Tuesday, January 31, 2012

5 Step Mowhawk Decoded

Lesson Today - We skipped practicing the Pre Bronze Moves In The Field today.  I think I pretty much have them down to a passable level.  There is definitely room for improvement, but we didn't waste time going over it.  My lesson is on 15 minutes and it goes by so fast.  I always hate when it's over.  30 minutes would double my budget and probably wreck me.  For right now I am getting plenty to practice all week from my 15 minutes.

Today we reviewed the Bronze MIF.   I linked diagrams of the patterns.

1. Forward and backward perimeter power stroking   I need to work on the backward side.  After the crossover I don't always get a good inside edge.  I think that inside edges vs outside edges are harder for most people to learn and master. 

2. Forward power three-turns I thought I had this pattern too shallow, but my coach says I was doing them ok. Again, lots of room for improvement especially on the right leg 3 turn pattern on the 2nd length of the ice.

3. Alternating backward crossovers to backward outside edges This is the pattern that cannot be "shallow".  This type of pattern is how I learned to warm up back in the old days, so it's not difficult, but I never learned to make 4-5 "lobes" and hold the edge that long.  I need to work on getting more extension, deeper edges creating 4-5 equal sized lobes.  

4 Forward circle eight This was the easiest of them all.  It felt like PATCH figures, except that the second tracing repeats the 2nd circle on the same side but on the inside edge.  

5. Five-step mohawk sequence Last, but not least I was taught this new pattern.  I had tried all week to jump ahead and figure this out and for some reason I had a mental block and couldn't put it together until it was demonstrated in front of me. Video Link of USFSA example  Even then, this one leaves me scratching my head.  It resembles a dance pattern with a SLIP step (step 5 of 5)  

I have much to work on this week and only 2 days left to skate.  Next week we will be heading to Chicago to visit family.  I plan on taking my skates and hopefully I will get 1-2 days of practice in there.  I hear they have outdoor rinks in the parks!

And that's it for my 1st month back on the ice!  I'm pretty happy with my progress.  I just wish my body wasn't so sore.

Monday, January 30, 2012

I Hate Monday's - Practice

I have a lesson tomorrow so I absolutely had to practice today.  Today was one of those days I really felt my age ... and then some.  I had been keeping my skates in my car and they are usually really cold from the outside air temperature.  I actually like them cold as these skates don't fit anyway.  Putting my bare feet into cold boots help reduce the discomfort.  Today they were warm and even tighter.
The Harlick people told me my blades were supposed to arrive last Wednesday, so I am really hoping that this may be the last week I have to skate in these skates which were never mine to begin with.  Of course I will be shedding new tears of discomfort as I break in the new ones and do a couple of face plants on the ice from tripping over a big new Phantom toe pick.
Today I continued working on my moves in the field.  The session was more crowded than usual and I had to dodge kids on hockey skates racing up and down the ice.  I don't mind it once in a while.  It's less crowded than the "club ice" and far less intimidating for me.
I did attempt a few scratch spins today.  One with my leg out and another with my leg bent at my side.  The dizziness is getting better.  I even tried a "sit" spin.  It will never be a true sit spin because my quads and knee are not strong enough to get me back up again, but I should be able to eventually do a decent "crouch" spin!

Today I also learned how to cut music on Garage Band so I can start hunting around for music to skate to .... eventually when I take my first freestyle test.
My Reidell boots and MK Professional blades

Saturday, January 28, 2012


My friend Penny and I gave it whirl the day after the Pandora show!

Castle Ice in Renton Washington.  Soft, quiet ice.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Pandora's Unforgettable Moments of Love on Ice

This was a thoroughly enjoyable event held at the Showare Center in Kent Washington January 26, 2012.

Gladys Knight sang wonderfully and Kenny G was wooing the skaters with his saxophone.

Although these skaters are all "adults" now ... This is definitely NOT "Adult Figure Skating".  They are all champion skaters turned professional.  I will try not to let their excellence deter me from the task at hand - mastering the basic skills and eventually landing all my SINGLE jumps and figuring out how to spin without getting dizzy!

I tried to label each photo with the correct names and spellings.  If I have erred, hopefully someone will come forward and let me know.

(check your local listings)
Pre show glimpse at the ice

Nancy Kerrigan and Kristi Yamaguchi co-hosted

Gladys Knight

Sasha Cohen

Great Sit Spin from Joannie Rochette

Kimmie Meissner

Kurt Browning and Ekaterina Gordeeva skating pairs

Sasha having fun at the end of her program
Miki Ando
Kurt Browning doin' his thing .....

