Saturday, December 12, 2015

Our Pairs Debut

It was far from perfect, but we walked away very happy from our first public appearance as RUDNICK/LANDIS -

Our coaches were happy and excited for us, people cheered and clapped and I somehow managed to smile from start to finish.

Now it's back to the drawing board for a Silver technical program for competition in March and April.

We must learn a lot before then: an Axel lift and/or Lutz lift, a Death Spiral and/or a Pivot Spiral and we need to strengthen our fundamentals.

I'm feeling excited and looking forward to the hard work ahead.

Thank you coaches: Chris Anders and Berkley Villard.

And of course Hank Landis......I couldn't do it without you!!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Christmas Show in 5 Days

 Here is the latest run of our program skated  without music. Dubbed in later.

Friday, December 4, 2015

I Have Been Slacking ....

My blog posts are getting erratic.  I have been having some issues with iMovie and my computer storage and memory and so getting my videos to the blog have been few and far between lately.

Still skating 4-5 days a week.  Working on mostly pairs with Hank but I got on the ice at 6:00 am today to ice dance with my other partner (how lucky am I?) Mike.

We are still on the Dutch Waltz -
As you can see we are not on the tempo of the music, but it was fun to get out there and give it a try today .... 6:00 is BRUTAL for me!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Pre Thanksgiving Workout in Roseville

 Down in California for Thanksgiving. Stopped by for coffee club. Thank you to all my new skating friends. Can't wait to come back again.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

1st Run Xmas Program

Nuf said.... it was our first run with music.  Stuff was forgotten and I pooped out at the end.

I did a little warm up on singles stuff before Hank got there.. wow... I need to get back to work on my singles skating:

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Pairs Christmas Program Progress

Had a lesson with my regular coach today for pairs. She helped us with a few suggestions about bigger crossovers and some choreography improvements.

First some off ice practice:

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

1st Day of Choreography for Pairs Christmas Program

Today we had a little more success off ice with the Axel lift but we left it alone on ice to work on our Christmas Program a month away.

These are the bare-bones-beginnings of it.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

More Lessons More Progress ...


The Axel lift and the Lutz lift are really giving us trouble.  We keep saying to each other "it's not you .. it's me" !!!  I am sure it's a little of both.  We are committed to getting it right.  I have seen ladies bigger than me get up there... so I know it can be done!  Also Hank is pretty tall.  Looks great on ice, but it actually seems to be harder to do the lifts.

Today we had some lessons both on and off ice.  We were both disappointed in our "performance" during the lessons.  Typical.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Lessons, Lessons, Lessons

Back from a short holiday -  A little jet lagged, but I showed up for practice early to work on music choice and off ice practice and lessons.

My two coaches collaborated today together to give us a great lesson.  We never seem to make any visible progress while we are in the middle of a lesson, but we take from it and work on it during the time between lessons.

Off ice we worked on the Axel Lift and Loop Lift.  We are getting closer to an Axel lift off ice, but we haven't gotten it up into position on ice yet.  The loop lift we just accomplished the other day needed fixing and it felt like we took a 1/2 step backwards before we fix that and move forward.

On ice .... with two coaches watching us we worked on fixing some of the things plaguing us.  We put some different arm positions into our side by side jumps to up the ante and get us more in sync.  We were able to recognize the trouble with our throw loop and will continue to work on it on our own.

We got a little frustrated working on the lifts today, but we will take away from the lesson and hopefully put it to use on Thursday at our next lesson.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

First Loop Lift

 We had a regular practice working a little bit on our sequences and change of edge pair spirals and I am happy to report we had our first successful on ice LOOP LIFT  with a turn!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Pairs Lesson....On and Off Ice

We had a lesson during a crowded session, but tried some new things and worked on the beginnings of our death spirals and did some off ice practice ..

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Trying Out A New Camera

My hubby got a GoPro type fish-eye camera.  I borrowed it to see if it has any advantages over the iPhone.  I think the iPhone takes better video and audio.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Another harness lesson

 I was so tired today. The first thing I told my coach was I didn't want to work on the Axel  so course with it we were gone… The Axel.  She knows that the mental game is 90% of my problems.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Snippets of Last Pairs Lesson

One of my readers actually asked me if I was still skating singles.  The answer is YES - but I have been focusing on pairs because I have so much to learn.

This video is of our last lesson.  Neither of us was too happy about how we skated.  No major breakthroughs on the Axel lift either.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

First Axel On The Harness

I called it a "piñata Axel" .. because I feel like one strung up and waiting for someone to club me!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Progress on the Axel Lift

 We had a great practice today.  I was able to record half of our session before the battery died… I hate it when that happens!

I'm really liking the progress we're making on the unison of our side-by-side spins and our skating styles are so similar that are side-by-side jumps are looking good too  although we could use a little more complexity in our entry and we're still working out getting back together after each element that is the hardest part.

 In the lift department we are getting very close to a successful Waltz/Axel lift (they are the same lift, the only difference is that with the Axel lift the man makes 1 1/2 revolutions on the ice --  but first we need to get the lift all the way up and held on confidently .

Friday, October 9, 2015

Getting my "Norma Desmond" on

Today was our second day of practice this week, a milestone considering I have been gone so much lately. Sadly I am in a lot of pain while I'm skating and  I feel they will be much improvement after this mystery ailment goes away.

I did not label any elements on my video and if you use your imagination… Imagine there are no cuts or breaks in the video…  I just slapped on this music for fun and I have to say- I kind of like it. I can see all types of costuming possibilities. I'll have to show it to Hank and see what he thinks even though we had just decided that we were going to skate to music from the movie Pearl Harbor .  I'm ready for my close-up Mr. DeMille !!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Pairs Practice and "Ice Follies"

 So I'm home after a nice birthday holiday in Sunriver Oregon with my husband golfing.

Back on the ice today… A little fatigued and… Still injured.   My injury is an unknown at this point. I'm pretty sure it stems from pair skating.   The injury is in my back muscle or it could be a bruised rib or it could be???

Without being too graphic; my bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction ( implants ) rearranged my latissimus dorsi muscle… Disconnecting  a portion of it and pulling it through  my armpit and attaching it to my pectoral muscle.

Engaging either of these muscles creates  tension all the way around my chest to my back ....  It is described as wearing an "iron bra".  That's what it feels like anyway .  So naturally skating pairs requires many moves that pull on both my arms and add pressure into my armpits etc. I don't know  exactly when I did it, but I have either pulled or torn or bruised something and it won't go away. It's sensitive to the touch, it even hurts when I'm sleeping on the soft mattress. I haven't gotten diagnosed yet, but no matter what it is .....I'm sure the remedy is going to be PRICE. Otherwise known as protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation.  So far all I can provide is the ice ha ha.

 I knew my physical issues might limit my ability to do some of these pair  moves.  Hopefully it will not be something that I can't work around.  I'm having way too much fun skating with Hank and I don't mind a little bit of discomfort in exchange for the joy I get skating pairs .

