Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Last Skating Practice of 2013 - 2 Year Report

Well, it's been 2 full years since I started this blog and this skating adventure.  It was my New Years resolution of 2012 to get off the couch, lose weight, get some exercise and try to get back a few of the skating skills of my childhood.  So I bought some new boots and blades and took to the ice...

Although I am in much better physical shape than I was December 31, 2011,  I struggle immensely with the frustration of wanting to do so much more on the ice.  It has been much harder than I imagined trying to reacquire the skating skills I had as a child.

Making progress figure skating requires perseverance at any age … much more so as an "older" adult.  We lack the stamina, flexibility and strength and many of us are also dealing with sore joints and muscles, injuries and fear that is very hard to overcome.

In 2 years, I have taken 4 skating tests and skated in only *1 competition.


*ADULT BRONZE FREE SKATE (Skated up = above my level)  (July 2012)
ADULT BRONZE FREE SKATE (Oct 2013)  It took a year and a half to get the nerve up for this

* I was the only adult competitor in my category so it felt more like an exhibition -

This was my last practice of the year ….

Thursday, December 19, 2013

End Of A Long Week..

I skated 4 days this week.  Monday was just practice ice.  Tuesday practice + MIF lesson.  Wednesday practice + freestyle lesson, Thursday practice + choreography lesson.  My dogs are barkin' and my bones are rusty!

Today was quite fun actually.  I met with my new choreography coach Noreen Clohessy-Olson and we really went to work on outlying my Light Entertainment program.  Sadly none of that is on the video .. we needed my phone to listen to the program music.

Spirals and a few spins.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

'Twas The Week Before Christmas ....

.... And all over the ice, not a Lutz jump was landed nor a three turn quite right.....

That's the end of my holiday creativity.  Lesson #2 of 3 this week.  Free style lesson but not much on camera.  We worked on this and that.  This being a sit spin and that being a spread eagle and a clam shell spiral.  A few Lutz jumps on the harness (not on video) and I am cooked.

Stamina is improving but bones and joints are getting fatigued.

Here's a tidbit from my lesson:

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Adult Silver Moves In The Field Lesson

What I thought was going to be a 15 minute moves lesson turned out to be 45 minutes.  Each element takes quite a bit of time to demonstrate and hash over the errors and corrections and retry.

I condensed the video to about 8 1/2 minutes.

I didn't do any freestyle today.  I have a lesson tomorrow and a choreographers lesson Thursday.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Monday MIF

Late start to practice today without off ice warm up.  worked on some Silver MIF before my lesson tomorrow.

Afterwards I did some work on spread eagles..  It's hard for me to go from the inside to the outside.  The choreographer wants me to try outside-inside-outside ... of course she wants me to do something I can't do yet!  I also took a nice face plant just doing a mohawk x step ... for your enjoyment!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Freestyle Session At Frontier Ice

Since I took Friday off I wanted to skate over the weekend and try a few of the things I learned from the choreographer.

One of the things I worked on was a footwork sequence, which consisted of:

RI  Edge
Toe Pick L/R
LI Edge
R Inside Three Turn
LBI Edge + Cross RBI Edge
R Mohawk
Cross R
L Mohawk
Cross L

When you put it all together and DO IT RIGHT .. it should look pretty good.  Right now I look like I am drunk and stumbling out of a bar.

The other thing she wants me to try and learn is this so-called "clamshell back spiral" ...

While gliding on a Back RO Edge I am supposed to bring my L knee up to my chest, reach over and grab the heel of my L boot with my R hand and while still gliding --- extend my left leg as much a possible, striving for a straight leg, L arm off to the side.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Quick Center Ice Practice

I was warming up before meeting with a choreographer today so I only captured a few minutes of some spins and jumps.  Wearing a dress so she can see my line when I skate .. pants tend to cover your knees too much.  Took a nice fall on a Flip Jump and made a little Camel Spin progress - yet all the other spins are sub standard.

