On The Edge... Again
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.
It has now been 5 years since I got back on the ice. My blog is still going. My YouTube channel has over 1000 subscribers. That’s just crazy!
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
I told her I really love my skates, but I am still not one-with-my-skates ... in other words they still feel like they are attachment to my feet. Once a good pair of skates is properly broken in, you don't notice they are there unless they get too loose or you lace them incorrectly. I further rambled on to tell her how amazing it was that I was so comfortable in them, that I had no blisters or pain of any kind, except that my left ankle was a little swollen from skating without enough support the first few days. I had laced the boot so loose my ankle had to do all the work itself.
That was yesterday. Today I laced up and immediately felt this sore, burning sensation on my left ankle. I returned to the bench to re lace and/or move the tongue into proper position and this is what I found.
My beautiful new boots are blood stained!
I believe the edge of the tongue is rubbing my ankle.
I tried skating afterwards with a glove inside my boot. It hurt and was getting worse so I decided to cut my practice short today. Next stop - the pharmacy for some bandaids and wraps for my ankle.
Monday, February 27, 2012
My rink is really cold. How cold? I don't know, but my fingers will go numb if I don't keep skating and pumping blood into my fingers. My medical chart actually says I have Raynaud's Disease, but I don't think I do. Perfect disease for an ice skater!
I warmed up today with a few laps, then did my entire run through of the Pre Bronze Moves In The Field and then the Pre Bronze Free Skate. I specifically wanted to try the jumps while I was less than warmed up to see the result. Result: I nearly fell.
I will have to wake up really early the morning of my test and be sure I am fully stretched and warm from off ice warm ups before I go out there. I got a few suggestions from my skating friends on Skatingforums.com Alas.. having a suggestion only works if you do it!
Raw video from the end of practice today just before my lesson. Waltz Jump (of course)
Salchow and a few Spirals.
- Complete run through of Pre Bronze Moves In The Field
- Coach Berkley's comments "passing", need more control on back inside edges, need to remember to hold for 3 on the waltz 3 and no two foot transition, started spiral sequence late
- Complete run through of the Pre Bronze Free Skate
- Coach Berkley's comments "passing", stamina getting better
Saturday, February 25, 2012
Previous years they have colored the ice pink, but when I called for tickets today they told me they haven't done that for 2 years. I guess it's pretty costly to color the ice pink for a 1 night event. Melt-color-refreeze ....
Chiefs lost. Didn't take any photos of the game, but I bought this tee shirt.
Friday, February 24, 2012
So I did both today. The webcam looked good for skiing today and frankly, I thought I would burn more calories skiing than skating! The snow was ok. Some new snow fell a few days ago over churned up packed powder. It was a bit icy in places. After skiing about 5 runs I used up my freshly burned calories on a cold beer, then headed home.
Once I got home I felt bad about not skating today, so I headed to our downtown outdoor seasonal rink, Ice Palace at Riverfront Park. I had to circle the city twice for a parking place, put a few bucks in the meter and paid $4.50 to skate on really bad ice with a moderate sized crowd. I made the most of it and just worked on stroking, 3 turns, 5 step mow hawk sequence. Things I could do without bumping into anyone.
Basically it was a waste of time and money. The rink closes in 2 days for the season.
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Today I worked on all the elements of both my Moves in the Field and Free Test. I also worked on my spiral. Specifically getting my leg up there faster. I think I have a passing spiral, but I would like to confidently transition into one on either foot, any edge, frontward or backward and with more speed. I know I will never have a "Sasha Cohen" spiral.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
|Feb 20, 2012||Feb 10, 2012||Special Session (FULL)|
|March 27, 2012||March 9, 2012|
My test date just got moved from March 30 to March 27.
No big deal right? Wrong. I'll be on a cruise ship until March 26. Flying home that evening. Late. Jet Lag. I will have to get up early the next morning and attempt this test after 11 days off the ice, sipping drinks with umbrellas and eating gourmet meals 3 X day for 10 days. This should be interesting.