....,  so add to that a clumsy fall today doing a throw loop jump. Then I got off the ice to put a Bunga pad in my hip and when I returned to the eyes I forgot to take off my skate guards.  Falling on my elbows be the pain in the other part of my body subside anyway.

Friday, September 18, 2015

We Did A Lift !

Ok, it was just a "carry lift" but it was still ME with no blades on the ice for a few moments!
Great practice with Hank today.  He is such a good sport - I really enjoy skating with him.  

My diet is going well and I weigh 127 now.  The last 10 lbs are harder than the first 10 were.  I started at 140.  I'm sure Hank wishes I were 110 !!!  

It's nearly time to start thinking about music for our program.

Learning The Canasta Tango

After a few 30 minute ice dance group classes and a little practice on my own with Mike we took a stab at the Canasta Tango.  First shadowing, then just holding hands and finally in what I just learned to be "Reverse Kilian" position.  Man on the right, lady on the left.  Sheesh.  I thought freestyle and moves in the field had a lot of rules.

This was a 6:00 a.m. session.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Long Overdue Freestyle Lesson

I have really gotten behind in posting my videos.  Ever since returning from Sun Valley.  It took me forever to sift through all the video and edit the clips.  Now it seems I am skating more and have less time to edit.  I will try and get back on track this week.

This was my first freestyle lesson with my regular coach for months.  I have so much to work on between now and MY competition season which is basically from March-April !!!  Am I the only figure skater who HATES competing, but does it anyway to have something to work toward?

I love the idea of it.  Getting a dress, choosing music, choreographing a program.  But it is never enjoyable when I can't skate to my own expectations of myself.  Serious flaw!

Todays' lesson was split in 2 segments.  1st part was jumping and working on correcting some problems with my take off position, landing position and edge control.

Part 2 was working on my backspin.  Nuf said.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Ice Dancing Too

If I don't already have enoug on my plate...... I am also trying to get serious about learning how to ice dancer. As always .. My interest is primarily recreational but for me the only way I can get better at anything is to go "all in" as they say in the poker world. I like the idea of learning the dances and taking and passing the tests - potentially competing, but I am more interested in the accomplishment of learning the dances.

I have potentially found a partner, although I am not 100% sure he feels I am a good match for him. He is a USFSA judge and skates recreationally so we would be attempting the same tests together for the first time each.

So this was our first practice together... Testing the waters so to speak. I hope it works out.
We are both taking a group dance class together but the class is on 30 minutes a week on freestyle ice ... Really hard to achieve much.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Pairs Lesson 4

We had a very short 30 minute lesson with Chris Anders tonight- Went over tracking and tried to correct some issues with our Throw Waltz and Salchow.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Pairs Practice .....

Hank and I getting in some much needed practice on a public session. Lesson tomorrow.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Fall FS Session

I guess it is fall... it is September... The kids are all back in school (yeah). I decided to skate an extra session today because I was starting an ice dancing class and I wanted to be warmed up ahead of time but all I practiced was freestyle.

My phone ran out of juice before the dance class. We did some warm-ups; swing rolls and chassee's and then we reviewed the Dutch Waltz and we tried to learn the beginning steps of the Fiesta Tango.
 I don't need to tell you it is difficult to practice the dance pattern on a freestyle session you were always in everyone's way and vice versa.

 My video today are snippets from my freestyle singles practice. I am skating with a very sore hindquarter so to speak. If I wasn't so shy I would take a picture of this bruise it is something to behold ...the mother of all hematomas.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Back on Home (FREEZING COLD) Ice

Hank and I finally got together for a quick public session. We haven't  skated together in several weeks plus I got injured when I was in Sun Valley falling on a flip jump. This was the first time as an adult skater that I have ever fallen so hard on my butt cheek. I have a bruise that I cannot publish the size of my hand ...where the sun don't shine!  It was a pretty good session considering how much pain I was in especially when I fell again on the same place !!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Sun Valley Adult Week

 This was the most amazing week I loved Sun Valley and their adult skating camp. I took so many videos… So little time. I will start posting with this video and I will continue to add to this particular post as I slowly  edit  all of my skating experience there.

Keep checking back for more highlights.

Video number one was taken after coffee club with Erin Reed (A fun morning skating adventure different things every day) this day we did a pinwheel.

Video 2 was me getting on the ice five minutes before the Zamboni came out and I had the ice almost to my self wouldn't you know they would have to play this song?

Video 3 was from the daily open dance sessions.  They played all (30?) dances and there were couples, solo dancers, pros giving lessons and people like me, just trying to pick up a few steps.  There is nothing quite like it when the sun is out and it's 85 degrees outside with the backdrop of the beautiful Sun Valley Lodge.  I am really motivated to learn to ice dance.

Video 4 is from the 2 pairs clinics on Wed and Fri with Jonathan Hunt and Natalia Zaitseva with help from Ale Izquierdo Hunt and Ilia Zaytsev.  I expected this clinic to include stroking and tracking and maybe a throw Waltz.  I am sure I can speak for everyone who took these clinics that they were FUN.

Video 5 is my private dance lesson with Ty Cockrum.  What a great guy.  I watched him dance with ladies young and old all week and just had to take a lesson.  He made anyone he danced with look good and feel great.  I signed up for dance classes as soon as I got home!  Next year I will be ready to dance (and perhaps test?)

Video 6 is the Partnering and Tracking Clinic with Brent Bommentre and Kim Navarro.  This class was fabulous and fun.  We had a great class size and worked on edges, stroking, swing rolls in unison.  Great exercise for pairs, dance, synchro, duets and just control in general.  I can't say enough about how fun this and all the clinics were and how enthusiastic and patient all the pros were!

Video 7 is a compilation of 2 jump clinics by Jonathan Hunt.  Day 1 went from the Bunny Hop - Loop Jump.  Day 2 went from the Flip - Axel.  (Don't get too excited only 2 in the group could do one! ) The rest of us worked on Axel prep.

Video 8 is morning Patch / Figures with Michele Monnier.  She gave a great class for all.  If you never skated a patch before she began with the basics: Outside edges on an axis.  They laid out a standard size figure 8 on 3/4 of the ice and we all took our patches, some doubled up.  It felt great after so many years to be on QUIET ICE ... The only thing missing was dressing like an eskimo and the fog coming from our breath... because it's SUN VALLEY IN THE SUMMER!

Video 9 is the Spin Clinic with Craig Heath.  I wish I had taken a private lesson with him to work on my flying camel and back spins.  We talked about it on day one, but I decided to first attend the clinic and see if I still wanted one.  By the time the clinic came I was exhausted and injured, so I lost my opportunity for that.  The clinic was great for anyone.  He began with the concept of the two foot spin and gave some great tips.  I for one HATE the two foot spin and I learned how to distribute the weight on each blade.  We went on to Scratch and Sit and started on Back spins from a pivot before the "bell" rang to end the session.  Thanks Craig.