Choreography session was on ice but not video taped.  I will try and capture next weeks meeting.
Today was more of a meet and greet.  She has never met me before nor seen me skate.  She is a non-skater but has worked with skaters (much higher levels than me) for many years.  She knows her stuff.

Today we listened to my music and she had me improvise to see what may skating flow was, do a few jumps and spins and we tinkered with some footwork.  She had great tips for me on getting my spread eagle from outside to inside and back to outside which is the hard part.

She also showed me how to start learning a back spiral variation she called a "clam shell spiral" .. to me it looks like it's a "Y spiral" ... back outside edge, bringing the free leg knee to your chest then grabbing the heel of your boot and then extending the knee.  At first I couldn't even catch my boot heel.  By the time we finished I was catching it and trying to extend... but I need a lot more stretching to attain a Y position.  My personal opinion is that you have to execute these really well for them to look good, anything less and they look horrible on the ice.

Right now I have a "can do" attitude .. or at least I am willing to try.

Here is a clip from practice before the choreographer:

Silver MIF Lesson

I am really slipping on the video quality.  This one is really fuzzy.  45 minute lesson all MIF.  It was supposed to be 15 MIF and 30 free style, but the MIF needed a lot of work!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

6 Days Off Ice ...

Haven't skated in 6 days.  Why do I do that?????

Short practice, private ice .. camera died before I started my spins ...

Monday, December 9, 2013

On Frozen Pond

It's been really cold where I live.   Today was one of the warmer days - 18 degrees out!
I just had to put my skates on and try a spin or two.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Lutz Lesson

During my lesson we went straight for the Lutz.  We started on the harness.  I think I did 3 or 4 on harness jumps, two of which  she said were "all me" - meaning no help from the harness.  Frankly I think it's a ploy to psyche me out to convince me I did it alone ... just so I won't have the fear going into the jump without the harness.  True or not ... it worked.

After my harness jumps she had me fly solo and much to my surprise I landed it.  Twice as a matter of fact.  What a thrill.  When you take the fear out of it .. it really does feel just like a Flip jump.

I wish we had ended on that note.  She wanted to do a couple of combos.  Loop - Loop and Flip - Loop and then onto spinning.   She asked about my layback spin.  I told her the only thing I fear more than the Lutz jump is a Layback spin.  I tried one.  It looked more like a (bad) attitude spin.

We went to the wall and even off the ice into the penalty box to try and get the hip and leg position.  It hurt ... the position of the layback seems unattainable to me at this point.  I don't know if I can get my body into that position or even close.

Sit Spin: She also wants me to take my sit spin to the next level .. into a cannonball position.
(all the way down, reaching for the ankle and tucking the head down while spinning) ....

... that's a lot on my plate!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Late For My Lesson

I am used to having 1 lesson per week, not 3.  Yesterdays meeting with the choreographer got canceled, today I botched up my MIF lesson.   We were supposed to meet at 11:00 ... BEFORE the public session.  I knew that, but I forgot and left for the rink at my usual time thinking I would have a lesson at the end of the public session.  So ... no lesson today.

On the positive side .. I had private ice.  I skated for 40 minutes before I tweaked something in my back.  I said TWEAK .. not that other word.

I did some moves in the field and some single jumps and worked on the camel spin a bit.  The sit spin is what tweaked my back.


Monday, December 2, 2013

Adult Swim

When I got to the rink today I was surprised and elated to see 4 other adult figure skaters on the ice.
3 of which, like me, all hope to go to the 2014 Adult Championships in April and skate our legs off ...

.. Well, at least show up and do our best!

I was supposed to meet my new choreographer today, but her husband fell ill with the flu and she had to cancel.  I was so disappointed, but we will meet soon and get started putting together my dramatic and light entertainment programs.

In the mean time.  It was business as usual.  Video captures a few jumps and some Camel Spin practice.
Like the backspin, I am getting closer .. one in every 5-6 spins doesn't see-saw.

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...