Thursday, June 27, 2013

Practice ... and a Lesson

After walking a few miles while playing 9 holes of golf yesterday I skated about 20 minutes of practice before my lesson.  My legs were well stretched out from the walking, but I could still benefit from from some off ice warm ups at the rink BEFORE I put my skates on.

Back on rink #2 today.  I warmed up with some stroking, edges and 3 turns and then turned on the camera for some spins and a few jumps before my lesson.

I moved my camera to the other end of the rink, thinking I would get another 5 minutes of practice on video and much to my surprise - it ran for the next 29 minutes and captured my entire lesson.
I contemplated showing the 15 minute lesson in real time - raw video ... but there was quite a few minutes of conversation and off camera skating that frankly would have put anyone to sleep.  So I cut to the important parts of the lesson (for me) that will help me remember what we covered.

Today's Lesson:  Back Spin, Jump technique

Monday, June 24, 2013

Rink 2 - Summer Sessions

Well, it's Monday.  For some reason (crowded ice) I have declared that I won't skate on weekends most of the time.  When Monday rolls around I don't exactly feel like hitting the ice -

I did about 30 minutes of off ice stretching dynamic and plyometric exercises designed to improve strength and flexibility as well as preventing injury for figure skaters.   Mind you, they didn't have ME in mind when they prescribed these exercises.

When I got to the rink I found out the public session was on rink 2.   Anyone who skates at a rink with 2 rinks knows what this is like.  Different ice, different dimensions, temperature, texture, ceiling height.
Coaches will tell you how great this is to have 2 ice surfaces to skate on because competitions are rarely on "home ice", but I am here to tell you.... it's just one more obstacle for me!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Summer Sessions

Today was the first day of skating after the schools let out for the summer.  It was quite a bit more crowded than I am used to and the ice was  not cut very well.  There were bumps on the end by the Zamboni and as always ... the hockey players hack up the ice pretty good.

I was skating out of guilt today.  My Monday lesson was cancelled due to summer scheduling conflicts and I didn't get on the ice all week.  I merely went to stretch my legs today.

With all the people skating I had to put my camera behind glass and I only had the center ice to work on anything I wanted to capture on video.

Here's a few spins and a jump or two:

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Off Ice Training

I didn't skate today, but I did spend a hour doing some off ice training.  I bought 2 workout DVDs from  One is geared toward warmup before skating for all levels.  The other is geared toward the adult skater and our "special needs".

This short clip is the last of the warm up exercises on the DVD entitled "The Ultimate Dynamic Warmup" focusing on rotation.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Jumps and Spins ...

I am running out of post titles for my practice sessions.  Obviously every time I go out on the ice I am practicing jumps and spins .. however small and slow they may be.

I wore a skirt today because I wanted to see my leg lines and positions.  Skating in pants hide this and it's all important to both the technical and artistic side of skating.

Today I worked on the things I learned in my last lesson.  Always easier said than done.
Changing my jump landings is like telling someone to intentionally walk pigeon-toed.. it just feels awkward. Stepping into my circle also feels different and takes a strong conscious effort, but already is showing better results.  See what you think.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Lesson On Spinning

I didn't roll the camera for my lesson today.  I captured a little of my pre-lesson practice and then just concentrated on my lesson .. during my lesson (for a change).

This week I am dealing with a torn muscle of some sort under my side from playing golf.  I felt something go PING the other day and it wasn't the sound of a golf club.  I have been in quite a bit of upper body pain over it and was reluctant to skate.  I didn't seem to affect my skating except that I feel more fatigued than normal.

WHATEVER! I sound like a broken record about my aging and broken body!

Lesson on Spinning.

I learned today that I am not always spinning into my circle.  (I may have to draw this out).  When you wind up for a spin from back crossovers, on the last step R foot over L you create this arc on a back R inside edge.  When you step into your spin .. you are supposed to step into that same circle.  I sometimes step away from it out of the circle.. thereby losing energy needed for a higher number of revolutions.. also losing my balance because a spin that starts where it's supposed to will be more centered from the beginning and is more likely to stay centered.

Ok.  That paragraph won't mean anything to you unless you skate.

Anyway, I learned what I am consistently doing WRONG in my scratch spin.  I made some progress on my back spin and learned what I am doing WRONG in my camel spins.

Next practice I will hopefully demonstrate some improvement.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Another Lesson - Not Much Progress

I haven't skated since my last lesson 5 days ago.  Hence, there is not much progress on my part.  Kind of a wasted lesson because we just went over the same things.

My current struggle is my inability to hold the proper edge and body position after landing a Waltz Jump (or any other jump).  I will never be able to reach back for a combination jump if I cannot hold the proper edge and body position.  The fundamentals of any sport - learned incorrectly - will stab you in the back later .... skating is no exception.

On a positive note; before my lesson, I did work on a few new things.  I tried my first Back Sit Spin .. It was not even a qualifying position or rotation, but I was happy I tried and didn't fall.  (For that you have to see my back spin attempt!)

I attempted a few Lutz jumps (and popped them into 1/2 Lutz jumps).  My coach taught me a new Lutz entry I did not use as a child; crossing the left foot over the right before toe picking  to help insure you are on the correct back outside edge.

The only difference between a Lutz and a Flip is the take off edge.
Flip is from a back inside edge (usually after a mowhawk or a three turn)
Lutz is from a back outside edge (usually from a backwards glide into a corner, less frequently from a footwork sequence. As a  child I was taught to do them in a corner.  The RIGHT corners only ...
AKA the "Lutz corners".

Re-Working the Free Dance

After last weeks lesson - my coach made some changes to the character step sequence and now she is changing the opening poses and the ending...