Video 10 is Choreography Clinic with Stephanee Grosscup.  This lady is amazing.  Skating with her is like a wonderful zen experience.  She has incredible grace and flow in all her movements and the ability to choreograph a simple, but elegant group number in record time (30 minutes of instruction over 2 session).  If you ever lose the joy of skating for any reason... 15 minutes with Stephanee will make you fall in love with skating all over again.

Video 11 is Edge Clinic with Lisa Marie Allen.  Another great clinic for skaters of all abilities.  Learning good strong edges is so fundamental I don't know why clubs don't put more emphasis on reinforcing these principles.

Last but not least.  This was icing on the cake. Every day we had lunch on the terrace at Sun Valley Resort and got to watch the pros practicing for the Saturday evening show.  What a treat.  The show on Saturday night headlined with Jason Brown, but we didn't see him practice.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Off Ice Pairs Lesson

This will be our last chance to skate together for another eight days as I am off to the
Sun Valley Idaho 2015 adult summer skating camp.

 There's no deadline so anybody can jump on this glorious bandwagon.

 Off ice we worked on the stag lift which is not something required for silver pairs nor does it count for anything more than an artistic flair in the program… But it's a beginning we haven't done any lifts yet. Next we worked on the Axel lift... Much harder for me I have to do some of the work... ha ha

We had about  five minutes of on ice practice before somebody accidentally knocked my cell phone off-the-wall onto the ice and when they picked it up the angle that right toward the ceiling so my very first axel lift with Hank will have to wait for another session also getting my arm ripped out of my socket trying to do death spiral practice.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

More Pairs Practice

Grabbing ice time between having company and summer travel; Hank and I worked in 40 minutes of on ice practice. Without a coach we just practiced some of our side by side jumps, spins and a few throw jumps.

Lesson Saturday!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Evening FS Session

Trying to get ice time in the summer is difficult.  This rink has a new club and most of the kids are LTS or just higher so they are all over the place and don't really follow freestyle session etiquette -

Glad it was only me.  Hank and I skate Thursday night there... we'll see.

I just worked on this and that.  Feeling less than confident on my toe jumps especially my Lutz (or Flutz I should say) -

Good things happening:  My sit spin is getting stronger and I am getting lower and faster.  My camel spin comes and goes but I am getting stronger and finding my center more often than not these days.
I really want a flying camel for my program and a back sit spin.

Lastly I imagined my dramatic music in my head and tried to improvise a little.  Still not 100% sure of the music.  It's very quiet and slow and 1:30 isn't a lot of time for that type of music.  The main thing is the dramatic skate has no jump requirements or spin requirements.  So everything you put in it needs to be skated well or left out.  It's more about the connection to the music.  I will play around with it more next time I skate then show my coach (choreographer) and see what she says.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Traveling: Skating at Westminster Ice in Cypress CA

On a long weekend trip to California... Brought my skates and got in one early am freestyle at Westminster Ice.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


Skated at EWU today.

Got told "NO FREESTYLE" on public ice including "skating backwards" "no jumps" "no spins except in the middle" ----- but they require me to skate backwards ???

In between regular rent-a-skate people on the ice they let us do freestyle.  Don't get me started.

Worked on a little of everything today.  Long video (sorry) with a wide variety of music ...

I have really been dropping the ball on my video editing ... realizing of course, skating is more important than video editing!

See you after I get back from Disneyland and hopefully a few times on the ice at Westminster or Paramount or Lakewood Ice in So Cal.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Short Post

Skated today at EWU but I didn't  set up my camera correctly and it wasn't in focus.  Bad video.
Anyway I was working on trying to choreograph my own light entertainment program.  Tomorrow I have a lesson with my choreographer, but I was curious what I could come up with on my own.

Pretty much nothing exciting.

At the end of my short 45 minute session I moved the camera and did 2 sit spins.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Early Morning FS and Lesson

Coaching during the summer is sporadic at best.  This was the only time I could secure with my coach this week.  I haven't had a lesson since before my FS test.

After a discussion on what my game plan was (taking my test program and turning it into a competition program) we got to work on my Flying Camel -

Basically I am doing a Waltz Jump and a Back Camel .. I need to turn it into a Flying Camel by being in the proper take off position (camel position) and by entering the "flying part" much later and landing in a certain place.

Video #2 is my lesson that was about 20 minutes today.  I cut out some bench talk and some wall work we did.  I did show all 16 or 17 attempts at the flying camel.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Pairs Lesson 2

 Our second lesson with Chris Anders was challenging and productive. Some of the things he wants us to practice  like skating in our "bad" direction and tracking forward crossovers in different hold positions are going to take some time for us. Neither of us excel at deep strong edges.

We learned a new forward spiral position, and a Star spiral which he says is always a judge-pleaser.  We worked on our throw jumps; Waltz jump Salchow and Loop  discovering a few things we were doing wrong. And finally we worked on side-by-side spins and learned how to exit properly and together ...... I'm sure we will be working on this forever but we now have a basis to practice on our own.

 Next week we are going to attack the pivot spirals and possibly death spiral for half of our lesson and spend the other half off ice lifting… Maybe I should bring a helmet!

This is a longer video almost 10 minutes with no entertaining music playing in the background. Its purpose is primarily selfish so that Hank and I can revisit our lesson… Fast forward as you see fit.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Private ICE

...for the price of a public session.  I loved it.   Well... until we got in trouble for skating pairs.
EWU arena told us we can only skate pairs if nobody is on the ice.  When there are other skaters we cannot.  They only have 1 hour a week here of open Free Style on Friday from 4:00 to 5:00 pm so that rules out skating here ... unless we get lucky again and nobody is there.

We had a fun session despite a few wrecks - today the scoreboard was even.

Hank :  1

Diane:  1

..but his was much more dramatic than mine! And mine is not on the video because I am having some  iMovie issues... Grrrrrr

I learned the Throw Loop today ... it took a little research on YouTube to figure out the body and hand positions, but we got the gist.

Our next lesson is tomorrow.. so I should have a lot to report after that.

Meanwhile.... enjoy our blunders of today!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Back from Vacation .. Ahhhhh Ice

2 Hours of FS practice today with Hank at Frontier Ice.  I don't think either of us have been on the ice for 2 whole hours in ages.

We tried to regroup from last time.  Some things worked.  Others not so much.  We need another lesson soon!  

