Saturday, October 28, 2017

THE ETHICIST at the Rink

1. You arrive at the rink ready to buy a burger at the snack bar. They're  tasty and healthy. However, the snack bar is mysteriously closed. The chairs are even up on the tables. You go to the Tropical Smoothie next door and get a chicken pesto sandwich.

However, when you get to the rink you notice the sign reading "No outside food allowed." Do you:

a. Ignore the sign and go in anyway with your sandwich.

b.  Go and eat in your car.


2. You are a public skater find some interesting  stuff lying around. Soakers, gloves, guards. You are over 8. YOU DON'T EVEN HAVE ANY USE FOR IT. Do you take it just because it's lying around?
a. yes b. no

What ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH THAT!!!


2 a. If it has someone's name on it? JUST BECAUSE NO ONE SAID YOU COULDN'T TAKE IT? OR YOU THOUGHT IT WAS FREE?
a. yes b. no

2 b You have to open someone's bag and give it a good inspection to see what's in there, so you can say you just found it lying around?
a. yes b no

3. You see a candy wrapper lying on the ice. Do you pick it up and put it in the trash?
a. yes b. no




I am on day 5 of a class in Federal contracting law. If I have to suffer multiple choice tests, you have to suffer.
 

Monday, October 23, 2017

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Things Only Figure Skaters Understand #29: Too Much Pain

The Day Your Coach Retires


and Your Choice for a New Coach---
Turns You Down


This happened  to me about a decade ago.
 
(After that, I always have two backups in mind in the event my coach retires or gets injured, and I stay on their good side. If you're an adult skater, as my present coach says, 'Some coaches won't take an adult skater or someone who requires a lot of patience'.' Plan ahead, always plan ahead.)

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Bowling for Twizzles

The Christmas adult group choreography contains a classic synchro move: the synchro line skates with arms linked at the shoulders, drop the arms to their sides and do a twizzle. I can't even do  2 foot twizzles

I tried over and over, but I'd grind to a stop and have to fling my arms around to get the rotation started.

So, my coach comes back from a three week vacation and taught me her solution.

Step 1. Standup straight with good posture--Do Not Hunch. That last part is very important.

Step 2. Press your arms down your body, with your hands pressing  on your thighs.

Step 3. Push your shoulders forward without hunching. Maintain good posture, This is called "the bowl".
The 'bowl' position

Step 4. Tighten your core and upper body.  Skeate forwad, do a twizzle.


 Three minutes later,  I'm doing respectable
 2 foot twizzles at speed.






Saturday, October 14, 2017

After the second group meeting for the Adult Christmas Program

We're on the second part of the choreography

Everybody else goes:
 

What I think my choreographer is thinking


So I'm talking to my mother  on the phone about the Christmas program. She used to organize and direct programs and performances for middle-schools.  She laughs heartily when I explain the kickline (Me: "Just like the Rockettes, but not as high.") and then I say, "So, I'm the third slowest skater in the program, and I'm concerned I'll end up chasing the other skaters to catch the kickline after we do the big turn." She laughs again. "Oh, don't worry, mistakes like that are what people go to see."

Gee, thanks Mom. 

 


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Watch where the huskies go....

So, I get on public about 2 minutes after the gate opens and there's only freestylers and the adult regulars on the ice.

As I skate near the zamboni gate I see a streak of yellow, and a ball snow the size and appearance  of a pineapple chunk right where I need to skate.


Monday, October 9, 2017

There's more to life than FO3! PROBABLY.

When I started doing FO3, lo these many centuries ago, I started with figures style arm positions. This is where you face out of the circle, with the leading arm the same side as the skating foot. Then as you do the turn, you switch arms so the leading arm is the same side as the free foot.

I spend a couple of YEARS, doing  this.

Then I took up dance, and my dance coach taught me to face inside the circle with the leading arm from the very beginning, is on the same side as the free foot.

I spend YEARS doing this.

I put aside the figures FO3.

