great opportunity for me to try out my program before the competition day with people watching.

My legs were shaking beyond belief.  I definitely messed up, however I did not fall and I landed nearly all my jumps, however small.

Errors:

  1. The sit spin wasn't low enough and I exited wrong
  2. After the sit spin I was supposed to do a back crossover, 3 turn to forward crossovers then start the spiral sequence closer to the blue line than the middle  
  3. The first jump element was supposed to be a waltz-toe instead of just a waltz jump
  4. I forgot my transition step from that jump leading to the spread eagle.
  5. The spread eagle was cut a little short
  6. The salchow-loop needed more speed, height and a stronger landing
  7. The step sequence needs to be quicker and more defined
  8. After the flip jump at the end of the step sequence I forgot my transition steps 
  9. After the lunge I forgot my transition steps leading to the final scratch spin
  10. I am hoping for a better back pivot and holding my final pose longer 
  11. Throughout the program my hands are not extended straight out to the fingertips
Having said that.  I was totally happy and grateful that I skated as well as I did for this FIRST TIME EVER skating an exhibition.

A very interesting thing happened as a result of this skate.  I am extremely sore today in my back, neck, core.  I think the added pressure of holding it together in front of people made me more tense than usual in my muscles while I was skating.  For sure I will will sitting in the hot tub tomorrow and taking some anti inflammatory pain killers.


Choctaw Concussion

Less than 5 minutes after I got on the ice today with my friend Sheila, we were at the rail  while she was trying to explain to me what a Choctaw was.  I thought it was something different and tried to demonstrate it.  Next thing you know I hear the "click of death" of my blades hitting each other and down I go... backwards.  Butt first followed by a head slam to the ice.  Boy that hurts.  When those trip/falls happen I usually get hurt worse than if I am jumping or spinning and fall.

I did recover, but my skating for the rest of the session was a waste of time.  I couldn't get through my newly finished program, nor could I do my combination jumps.

Choctaws... fooey.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Competition vs Test

Today I found out that my Adult Bronze level "competition" does not have the same requirements as the Adult Bronze Free Skate "test".  In my heart, I knew this, but I was thinking my competition program would suffice as a test program and vice versa.

I had a 1 hour lesson today to complete the program needed for this Saturday's competition: "Well Balance Free Skate - Adult Bronze".   What this means is NO BACKSPIN REQUIRED !!!  Yes!

Fortunately I am not competing against anyone this time and it is my very first competition EVER in my life.  So I just want to get through with the bare minimum requirements.

Changes to rules for 2012-2013


Jumps Max 4 = I have 3 with 2 combinations of 2 jumps each
Spins Max 2 = I have 2
Step Sequence = Yes (Spirals will be counted as transitions)


My program (now complete) has the following *required elements in the following order:
  1. Opening position - forward pivot - bent knee spiral - inside edge - Ina Bauer to
  2. Sit *spin  (spin #1 of 2)  forward crossover 
  3. RFI Spiral (to be counted as a transition), 3 turn, 2 back crossovers
  4. *Waltz - Toe (jump #1 of 3) 
  5. Transition steps: 3 turn, back crossovers, back edge, Spread Eagle 
  6. *Salchow - Loop (jump #2 of 3)
  7. *Footwork Sequence (mohawk, back 3, mohawk, cross step, fwd 3, falling leaf
  8. *Flip Jump (jump #3 of 3) ..... The one I fell on!
  9. Lunge 
  10. *Scratch spin (possible Attitude)
  11. Ending in a back pivot
So here are two attempts at the completed program today.  I fell on the first try at the end.  On the second try I was way off the music.  (too slow)




Monday, July 9, 2012

Maybe Bunga Pads Are a Good Idea

Took a few spills today on my Waltz-Toe combination.  Also think I may have pulled something ... from trying to jump before I was fully warmed up.