I think out Throw jumps are improving and our ability to skate a little closer to each other.  Still a long road to go!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Before Vacation (Belated Post)

This was my final day of practice before a week's vacation in Canada.  Hank and I did some pairs practice.  Since it was over a week ago....I can't remember what we accomplished!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Silver Free Skate: Passed

This was not my ideal skate, but 2 of the 3 judges passed me.  The third judge had me down for a retry with only 5.2 total points.  (5.4 is what is needed to pass)

What went right:

I landed my Lutz (3rd jump was optional type)
I landed my required Loop jump
I landed my required Flip jump
I got 4 revolutions in my Camel Spin
I did my required jump sequence (Split jump - 3 turn - Mazurka - Salchow)
I did my required jump combination (Salchow - Toe Loop)
I did my required combination spin*  (Sit spin - Scratch Spin)

What went wrong:

My Lutz was a Flutz (and usually is)  I wish I had held the landing longer
My Camel spin was too slow and I had to fight to keep my leg up for 4 revolutions
My step sequence was weak and I was exhausted 1/2 way through
On my jump sequence I slightly toe tapped on the landing (I didn't get marked down for it)
On my jump combo I slightly toe tapped on the landing (I didn't get marked down for it)
On the Sit-Scratch combo 2 of the 3 judges made remarks that I did not even do a combo.

My coach instructed me to do a 1) Camel alone and 2) Sit - Scratch as my combo.
I had 3 revolutions in an "adult sit position" .. but not by standard track standards. My butt wasn't below my knee.  Part 2 of that combo was an upright spin where I do a few revolutions and wrap my arms around my waist L in front and R behind me and do a little knee dip.

About 2 weeks ago I decided to do a Camel-Sit spin and just a scratch spin at the end, but my coach told me I needed to keep the Camel separate.  (the day before the test) Since I really don't have a layback or other spin I can count on, we went with keeping the Sit-Scratch.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Last Lesson Before My Test

Should I be as worried as I feel?  Probably.  I found out I had to change my Camel/Sit combo to a straight Camel spin - (required as a solo spin) and revert to my original planned Sit/Scratch combination.... but that puts me way ahead of my music.  No more practice to work out the kinks.  Hopefully they won't put too much weight on the program being artistically flowing with the music.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Pairs Practice: Camel Spin

Pairs practice only today.  Trying to get my mind off my FS test on Saturday.  Pairs is so much fun, but as I mentioned before, difficult to get a lot done in one session because every time you attempt something, whether it goes right or not.. there is always discussion and then plotting out what to do next and how to execute.  I am sure with more time we will have a routine of warming up together and having a "repetoire" of things to practice without as much conversation.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Exhibition Skate ... NOT

I got up today and put on a skirt and tights to go skate 1/2 a free style session then participate in our club exhibitions where we can run a program with nobody on the ice.  I felt I needed to get the jitters out.  Turns out I showed up too late to get on the list.  I didn't want to wait an hour to see if they could squeeze me in since I have family visiting.  So I just skated 1/2 the session and worked on the the things in my program that are giving me trouble.. the Camel Sit Spin and my footwork and ending pose.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The After-Lesson

I took notes from our lesson and we tried a few of the exercises that Chris and Melinda gave us.
There were a lot of little ones on the ice today.  My camera got knocked down 2 times and I lost most of the video ---- All the good stuff when we were really in synch !!!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Early Morning FS Lesson

The next day after our pairs lesson I had scheduled a free style lesson with my FS coach Berkley.  It was the only time she had available this week, so I reluctantly took it.

I don't know if I ever mentioned this but, I am NOT A MORNING PERSON.  Especially when it comes to skating.

Nothing went right for me. I blamed it on my fatigue, my boots being laced too loose.  Fortunately my coach knows she need to keep pushing me to try.

We worked on the major components of my program and then she forced me to do a run after nothing went right.  I managed to complete it and she said it probably would have passed even though she knew I was having an off day.  She said that was a good thing.  If you can muster up enough strength to push through on a bad day - chances are you will skate strong next week.

I hope so.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

First Pairs Lesson

Our first pairs lesson was AMAZING.  It was long and informative and we will be able to spend weeks practicing (but not perfecting) many of the exercises and tips we got from our new pairs coach Chris Anders and his partner Melinda Seable.

Here is our first lesson, below some info on our coaches.

Chris Anders was born and raised in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, and has been skating since the age of 6.  He originally started as an Artistic Roller skater, and competed at Nationals in Dance, Singles, and Pairs.  Chris switched to ice skating at the age of 13. He is a two-time National competitor in Pairs, and a triple gold medalist, having earned his gold medal in Moves in the Field, Singles, and Pairs. 

Chris transitioned from competing to show skating in 2007, becoming a Principal Performer for Disney on Ice for over seven years.  He coached at Planet Ice before its closure, and then at Eagles Ice Arena, teaching both Learn to Skate classes and private lessons.  Besides skating, Chris has been active in local theater at Coeur d'Alene High School, as a student, and at Lake City Playhouse.

Melinda Seable comes to Frontier Ice Arena with over 30 years of skating experience.  Competing for the Santa Rosa Figure Skating Club, Melinda was a 5-time National competitor in synchronized skating.  She was an instructor at Snoopy’s Home Ice and was the Skating School Director at Ice Capades Chalet in Palos Verdes, CA.  As a performer, Melinda toured the world for over 12 years as performance director, principal understudy, and ensemble skater for Disney on Ice
Holiday on IceWilly Bietak ProductionsRosstyn Ice ShowsWilma Leary Ice ProductionsWoodstock Ice Productions, and Feld Entertainment

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Another Ice Dance Class and then A FS Choreography Lesson

My camera didn't focus on the the ice dancing portion, so I just skipped posting a video.  We just went over the pattern and especially the end pattern of the Dutch Waltz today.  It was 7:00 am.  That is WAY TO EARLY for me to skate.

Right after that session was over I met with Noreen, my choreographer to help me "clean up" my arms and footwork in my Silver Test program.  I was pretty pooped, but I got through 2 + runs.

My camel spin was awful today and my sit spin went on a hiatus.... old reliable .... I couldn't believe it.

Monday, June 29, 2015

First Pairs Wipeout

Sorry you will have to wait till the end of the reel.   For those of you born in this millennium ..that's a film reel.

We had a fun pairs practice and even put together a sequence of steps, a jump, a spin and more steps. It took all session, but it was pretty fun.  At the end of the session we attempted some pivot-spiral moves .. which ... resulted in our first wipeout.  No elderly people were harmed in the making of this movie!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Saturday Practice...

You know I am serious when I get up on a Saturday morning to go skate.  Forget that it's over 100° outside.  We are having a hottest June on record in the Spokane area.  Tomorrow it's supposed to break today's record.

I worked on my program components today as well as trying a few run throughs.  The ice was crowded during those so I didn't put them in my video.  Trust me .. even I am getting sick of my program music.  That is a problem.  When you choose new music.. at first you love it.  Then you have parts that are hard and exhausting and you hate it.   I rarely skate to my music on public sessions they play Sirius "the Blend" and I just dub over when I get home.

