Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Blinding Spins with Science

Let's just say, I'm taking my own 'direction' in improving my spins. 

My left hip bursitis can't stand much repetitive motion, and my right great toe has arthritis and can't stand repetitive practice either. I can't practice in one direction over and over, so I now alternate to take the load off.

Fortunately, when I practice spinning to the right, I've noticed that my spins to the left improve. This is based on some solid science: when you work on a skill or strength on one side it improves the weak skill and strength of the opposite side of the body. In my case, what's happening is the flaws in one side are improving due to the better skills on the other, so that my spins are averaging into mirror images of each other.

If I spin to the right: I get two rotations. Immediately, I spin to the left: I get two rotations, and my  free foot and leg position have improved. When I spin to the right, in the opposite direction, I already have good free foot position, but my skating leg position and strength improve. 

   The two sides of my body working together
But OMG are my spins sLoW....
 but I'm making progress and feel secure

Then Group coach wants me to do alternating inside outside spirals
She says I'm 'close' to a passing position 
I think she's just being nice.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

I'm a skating mentor!!!

So, a married couple I know approached me about helping them get ready to learn to skate.

I've already sent them a list of times of local LTS classes, with advice on schedules and publics for practice ice. It's their choice of course due to their location and personal schedules, but it's a good first start.

I'm trying to find a source of boots because my old tech has had a shop issue due to a lease problem. I'm still trying to get hold of him.

 I'm making a list of skating protection and head protection, encouraging them to get gel ankle sleeves, wrist guards and Katstrapz and the half dozen things you want to have in your bag.  Have them handy because you will.need.them. And the Mrs is going to get my old Ice Halo.

Oooh, and they'll need skate bags. But, I won't give advice on that. Bags are way too personal and I'm sure they already have sport bags and it's way too early for Zuca's.

But FINALLY I will have someone to unload all my extra gloves on!!

Let me go open the glove cabinet to get them out!


Monday, February 11, 2019

Passing footwork in LTS USA: I never have to do that again!

I told my coach that I had passed "Crossover, crossover, mowhawk,step behind, back cross, step forward into the circle" and "As GOD IS MY WITNESS..(you may remember this from last week)...

I never have to do that again!

My coach raised up one finger. I know that look in her eye. I KNOW THAT LOOK! She was going to tell me to demo it. I JUST KNEW!

I raised my hand up to stop her directions. "No," I said, "I'm not doing it . No, never ever. It is done, dead, gone behind me, passed away, raised up to heaven, lying checked on St Peter's checklist of stuff I have passed in LTS USA. Buried under the center circle not to be resurrected  until you and I are in lead coffins in Veteran's Cemetaries someplace. That kind of dead. Fini."

"But," my coach artfully paused, " I wasn't going to ask you to do that. No, no, not at all. What about crossover, crossover, mohawk, .... back three. ....
That's completely different. Isn't it?"


Sunday, February 10, 2019

Falling backwards

I was doing a forward edge pull--as a coach once told me it's 'the dangerous one'--and fell on my lower back and the back of my head.

Male Figure skaters came from all over the rink to check me out -- it's been a long time since I've been surrounded by that many men

Fortunately, I had my head protection on, my pad in the hat, and while the blow did sting, and I was just laying there thinking about how nice and relaxing it was resting on the ice, when all the men appeared (3 of them) . At that point, even though I was thinking I should get up, once there was all those men I had to then them help me up and fuss. I rattle off the president, the time, my name, my coaches name and how much my lesson cost. My retinas were also the same size. So I was good. 

The part about this I want to mention is that when a person hits the back of their head, there is a second blow. The hit at the back slams the brain forward in the skull to the inside of the skull in the front. This is called contrecoup

Source: Contrecoup
So, even though I had head protection, I decided to sit it out for a half hour just in case there was a contrecoup. My head didn't ring, and I wasn't going fast, so when my lesson  I got back on the ice. I didn't have any problems with it over the next few days. No headache, nothing. I got lucky.

However, I landed on my pelvic iliac crest and seem to have bruised the bone. That's been a pain in the butt for weeks! Physical therapy, pain killers, heat. What did I learn?

Sometimes, it's not the head, it's the Butt!

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Monday, February 4, 2019

I Have a Glarey Little Face..off ice

As I was taking off my boots, I heard the dread clink of 
of my blade stepping on on something metal


Friday, February 1, 2019

Magical Boot Cleaning

How do you get black marks off your tan or white boots?  Or even if you have them, custom boots of custom colors?

Case Study
Black Marks on Boots

I don't know how you tackle this, but this is what I use.
A Magic Eraser!

Take a damp Magic Eraser and rub it over the black spots
It will take about a minute to get rid of them all over the boot  unless you have unusually heavy marks

 All gone!

And easy enough that you can do it every time you skate!

Monday, January 28, 2019

Almost Free of Pre-Free

I have passed all but one of the Pre-Free Skills.

Can you guess which one is left?

Oh, of course you can, it's the spin.