I'm a full fledged member of AA = Alcohol + Advil
 (Sorry if this offends anyone)


All I did today was run through my program over and over again.  Sometimes I got all the way through sometimes I didn't.  Sometimes I FELL.  Tomorrow I have a 1 hour lesson.  My next video should be a complete program.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

100 Degrees Outside - I Still Had Private Ice

Today was the hottest day of the year.  Temps reached the high 90's in most parts where I live and some areas hit 100 degrees.  Not in the rink. It was a very cool and refreshing temperature.  As you can see I got warm enough to strip off my coat and sweater.

I skated with a skirt today and plan to for the rest of the week in preparation for my competition this Saturday.  I have told too many people about it and I must make an attempt at it - no matter how badly I do.  With any luck .. it will actually have a beginning - middle - end before Saturday!




Just as I was leaving the rink I saw Sylvie Cloutier who skates at my rink.  She just passed her Adult Gold MIF and is now working on the Standard Test Track - Intermediate MIF.  I'm so jealous.


I took some video of them practicing.


Saturday, July 7, 2012

Skating On The Weekend

Summer has finally arrived in Spokane Washington.  Today we are in the high 90's.  Rather than make a pitcher of iced tea and sit on a lounge chair in the back yard I decided to drive to EWU to skate.

I'm still sick. I think it has blossomed into a sinus infection.  One more day and I am going to take an antibiotic.  My energy is dismal.  I thought I would stay on the ice and just walk through my program and try and improvise and create the missing elements and  steps and arm and hand movements, but I simply skated around and around and couldn't pull any creativity out of my mind or soul.

On the ice there today was a coach, Karin Kuenzle-Watson and about 5 young skaters under her direction.  I think they are part of the Inland Northwest Figure Skating Club.  They regularly skate at EWU in Cheney.  Here she is holding her gold skates.  She was wearing them today while she was coaching a very young pairs couple and 3 other young single skaters.



As for my practice, it was a waste of time.  My head was plugged up, then I had a runny nose and my feet ached and I couldn't get more than 1/3 of my program skated without stopping.  I'll try again tomorrow.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Competition Schedule Posted

Now I ask you.  Does this make any sense whatsoever?  Note the time of my paid practice ice and the time of my scheduled event.


Schedule -- Diane Rudnick
Saturday, July 14, 2012
7:40 AMPractice-ice (Practice) - Mixed AEagles
3:50 PMFree Skate (6.0), Adult Bronze (Ladies)Eagles


I am sure they have a good reason for not putting me on any of the other practice sessions.  Namely at 12:35 p.m.  or 10:20 a.m. or 8:10 a.m.  It says I am in "Mixed A" group.  There is also a B and a C and D group.  Maybe it has to do with skating levels.  I know I paid for this practice session, but I will do much better if I sleep in, eat a good breakfast, relax in my hot tub and then go skate for an hour at another rink from from 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.  It's only 1/2 hour from my house and I will be much more warmed up.

I somehow managed to contract another cold or maybe the last one never left and was just festering within me.  For the past 2 days I have been drinking hot tea and honey, taking Benadryl and going through 2 boxes of Kleenex.  << How's that for product placement?  Aaaaachoooooo.

 I thought skating would help.  I felt pretty ragged out there today.  Kept the jumps to a minimum and tried working on some spins and pivots and connecting steps for my STILL UNFINISHED PROGRAM!!!


My coach should be back in town and I hope she can schedule me for a really long lesson or two before next Saturday .... it's my only hope.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Practice Practice Practice

Back on my home ice at Eagle Ice Arena today.  I had the ice nearly to myself.  I can't believe how lucky I am to be able to skate here.  It's not what one visualizes when you say "I skate PUBLIC sessions".

I captured most of my practice today and I practiced a bit harder than usual, purposely trying to get a workout, warm muscles and then try to run my program.  I cut 25 minutes down to 12 by cutting out all the "recovery" time in between trying different elements.

I ran my program twice without music in my headphones.  I attached the audio later, so the timing is off and the program runs long.

A few new things appear on this video.  A Camel Spin and a Waltz - Loop combination.