Anyway.  Today was a good practice.  I did all my jumps and really worked on the camel spin.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Timing is Everything

That is the hardest thing about skating pairs so far.  Trying to get the timing down - especially for spins.  I always know if I got "about" 4-5-6 revolutions in a spin, but never precisely.  In pairs you have to be more aware of each revolution and how fast or slow you are going in comparison to your partner.  Also .. exiting a spin facing a certain direction has never been my forté.  We'll get it eventually.

Learned a pair spin today.  Very simple, side by side, yet a pair spin.  Also learned how to enter a pair spin of any kind from opposite sides of a circle and the basic throw loop entry.  Excited about learning more things in the days to come.

Next week we hope to have a lesson on Thursday !!

A Day of Firsts

I hate to post when I don't have any video to back up my comments, but today was one of those days -

In my quest to skate better, improve my skills, improve my stamina and lose weight I signed up to take weekly ice dance group classes with our resident ice dance coach Kendell LeClaire.

The class was great.  She taught us Swing Rolls and Progressives (although for the sake of a beginning class she just referred to them as crossovers)  and the pattern of the Dutch Waltz
which I already knew the basics, but had never been taught the count.

Unfortunately we held this class during a freestyle session with 24 skaters.  It was chaos to say the least.  I honestly don't know how these kids become great skaters with the ice so crowded.  I spend 1/2 my session just skating around in circles looking for a "hole" to execute a jump or spin.  Unless I am in a lesson I usually don't attend the freestyle sessions.

Following the dance class I took a summer skating school "Power Stroking Class".  We have Hi-Power and Lo-Power intended for different skill levels and age/size seems to be a factor too.  One little girl in Lo-Power could do an Axel ... but most were all still on their single jumps.  This 30 minute class totally kicked my butt.  Stroking, pumping, load changes, push ups, crunchies, wall squats, explosive jumps at the end of the rink and racing to the other end to do it again... stamina builders, lunges.  It was more than enough for me to be in the Lo-Power Class.

Alas.. I had my camera but forgot to put it on the rail before the class started.  Next week I will remember.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Ice Show .... Check

Ok I can knock another thing off my bucket list.  The ice show is over.  Overall I will say I had fun.
Whether or not I will do another remains to be seen....

Now that the show is over I need to concentrate on my upcoming test in 2 weeks and my new favorite hobby .... pairs skating with Hank.

Here are a few snippets of our practice today and of course ... a rinkside seat for our number in the show.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Quick Run Before Show Rehearsal

Limited practice hours this week due to our show.  I did a low energy run through, but video from opposite side of the rink for another perspective.  Too busy today for babble...

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Eat Your Vegetables

You remember.  Dreading the peas or carrots or brussel sprouts and not being able to indulge in dessert unless you ate your vegetables......

... Well somedays due to fear, fatigue or failed previous attempts - the thought of warming up and executing all my jumps, at least once can seem like the dreaded vegetables.

Today was a crowded public session (for my rink) and all those jumps felt like vegetables.  I got on the ice without a camera because there were so many "wall huggers" I knew my camera would not survive.  After a while it thinned out a bit and I set up my camera.  Nothing went well today, but alas... I did finish my vegetables!

Monday, June 15, 2015

No Sleep - Monday Practice

I had a great weekend with friends in Seattle this past weekend, but that means a food and drink fest and very little sleep for the weary traveler on Amtrak.

But the show must go on right?  So I headed to practice today.  No lesson today due to the production of the show this weekend.  It's "tech week" for you theatre types.  No rehearsals today so I just worked on my program.  The more runs I do - the better my chances of passing that test will be in 3 weeks.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Silver Test Date Looming..

With less than a month before my test it's time to kick it into high gear.  No more days off the ice (except the weekends) and after the show is over next weekend I will start going to some free style sessions to actually run my program on club ice to skate to the music.

Our adult number for the show is making progress as well.  It's definitely not my vision of what a polished program should look like the week before the show and by request (you know who you are) I won't be posting any more rehearsals on my blog.  Hopefully there will be a video of some kind that I can post from the show under the lights, in costume.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Day 3 of Pairs Practice

I had a chance to get in 1 of my recommended 3 runs per day of my upcoming test program.  It wasn't clean but I am finding ways during the program to conserve energy through breathing.... and stronger edges vs harding pushing during transitions.

When Hank got to the rink we worked on stroking, crossover and some jumps and spins.  Today it seems we spent more time talking than skating.  It requires so much coordination to figure out .. not only what jump or spin we will do, but exactly step-for-step how we enter each one - We both have different techniques for spin entries for example - and some of our jump preparations too.  But as always .. I had a blast and really enjoy the process.  It makes me work harder because I don't want to let him down.  I know my knees are feeling it.

First my program run

Then our pairs practice

Monday, June 8, 2015

Ok Now Were Getting Serious....

So test date is approximately 1 month away.  I really want and need to pass my Silver Free Skate Test if I want to skate up at next years Adult Nationals and if I want to skate Silver Pairs with Hank .. if we get that far.

I had practice today plus a lesson after I already ran the program 2 x - I felt beat to a pulp when I was done but it's good feeling afterwards to know you have pushed yourself.

Today my lesson focused on my stamina.  Not working on any one part of my program but ALL of it - only broken down into 3 sections.  We would run part 1, then I would rest for about 15 seconds then continue .. like interval training.  Maybe it will work.  Maybe not.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Ice Show Practice

This is week 5 of working on this adult number for our upcoming ice show in 2 weeks.
The problem is .. we only practice it 1x per week.  I don't know how often the rest of the
skaters practice, but I don't see them at the sessions I go to.  Everyone is busy - so we are
doing pretty good considering we have really only had about 5 practices all together.

Skating under spotlight is going to be completely new for me.  I had the chance to attend National Showcase last year because of my placement at Adult Nationals in my Dramatic and Light Entertainment events, but I was too "chicken" to attend - oh well.

So today I got a short warm up done and then popped off all my jumps once before we got into the rehearsal.  I only taped the last run of the number - for sanity sake!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Adult Pairs Day 2

Wednesday is my ladies golf league day so I was late to the rink.  We managed to pop off a few "experiments" as we get to know each other and learn to trust each other.  I think it's gotta be easier for Hank because he has been to the rodeo twice before with other partners.  I am so grateful and happy to let him take the reins and teach me how to do this stuff.

Today we tried side by side jumps:  Waltz, Salchow, Toe Loops, Loop Jumps, Flip Jumps and a Split-Flip - and some spirals.  Also Hank introduced me to the wonderful world of the Throw-Waltz Jump.
(I probably acquired my first of many to come .. bruise)  I was full of questions.. "how do you do this?  how do you do that? ...

We laughed at the end of the session.  "Well" we said... "So far so good" ... "no fights and no injuries"

Monday, June 1, 2015

Ok, Someone Pinch Me ....

... I feel like I just got invited to prom.

My skating friend Hank Landis who is a member of my club asked me today if I would like to team up with him and skate Adult Pairs.  WHAT?  I thought you would never ask.