I really did have breaking news today.....
- Better edge control
- Clockwise crossovers I can do these, but they need work
- More balanced three turns I need to lower my free leg hip more
- Waltz jumps Need more height and more control on landing
- Salchows Need more height and more control on landing
- Toe Loops Need more height and more control on landing (confidence)
- 1/2 Flip jumps I still have not attempted a full flip
- Two foot spins I really hate doing these. Once the Pre-Bronze test is over so will the two foot spins. It's a requirement for the Pre Bronze Test.
- One foot scratch spins I'm getting less dizzy and more revolutions.
- Power 3 turns Need more work on the RFO
- 5 Step Mohawk Need more flow
Monday, February 20, 2012
I had a lesson today at the end of the public session. Since today was a holiday the kids were out of school. The rink was pretty crowded and the ice got chewed up pretty fast. There was even a lady skating out there PUSHING A STROLLER with a toddler in it. Don't they have rules about things like that? Another pair of young boys were playing fetch with a skate guard, tossing it down the ice to each other. So I bobbed and weaved my way around the rink trying to get whatever practice and exercise I could amid the chaos.
The lesson plan today was to go over my Adult Bronze Free Skate elements and sequence them together. Pre Bronze does not require a choreographed program or steps that artistically link the required elements together, but the elements are supposed to be done in this order:
Jumps: Two different jumps, either one-half or one full revolution I am planning a Waltz Jump and a Salchow or a Toe Loop.
A one-foot upright spin (minimum three revolutions in position)
A two-foot upright spin (minimum three revolutions in position)
Forward and backward crossovers (either direction) Really happy I can pick counter-clockwise forward crossovers and clockwise backward crossovers! (The other directions need more work)
Lunge or spiral I am planning a spiral vs a lunge (because I don't want to scrape my new boots on the ice yet!)
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Today I used paper napkins under my laces and over my tongue to ward off lace bite and to keep my laces disbursed over the ankle evenly. It worked out pretty good. When I was done skating I had something to blow my nose into!
Still felt a little wiggly today and discovered at the end of my session that my temporary mount is loose. Hmmmm. Maybe I should not have attempted the little jumps quite yet.
Tomorrow I will tighten them up before I skate and take it easy.
Today I braved wearing a skirt and leggings. I was really lucky as there weren't many people at the rink and I found myself alone for the last 20 minutes. I hope I didn't scare them off!
I have been capturing my videos on my DroidX phone which is HD. Here's one from today. I was practicing the jumps for my upcoming test. Everything needs a lot of work. I need to get used to my skates before I can launch any higher or spin any faster. Right now I am just grateful not to be in traction!
I still get dizzy when I spin, but I can see my hip is too high which is throwing me off center. My jumps all lack confidence, but overall I am pretty happy after just 1 1/2 months of being back on the ice.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Last week I found out that the next TEST DATE is March 30, 2012. I didn't think I should try to do 2 tests on one day. I could probably pass the Bronze Moves in the Field, but I would have to apply to test on the Bronze Moves on a contingency basis. If I did not pass the Pre Bronze for some reason, I would lose the opportunity to test Bronze and lose the $40 test fee. Better to go out there confident and pass my first two tests at the same level.
After all.... I did totally chicken out (see paragraph 7) the last time I tried to free skate a test 41 years ago! I hope to rectify that next time.
Today my coach wanted to see if I could do the elements required in the free skate.
TR 32.09 Adult Pre-Bronze Free Skate Test
Jumps:Two different jumps, either one-half or one full revolution Spins:
A one-foot upright spin (minimum three revolutions in position)
A two-foot upright spin (minimum three revolutions in position)
Forward and backward crossovers (either direction)
Lunge or spiral
Judging panel required: One or three bronze or higher rank singles/pairs judges.
My lesson is only 15 minutes, so she wasted no time. As soon as my skates were laced up with Lilac gloves under the laces, we took to the ice and she said, "let's work on jumps".
