Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Next Chapter - Adult Bronze

Here is the next hurdle.  Adult Bronze

TR 25.10 Adult Bronze Moves in the Field Test
The fundamentals of ice skating must be demonstrated although not necessarily mastered. Candidates must show knowledge of the steps and continuous flow and strength. Attention should be given to depth of edges and proper curvature of lobes.

1. Forward and backward perimeter power stroking
2. Forward power three-turns 3. Alternating backward crossovers to backward outside edges 4 Forward circle eight 5. Five-step mohawk sequence

One element may be retried, if necessary.
(Approximate time for test: 12 minutes)

TR 32.10 Adult Bronze Free Skate Test

The candidate must give a reasonably good performance showing a command of the following technical elements, a sense of speed, flow and depth of edge. The fundamentals of free skating must be demonstrated, although not necessarily mastered.

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)

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: Connecting moves, steps and edges throughout the program
Extra elements may be added without penalty. Duration: Ladies and Men — Not to exceed 1:50 to music of the skater’s choice. Two different elements may be retried, if necessary

Now that I have passed Pre Bronze I am eligible to compete at either the Pre Bronze level or I can do what they call "skating up", which means if I wanted to, I could enter a competition and skate one level higher than that in which I am qualified by testing.

The competition season has only a few months left.  I don't know if I can compile a program in such short order.  1:50 is a lot of time to fill with jumps and spins and connecting steps ... I still don't have a combination jump or a backspin and my sit spin is too high to qualify for a sit spin position.  

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Adult Pre Bronze Test

Returned from a fabulous holiday in the Caribbean last night.  Had to get up this morning and skate for the first time in 11 days, then take my Pre Bronze Moves In The Field Test.

I am thrilled to report that I passed both tests with many positive comments as well as constructive criticism from all three judges.

Here is the video of both tests.  It's slightly cut off.  The memory card filled up during my Waltz Three.  Also I completely forgot to tell him the test was in two parts.  After the MIF were done he thought it was over.  So guess which jump is missing ?????

The WALTZ JUMP of course!  Don't worry.  There will be plenty more in the future.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Spiral Practice

Tick tock.  Two days of practice left before vacation.  I hope I can keep the skating muscles moving in the gym on the cruise ship.

Did some spiral practice today.  I really need to work on these off ice to get them better.  My coach says I need to lock my skating leg.  I tend to skate on bended knee .... probably for balance and because I haven't stretched out enough prior to skating.

Played around a bit today trying to sequence a few steps together... some crossovers, a waltz jump, more steps, another jump, a spin.  Wow was I ever tired.  I am going to need a lot more stamina if I plan on putting even a short 1:50 program together.  I pooped out after 1:09 just throwing random steps and elements together.

New things today include a Spread Eagle, Ina Bauer and a (bad) Attitude Spin.

No more posts until after my Pre-Bronze Test 3/27/12!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Loop Jump + 1/2 Lutz

Practice today was a struggle.  My boots were not cooperating.  I couldn't get my laces snug enough to jump without pinching.  After 4 or 5 tries I finally stuck a glove in my boot and that worked.

Worked on my Flip Jump, Salchow and MIF for the upcoming test.  Landed my first Loop Jump today and attempted a Lutz Jump, but I only got a 1/2 Lutz out of it.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Attended 2012 Greater Spokane Skating Competition

Went to my first skating competition (other than US Nationals in Spokane) in 40+ years.
My skating friend Micah was competing at the Adult Silver level.  She and I share the ice at a public session most days and I have been watching her work hard on her program since the beginning of the year.

I don't actually know what the results were.  She skated against one other Adult Skater.  I thought she did really well.  She landed her Axel and her Loop/Loop combination.

It was really interesting to watch this level of skating at a live competition.  Most of the skaters I saw were kids (of course) Preliminary and Non-Test.  There was only one group of adults when I was there.  My friend (pictured above) and another skater in the Ladies Silver Event.  There was one entry in the Mens Silver Event (he was also a judge)!!

I took my husband as well.  I tried to explain everything I could to him about levels of skating, etc.  During the short 2 hours we were there, he saw 2 different skaters competing fall really hard on the ice and have to stop their programs and get help up off the ice...
... both girls were ok.  One fell on the back of her head.  Another fell forward and landed face down on the ice.  She was an Intermediate skater.  They stopped her music and allowed her for finish out the last 30 seconds of her program.  It made me once again ask myself ... WHY I am doing this.

Last night hubby and I attended a Venetian Masquerade Ball.  A benefit for the Spokane Symphony.  We had a blast dancing up a storm with the swing band called "Six Foot Swing" that played for us at our wedding May 1, 2010.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Hired a Personal Trainer

Well, not really.  I signed up for 15 sessions of personal training at my gym.  Today was my first actual session.  Yesterday I had my initial assessment.