Actually I offered a long time ago, but the time wasn't right for him and I gave up on the idea and didn't want to push it.

I was elated today when he said "So do you still want to skate pairs" ... I said like YES YES YES ...
no hesitation.  On the car ride home I started thinking about things like Death Spirals and Split Twists ... and my stomach rumbled.

So for now  we are just going to take it one day at a time and see where it leads.  But that's enough to motivate me to try harder and to GO ON A DIET ... I promised I would lose 10 pounds and get stronger.

Now I need to rifle through the rules book and figure out how we do this.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Day 2 This Week - (And it's Thursday)

This week I only skated Tuesday and Thursday.  That means 1 of 2 things.

1.  I was busy
2.  I am losing interest

Happy to report I am NOT losing interest.  Frustrated?  Absolutely.  And there are days I dread going to the rink in anticipation of more disappointment.

All my skating friends are sick of hearing me talk about this and how I am preparing for the inevitable end of my figure skating days when I switch to dance and figures.  I still think it's a valid plan to stay on the ice, but I really wouldn't want to dance without a partner.  Prospects are slim!

Anyway, here's Thursday's short 10 minute practice prior to our rehearsal for our show coming up next month.  The number looks pretty sad 5 weeks into rehearsal.  Hopefully it will come together before Jun 19th!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Oh Where Oh Where Has My Stamina Gone?

Oh where or where can it be?

Short practice today due to A) Stamina (lack thereof)
                                            B) Wild Hockey Players
                                            C) Total Skating Frustration
                                            D) All of the Above

Answer:                               D

Monday, May 18, 2015

Drinking and Skating Don't Mix ...

... Just ask Lexi from Ice Castles, right?

Hubby came home from a trip yesterday and we went to our local winery for Sunday night wine and dancing.  It's quite fun, but too much wine really hurts in the morning.  After a hearty breakfast and soak in the hot tub - I headed to the rink.  Determined to skate, but not feeling my best.

Once on the ice I had issues #1 from my reinforced left boot... which makes my navicular bone in my foot sore.  I didn't want to stroke hard or try to jump until they loosened up.

So I spent the first 20 minutes doing compulsory figures from the Preliminary Test without my scribe. I didn't capture those on video.  Then I worked on a full set of Gold MIF, mistakes and all and as the bewitching hour approached when it was time for my lesson, I did a little FS warm up and a few jumps and spins.

In my lesson, we focused on the required spin elements for the Silver FS test.  A camel spin and a combination spin which I am doing just a sit spin combined with a scratch spin at the end of my program.  This is going to be a bare bones test program.

Coach Berkley helped a lot today in fixing my Camel spin.  My sit spin is ok, it just needs to be a bit lower and it needs more revolutions and I need to transition quicker into it and especially out of it... I really have to grunt my way back up.

Next we worked on my first jump in my program, the Lutz.  We started at the wall and that really helped too.  I need more distance in all my jumps.  I tend to jump around instead of projecting the jump forward.

Moving on we touched on the 2nd jump a Spiral into Loop Jump from my program.  Again, needing to jump forward more.

Turned out to be a good day despite not feeling so hot!  Next Sunday I think I will skip the wine!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Hiatus #1 - Anniversary Trip

I'm back from my first trip.  Had a lovely 4 days with hubby playing golf, wine tasting and bike riding in Lake Chelan, WA.  Returned home, had to prep for a golf tournament and monthly meeting for which I am serving as President .. and I signed up to skate in our club's ice show June 19, 20 so I had rehearsal on Thursday taking up all my ice time.

What was left was a public session today.  I even canceled my lesson with my choreographer to help me with my test program for July 9 (yikes) because I was too tired to skate 2x in one day.

Today I ran through all my GOLD MIF.  You won't see much progress, but I did them in real time by request from a reader.  Ha!  I have readers!

Later on - I worked on my program and it's missing elements.  I didn't throw any Lutz jumps today .. I didn't feel secure.  Still suffering from the boot problem following my "strengthening".  I seem to have completely lost my Camel spin... and a few other things.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

I'd Walk A Mile For A Camel..

Really frustrated today with my Camel Spin.  It took 12 tries before I got one worthy of even posting.

Last night I went to a class at my gym called Barre Fit.  Guess what?  No barre.
That means we did it all while balancing - like ballet in centre (ouch)  I was so sore today
after all the Pliés,Tendus, Revelés, Rond de Jambes, Glissades, Dégagés, Battements.

My coach was on the ice with another skater so there was no getting by with not trying.  She didn't say a word but I know she can see whether or not I am working hard.  I did my best..

Had fun with Heather learning how to do Lunges putting the knee down and turning on the ice (in a slide).  I needed a knee brace however .. as kneeling hurts both my knees.

Golf tomorrow.. a day off the ice!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Let's See If I Can Fix This Today

Frustrated with this Ina Bauer that I can't get to go in a straight line or better yet, to an outside edge.
Maybe I can get some help today during my lesson.

Well, I didn't fix it, but I did get some good advice on it

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Thursday Figures AGAIN !!

Not sure if I will keep using a scribe daily, but I am liking this order of practice.
Problem is:  This is a lot to squeeze into a 1 1/2 hour public session.

Younger skaters who skate on our club ice (although they do not do the figures) can do all this over 2-3 even 4 FS sessions every day.  

1. Figures
2. Moves In The Field
3. Stroking and Warm Up
4. Free Style (misc jumps, spins and connecting moves)
5. Program Runs
6. Cool down

Later that session.....

I practiced some transitions from my lesson Monday for my program and tried a few runs, then worked on bits and pieces and did some spins to close out the session.

Sometimes I feel like I hardly skated or accomplished anything - then I get home and look at the videos which take me a few days sometimes to edit and I realize I am making some progress and getting good practice time in.  My frustration always seems to obliterate the joy of progress!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Monday Moves + Figures + Free Style + Lesson

It was like waking up and deciding to start a diet.  I said the words out loud to my coach, " I think I want to try and test my Silver Free Skate July 9th at our next test session".

Of course I did put a huge emphasis on TRY.  Today I got to the rink and wasted 30 minute with my scribe and doing some old school figures first.  Outside and inside eights and even a Serpentine (which I have not attempted in ... gulp ... 44 YEARS.  Try saying that with your breakfast cereal.

Then I finished "fooling around" with figures.  Stroked and warmed up and decided that actually doing at least one set of the Gold MIF would really warm up my edges and ankles (in my still painful boot retrofit).  The moves didn't look very good  but they did help warm me up.

Then came some free style warm up.  I tried most of my jumps and even as much of a program run as I could muster up the energy for before my lesson.

My lesson time was spent going over my test program - explaining it to my coach (who did not choreograph it - nor did she even remember the music - that's how long it's been since we worked on it)  She made some small corrections and gave me plenty to work on.  And at the end of our lesson as she was starting her preschool class she had me put my music on and do a sort of run-through.

