Monday, April 28, 2014

In Lesson

Those of my readers who are new to skating may have missed the horrendous faux pas I did when I skated past my coach with intent to distract.  If you haven't learned this yet, you never interrupt a coach "in lesson."

Technically, I didn't interrupt. I attempted to distract which is borderline faux pas. But I was so excited! I had my change edge mohawks! As I said, I acted like a five year old.
When I get a skill!
Anyway, coaches don't always skate next to their student. Sometimes they lean against the boards, or stroke around without a student nearby. What marks a coach 'in lesson' is the stare.
So, if the coach is staring across the rink, but you can't figure out which person is their student, but you want to chat, just ask, "Are you in lesson?" And if they are, you just skate away.

Anyway, when I skated past my coach's vision, I gave her a chance to see me (coaches have the amazing ability to spot all their students on ice when they're coaching someone) so not really breaking the 'in lesson' rule. Since she didn't react, maybe she expected something better!

Look At Me! Now!

I was working on my change edge mohawks this weekend and finally got them both ways. Not at speed, but consistently. I was just tickled because during my lesson the day before I hadn't been able to do my weak side ones.

I glanced across the rink and saw my coach talking to her student.

I practiced a few more times.

Coach still talking.



I skated to the other end of the rink and even though I knew I was acting like a five year old I skated directly across her vision and did a change edge mohawk. Then I skated silently away.

Add caption
Her reaction?
OH, WELL. I guess I'll find out next lesson if she saw me or not!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Weak Side First Revisited

A while back I wrote a post about practicing my weak side before I practiced my 'fun side'. Clockwise back crossovers--fun side--so I start with counter-clockwise back crossovers. Left mohawks--fun side--start with the other side.

I read an article years back that even elite skaters spend more time doing their fun skills than the hard skills. But statistically, those that practice their weak skills proportionally more, are in the top contenders.  Weak side first is my little way of forcing myself to at least spend some time doing my weak skills than I would if  I started out with my strong side.

Does it work? Well, yeah. Otherwise I'd never make any progress on my weak sides.
Without weak side first, this would be me.
 Now, I'm doing a variant of that to improve my back stroking. When I get on the ice, I do a single lap around the rink, then do a 2 foot turn and start back stroking.  Yeah, practicing evil back strokes almost as soon as I step on the ice.

I used to wait until my legs were nice and warm--or that was my excuse to myself--and that was why I never got comfortable with back stroking.  My stroking is pretty sucky, but at least I'm doing it with my upper body half turned to look over my shoulder. I never used to be able to do that. So, baby strokes and I improve.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Back Stroking

I have what is probably typical adult learner fear of stroking backwards and back edges. Problem? I hunch forward, don't point my toes, don't push with enough power,  helicopter with my arms and finally and most important....

I don't do this
It's the fear of slamming into someone else and falling; or being slammed into by someone that keeps me from practicing laps backwards.
 So my fear and poor skills has me about here at the beginning of the lesson.

But Miss Bianca makes me fix my arms, and improving my pushes, and body position. So by the middle of the lesson, I'm about here:
Then she corrects some more and by the end of the lesson I'm here:
There will be weeks of lessons backwards before I get used to this. I just hope summer publics are empty enough for me to practice!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Fun Moments in Adult Skating . 1

When My Coach offers me her hand to help me, but I don't need it.

A Gold Skater talks about the Scoring at Adult Nationals

When a New Male Coach Shows up at the Rink
How he looks:

What all the women think:

Monday, April 21, 2014

Power Pulls Again!

 I feel like tearing one off.
Rant begins
 For some reason there are no decent videos of power pulls on YouTube. Even the Silver Adult Moves video put up by USFSA is a typical underwhelming USFSA video. It's got a woman wearing heavy sweat pants so you really can't see the knee action doing power pulls, and videoed from a stationary position at the boards. I mean, you spare no expense //sarc// do you USFSA? What? 30 minutes total effort into it, including the power point slides at the beginning, and grab the first person you see on ice for the demo? Then don't even follow them down the ice with the camera, but just plonk it in one place? Is that what my membership fees is going for?
Well, maybe I am...a little.
Moving on.

Usually when I have an element problem, I look at videos. As far as I'm concerned youTube is figure skating central. As I've said,  no one's done a useful video of power pulls. So, I'm on my own.

Sunday I gave it a try. Slalom (shalom slalom!) lift the free foot, keep  upper body stable, upsie-downsie-footsie-rightsie-leftsie for all I'm worth. My foot wiggles like a snake.
I make it halfway down the long boards. I've got a great wiggle.There's no rip of the edge pull, no sense of power, but I keep going until I peter out. Better than Saturday!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Too Much Southern Exposure---on Ice

Miss Bianca and I were taking our boots off after lesson yesterday, when Miss Bianca put one foot up on top of the other knee and oops...
"You have a tear in your crotch." I said.

She shrugged. "Well, it was just freestyle."

