Thursday, April 30, 2015

Photobombing at the Olympics...

The 1913 Olympics....

First Place Pairs

Second Place Pairs

Third Place...
Wait for it..

Who he was. No idea. But preserved forever.
I believe he is Bror Meyer. 1906 Bronze World's Medalist!
He probably did selfies too!.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Ice Dance Humor #1

Ice Dance Practice  is
30 Seconds of Skating followed by
5 minutes of bitching about 
an incorrect edge

What the discussion looks like:

What it sounds like:

Group Lessons
 Working on 'the frame' alone

When it All Comes Together

Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Celebration at the End of a Coach's Day

Although I haven't blogged about it, I've shown some significant skating improvement. E.G., yesterday I actually had a real edge pull (on the left) for half way down the rink. A total Level 3 edge pull! And my three turns are big, and sometimes have a decent check.

This is the way I want Miss Bianca to act.
"I'm the most amazing coach! My elderly skater is improving!"
Instead, as she watches my improved skating she reacts like this:

So, I decide to address the issue directly. "You're the best coach ever! Doesn't it make you happy? When you go home don't you have a moment when you think 'I'm doing a good job with Babbette.'"

"No," she says solemnly, "I drink."

Yeah, right.


Saturday, April 25, 2015

Cone Radar

Whenever Miss Bianca has me working on back edges, she has me start at one dot in the corner and work to the other dot down the line of the rink.

You know what happens when you're working down the line? The rink cone gets in your way.

On purpose!

"I'm going to eat your skate!"

Today Miss Bianca wanted me to work on power threes. FO3, turn, back cross, back edge, turn forward, do over.

I get within 5 feet of a cone and my spidey sense--my cone-dar--goes off. I grind to a stop.

"You're supposed to be skating all the way to the other corner." Miss Bianca says.

"But...but...the cones," I wail. "They're always there, in my path...."

My coach sees a cone. I see this...

I'd love to skate around them, backwards, but I seem to be drawn to them.Cones have gravity. Like  a black hole, they pull me in. If  I don't stop I'll end up in the orange cone dimension like this poor skater.

Cone Gravity!
Yeah, you can get sucked right in to the Cone Zone!

Stay clear of the Cones! They're Evil!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Good Public Skate Karma at the Ice Rink

Figure skaters, we're all alike. Must work on this. Must work on that. Absorbed in our own little worlds. Pre-bronze test. Dance Test.

And not all of us are able to skate on Freestyle so we end up on public.

Even those of us who are still in Basic Skills or Learn To Skate, we're much, much better skaters than the normal ice tourist. Why not share the joy?

Why not help people have a wonderful memory of their day at the rink by offering to take a picture of the group together?

So maybe you see a couple trying to take a selfie.

Or you notice in the picture above that one person in that group is missing. That's the person taking the picture!

Why not skate up to the person with the camera and offer to take a picture of the group?


 Just make sure you don't end up taking a picture of your eyeball with an unfamiliar camera!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Smile and the World Smiles with You: Frown and you'll Trip over your Toepick

There's magic in your smile. It can help you skate better.

Miss Bianca says, "I can tell you hate your right inside mohawks. You frown. From now on I want you to smile when you do them."

So I smile and do a right inside mohawk. It's not a miracle but the turn is more stable and I don't have the choppy foot switch I do when I frown. Instead the foot switch is smooth and the transition to the back edge is easy.

It turns out there's a method in Miss Bianca's madness. instructional technique.

Frowning is Bad for You. But Smiles Are Good For You.

When you frown its an indicator of anxiety. Anxiety tightens the muscles of your jaw, which also tightens the muscles in your anterior neck. When your neck muscles tense it pulls your head forward and you tend to hunch your shoulders.
Frowny Face
(I like the costume and hair)

Guess what happens when you frown. Head and shoulders move forward, pulling you forward on your rocker. That leads to....
(Leg Warmers are coming back!)
So you're now struggling to stay off the forward part of your blade so you lean back, and that can make your skating choppy and reduce glide.

When you Smile, you relax your jaw and your posture (head and shoulders) improves. There's less of a tendency to hunch and tense up. You also tend to keep your head up and that leads to better arm and shoulder position. You're also better positioned over your blade, so you'll skate smoother and won't have to struggle as much to keep your edge.

So there's you're easy peasy skating tip for the day!

If it' works for you: KEEP SMILING!

If it doesn't work for you, send me angry comments!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Gold Skater Gets Ready for High Altitude Adult Nationals

Gold Skater from my rink was telling me about her program for Adult Nationals. Then she said, "You know it's in the mountains, the altitude is going to kill me!"

I nodded, glad that I would be at sea level.

She added, "So my coach told me that to get prepared I need to skate practices with a surgical mask on."

Okay. I can help with that!

Which would you wear on Freestyle?

This one?
Or this?

I prefer this!

You're going to be breathing hard
So be ready to gasp for air.
And you're going to be in pain
You might as well have a pill ready!

Monday, April 6, 2015

The Floppy Doll Turn

Let's say I'm doing 5 step mohawks. Stroke outside forward. Stroke inside forward. Do a Mohawk. Stroke backwards.....

Then I bend over like a floppy rag doll and can't do a decent step forward!

Instead, I'm the hunchback of Notre Dame going backwards and as I turn forward I have to step well outside the circle onto my free foot and curve back onto the circle.

Yes, I should be able to do this by now. And I can, if it's a step forward from a back crossover, a step forward coming out of a back spin, or a step forward coming out of a FO3 turn.

From a mohawk?  I gots nozzink!

"See that poor fellow, Watson? I deduce by the twist in his lower spine
and the wear on his right blade, that he cannot do a turn forward
from an back edge coming out of an inside mohawk"

"Shame, shame" said Watson.

Geeze, how I feel....

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Don't Be a Baby!

The five step mohawk is part of the pre-juv Moves pattern and Miss Bianca is using it to torture me. improve my skating.  Usually I like to give my readers some uplifting jpg with supportive statements.

Not yesterday.  Yesterday, Miss Bianca laid down the law. "I want you to practice your five step mohawks so you cover half the circle.

On the first day I could cover a quarter of the circle before I timid out.

Miss Bianca cracked the whip (metaphorically)

When what I really want is:

Today I can cover the five step mohawk, but it's fugly! And I know it won't be good enough! Coaches, they're never satisfied!