Then last week, my coach wanted me to do alternating 3 turns. "I want you to start facing out of the circle, with the leading arm the same side as the skating foot...."

I interrupted, "You want me to do a figures three. I spent years unlearning those."

Interiorly
Yes, on the inside, I'm 5.
So now on my big list of things to practice I have to add "figures style alternating 3 turns." 
 
Then in Group lesson, the coach wants us to do figures three turns, with the free side arm folded over the stomach,  so you lose the balancing effect you get when both arms are extended. This is a lead in drill for something to do with jumps.I don't know which jumps, cause when coaches talk about jumps, it's all in one ear and out the other. 

So now my practice list is about a third FO3 variations: figures style, figures style alternating,  dance style, drop threes, waltz threes,  jump drill threes, one armed 3's and FO3 as spin entry.

My List

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Glove Season is Here!


First sighting of gloves for the winter season


Remember just a few years ago you'd buy magic gloves for a dollar and not think about them being touch screen compliant? Now I never buy gloves without the little touch screen  fingertips.

And I know I should just toss the old gloves with the big holes in them in the trash, but they've seen me through a lot this year.  I think I'll just leave them in my zuca as back ups.





Saturday, October 7, 2017

First Christmas show practice: the Kickline



We learned our first piece of choreography for the Christmas show.  Fourteen  people in a kickline. After all my work, my practice and leg exercises, when we push off the line, I am so slow I trail behind everyone else. Well, that's discouraging.


The steps are right chasse'-chasse', left chasse'-chasse', drop arms do a two foot twizzle, face front, low kick right, low kick left.  Okay, I know the twizzle is a synchro move, but while I've done these before I've done them on my timing at a slower speed. I'm lucky I'm not running into people .   And two people were oh so helpful in giving me tips on the two foot twizzle. Yes,  I was so bad that people who weren't even next to me in the line came up to me and in the nicest possible way told me how to fix what I was doing wrong.

Then our choreographer sings out, "Okay, that was good for slow, we'll be getting faster."

I was determined to improve so I skated all the things I had trouble with by practicing on public. Then when I got off the ice a friend in the program said "Oh, the choreographer was thinking of getting rid of the twizzles, since  that's a synchro thing and only a couple of people can do therm."

It doesn't help my twizzles but at least I feel better.

Where I am in Self Confidence for the group number


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

If Puppies Figure Skated


When the coach demonstrates ("See how easy this is.")
 the puppy shows no fear


Puppies really, really love working on power!

When the Group Coach asks: "Okay who wants to go first?"
Even puppies know what to do.

When the coach says, "Let's work on your 'back' Crossovers."



Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Very Small Steps: Building Leg Strength and Stamina

I decided to start walking 2 miles a night a few weeks ago to make up not being able to skate every day.

What is the average walking pace for a mile on the flat? According to some websites, 15 minutes on the flat.  According to my experience when I was in college, 15 minutes on the flat. According to my present day elderly lady experience, it's 18 minutes uphill.

 Here's what's working against me.
1. I take tiny steps---I'm only 5'2"and with stubby legs.
2. Most of the route is one steep hill and that slows me down
3. As I'm constantly reminded by some of my 'friends', I'm old.

Here's what's  working for me:
1. I take tiny steps--many quick tiny steps are better than extending the stride.
2. The route is uphill. This builds stamina.
3. I'm old---and wily. I improve my technique as opposed to just flailing

What's happened? I started out at 47 minutes for the two miles and now I'm at 37 minutes. Part of that gain is improving walking technique, but the rest of it is an improvement in strength and stamina. Will I ever get to 15 minutes a mile uphill?  The stubby legs may mean I'll have to run part of it, so we'll see. I think I can cut off a few more minutes.

What's the result on my skating?

I'm faster. Much, much faster.

I'm quicker.

I have more stamina.

In only three weeks.
I started out Like This
 

Ended up like This
 
It doesn't take much to improve your leg strength and stamina, so worth a try if you can't skate kid hours.