Sunday, July 1, 2012

New Week New Ice

Camping is over.  Husband is back to work.  I have about 12 days to practice daily and see if I can't pull off this attempt at skating my Adult Bronze Program in "competition" on July 13/14.  If you are just tuning in... I am the only competitor at my level of "Adult Bronze" ... never mind that I am a IV which means ... old... over 50.

Something is up with this iPhone.  The Droid was so much more reliable for video.  Sometimes it doesn't focus.  Sometimes it shoots sideways and I have to take the time to turn it around when I upload it.  Today it did both.  I am posting the only thing that captured well.

Not sure if it's the ice or me or both, but my spins today were really shaky.  Especially the Sit Spin as I got lower down to the ice.

I tried putting my arms straight out as someone suggested to me for better effect and it threw me off.  I will try again tomorrow.


Friday, June 29, 2012

2 Weeks Until Doomsday!

Had a miserable first day back on the ice after nearly a week.  Tried 1/2 dozen times to run through my still incomplete program.  Found out this morning my coach is on her way to the Bahamas for a week and my competition is in 2 weeks.  Hmmmm.  Not looking good.

I'm not giving up yet.  Planning on skating daily (even on the weekends) until the date of the event.

No video shot today.

Ran through Silver MIF (still no instruction on these yet) and worked on my Waltz-Toe.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Skating Under The Influence

Ok kiddies don't read this one.  Today I met my friends from Seattle for lunch at Clinkerdagger's in Spokane.   It was a beautiful 1st day of summer.  The sun was out and the river was flowing and having a Bloody Mary just seemed like a good idea.  Lunch was fabulous and we had a nice visit.  I shouldn't have squatted so low in the photo, I look out of proportion.  My friend Penny on my left is also an adult skater going through basic skills.  She told me toward the end of 2011 that she was skating and it sparked something in me.  Now here I am .... testing and potentially competing.  Thank Penny!


By the way.... either the Blood Mary helped... or it had worn off by the time I skated at 3:15 this afternoon!



Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Technical Difficulty Solved

Since my DroidX died and I got an iPhone my videos and photos haven't been the same quality.  When I take flash photos the pictures were coming out all foggy and the the video shot at high resolution did not seem to be.  Turns out the plastic protector I have on the phone (both sides) is the problem.  I kept the front one on, but removed the back one which covered the camera lens and flash unit.  As long as it doesn't fall from the rail tot he ice ... I am in good shape!

No video today.  I met my friend Sheila at the rink for the last 30 minutes and skated.... well, more like I was gliding along the ice while we were talking.  Didn't get much practice in today.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

My Skates Have a New Home

Ok, it's official.  I must be a figure skater.  Fully equipped now with a much needed Zuca  Bag.  For the past few months I have been toting my skates around in a black tapestry sewing machine bag on wheels.  This is going to be so much nicer.  The bottom wheel lights up when you roll it and you can sit on the top of the frame.  



I added a Facebook Page called WaltzJump today.  Don't ask me why.  Seemed like a good idea at the time.

Today was my first day back on the ice since last Thursday.  I didn't feel up to skating, but one more day off and I knew I would be playing catch - up.

My list of excuses this week:

1. Extremely busy with architect, house builder, bank and escrow needs this week.
2. Sick.  Picked up a cold.  Sore throat, hoarse, cough.
3. School is out - public session is bound to be far more crowded than I am used to
4. Competition (exhibition) around the corner.... if I'm not ready, I can drop out.

Much to my surprise I got to the rink and there were about 10 people skating... and they were all on rink #1: part of the figure skating club.  Public was on rink #2 ... over there only 3 people on the ice.  Another adult skater named Hank .. (he's been to Nationals!) and a couple of kids and their mom.  Within 30 minutes everyone had gone and I got .... can you stand it?..... private ice.  I felt terrible with my cold but skated anyway.  I took some advice from someone on the skatingforums2  and ran my program, then stroked around and tried to run it again.. mistakes and all.







Thursday, June 14, 2012

Next Hurdle: Adult Silver Moves In The Field


After passing my Adult Bronze MIF test on Tuesday I headed to the rink today ready to work on my program for the competition I entered in July.

