On The Edge... Again

The last time I skated regularly, you needed 2 pair of skates, a scribe and skated patch. Triple jumps were almost unheard of, so were Bielman spins. Twizzles were only done by ice dancers and Ronald Regan was just elected into office.


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.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Short Practice and Off Ice Lesson

I was planning on having a regular lesson today although I had no idea what we were going to work on.

Lacing skate boots is a very OCD thing for most skaters.  We all have our ritual or way of lacing that works best and feels comfortable to us.  Sometimes, despite my best effort to lace good from the start, they will loosen up so much that I get a wobble in my ankle .. great for spread eagles, bad for jumps.

No matter what I did today, I couldn't get lace happy, so I took my skates off before my lesson!
My coach decided since my skates were off already that she would give me an off ice lesson today.

We worked on 1/2 turns and full turns in place (which I have done before)
Some of the jumps starting with a Waltz Jump, then Toe Loop, then Salchow.

As a child the only off ice jumping I remember doing is a Waltz Jump and trying to do an Axel (which I never could)

Coach Berkley says next week we will do 15 off ice and 15 on ice and she wants to put me in the harness!  If you have followed this blog since the beginning, there was a time last year when she wanted to put me in the harness before and we somehow got distracted from doing it.

I am a little nervous about it having never been in one.  My fear is that I will hurl myself into the biggest leap and she won't be holding the rope and I will splat!

Anyway, here is my progress today.  YES progress.  Camel Spin on the horizon.


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

New Chapter: Getting Ready For Competition

The next phase of my skating and training is for competition rather than testing.  Tests allow you to compete at a certain level.  Competition is taking that level of skating to it's highest achievable form.

To be competitive I will need 2 jump combinations in my program of the same 1:50 length.  Once combination may have 3 jumps while the other may only have 2 and a maximum of four jump elements. So that's 2 combinations and 2 jumps alone.

Dream Sheet

  1. Lutz
  2. Flip-Toe Loop-Loop
  3. Waltz Jump (a giant one)
  4. Salchow-Loop
We'll see about that!


Friday, October 25, 2013

Adult Bronze Free Skate PASSED !!!

With a gigantic sigh of relief, I am proud to say that I successfully passed my Adult Bronze Free Skate Test today ... and with no re-skates required!  I am thrilled and relieved that it is over and now I can move on to bigger and better things - like Adult Nationals in April!!

Ask anyone who skates and they will always tell you ... "I could have skated better".  Today was no exception, but I did not fall and I did complete all my jumps, tiny as they were and all the necessary revolutions of my spins.  I could spend an hour nit picking at what went wrong, but I won't.

Here's what went right:






And here is my test skate:






Thursday, October 24, 2013

Missoula Figure Skating Club Practice Session

I skipped skating at home today and opted to drive to Missoula to skate their freestyle session at 4:00 pm. What I forgot to take into account is that Montana is in another time zone. I rolled into Missoula right at 4:00 and got 45 minutes of skating in. $15 for one hour of crowded ice, skaters buzzing around wearing their neon "I'm running my program - stay out of my way - vest" .... I did my best not to run over anyone or get in anyone's way.

The good news is their ice is nice and it's warm enough to remove you coat after two laps around the rink! Other good news was that the coaches were all really nice and welcomed me. At least 3 different coaches came up to me after the session and introduced themselves.  Thanks Jill, Patty and Ryan (coaches at MFSC) and to everyone at Glacier Ice Rink and the Missoula Figure Skating Club for being so welcoming and taking the edge off  being so nervous!

Ryan Yearous

Jilayne Lee (Jill)


Patty Koster

Having said all that here is an uncut 15 minutes of my freestyle session the evening before the test.








Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Double Three Tuesday

I skated 2 runs of my program back to back today.  I didn't think I would do it.  My plan was to just work on little things.  Footwork, arms, bows, etc.

Yesterday I lifted a bunch of heavy shelving (360 lbs total) broken into small loads to my basement garage.  I thought it might do my legs some good to put some weight in my arms and walk downhill in steel toed shoes on uneven surfaces in the dirt and hike back up 20 times until it was all done.  OUCH .. I was kind of sore.... all over.

I started out slow, but decided to buck up and run the thing a few times.  Afterwards it was mostly a social fest.   I was trying to learn how to do double three turns (Adult Gold Moves have them) and Twizzles .. they are like spinning, but in a moving straight line.  Years ago only ice dancers did them.  Now they are a part of freestyle skating.




Monday, October 21, 2013

Last 4 Days of Practice Start Now..

After a non productive - high calorie weekend of Hockey and NFL I hit the ice today ready to work hard.

I had the ice to myself for a little while, then a few little ones with their mother/coach and then my friend Cary came on his lunch hour.  We chatted about skating and I got sidetracked from my practice doing things that aren't even in my program - Camel Spins, Back Sit Spins, Change Foot Sit Spins ...

Hey, skating is skating and it all helps.  Working on something else is my way of rebelling before my test!


Saturday, October 19, 2013

Fumble Friday

Short practice and one chance to run my program at the end, but I was really tired and I fell on my first jump (off camera). I tried to make up the time and I tried to throw in make up jumps. Hope this doesn't happen next Friday!


Thursday, October 17, 2013

A Little Bit of Everything

Today I had a lesson.  The plan was to not exhaust myself during practice and save my energy to have a full out run through of my test program.  It didn't really work out that way.