That nearly put me in the hospital.  MAX HEART RATE EXCEEDED.  I am going to need a plan of action to build my stamina.  I can do all the elements of the Silver Free Skate Test ... separately, but having the stamina to put them all together in a choreographed 2:10 program is going to be a hard climb.

Video #1 of 3

My self made patch session.

Video #2 of 3

Warm Up and Gold MIF practice (except the back eight)

Video #3 of 3

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Missing Adult Nationals ...

I have been glued to Facebook and Ice Network for the past few days watching all my skating friends posting their triumphs and tribulations during Adult Nationals.   Today I thought I better act like a skater and get out there on the ice.

Only my second trip to the rink this week, but I had a pretty good practice - despite it taking my sore areas about 45 minutes to warm up and stop hurting.

After a brief warm up I ran through most of my Gold Moves In The Field.  If you want to see them done right - click here ... if you want to see how someone learning them looks .. watch my video!

I did manage to capture all my jumps and most of my spins today.  There is so much I want to correct and get stronger at.  I guess it's just one day at a time and I am learning to accept that some days my 55 year old body just doesn't want to skate!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Lacing A-B-C's

This is how I lace my boots.  I am not the authority on lacing, but this is the way I was taught as a child by my first coach Tony Howard.

I use the OVER/AROUND method on the hooks.  It seems to lock the laces down better for less slippage.  There are lots of techniques people have and it really varies from skater to skater and boot to boot.  Personal preference has a lot to do with it, but this is a widely used method.

You can see my tongue has a groove in it that nearly turned into lace bite when I first got them.  You should try to not let that happen for as long as possible by moving the tongue around to different positions each time you skate in new boots.

I started with really loose laces before this video was taken with the tongue all the way out -  but then I had one lace longer than the other by a lot and I had to fix that and start over and I forgot to run the camera from the beginning... but you get the idea.


Below is some of my practice today.   I revisited my program without the jumps and spins.  Boy was I tired.  I did a little improv to the rinks music - worked on some different position spins.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

In Figure Skating: It's Important To Keep A Stiff Upper.....

.....  what?  You were expecting "LIP" ...   Naw ...   That was a sentence.  A statement.  A proclamation!

In figure skating it's important to keep a stiff UPPER - as in the upper part of your boot.  Mine was breaking down after only 3 years.  This is completely normal for all good skating boots.

Elite skaters - skaters who consistently land triple jumps go through 1-2 pair of boots per year.

High level skaters - skaters who consistently land all their doubles and work on triples go        through 1 pair every 1 1/2 - 2 years.

Adult Bronze Skaters like me  -  skaters doing single jumps and hoping to someday land an Axel we should get 3-5 years from our boots.

 But all this depends on a few factors.
  1. How often we skate
  2. How hard we practice
  3. How we care for our boots and how we lace (yes it makes a difference)
  4. How much we weigh.  This factor is probably my worst enemy.  I weigh about 138 lbs (today) but should be about 128 - I know my knees would sure appreciate it if I weighed 120-125.  I am 5'4".  Funny how getting older - I don't really care about saying that out loud!

Not that I haven't seen many-a-skater out there (you coaches especially) with worn out boots.
Seriously ... Check out my own coaches boots just prior to me taking her on as a coach.

Actually, that is how I met her.  When I was getting fitted for my new custom boots Phil from Harlick's asked me where I skated and I told him Spokane.  He asked me who my coach was and I told him I didn't have one yet and he recommended Berkley Villard to me.  Then he told me about her boots.

So here is what MY SKATES looked like:

After the retrofit

  I was so excited to get my skates back today.  As I drove home up my hill I passed a Fedex truck who was coming down the hill.  I thought I would find a box on my doorstep, but when I got there about a minute later and pulled into my driveway I could see there was a note stuck to my door !!!!  Accch!

3 point (nearly skreeching) turn out of my driveway and back down the hill in the hopes of catching up with the Fedex driver.  Lucky for me he had another stop on the way down the hill in my sub division and I was able to catch him.    Whew!

Couldn't wait to try them out.  Headed to the rink at another club for their 5:45 free style session.

First impression:

They felt more snug around my feet and after lacing up I felt more "locked into the boot".

Nice Kankles
Second impression:

New pressure points (no blood this time)

  They felt like I was wearing someone else's skates.  The nicest thing about customs is they are really made for you and you only.  Now they feel a little tight and pinched in places I never felt the pinch before.  My arches ached too. Should have thought this on out thoroughly before I had it done.

However, my jumps felt stronger than they have in the past few months and I felt sort of "energized" wearing them .. even with my feet a little sore and my arches aching.  I know I will need to give it some time and my feet will probably settle into them.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Dutch Waltz

Today I skated again at Frontier Ice with my friend Sheila.  She tried to teach me how to do the basic steps of the Dutch Waltz.  It's so much harder than it looks and it's a great workout.

At the end of the session I did some power circles for my moves in the field practice.

And that's it for me on the ice until my skates come back.  I shipped them off to Harlick's today to have them reinforced.  My landing boot is breaking down.  I am noticing my jumps are getting weaker and it might have something to do with my boot breaking down.  I'm not quite ready to pop for another $1000 in new boots, so Phil at Harlick's says he can do a temporary reinforcement.

I should be out of commission about a week plus or minus a few days depending on how busy they are.  Next week is spring break anyway and the rink is very crowded during public sessions.

Happy Easter !

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Skating With Friends

Skated at Frontier Ice today with my friend Sheila, who is breaking in her new boots.

I know everyone is getting really sick of hearing me say how TIRED AND SORE I am ... so I will
try to keep my whining to a minimum.  Yesterday I did a little extra - played a 9 hole round of golf after skating and this morning I walked and then did about 30 minutes warm up and barre work before heading to the rink.

Did it help?  Yes and no.  I felt more "ready to skate" but a little more sore and the jump rope takes it toll on my knees - but what the heck...

Monday, March 30, 2015

Monday Practice - Ho Hum

Monday practice -

Nothing new,  just trying to get most of my jumps in ..  energy was a bit low today.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Back On Home Ice

So happy to be home again.  The road trip was great, but there is no place like home  ... hmmm who said that ??? If I only had a brain....

... If I only had a brain... I would have put my camera on the rails like I always do during my practice sessions.... FACING THE RINK.  Instead I carefully made sure it was taking video and promptly turned it facing the cement wall behind it ... for an hour!

... Thereby missing my free style session and 15 minute lesson.  Here's what you missed:

  • Me, panting .. out of breath while I stroked and warmed up
  • Me, falling twice during my lesson trying to get more distance on my Flip jump
  • Me, trying to learn the beginnings of a Haircutter Spin
...  Seriously .. sometimes I wonder what my coach is thinking. I think she likes me to think outside the box ... the box of reason... the box of what I call the Double Axel box ... everything in that box ... 
has absolutely no chance of ever happening in my life... but I don't like to be negative... 