This surprised the heck out of me because my blades are only temporarily mounted and I have only skated on them twice. I think she figured that the level of my jumping was not going to knock the blades off. She was probably right!
We worked on 3 jumps today:
- Waltz Jump WALTZ JUMP - The easiest jump, which takes off from the forward outside edge and is landed on the back outside edge of the opposite foot. A Waltz jump consists of .5 revolution. If you add a revolution, for 1.5 it becomes a single Axel jump. It is easily recognizable as it is the only jump that takes off from a forward position.
- Salchow SALCHOW - Another edge jump taken off from the back inside edge of one foot and landed on the back outside edge of the opposite foot. Created by Ulrich Salchow.
- Toe Loop TOE LOOP - A toe-pick-assisted jump that takes off and lands on the same back outside edge.
Next we tackled 2 spins:
- Two Foot Spin TWO FOOT SPIN - The basic first spin you learn. Entering from a stand still or from a controlled forward outside edge, the spin begins and remains on two feet. Gradual acceleration begins by drawing the arms close to the body. The spin exits into a backward outside edge.
- One Foot Scratch Spin SCRATCH SPIN - Also known as an upright spin. After entering from a controlled forward outside edge, the spin begins on a back inside edge. Gradual acceleration begins by moving and placing the free foot toward the top of the skating knee and drawing the arms close to the body. The spin exits into a backward outside edge.
Normally when I practice I put my "notes to self" in red next to the description of what I am attempting, but today I was just happy to get through it all without falling on my head!
So today it's official. I filled out my test application and paid my fees.
- Adult Pre Bronze Moves in the Field
- Adult Pre Bronze Free Skate
Monday, February 13, 2012
The reason for the temporary mounting is to be certain that the blades are properly aligned. Also, as the boot breaks in a little the mounting plates will also give a little so that they will sit flat on the sole and the heel of the boot before the permanent screws go it. One would think accurate measuring ahead of time would ensure this, but each skater has tendencies and this could alter the alignment. I will watch the screws closely, tighten if necessary and at the end of the week send them back for permanent mounting.
Everything I read says I should have the permanent screws put it with epoxy for strength and/or silicone for water resistance. The person mounting my blades thinks neither of these is necessary, but he did insist on using better, stronger screws than those that MK sent with the blades. I notice he put washers on as well. I have a feeling if I find a skating forum on this subject there will be much difference of opinion.
Here they are mounted and sitting nice and cozy by the fire after their first test drive.
My laces are nylon vs cotton. The jury is still out on whether or not I want to switch. I am told wider cotton is easier on your fingers when lacing up.
They are officially now "used" as you can see I have my first crease in my tongue.
This is the best part. My feet are going to be so much happier. I was expecting a lot of pain today on my first outing. I didn't lace up tight and I didn't lace up past the 2nd hook, so the only pain I had came from swimming around in the boot too much and making my ankle do all the work to keep me balanced. I did go home with a swollen left ankle.
A small price to pay. No crushed bunions, no blisters. My apologies for the ugly feet. I purposely cropped out the toes as I desperately need a pedicure!
The only question now is what to do with my old skates. Should they R.I.P.? Should I sell them to a beginning recreational skater? The MK Professional blades still have wear on them, but the boots are really broken down for anyone wanting any real support. Maybe I will just keep them for a friend who might want to skate with me sometime who also has large feet! It has to beat a rental skate, right?
|Reidell Royal size 7 1/2 + MK Professional Blades size 10 1/3|
Sunday, February 12, 2012
After wearing them about 45 minutes I re-laced them and wore them another hour or so. My coach recommended someone in town to have my blades mounted and sharpened. I was able to drop the boots and blades off today and tomorrow I will get to try them out on the ice
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Monday, February 6, 2012
We're here in Chicago for a few days visiting family who live in Hyde Park and work at the University of Chicago. Walking to work. What a concept!