Adorable number with Joannie Rochette

The ladies loved Ilia Kulik

Kenny G getting assisted out to a stool on the ice by Joannie Rochette and Ekaterina Gordeeva

Ryan Bradley flipping for Kenny G

I can't imagine doing this much less doing it with a SMILE

Finale fun number 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I'm Leavin' On That Midnight Train To.... Seattle

Heading to Seattle tonight on Amtrak to see Pandora's Unforgettable Moments of Love on Ice
Thursday January 26th at 7:00 p.m. at the ShoWare Center in Kent, Washington.

Gladys Knight and Kenny G will perform live and a wonderful list of champion skaters will skate to their music.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Practice Session - Adult Bronze MIF

Today is normally my day to go skiing, but my hubby was off working and I didn't feel like making the drive alone.  I opted to skate and put in some practice on the new moves my coach Berkley taught me yesterday.  

1. Forward and backward perimeter power stroking I felt ok.  Need clockwise practice.
2. Forward power three-turns I felt like I was putting a square peg into a round hole. It took 20 attempts and finally getting the diagram out + 20 more attempts before I got the hang of this.  Note to self:  PRACTICE ALL CLOCKWISE MOVES 2:1 ....

3. Alternating backward crossovers to backward outside edges 4 Forward circle eight
5. Five-step mohawk sequence 

Like most skaters, I skate counter clock wise.  I think you could also refer to this as skating  "right handed".  I don't know what the statistics are, but I would venture to say most clockwise skaters are probably left handed.  I actually am LEFT HANDED.  

Things I do right handed

  1. Skate
  2. Water ski (left foot forward in a slalom ski)
  3. Swing a golf club (right to left)
  4. Swing a baseball bat (right to left)
Things I do left handed
  1. Write
  2. Eat (ambidexterous)
  3. Throw a ball, dart, hold a gun (yep .... a .357)
  4. Use scissors
  5. Bowling
I came from the era where they tried to teach you everything right handed, but if you really had a problem, it was "acceptable" to allow you to try with your left.

True story:  I had a temper tantrum in kindergarten trying to use the right handed scissors to cut out my Thanksgiving hand traced turkey.  I cut outside the lines and ruined it.  The teacher had to call my mother to come pick me up because I was disrupting the class.  Funny thing is, I am still using right handed scissors (except sewing).  My tantrum was probably just the result of my uncoordinated attempt at cutting around the lines!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Practice and Lesson

I skated a public session today.  It's wonderful to have such a quiet rink during the mid day session.  Often there are only a handful of people skating and I have even had the ice to myself on several occasions.  Maybe I shouldn't say that out loud.  The secret will be out.

I was disappointed however that I felt shaky most of the session.  My legs felt wobbly.  My edges didn't feel secure.  I spent most of my free practice time warming up and running through the Adult Pre-Bronze Moves-In-The-Field.

Adult Pre-Bronze Moves in the Field Test

1. Forward perimeter stroking Today I felt tired and very insecure skating clockwise.
2. Basic consecutive edges  My inside front  (FI) edges and my back outside (BO) edges need work.  
3. Forward and backward crossovers I need better prep for the swing roll and exiting the pattern

4. Waltz eight The left 3 turn is being over rotated.
5. Forward right and left foot spirals This is so difficult for me.  My legs are too heavy and I need more flexibility in my back.  Balance is ok. 

My lesson at the end of my practice went pretty well.  My coach thinks that I will ace my Pre-Bronze MIF test (providing my nerves don't get the best of me) and is starting to teach me the Adult Bronze Moves-In-The-Field.  Today she taught me the first two.

Adult Bronze Moves in the Field Test

1. Forward and backward perimeter power stroking This is how I do my basic warm up anyway.
2. Forward power three-turns All new for me.  It felt like a dance sequence.  Again I over rotated.
3. Alternating backward crossovers to backward outside edges 

4 Forward circle eight
5. Five-step mohawk sequence 

After I got off the ice there was an email on my phone from Harlick's.  My blades are due to arrive on Wednesday this week and my boots and blades should be shipped by the end of this week!   I am so excited, yet aprehensive about being in stiff boots and an advanced blade.  The last time I started skating on a Phantom blade I was skating far better.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Waiting For My New Skates To Arrive

I was here December 5, 2011 to order my new custom boots and blades.  They should be arriving soon.  I feel like a kid waiting for Christmas.