But before I left the house today I got an email from them stating I was the only competitor in my event (Adult Bronze Free Skate) and I have 3 choices:

  1. Get a refund (The sensible choice)
  2. Skate as the only competitor (basically it becomes an exhibition)
  3. Skate "up" or skate "down" to a level where there is another competitor as allowed by USFSA.  (I am already skating "up" from my standing as a Pre-Bronze to the Bronze level... so skating up isn't an option.  Skating down I am sure there are no other competitors either)
When I got to the rink today one of the kids hockey coaches was out on the ice with her figure skates on.  You can see her doing doubles in the background.  Right away I was intimidated and decided instead of getting frustrated working on my program I would attempt to video my first day of practice on Silver Moves.

I have to decide by June 16 whether to bag the competition or not.  We'll see if I talk myself out of it or not. 



And later that day......  I had my blades sharpened.  My skate guard fell off a few days ago and I got a nick on them + it was time for a sharpening and to add another screw.
The 2 screws at the top of my toe are still out.  The boot and blade have not conformed to each other yet.  I wonder if they ever will.



Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Adult Bronze MIF : Passed!

We are in the process of buying some property, designing and building a new house.  This morning we had to meet with our builder for several hours, so I didn't get a chance to skate the morning public session as I had hoped.

However, I did get a longer than normal warm up session because there was a change out of the judges between the Junior, Novice and Intermediate tests that were taken prior to my event.  

I felt strong during warm ups and was able to skate my moves in their entirety before hand.  Of course during the actual test, my nerves kicked in.  I was a little shaky and lacked power in all of my moves, but all the judges gave me passing scores of 2.5 or higher.  Below is my skate and the judges comments.





I love my coach Berkley Villard.  She is always so supportive and encouraging.


For my trophy case ... or the sleeve of my club jacket .. if I ever get one!


Here's what the judges had to say:







Monday, June 11, 2012

Practice for MIF Test Tomorrow

Practice run through of my Adult Bronze Moves in the Field Test scheduled for tomorrow afternoon. Wish I had the camera in a better location. You can only see 1/2 the ice.





Saturday, June 9, 2012

"Open" Freestyle @ Bellingham Sportsplex

I'm out of town this weekend visiting family and skated this morning at the Bellingham Sportsplex.
The 6:45-7:45 session was designated for "High" session skaters:  Those working on Axels, double jumps, advanced spins.  "Low" session skaters were described as Basic Skills through Freeskate 3 levels.  My session was described as "OPEN", but all the of the morning high level skaters were still on the ice.

There is a competition next weekend so one of the moms was telling me that it's been especially crowded lately.  I was hesitant to go out there, but I mustered up the courage and paid my $8.25 to skate for 45 minutes.
The video I am posting is just raw footage of the last 5 minutes of my practice.

You can see a boy working on double jumps with his coach in the harness.  Another girl running her program in the background.. and me falling while trying to learn a backspin! You may have to turn your head or your computer sideways, unless I can fix this technical difficulty!

 



Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Slow Unveiling of My Bronze Program

Yesterday I had a crazy idea.  Enter a competition on July 13-14 that I am not ready for!
I discussed it with my coach and she thought it was a good idea.  Not from a competition standpoint, but from a shake-the-nerves standpoint.

My goal is to be able to go to Adult Nationals next April with a solid Adult Bronze program.  Between now and then I need to get in plenty of practice and actually get used to going to a competition.

Adult skating in my area is pretty quiet.  I don't expect to see many (if any) other competitors in July at the Bronze Level, especially in my age category (IV) 50-59.  So I will be competing for the sake of competing; skating to music, choreographed with required elements with a few people watching and of course, judges critiquing.

The video I shot yesterday starts with a few practice spins of my backspin (which is why I didn't want to test my Bronze Freeskate yet... It's not consistent yet).  Then you will see 1:44 seconds of my 1:50 music poorly skated in a rough outline of my program.  Ok, the cat is out of the bag.  I'm skating to the piano rendition of the them from Schindler's List.  I may switch it over to the violin version before next year if I get stronger.