I started my practice by a few laps of stroking, as usual, then decided to execute all the Adult Silver Moves in the Field.  I haven't done them in a while, so they are pretty rusty.  That is video #1 below.


a


After that I worked on a myriad of things including Lunges, Straight Line Spirals, the Back Spin and Sit Spin and all of my jumps including a Flip Jump .. and I even tried a full rotation of a Lutz Jump.. although it may be a Flutz.  (That's what figure skaters call a flubbed Lutz Jump off the wrong edge.)  Whatever it was, this was a major accomplishment for me.  With the exception of the Axel, the Lutz is the hardest single jump for most people.


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Nine Days !!!!!!!

I couldn't resist this video clip from Defending Your Life ... that's how I feel right now!




Yes - I need more Sake .....

Nine days till my test.  Had a short but decent practice today.  Lesson tomorrow which I hope to capture on video if it's not too crowded.  Maybe I will wear my dress again.

Learned something today about Prince.  No can do on YouTube .. I tried to upload my video today with some improvisation to Purple Rain which I was planning to use for my Dramatic Skate at AN's, but he apparently blocks iTunes and YouTube from using his name or music.  Guess I will just find another piece of music or not record any of my practices.  I also downloaded a karaoke and an Etta James version in my quest for the right skating version.. looks like I wasted my time and my money.

My revised video is still publishing.  I will add it in the morning.. Meanwhile..any suggestions on music for purple dress?




Before anyone comments on the shoot the duck ... I now know what a hydro blade is !!

Monday, October 14, 2013

10 Days To Test Date

Just a few short days of practice and 2 lessons before my test.  It's looking like I won't have the desired energy I want, but with a little luck it will be just enough to pass my test.

My friends Hank and Sheila were at the rink today.  Love having other adult skaters on the ice.

I tried using another video program.  (The one my coach uses - Coach My Video) but it cut off after 3 minutes... So not much footage today.


Friday, October 11, 2013

Friday's Ice Time

I skated today for about 30 minutes before it felt like I pulled something and decided to get off the ice.  I didn't stretch at the wall and started doing loop jumps and pulled a groin muscle in my right upper leg.  I have done that before and really injured myself for weeks, so I just got off the ice and plan to lay low all weekend.

I find, for me, that too much ice time does not pay off.  4-5 days per week is my max before I get really exhausted and start injuring myself.

Yesterday someone commented to me on my Youtube channel that I was very graceful, but skating rather slow - that was his critique.  I totally agree, but not sure how to attain more strength to skate faster and hold my edges and land my little jumps.  Probably just need to get into the gym with regularity and determination to push my cardio to it's limit.

Back Monday.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Here Come Da Judge!

Skated a rare evening freestyle session @ Frontier Ice in Coeur d' Alene so I could play 18 holes of bad golf today. At least I walked 8 1/2 miles... That was the only good that came out of my golf game!

I was pleasantly surprised there were few kids on the freestyle session. One little girl, one adult both beginning skaters also the director of the club, Dean was there. I think he told me he is working on his own Adult Silver moves and some dance patterns. The other person there, also an adult skater (in a blue jacket) turned out to be a USFSA technical judge. We met and I came to find out that she will be in Missoula on my test date Oct 25!!! She may not be judging my event as she is going there to sit in on a higher level of test (part of how low level Jude's acquire the skills to judge at higher level events) She said sometimes when they are there, they might ask them to lend a hand and judge something they are qualified for....i.e..... My event.  so there is a slight chance I have met one of my judges! She said ... Pretend like we never met... So I won't think about it while I'm skating. Hard to do.. She has curly red hair.


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Dress Rehearsal

I guess you would consider this a dress rehearsal.  I put my test/competition dress on today and tried out my test program.  16 days until my test date.  I have been out of town for 3 days playing golf and having fun.  Now it's ice time.. every day until my test.

I felt ok considering I am still shaking off a cold I have had for a week.  I will say this... I was FREEZING in that sleeveless dress with no gloves on!

After I took this video I had a 30 minute lesson and we ran the program a few more times and worked on my back spin.  I learned a lot today about WHY my backspin isn't working.  Coach took a video and slow motion showed me how open my left hip is ..  going to work on that all week.


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Skating Public Session On Saturday Is .......

... a waste of time.  There was a kids birthday party going on.  The ice was not cut prior to the public session - it was choppy and really hard to maintain good edges and worst of all for me - nowhere to put my camera.  At the end I finally found a niche to balance it on for 5 minutes while I did a few spins and a jump.

After today I am off the ice until Wed Oct 9.  Taking a few days off to rest my skating legs and my mind and play some end-of-the-season golf in Oregon.



Friday, October 4, 2013

Skating With A Head Cold ...

What terrible timing.  I came down with a cold on Monday.  I stayed in bed all day Tuesday.  Wed I forced myself to skate only because I had a lesson. Thursday my hubby came home from a long trip so I stayed home again and today I skated for an hour with literally no energy.

If it weren't for the young girl skating with brand new boots on ... making me look like a whimp ... I would have gotten off the ice immediately.  Thanks .. whoever you are for getting me to skate today!


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Coach Says: No Changes To Her Choreography

I suppose I could have argued my case, but she didn't want to hear it.  Skating coaches don't like skaters of any level to say "I can't".

I took yesterday off because I was down with a head cold.  I probably shouldn't have skated today either, but I did because it was lesson day.  Even if I learn by listening I wanted to go.

I did skate, but not well and not for long.  A quick warm up and a 30 minute lesson, we focused on what I was trying to change in my choreography of my test program.  She insists that I keep working toward what she has choreographed and if by the time we are 5 days from my test, things still aren't there, then we can make an adjustment for the test.

So back to my original footwork and program ending, but we did throw in a toe loop early in the program and swapped out the other toe loop for a loop jump at the end of the program.

Sorry, no video today.  I was too exhausted to get the camera out of my pocket!