But as God is my witness, I will
never have to do that crossover, crossover, mohawk,
step behind, back cross, step forward into the circle
I admit only people over the age of 50
will recognize this picture and
remember the original quote.
So for a moment let's turn back to the spin. 

Me talking to my left spin

I'm not really getting anywhere on the left spin. I got issues. I tend to naturally put my weight on my right foot and while I can spin to the left, I'm stuck.  

So just messing around , I spin to the right. I'm better spinning to the right on one foot when I haven't  practiced it for more than five minutes in the last month, than I am after hours of practice spinning to the left in months.  The group coach gives me a couple of tips and it gets better.

My right spin talking to me
 So in order to pass Pre-Free, I'm going to have to switch sides.



Saturday, January 26, 2019

The Time of Year When I Hate People...on Ice

It's the middle of winter, and
the rink should look like this

 Ah, the flow of 'public skating rules'
But what it's like inside the circle

Crowded as heck and a girl's doing doubles into the people in lessons
Plus random hockey boys racing through the center
Scary as s**t

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Stages of Meltdowns

Ever have an ice rink melt down? You've fallen on the same jump the same way half a dozen times and it's not getting any better. Or you're trying to learn some new element like a back three and it's not getting better. Or someone keeps blocking your program even though it's your music and you have the 'in program' vest on.

You're ready for a meltodwn!

Meltdown Stage 1: Initial Frustration
You express frustration--but you're under control

Meltdown Stage 2: You begin to appeal to God for succor

Meltdown Stage 3: The arms get involved 
and sometimes the hair

Meltdown Stage 4: Headbanging

Meltdown Stage 5: Your coach is tired of your shit

At this point--she's going to make you do it anyway

Monday, January 21, 2019

Google+ is retiring..I'm switching to Facebook

So I've always sent a notice of my updates to Google + automaticlly,  but Facebook was more of a problem. I actually had to work to do that, so by the time I finished a post late at night--I just skipped Facebook.

Well, Google has announced that it will no longer be supporting Google +  after mid-Summer, so I must move on.

I have an Ice Doesn't Care Facebook page, and it's a little rough right now, but as the days pass, I'll get it running, although it's a little harder than I thought it would be.

To my followers on Google +, I thank you for following the blog. But when Google + dies, I think you can friend the blog over on Facebook. There are also a couple of other services that may meet your needs.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Too Tired to Think---on Ice

In a group lesson -- the one where I'm the only student -- the coach told me to do a one foot spin.

So I do a proper set up and spin to the right. It's not a good spin, more of a revolutions. I only get a revolution and a half.

"That was a nice entry, but don't you spin to the left?" The coach asks.

"Oh, yeah, sorry." I set up again and this time I spin to the left on my RIGHT foot! Well, it was centered but it was like a single revolution.

The Coach gives me a funny look

She skates forward and smacks my left calf. "THIS leg, to the LEFT!'

This is what happens when you've been up since 2 am and it's 7 pm. But maybe my spins would be better if I lose track what I'm doing!

Sunday, January 13, 2019

The Really Nice Coach

All coaches are nice. But this new group coach is *really* nice.

If you remember I'm taking group lessons at a rink north of me, where I'm the only student in group...Yes, I'm paying $115 for essentially 8 private lessons. So, that's the equivalent of $15 a lesson...all by myself. So I signed up to rip off  at the rink for formal Pre-Free group yet again.

I show up the first session, with a different coach from last group (who was also a very nice coach). She has me run through the Pre-free skills.

Just like every other coach, she makes a comment when I do my mohawks. "A little bit of a scrape there." was her polite comment.

Oh dear God. What is the obsession figure skating coaches have with a little bit of a scrape from a bit of a blade drag when I'm doing a mohawk? Every coach I've ever had makes a comment about this. However, on the good side, I've heard this enough, that I'm inured to it.

Back cross overs to to a glide position. She switches me so I'm facing out of the circle, because I'm so strong at this point I just get on an edge and face in any direction and don't notice it's wrong. Next was back outside edge to a forward outside edge (the back outside mohawk). We have to shift the Basic four adults out of the center circle to give me enough space to get in a good solid glide before I do  a turn.  But I can nail this thing.

Then we do crossover, crossover, mohawk, step behind, back cross, turn forward into the circle. Now I learned this as crossover, crossover, mohwak, step behind, back step over, turn forward into the circle,  We had to have a couple of minute discussion, because I think at some point in the last 4 years, they changed the back step over, into a back cross. Anyway, I do it the new way because it's on the coach sheet.

"Sorry, that was a little chunky. It's been a couple of months since I did that." I apologize

"Trust me," she says, "Kids can't do it that well."


Notice that this is the patented expression of a coach teaching a Snow Plow Sam class!


Saturday, January 5, 2019

You're a real figure skater when.....

You know you're a real figure skater when you know what E6000 is and plan to spend a weekend stoning a dress.

And you can pronounce Swarovski Crystals Correctly



Thursday, January 3, 2019

What it takes for me to skate with a bunion

I have a bunion.
This is what it takes to skate pain free
Beware! Don't get old!

Count your blessing, this is not life sized.
When I finish skating!