I am pretty "old school" when it comes to what music I like to see people skate to and now ... perform to.  USFSA will allow you to skate to music with lyrics, but it's not for me.  I like mostly classical style music or soundtracks, themes, etc.   I know a lot of adult skaters enjoy putting on some wild costumes and skating in other events like Dramatic and Light Entertainment.  I won't say never, but right now all I can focus on is completing my first program with required elements cleanly.

Adult Bronze Requirement for the Freeskate are:



Jumps:
1. At least three different single jumps of which one must be a Salchow and one must be a toe loop
2. One jump combination consisting of a waltz jump and a toe loop (no turn
or change of foot between jumps)


Spins:
1. One-foot upright spin (minimum four revolutions in position)
2. One-foot backspin, entry optional (minimum three revolutions in position) 

3. Sit spin (minimum three revolutions in position)


Steps: 
1. Connecting moves, steps and edges throughout the program




Monday, June 4, 2012

Practicing Single Jumps

Usually I hate Mondays.  I was pretty amped up today.  We put an offer in on some property to build a house on and I was skating to take my mind off sitting around waiting to hear from realtor whether or not our offer was accepted.

When I got to the rink I was overwhelmed to see a groups of good skaters and their coach on the ice from another club somewhere in Montana.  They had just competed somewhere on the "West Side" of the state and were trekking back to Montana and decided to stop at our rink and skate.

It was like skating on club ice.  Good skaters going in every direction, everyone looking out for one another.  Unlike skating on "public" ice .. where generally you are supposed to skate counter clockwise.  I am really lucky that our rink is not very crowded and I can do my freestyle in all directions most of the time.  I try to watch out for others and be respectful.

Today I worked on most of my single jumps.  Unfortunately I ran out of space on my camera just before I started practicing the Lutz Jump.  I was able to muster up the courage today to try several 1/2 Lutz Jumps and I attempted a full Lutz, both of which I "two-footed" (which means to land on two feet instead of one).


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Lesson and Practice

I got about an hour of practice in today just before my lesson.  My test date is just 13 days away so we concentrated on the Moves In The Field for most of our lesson.  I finally captured a little bit of it on video today.

My moves are mostly passable, but I need more work on smooth 3 turns, more knee bend and arm extension for the transitions and keeping my head up.

Also on my back outside edges I am starting to do sort of a swing roll instead of just a back edge.  Need to correct that.

At the end of the lesson we talked a bit about my problem with the backspin.  I thought I had made some progress.  Drawing my arms to my chest in more of a jump/gather position.  When I demonstrated it, my coach told me I had improved, but what I was doing was a forward inside edge spin.  Which she said was VERY HARD and reserved for high level skaters!!!  I had to laugh.  It wasn't a good spin, but that's the edge I was on.  When I get on my outside edge I seem to fall to the back of my blade (scary).  Tomorrow I will capture some practice on that.

Here is my practice today and my lesson covering Power 3 Turns for the MIF:





 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Practicing My Moves

Finally back on the ice today after about a week off.  As you can see I had the ice to myself, which is wonderful.  School will be out soon, so these days are numbered.


Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

I've been off the ice for a few days to attend my son's wedding in Michigan.  He and his bride are both U.S. Navy Corpsman currently stationed at the Naval Health Clinic of New England in Newport, Rhode Island.  I am so proud of him and so happy to have a new daughter in law who I adore.  Thank you both for your service and congratulations on your marriage.   Love Mom.



Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Back To Basics

I have been either out of town or really busy in the past week or two.  We took a short camping trip and I am getting ready for a trip to Michigan for my son's wedding.  As a result I have not been skating my usual 4-5 times per week.  (And it shows).

