Sunday, August 31, 2014

Lake Placid Adult Skate Camp 2014 Review

I know some of you are waiting for the 2014 Adult Skate Camp review, but I've hesitated putting it out because I didn't have a very good time this year.

Okay, here's the good stuff.
1. Ice was nice. Probably the best I've seen there.
2. I took a lesson with Paul Wiley because I thought I was this > < close to getting my edge pulls. I wasn't. He was very sweet. In desperation, trying to end the lesson on a high note, he said my left mohawk was 'very good'.
"Woohoo! LEFT mohawk!"
3. I took some group lessons with Natalia Dubova. More later.
4. I learned tomohawks and iroquois, two new pieces of footwork. Post later on these.
5. Rave reviews of coaching by Melisssa Gregory and Denis Petukhov. I saw some ice dance teams of the silver/gold level improve measurably every day after lessons with them. One dance team told me "They tell you different stuff, but it doesn't conflict, it complements."
6.  Schedule changes were posted prominently on the dressing room doors. I still think they should send us emails, but meh, at least it's posted.


Remember, last year there was no clock in the 1980 rink? There is one now. One of those freebie Coca Cola clocks that belongs on the back wall of a sports bar. It's mounted high on the wall of the 1980 rink that seats several thousand. It's almost impossible to read. You'll still need a slap watch.

Now, the bad stuff.

First off, I caught a bug and just wanted to stay in bed. Also, my right boot gave me some trouble, so I never skated more than 90 minutes a day. Between the two of these I didn't skate a couple of days.

I'm sorry I have to mention the 'bug' but that's important to the review. There were times I really, really, really needed to go to the can while resting in the Figure Skating Ladies Dressing Room. For most, if not all, of the  week, one of the two toilets was blocked and the room stank of a backed up cesspool--I grew up on a farm, I know what those smell like.
I sent a complaint, and other skaters reported it, but  facilities maintenance never fixed it.

So, coaches, great. Ice, great. Go have a good time. Just don't expect any support from the rink staff or management.

Saturday, August 30, 2014


An adult skater comes up to me on public and says, "You're my inspiration. I saw you skate and thought, 'If *she* can do it, *I* can do it!"

Different people have said almost the exact same wording to me.


This is sort of the compliment that happens when a man says, "You sure dance good/hardly sweat much for a fat girl."

Maybe rinks should hire me to skate around at public to encourage adults to take Learn to Skate. I should have a sign on my back that says:

"Look, look!" they'll cry. "That woman is as old as my grandmother and SHE CAN SKATE! I need to learn how to skate. Maybe she has brochures!"

And not only do I skate, I dance pretty good for a fat girl (and hardly sweat at all)!

But to tell you the truth, almost every time  I skate on public someone comes up to me to talk about skating. I think it's because I'm small and older and safe looking. The freestyle girls in the middle usually usually won't give people the time of day, or they're so fast they intimidate the ice tourist.  I on the other hand look like a grandmother. More than once I'd wished I had  brochures in my pockets. Usually though I tell them to ask their parents to sign them up for skating lessons, and that it's cheap.

 Still, that backhanded compliment in the words, "If *she* can skate, *I* can skate," rankles a bit. It's hard to keep my face under control

I feel like this:
But all they see is this!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Public Skate for Absolute Beginners

Everyone starts out skating on public skate. When I did, I didn't know the rules. There are some actual safety rules

1. Don't get on the ice when the Zamboni is on the ice.

No, it's not this bad, but it's a rule.
Insurance policies may be involved.
Don't distract the driver either!

2. When the ice resurfacer is finished, don't get on the ice until the driver has swept the ice at the zamboni gate and shut the gate.

Your sweeper will not look like this
 3.  The little kids will hog the gate, most adults stand back and wait, OR sneak down to a closed gate and pop right on the ice rather than wait. This is usually my solution if there's a birthday party at the gate and all of them afraid to get on the ice, so there's a pile up. I'm impatient inside but I'm always nice.

No, you can't boot the kids onto the ice.
 4. Now you can get on the ice and have some fun!

5. Until you want to get off the ice and there's a parent blocking the gate with a camera in hand. I offer to take their camera on ice and take pictures of their kids for them or pictures of them with their kids. This is building karma. Usually the parent is happy after I return the camera and they go sit in the stands. Sometimes though there's a parent who will stand in the gate and block the way for minutes. I usually go to a second gate unless is blocked off, so I'll mutter "You're blocking the gate."

But ooooh I'm tempted!