Harlick Boot Factory - San Carlos California

Inside the fitting/waiting room

Boot styles on display

This is where the magic happens

Here's a pair nearly finished

Hard To Get Motivated Today

Where I live we got about 9 inches of fresh snow yesterday. This morning I woke up and found my neighbor shoveling the sidewalk. I peeked out the door to thank him and he told me that he noticed that all of the cars on our street had their gas tank doors open and it appeared as though a burgler came by in the middle of the night trying to siphon gasoline out of the vehicles. The nerve. Fortunately our brand new truck has an anti siphon filler. Like Dick Tracy I took a picture of a footprints of the thief.

After all the excitement was over I decided I better hit the ice today.  My lesson next week is on Monday and I didn't want to let the weekend go by without practicing between lessons.

The rink was more crowded today with a family of 6 and a few others.  Maybe their school was closed today because of the snow we got last night or maybe they are home-schooled.  It didn't matter too much.  At my level of skating I don't need that much empty space to practice on.

I did realize that I have neglected practicing stopping.  I need to work on all of them: two footed snow plows, one footed snow plows, right and left t stops, two footed and one footed hockey stops.  All of these come in handy when the rink is crowded!

Today I mostly concentrated on practicing the elements of the Adult Pre Bronze MIF (moves in the field) Test.  Today was better than yesterday and the day before that.

My coach says I already have "passing" ability for this test, but I have no idea how my nerves will come into play.  Part of me wants to jump ahead and start practicing the moves for the Adult Bronze MIF.  It will depend on when the test date is and how much practice I can get in to prepare.

At the end of practice today I was feeling pretty good and decided to do some extra work on my three-turns, some power stroking, a few back-to-front three-turns (scary) and even some little jumps.

My knee seems to putting up with everything so far, but I have been cautious and gentle.  Trying even small jumps puts a lot of force on them.  Currently I weigh in at 144 pounds.  I know I should be ashamed to say so, but I am dieting and exercising and I am down from 152 on New Years Day.  Now I am no mathematician, but I know that the laws of physics apply when I consider jumping up, even small heights and coming back down on one foot.

Well, "Blogger 101" says keep it short or people will lose interest.  "Journalism 101" says read the 1st and last paragraph, you will read all you need to know.  The rest is drivel!
So I ended my week and my day of practice with a few nicely executed Waltz jumps and even a few Half Flips and some Loop jump walk throughs.  Muscle memory is an amazing thing.

Have a nice weekend!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Practicing Moves-In-The-Field

Meanwhile ..... back on the ice;   I started skating regularly on January 2, 2012.  I have been skating on public sessions 3-4 times per week thus far.  My coach Berkley Villard has been helping me get back to basics.   I am starting from the very beginning learning and relearning fundamental elements so that I can prepare for my Adult Pre-Bronze MIF (Moves in the Field) test in March.

Today I captured some of these elements on my first video of myself skating.

TR 25.09 Adult Pre-Bronze Moves in the Field Test
The purpose of this test is to encourage beginning adult skaters to learn the fundamentals of ice skating. No great deal of technical ability, carriage or flow is expected. Candidates must show knowledge of the steps, fairly good edges and some evidence of good form.
1. Forward perimeter stroking
2. Basic consecutive edges
3. Forward and backward crossovers

4. Waltz eight
5. Forward right and left foot spirals

The entire test will be marked on a “pass” or “retry” basis only, and individual marks will not be awarded. The “pass” or “retry” will be arrived at by consideration of the composite of each element in relation to the whole. The judge-in-charge may request a reskate of only one element, upon request of a member of the panel, should it change the overall evaluation of the test from “retry” to “pass.” (Approximate time for test: 10 minutes)
Judging panel required: One or three bronze or higher rank singles/pairs or dance judges who are certified to judge moves in the field tests. 

Skaters For The Cure

    I'm #2 from the left about 5 rows up.  I am wearing sunglasses!

    This was the 2011 "Survivors" photo from the race.

This year I want to do something different and try to raise more money.
Instead of walking as an individual, I created a TEAM called PINK ICE (Skaters for the Cure).  I hope to rally as many skaters from the area as possible to come walk with me. (or run if you like) It's a lot of fun and quite easy.  All those pink balloons are released at the start of the race.  Also, it's a great warm up for Bloomsday if you are a runner.


What:   Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure
Where: Spokane Washington
When:  Sunday April 22, 2012

Facebook Link for PINK ICE

If you would like to donate or join team "PINK ICE" click the link above
5k walk/run

Wear a skating dress (optional) or hockey attire if you so desire!

July 115º - No problem!

 Down in the valley for a few appointments from the White Mountains of Arizona where it’s much cooler.  It’s been over 110ª every day reachi...