Today I had only 45 minutes to skate before going to see the Orthopedic surgeon to get a "status check" on my sore knees.  The good news there is that my knees are holding up pretty well considering I had 2 arthroscopic surgeries 32 years ago.  He said my bones look great after seeing my X-rays.  My diagnosis  for the pain I sometimes have after skating (also walking, biking, skiing, climbing up or down stairs) is Chrondomalacia Patella which is basically cartilage softening.  His recommendation:  Keep Skating !!!  But also to take it easy on days when it hurts or won't recuperate the next day.  Wear a knee brace on days that I plan on doing extensive jumping (ha ha ha) and to keep taking Glucosomine supplements (I drink Joint Juice every day) and Calcium + Vitamin D (Costco and Trader Joe's have chewable supplements).

I ran through my Moves in the Field today as my initial warm up.  I wanted to see if I could execute them if I showed up to the rink for testing without a prior warm up.  I was able to get through them, but I was not as fluid I would have been if I warmed up first.

Afterwards I ran through a few jumps and worked on (slow) spins, trying to center them more.  I worked on my back spin and think I found a correction.  It really seems to help to cross the free leg over right away.  I have been trying to keep it to the side like a simple scratch spin trying to find my center before attempting to cross the leg over and I cannot center it.  I just fall onto the back of my blade (dangerous).  I didn't capture that on video, but I will the next time I practice.

The video below shows some edge work and trying to learn a twizzle.


Friday, May 18, 2012

Today I met Paul Wylie

My usual session time was altered today for a special function at the rink.  I skated from 10:15 to 11:45 (an hour earlier than usual).

Here is my boring practice:



At 12:00 noon our rink, Eagle Ice-A-Rena, hosted a Special Olympics event.  Skaters with special needs showed up to skate with and get some tips from Paul Wylie, 1992 Olympic Silver Medalist.  Some of the skaters from the Lilac Figure Skating Club were there also to help out and get some tips from Paul.

Me?  I couldn't resist the opportunity to meet him.  I had no idea he had such ties to Spokane.  His wife was there, his nearly 80 year old father (who he says still skis on black diamond runs) and his sister, who was organizing the event along with a committee  from the Lilac Parade organization.

* Disclaimer:  If I get any of the above information incorrect ... My apologies.

I was kind of hanging out with my cell phone camera, hoping to ask him for a photo opportunity when I glanced over and saw him lacing up his skates.  I introduced myself and told him I was an "Adult Figure Skater" ... I didn't realize he is just 5 years younger than I am.   He looks better than I do!  He said he attributes his preservation to being in cold rinks... and staying "on ice".  Here's a few pictures at the event:




After the thank you's and a a few words from Paul, the group of skaters with special needs, some of the Lilac Princesses and some of the Lilac Figure Skating Club's skaters took the ice.  Paul skated with them, watched them skate, gave them individual pointers and tips and then gave the group a demonstration of an advanced jump .... my nemesis:  The Axel 

In my conversation with Paul he told me he only skates professionally on occasion, but he is now coaching in North Carolina where he lives.  I asked him if he would be open to coaching an adult clinic sometime .. somewhere... and he said YES.  So we'll see.  
I so enjoyed my short chat with him, I forgot to ask him for a photo, but someone else took my picture while I was chatting with him.  Hopefully she will email me a copy.

Here's the video of the Axel demonstration:






Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Program Progess

I had a 30 minute lesson today.  I accidentally left my skating pants at home and had to skate in BLUE JEANS for a lesson.  Way to go!

We started out working on the Moves in the Field.  Everything is looking nearly passable at this point, so I won't linger on the subject.  I have nearly a month more to practice so we put that on the shelf and addressed the issues I have with my incomplete program:

Issue #1.  I had a Back Spin choreographed at the beginning of my program and I can't do it very well or very consistently yet.  I requested to move it to later in the program, perhaps at the very end.  I don't want to start my program off with a fall or mistake.  (My coach agreed to move it further into the program, but she thinks it would even harder to execute it at the end when I am really tired)

Issue #2. I'm still getting overly dizzy while spinning. WHEN IF EVER IS THIS GOING TO SUBSIDE???? (Nothing my coach could do about that)

We did move the Back Spin and replace it with an Ina Bauer into a Sit Spin.  It will work out much better.