Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A Little Bit Of Everything

Had a lesson today right off the bat, without much warm up.  We worked on my Silver MIF which is too boring to post video on.  At the end of the lesson we worked on my Flying Camel Spin.

Found out I was doing a WALTZ JUMP + A BACK CAMEL SPIN ... not a FLYING CAMEL.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Learning New Spins

I took a week off the ice to spend a much needed holiday with my husband.  We flew to Seattle in our little plane and visited friends for 2 nights and went to Stars On Ice with the Kingskate Figure Skating Club.  Then we flew to Sunriver, Oregon to play golf and enjoy the resort.  So much fun.

We attended the afternoon practice session and watched them all warm up and run portions of their programs and Ashley Wagner came to our section to sign autographs.  That evening at 4:00 we saw the show.  Meryl Davis was so exhausted (just before the finale of Dancing With The Stars) but she was still radiant and skated beautifully. She and Charlie White scratched their planned Olympic number, no doubt because Meryl needed to save her energy.  They didn't say.

Unfortunately I did not bring a REAL CAMERA and this is all I got at Stars On Ice with my iPhone.

Ashley Wagner signing someone's iphone

My friend Penny and I enjoying watching practice ice

Saturday I finally got back on the ice.  I went to a freestyle session at Frontier Ice and didn't take much video until the last 5 minutes of practice.  I am happy to say that I did go through ALL my jumps twice or more, even the Lutz (3 times) ... trying to get over the fear of that one.

The video is my attempt to learn a Flying Camel Spin and a Back Sit Spin.  Baby steps of progress.

Saturday, May 17, 2014


Friday public was ... interesting today.

A family of three - all learning to skate together and unfortunately blocking most of my video... but hey... it's public and I don't own the rink.

Skater #2 was a hoot.  I have seen him once before.  Sunglasses, long hair ... could it be????
Axel Rose's alter ego on ice?

Worked on Moves in the Field, then some Loop jumps with alternate jump entries (double inside three turns), a few attempts at twizzles and some back and flying camel spin attempts.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Monday Practice & Moves Lesson

Monday turned out to be a very social day on the ice.  My friend Heather of RedSwanUSA.com  (a great new online store for all things figure skating) was on the ice practicing along with several other adult skaters.  It was public, but it felt like a low level freestyle session!

In my 45 warm up before my lesson I worked  on

  • Loop Jump with an arm variation down at my sides.  Improper boot lacing will hamper this!  I wasn't "strapped in" tight enough.  
  • Flying Camel - going slowly and making baby steps of progress
  • COE (Change of Edge) Spiral.  These are REALLY hard for me.  I took a good spill trying!
  • Back Sit Spin (not pictured in the video)  Getting lower 
When my lesson began we just worked on Silver MIF today, primarily the 8 Step Mohawk Sequence and Three Turns.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Morning Freestyle Session and Lesson

I did not take any video of my early morning freestyle sessions or lesson yesterday as it took every ounce of energy I had just to wake up that early and get to the rink.  I had to reschedule my regular lesson this week and this was the only time available.... 7:45 am, but since the session begins at 7:45 as well, I came on the previous session in order to be warmed up before the lesson began.

My goal for this spring, summer, fall is to take my Silver MIF test and Silver FS test and put together a program worthy of competition.  Let it be known... I don't really like the competition part, but without it, I am completely unable to set goals for myself and achieve them.  I love the "idea" of competing: putting on a pretty dress and skating flawlessly to some beautiful and moving music...
but THAT NEVER HAPPENS!  Not to me.. at least not yet.

Coach Berkley wants me to up the anti this year and start putting complexities into my program that will stand out: split jump, hydro glide, double three turn entries into my jumps, bigger, better jumps, flying camel, change position sit spins ..... sounds to me like an Adult Gold level program - but I suppose if we shoot for gold we may end up silver!

On another subject worth bragging about, my original childhood coach Tony Howard (who is now 84 years old) and I have gotten in touch with each other.  I have come to learn that he is still coaching 4 days a week in Oakland, CA.  He was my coach in 1969-1970 ... That was 44 years ago.

I wrote him via the head coach at Oakland Ice and he put me in touch with him.  Tony wrote me back and told me he was a one-fingered-typist and would write me a letter.  A few days later I received a really long email from him and subsequently a beautiful hand written long letter with a recent photo and and hand drawn cartoon of a skating Mickey Mouse.  I have a bad memory so I don't remember him drawing these for us as kids, but apparently he did.... and I finally got one .... trust me, it will go into a frame.  I was touched so deeply by his response and will be forever grateful for the skills he taught me as a child and the memory he left.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Seis de Mayo

One day after cinco de mayo ... need I say more?  I'm lucky I made it to the rink.

For obvious reasons, I didn't practice any spins today!  I worked on moves in the field and a few jumps.  My Lutz jump failed attempts did not capture on the video ... too bad... they were beautiful 1/2 Lutz's .....  I'm back to my old fear of the Lutz jump again.  Lesson Thursday.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

New Spins

Today my practice was very short and the ice was awful.  It's normally great at my rink.  So I just worked on a few of my "To Do" list.