After taking into consideration my current age, height, weight, BMI. my new personal trainer Jarod, set me up on the following program:


1. Cardio Warm Up (elliptical)
2. Corrective Upper Body Exercises:

  • Rotator Cuff (stretch bands)
  • T's (lay on back arms to side to the letter T) .... this is a problem for me from my surgery.  My range of motion on my upper body is very limited.
  • W-Y (lay on stomach and simulate swimming breast stroke) ouch
3. Corrective  Lower Body (legs)
  • Clam Shells (laying on side, legs stacked and in bent position, lifting knee-thigh into a clamshell position, then lifting knee-foot up to match) .. great burn
4. Foam Roller
  • Glutes (sitting on foam with one leg crossed over until you roll onto "tender" spot
  • IT Band (sitting on foam with elbow on the ground rolling on IT band on thigh)

5. Stretching

  • Yoga Child Pose for Lats
  • Calf Stretch (upper and lower)
  • Pec Stretch on back .... ?? this one escapes me already!
6. Cardio (Anything:  Elliptical, swimming, treadmill, 30-45 min HR 120 (target)

Sorry about today's post.  Very boring for the reader, but I needed to make a documented note about my workout or I will forget what it means!!!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Head Banger

Today after I warmed up,  I went through my Moves in the Field for Adult Pre Bronze.

Here is what the form that the judge fills out will look like blank.  If I had taken the test today, the comments in the box to the right of Forward and Backward Crossovers would have read:  Skater out of control... tripped on her own blades, fell on her head.  RETRY

I don't know why that keeps happening to me.  Today I wore tight leggings, not flared yoga pants.  No excuses for toe picks catching on clothing.  I just heard the horrible sound of your own blades hitting each other.... and wham.

So after that I was wobbly and cautious.  Nothing new attempted today.  My Toe Loop is digressing.  I did feel stronger today (prior to my fall) after doing the off ice jumping.

Today after I skated I went to the gym and set up 15 appointments with a personal trainer to help me gain some muscle and strength in my legs and for general conditioning.
He better work.  He costs more than my skating coach.

 4 days left of on ice practice before my test.  Yikes.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Not Skating Today - Off Ice Workout

My coach told me to start doing some off ice jumping.  Two footed 1/4 turns and then 1/2 turns, eventually full turns.

I found this great website with videos of a young and very lightweight girl demonstrating a bunch of off ice exercises.

Think I will go try a few!


After quickly viewing most of the off ice exercises I saw on this website I went to the gym and tried a few.  Unfortunately I did not set up my camera with a full body view and you can only see me from the waist up.... (how convenient!)

These are harder than I thought.  Especially checking out of even a 1/2 rotation off the ice.
My immediate opinion is that they will help a lot in strengthening my jumps.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

1000 Page Views !!!!

Wow I never thought anyone would read this.  Today my skating blog hit 1000 page views!  (And my own personal views don't count)

My goal was to document and maintain a person skating diary and progress chart with information, photos and videos, mostly for my personal records.  But when you are 52 and you tell your friends and family you have taken up figure skating, they get curious.

My own curiosity led me to a web site known as skatingforums2.  It has been a great place to share my triumphs and defeats, to get ideas and to read a plethora of opinions!!!  There I am known as "AdultSk8r509" if you haven't had enough of my blather here!

Practice today was virtually non productive.  I didn't get very much time on the ice and I didn't try very hard.  I was tired and cold and feeling like my knees were asking for a break.  I just ran through my test sequences once and did a little spin practice.  

I know these all have flaws and issues.  My objective is to keep spinning a little each day so the dizziness subsides!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Monday Practice and Lesson

Have I mentioned I hate Mondays?  

So today my coach asked me to show her what I was planning on wearing on test day.
I decided to wear the most likely choice - a leotard with a ballet skirt.  (For the Moves In the Field I will put a sweater over the top and wear white gloves.)  I may even keep the sweater on for the Free Skate as it has BLING.  The zipper itself big diamond-like rhinestones.  

I thought I would be freezing as our rink is really cold, but I went out and skated 2 laps to warm up, then took my coat off and skated my MITF sequence and then my Free Skate elements.  I wasn't cold, but I was really nervous... just practicing as though I was taking the test.  So much so that when I started my back crossovers for my first easy Waltz Jump .. I tripped and fell.  Sure hope that doesn't happen on test day.

(Notice how my dog is disgusted with me)

My lesson today was held on the Rink #2.   The Spokane Chiefs Hockey Team was using Rink #1 for practice today following  my public session and my coach was running a little late so we happily moved over to the other rink.

Rink #2 is just a tad bit smaller than Rink #1.   The ice felt different.  One is on concrete and the other is on sand.  Not sure which is which.  This one felt warmer and softer.  Also, the ceiling was a bit lower.  Strange how little things affect your confidence.  Makes me wonder how it must be competing here and there, always being on different ice.  