I nodded. Yes, it's all girls, or boys too young to care, or  men who've learned not to notice women's crotches when they're skating as it's too distracting.

Then today I went skating on public and reached down to my pocket. My hand brushed against my pant's leg and I felt a tear. I looked and my bright pink capri pants underneath my skating pants were shining through a ripped seam like a light bulb.

Is there like a demon of torn pants in the rink? A Genii Locurem Lucerum Braca? Soooo annoying.

How I'd feel if this happened in High School

Now, at 62.
Why did I have to wear pink underneath?

Anyway, it's annoying but not worth getting off the ice for!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Power Pulls

Miss Bianca's coach markers are now weeping in sadness. I am past the stage where she needs to draw stuff on the ice.
"We'll never mark the ice for Babbette again..."
Today we started on power pulls. Since I have limited power, lets call them edge pulls (which appears to be the older name).

"We'll do power pulls today," Miss Bianca said cheerfully.

"I'm too fat," I said. "My knees will never take it."

Miss Bianca laughed that off. "We'll start with a two foot slalom."

So I did a two foot slalom, putting my weight on the skating foot and just brushing the ice then lifted the foot. I'm supposed to go down in the knee, then up, repeat. My problem, I get the upsie and the downsie reversed.

However, I had  two actual real pulls. You can say that two out of 40 tries is a start.  I consider it pure luck.

Then we tried them backwards.
Yeah, I had to work on my back slaloms. Why? Stupid adult sideness issues.   My left side is stronger than my right and we spent the last few minutes actually fixing that.

Not looking forward to backwards power pulls.

Still, glad to be back taking lessons today!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Skating Moment For This Month

I add my skating bills up for the month

Then I still go ahead and buy new boots

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Coach Eye

I have my mohawks!

Both Ways!




I run into my coach on ice and tell her, "Hey, I have my mohawks!"

Even though we're not in lesson, she says, "Show me." with that special coach face.
Yessss....sssshhhhow me...your mohawks
So I do them....badly.
My coach is like:
So, let me rephrase it, I have my mohawks, both ways, smooth, consistent AS LONG AS MY COACH ISN'T EYEBALLING ME!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Changes To USFSA Adult Testing Rules--Reprise but For Real

SRSLY?! You think I have a clue?

Here's an example of one of the new rules.
TR 25.09 Adult Pre-Bronze Moves in the Field Test
Expectations for this adult standard test reflect a passing average that aligns with the pre-preliminary moves in the field test. The purpose of this test is to encourage beginning adult skaters to learn the fundamentals of ice skating. No great deal of technical ability, carriage or flow is expected. Candidates must show knowledge of the steps, fairly good edges and some evidence of good form.
What does 'passing average' mean? No clue.

Also, the new rules go into effect 9/1/2014. If you were thinking of testing later this year, you now have a deadline.

 Now go to USFSA and track down the proposed rule changes and read them.

And after you read the changes, plot out what your next test will be like.
Just remember, we were here a few days ago. The USFSA attitude is thus:

See, there's a reason I don't test. I'll spend a year working on the test, then they'll change the rules. Not going to worry about it. The rest of you have my sympathies.

Spring Break at the Ice Rink

Yeah, baby, yeah! Summer publics are here!

Summer public.

After 3 weeks off ice, I finally get back on the ice and it's wonderful. The first nice day of spring. People are on spring break and the only people on the ice are a coach with a student, me, the ice dance couple and the rink guard.

This rink normally doesn't have a guard even on heavy winter skates. It was amusing to watch him tool around with no one but experienced skaters to keep in line.
"Anyone need any help? Anyone?...Anyone?"

All I did was lap skating to get my edges back. That's a bit like this:
It almost put me to sleep.

Then about 30 minutes after the session started, the ice tourists showed up. It wasn't long until the little boys started slamming into each other. Fortunately, their blades make so much noise it's easy to avoid them.
METAPHORICALLY I'm the one in white.

Anyway, I'm back! Didja miss me?

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

When the First Move in My Program Goes Wrong



I'm helping an elderly friend move into assisted care and she's cleaning out her closets. She has decades of unfinished sewing projects, clothes that date to the 60's and what I call the "Big Box of Bad Costume Jewelry".

On her behalf I've made innumerable trips to the Goodwill, her storage unit, and packed, packed, packed.

Once I sorted out a bright red cape for the Goodwill and casually said, "This would make a fun skating costume."

It's now mine.

And a white cape from the 70's, and some stretchy red fabric. My friend would start chortling, "Try this on! Can you skate in this?" Since it was going to the Goodwill anyway, if it would work, I took it when offered. Sadly, much of her material was pre-stretchy fabric and unsuitable for skating. Somewhere, someone is coming across some spectacular fabric in the Goodwill crafts section. They're not making costumes out of it though, because that kind's mine, all mine!

This has now become my life. I judge things not on how they would look while dating, or at work, but how they would look skating.

Plus, I've done a good deed and got a little reward!

The cape looks great when I twirl!