Back Sit Spin

After my lesson the coach said I need to close my legs!!  Pretend like there is a mitten between them and hold it there.  The open position seems to be out of fear of falling backwards.

Flying Camel Spin

Working on starting from a standstill then trying from an inside three turn.  The key is the entry.
Getting up on your toe before jumping to the other foot and landing in a spinning position.

..... both are going to take some time to learn.

It's All About Me Today !!

A few still shots from Adult Nationals.

All The News That's Fit To Print (In the Spokesman Review Newspaper) May 1, 2014

Liberty Lake’s Diane Rudnick finds success after taking up figure skating again

 The Spokesman-Review

Jesse Tinsley photo
Diane Rudnick, 54, returned to the ice after more than 30 years and earned medals at the U.S. Adult Figure Skating Championships.
(Full-size photo)
Diane Rudnick may never silence the inner voice that tells her she’s certain to fail.
The self-described “chicken” walked away from a skating competition as a child and from a piano recital as an adult, both times after developing cold feet.
But Rudnick’s self-doubts couldn’t stop her from following through with her big dream, competing at the U.S. Adult Figure Skating Championships.
Rudnick not only pushed aside her fears during the event, held last month in Hyannis, Massachusetts, but she earned three medals in the Ladies Bronze IV (ages 51-60) division: first places in free skate and entertainment, and a second place in dramatic skate.
“I was very, very nervous at the competition,” the Liberty Lake 54-year-old said. “My legs were like Jell-O and I never, ever expected to walk away with three medals.”
It was quite an accomplishment for someone who tore up her right knee as a teenager, stayed off the ice for 32 years, suffered through cancer surgery four years ago and experienced the death of her father one month prior to nationals.
“She’s one of the first adults we’ve seen come through our skating community who has done well on the national scene,” said Lilac City Figure Skating Club’s Berkley Villard, Rudnick’s coach of 11/2 years.
“I remind her often that it’s her hobby and she needs to enjoy her hobby. … You have to enjoy even the days that are difficult.”
The road to nationals was long and bumpy, starting when the San Francisco native discovered the sport while attending a birthday skating party as a 9-year-old.
Rudnick begged her parents for skates and lessons, willing to catch a bus to reach the rink by 5:30 a.m.
“I got one private lesson every two weeks for 15 minutes, because that’s all we could afford,” she said.
Rudnick’s first competition, at age 11, brought out her inner scaredy-cat.
“I got cold feet and went home crying,” she said. … “I just had no nerve, so that pretty much ended my childhood skating.”
Living on her own at 18, she bought a pair of used skates and returned to the rink. She had just mastered a difficult jump and was trying to recreate it when she came down wrong on her landing knee and tore her meniscus. Rudnick had arthroscopic surgery – a rarity for the time – but returned to skating too fast and reinjured her knee.
She might have continued skating, but her skates were stolen from the trunk of her car after she moved to Seattle at age 21.
“It was like an omen, like maybe I shouldn’t skate,” Rudnick said. “So I just let it go.”
The year 2010 was a turning point for Rudnick, as she was diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer and underwent a bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction. She had just married pilot Ron Rudnick, whom she had first met on her 21st birthday, while still in California.
“We got married … about a week before I had my surgery,” she said. “I was living in Sacramento, so we had a fabulous wedding and I spent my honeymoon at Sacred Heart recovering from my surgery. Three meals a day, served in bed. It was great.”
The surgery left Rudnick sapped and led to what seemed like 18 months of nothing but reclining on the couch. During this time, an old friend told Rudnick about adult figure skating, something she didn’t know existed.
Inspired by a new pair of custom-fit boots from Harlick Skating Boots of San Carlos, California, Rudnick started skating regularly at Eagles Ice-A-Rena on Jan. 1, 2012. Someone at Harlick had told Rudnick about Villard, and the two soon met and hit it off.
“The biggest thing is I have a passion for skating, and when you find someone else who has passion for it you combine it and work together,” Villard said.
Rudnick tested her competitive abilities in early March at sectionals in Ontario, California. A second-place finish in her second skate gave her encouragement.
Right after sectionals, Rudnick discovered that her father had suffered a stroke. She rushed to Oroville, California, to be with him before he died, and the hectic time kept her off the ice for 3 weeks with nationals closing in.
“When I got back on the ice, I could barely turn around and go backward,” she said.
Nevertheless, Rudnick conquered the layoff and her jitters, gaining confidence at nationals as she realized that the other skaters were just as nervous – and just as supportive.
“About the middle of (the third) program, I was gliding along and I thought, ‘This is nice.’” Rudnick said. “I even looked up at the audience and made eye contact with people.”
Now Rudnick is moving up from the bronze to the silver level, intent on next year’s nationals in Salt Lake City. Silver requires more and cleaner jumps, done in combinations.
“It really depends on Diane, and how much effort she wants to put into it and time on the ice and strength training,” Villard said.
“The story of my life is that I’ve chickened out at a lot of things,” Rudnick said. “But this was on my bucket list.”

...... That was the online version.  In print it came out like this:

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...