We were in a hurry so I didn't take any pictures.  I really wish I had.  When we got on the ice there were two dogs out there, a Black Lab and an Irish Setter and they were running around on the ice playing with hockey pucks on a clean ice.  They belong to the guy that works there.  I see the dogs from time to time, but I had no idea they enjoyed chasing hockey pucks on the ice.  Next time I will take a picture or video.

Getting back to practice today.  We worked on JUMPS of all things.  I thought we would go over my test, but she felt I didn't need any more practice (in front of her) on those elements.

I did a few Waltz Jumps for her and she reminded me to keep my ZIPPER (meaning the axis of my body) over my landing leg.  

Next we tried Salchows.  We stopped to examine the take off tracings on the clean ice.  Slightly cheated due to the position of my arms. Try again.  Better.  Try again.  Failed launch.  Try again.  Much better.  More tips: Stronger Check before toe pick.

Next we tried Toe Loops.  I was trying them earlier and not feeling confident.  I did one or two and I am having the same problem there today. Check, Check, Check, Check.  

Next, she wanted to move on to something new today so I said how about a Flip Jump?  I did not want to attempt a Loop Jump (R foot take off and R foot landing) My knee was aching a bit. She had never seen my Flip Jump and was clapping and thoroughly excited for me.  I was over rotating on the three turn prior to reach back.  My arms were getting ahead of me. She also said my free leg needs to cross over my jumping leg.  I was too "open". On the bright side my take off and landing tracings were really good.  She want me to start measuring the distance of my jumps.  My Flip Jump was 4 blade lengths.  I think in the old days (when I was young) this was my strongest jump.

She asked if I had attempted a Lutz Jump yet.  Of course, my answer was NO WAY !!
She reminded me that it's just a Flip Jump, but off the BO (back outside) edge instead of the BI (back inside) edge.  This is true, but next to an Axel, this is the scariest jump of all for most skaters.  Lutz Jumps are ALWAYS done in the corners of a rink.  If you skate CCW (counter clock wise) it's the right corners.  If you skate CW (clock wise) it's the left corners.  You have to skate backwards for quite a ways and obviously establish and hold the outside edge before you reach back and toe pick in to propel yourself up and around.  Speed helps and the entrance to the jump is basically blind and this is why they are done in the corners. So to start thinking about practicing the Lutz Jump, my coach suggested I do my flips in the corners and get used to it.  It will aid in knowing how close to the boards I will need to take off in order to land with room to spare.  Easier said than done.

By now we have more than used up my 15 minute lesson.  She ended the day by telling me, once we get those we can start working on AXEL, DOUBLE SALCHOW, DOUBLE TOE LOOP.   Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.  Never I said.  She reminded me that we have harnesses now and there is no reason not to try once these are strong.  

It's nearly 10 hours after my lesson today.  I am still laughing at the D word.  

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Half Looped

Friday our rink was crowded.  A school was out and the normally quiet morning public session was a bit more crowded than usual.  I had a pretty shaky week, but was happy about successfully landing a Flip Jump on Thursday.

This video clip below demonstrates a typical day for me.  I only recorded one attempt at each of these elements, but there were many other repetitions.
  • Sit Spin It won't pass as a Sit Spin unless I get much lower
  • Loop Jump Taking off and landing on my right leg scares me (bad knee)
  • Back Spin I was actually happy with this 1st attempt, need to stay on rocker
  • Camel Spin Happy I didn't fall.  Was reaching back to feel how high my leg was

I am now counting the number of ice days I have left before I go on vacation.  There are 7 days left unless I skate a crowded public weekend or evening session.  Then I test on March 27 with jet lag the day after I return from vacation.  I can just see the judges notes now, "Failed, but nice tan".

TGIF .........

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Attempted a Flip Jump Today

After a day of rest for my bleeding ankle I headed back to the rink today with a bandaid and an ace bandage to protect my ankle.  What a relief not to feel anything rubbing on the wound!

Practice today consisted of Pre Bronze Moves in the Field and Free Skate sequences.  I am trying to do these each time I get on the ice in order, so that when test day arrives, I won't hesitate.  I got through them, but I didn't feel very strong today.

Afterwards I went over the ones I felt weren't up to snuff.  My least confident move is the spiral sequence.  Once I get my leg up there I feel confident that I can hold it, but getting it up there smoothly and quickly makes me nervous!

Also today I felt the wrath of my big Phantom Toe pick and nearly tumbled head over heels, but I was able to save the fall.  The boot however got it's first good nick.

Not so lucky a few minutes later while doing a scratch spin.  I wound it up tight and got dizzy.  At least this time I didn't fall backwards and crack my head on the ice.  I just felt myself losing balance and sat down! I need to LOWER MY HIP.

Finally toward the end of the session I attempted some Split Jumps (mine look more like wishbones)

So I gave up on the Split Jump for today and decided to try a Flip Jump.  

I have 10 days of ice time left before my test with vacation in between.  Tomorrow I will go back to concentrating on my test moves!

July 115º - No problem!

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