Chicago Parks and Rec Department has 10 outdoor winter rinks that are open to the public daily from 12:00 noon to 7:00 pm (some hours vary). Skating is FREE if you have your own skates and they scrape the ice every 3 hours or so. The nearest ice to our location in Hyde Park is Midway Plaisance Park, about a 20 minute walk from where we are staying.
It's very picturesque with the University surrounding the Midway Plaisance Park. The ice felt soft to me. It's also not a clean scrape. There were a lot of lumps and bumps on the ice which is not conducive to holding an edge, especially for me. I am still trying to get my skating legs back under me on perfectly clean ice.
It's about 30 degrees out today. Not much wind, but while I was skating the "windy city" breezes that come off Lake Michigan came up. It was so unusual skating against the wind. The outdoor rink in Spokane is covered and protected from the wind. I skated for about an hour, but did not accomplish much in the way of practicing. Today there was a field trip of young children there who did not know the counter-clockwise rules of the rink. There was no session "ref" on the ice. Kids were everywhere.
I didn't bring my own camera today, so I borrowed this from the internet. Tomorrow I may try again if it's not snowing too hard.
P.S. My new boots and blades arrived on Friday afternoon just before we left. I have not tried them on or anything yet. They look enormously wide (as they told me they would) and very stiff. I am so nervous about putting them on for the first time. I'll post a whole chapter on that when I get home.
Saturday, February 4, 2012
Look what came today. I didn't have a chance to do much more than look at them before we left town for Chicago. Phil from Harlick was right. I am shocked at how WIDE they look in comparison to my old boots. The last time I owned a pair of Harlick's my feet were 18 years old, not 52.
|Wow are these really for me?|
|All packed in one box|
|These blades are going to kick my @#$$|
|Here's the whole kit and caboodle plus extra laces, boot polish, a boot lace hook and a pair of Mondor knee highs|
|My new Harlick boot next to my old Reidell boot. My feet should be happier (in theory)|
Friday, February 3, 2012
The skiing was ok. The snow was heavy and slow to me and took some extra work. Leaving tonight for Chicago after midnight .....
Thursday, February 2, 2012
or left foot three-turns. On the second length of the rink, the three-turns will be skated on the opposite foot. Introductory steps and backward crossovers around the end of the rink are optional. Focus: Continuous flow and strength
edges in consecutive half circles for one length of the rink. Four or five lobes
should be skated. Introductory steps are optional. Focus: Continuous flow and strength
Focus: Edge quality and extension
As you will see in my first video I took a graceful fall on the second element. I completely forgot to skate the 3rd element.
After that I decided to be brave and actually film myself attempting a few small freestyle elements:
- Waltz 3's
- Waltz Jumps
- 2 foot spin
- 1 foot scratch spin - leg bent at side - arms extended out (slow spin)
- 1 foot scratch spin - leg brought in and crossed - arms drawn in (a little faster)
- More back crossovers and another waltz jump
- Sit spin attempt (or in my case it's a squat spin)
- L and R back spirals (need lots of work)
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Look what arrived today. This is one of two dresses I have bought in anticipation of testing freestyle someday. I am not sure when that will be because my freestyle is in no way, shape or form ready for a freestyle test.
I found out today that my skates are definitely on their way.
I also found out that our next "test session" will be on March 30, 2012 !!! Yikes !!!
I don't think I will be testing freestyle. I think I could probably do my Adult Pre-Bronze Freestyle test, but I don't think I would be able to put a program together. I am still really getting back to basics. In addition ... those new skates are going to take some getting used to.
Practice today was short, uninspiring and a bit frustrating. I had such a good lesson and practice afterwards yesterday. Today I was achey and hesitant, even on the Pre-Bronze moves. If my skate was loose, I didn't do them well. When I tightened them up, I could not do my 3 turns or hold my edges.
In skating, practice NEVER makes perfect, but practice eventually (usually) leads to improvement over time. Including days of plateau and even of set backs.
I'll try again tomorrow.