... I suppose if I stretch and practice trying a haircutter .. maybe eventually I might have a little layback spin.

... First thing - how to make my leg weigh like 1/2 of what it does now... otherwise .. there ain't no way I can do this.  My legs are so heavy I can't even lift and hold it long enough to grab my blade!

... We also worked on my Camel Spin .. which I somehow pulled of 6 revs and that made her happy. So we moved to a Cannonball sit... I collapsed onto the ice .. naturally.

Anyway... that's what you missed today!  I am so bummed I picked today of all days to have a brain fart and turn my camera the wrong way.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Road Trip

I just got back from a week long road trip to California via Oregon and Nevada!  My friend Sheila needed new skates and she is an SP Terii girl from way back.  I am a Harlick girl!

We left on Sunday and made a few pit stops in Bend Oregon and Oroville California for rest and errands, then onto South San Francisco for a fitting and new boots and blades.  Luckily she found a boot that fit so she didn't need customs and they had the right MK Professional blade there - ready to mount on the spot.

We spent another night near San Francisco on the beach in Pacifica California right on the beach with perfect weather and went skating the next day at Vacaville Ice Sports on a freestyle session with my friend Michael Tongko "Mikey" ...  to try and start breaking in her boots.

A few days in Truckee/Tahoe and we headed back up north via Medford Oregon and stopped to skate at The RRRink.

Here's a little montage of the skating related part of our road trip.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Adult Skate Day!!!

Today was a wow day... not due to my skating, but due to the fact that there were 5 adult skaters on the ice.. 6 if you count Stephanie who is a coach and manages our rink.  Nevertheless we were all out there like a mixed bag 'o nuts .. working on whatever.  It was great.

I know there are lots of rinks and clubs out there with a large adult contingency .. we are not one of them.. but things are looking up!

I am still far from feeling like I am "back", but at least I popped off a few jumps today.  Spinning really made DIZZY!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Toe Loops and Loop Jumps

I had a lesson today and I had no idea what we were going to work on - So I spent my first 10 minutes trying to do all the warm up stroking exercises I got last week and then launched into trying some jumps.  Fatigue and FEAR were my enemies today!  The Toe Loop .. as always is frustrating for me.  This jump should be a confident jump that I can pull off easily in combination at my level.  I am still afraid of it all by itself.

So that was our focus today.  I found out that I was relying too heavily on it being a "toe jump" and trying to vault off it rather than use my free leg - kicking it through - like a waltz jump or a salchow to achieve both the height and the small rotation.  Coach wants me to practice this on the center circle taking off and landing from the blue line.  (the approach inside edge and three turn is outside the circle)

I drew this to explain..

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Real Time Stroking Lesson

Yesterday I posted my practice with a high speed version of my stroking and practice.  By request... here is most of the skating in the lesson in real time.  Obviously there are minutes of standing around talking about it ... which I didn't include.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Moves Practice & Stroking Lesson

Skated public again today.  (Not sure why I am saying that... as if it's NOT the norm!)  Anyway, worked on some more stroking, then went through most of my Gold Moves repeatedly (but only put 1 each on the videos).  As usual they have mucho room for improvement and the brackets eluded me.

My coach arrived for a lesson and I asked her for a stroking lesson to help me work on strength and stamina.  Since returning to the ice I have felt extraordinarily tired and I feel like I am not making any headway.

Somehow I thought it would be easier following her around!  Of course it totally kicked my butt AND I was even unable to do some of the things very well... especially my power pulls!  She gave me some great exercises ... thereby forgetting - for now - all about my "russian stroking" .. which, by the way ... I did not DARE mention to her!


Tuesday, March 3, 2015


I spent Monday's practice entirely on stroking.  I subscribe to which I use as my "coach in between lessons".  There are countless videos there of high level coaches giving tips to skaters and other coaches on how they teach everything from basic stroking to triple jumps.

I love to watch videos of skaters from all levels, especially my level.  The aging adult skater .. getting out there and taking their sport seriously.  I feel their pains, frustrations and great levels of accomplishment when progress is made and things go right.

So today after having a talk with myself about my warm up habits and general quality of my stroking - I decided to look them up for some stroking tips.  My coach had a family member sick and had notified me she couldn't keep my lesson today... so I used this instead.

This video is my attempt at doing what the coach and choreographer: Pasquale Carmerlengo called "Russian Stroking".  I know if I told this to my own coach ... she would laugh and say that it's not Russian Stroking... that the kids from our club do this pattern all the time.  I don't care what it's called or who named it.  I just know it's a far better warm up than the one I presently do and if I could learn to stroke well in this fashion... I would be a better skater.

Here's my first time trying the patterns.

Saturday, February 28, 2015


I decided to isolate the figures I was trying at the end of my session onto a video all by itself.  Open for critique .... but I reserve the right to dodge any tomatoes!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Back to Basics...

This has been so hard ... being off the ice and being sick and then vacation and being sick all over again and trying to squeeze in some skating here and there.  I get so disappointed on the ice that I am so fatigued and so many skills are out of reach.  I just have to keep chipping away at it..

This week I skated twice.  Next week I will try for 3 or 4 days.

This practice I just worked on basics.  Stroking.  My new "artistic" stroking to be precise.  Using my upper body to "present" on the inside edges.  I should do this all the time... but it's hard work and my core is weaker than normal.  Just holding my free leg behind me (with extra vacation lbs) is so hard.

For fun I tried some old school forward outside loops.  And for giggles, at the end of my session after all the others got off the ice I decided to do as much of a run through as A) I could remember and B) opting to do omit combos and put in 1/2 jumps instead of full jumps and just simulate the spins.  I was beyond exhausted.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Camera Pooped Out

I got 3 Waltz jumps in today before my camera ran out of memory and shut down.  Darn it.
I actually got some practice in today.   No use talking about it if I can't prove it!

I signed up today for our club's bi-annual ice show.  June 19-20 for 3 shows.  This will be another first for me.  Safety in numbers.. I am sure it will be a group number or production number.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Has It Been Another Month?

Just returned from a relaxing 2 week vacation on a Carribean cruise.  Great fun, but if you have ever been on a cruise you know....   It's all about the food.  Yes there was a gym onboard and I did go there maybe 5 times over the 14 days.  I brought my IT band and jump rope and flex cord, did a few squats and some time on the elliptical but that didn't make up for the untold calories consumed in food and drink.

So the scale says +5.  Not bad, considering.

Today back on the ice for the first time was really weird.  The ground is still moving somewhat from still having sea legs ... so I wondered how it would feel skating.. and attempting a spin.  I took it so slow my practice felt like a learn-to-skate class!

Season 12 (of Adult Skating) Finale Parts 1 & 2

I’ve been really falling apart on the ice the past few weeks.  After my big disappointment of not passing my American Waltz dance test ~ I  ...