Tuesday, February 27, 2018

How to have a Bachelorette Party at the Rink

So, Saturday, one of the most crowded public sessions I've ever been to (60+ on ice), a group of women showed up with pink sashes. The only one I could read said "Bride".

And these were bachelorettes who could skate. In fact there were 15 bachelorettes on the ice, in the middle , during a heavy public session.

In Pink Tutus.

Which I don't understand because 
the rink doesn't have an alcohol license

Doing jumps and spins in the center--
screw whoever was skating there. 

That was stupid. 


Sunday, February 25, 2018

One Foot-One Rotation Back Spin

Yes, on the second attempt I ever did, with no more that two minutes of instruction (1 minute from one coach, 1 minute from another), on my second attempt, I got a one foot back spin. Okay, only one rotation. But I was shocked, I tell you. Shocked!

My first reaction is....

A back spin! A Back spin! OMG!!!!

But then I thought, "Hey, it took me TWO YEARS of timidity and struggle to do that on a forward spin. "

"Doing a one foot back spin on the second try..hmmm...."

And it was much, much better than this!

And I haven't touched it for months. Hmm, gotta start again now that I'm up to FIVE rotation forward 2 foot spins.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Dolla Dolla!! for Old Boots!

I Got a Check in the Mail from my FSC for the sale of my hardly used dance boots!


 I'd completely forgotten I'd put them in the sale last year. I think I meant to donate the cash to the club but I checked the wrong box.  It's my money now!!! (The club kept a fee, so I didn't screw them over)

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Horrors of Pair Skating

Oh, Dear God...Is that blood?

It's okay, it's just a red dot.

Anyway, a friend of mine got injured in a set up for a throw.  As he set up for the throw his partner's barrette snagged his cheek and left a long cut. It looks like a 19th century dueling scar. 

Okay, Pairs wins the internet for dangerous skating. Even the lady's barrette is dangerous!

Sunday, February 18, 2018

I'm Retiring my 2nd Hand $25 Zuca

I contacted a fellow skater who's good at fixing things. I thought if he could fix the Zuca's extending handle, he'd find some deserving kid or adult who would like one. I think though he wants to keep it.

However, the imessage exchange we had went off the rails a bit. Enjoy.

And sir, you sir, the gentleman in the Wonder Woman costume--we the women of America salute you for having an amazing sense of humor. Thank you sir!

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Revelation #1 : Spins

The ice was really rough today and covered with snow. I'm perfectly happy for the rink to have a crowd, I just wish I had the skills to avoid the ice tourists--or maybe that the ice tourists could avoid the center.

So Coach and I are in the center, avoiding five year olds who stare at me and appear to worship me from afar. I do not kid. Five year olds come up to me in the center and say "How did you get to get so good.?" Seriously underage boys barely above the height of my knee appear to be my fan base . Oh, and dogs--dogs are fascinated by me too; but at least they don't get on the ice and camp out in the center.
Both my fan bases are like this
So after some tortuous skating , Coach and I  finally get to where I want to go: Spins. Yes, I've finally turned into one of those skaters with bad spins who hang out in the center,  spinning over and over. (but at least I don't camp out in a 'lucky spot' .)

So back cross, step forward , snap into a two foot spin and begin the mighty struggle as the snow grabs my blades. I pitch forward then snatch back my balance.

Coach sighs. "So try this. When you spin, get on the rocker on your spinning foot, and more towards the middle of the skate behind the rocker on the other foot."

I do a spin entry, snap into a spin my left foot on the rocker, my right foot one one third back on the blade from the toepick and suddenly I'm floating over the ice, perfectly centered,  without friction and perfectly in control.

I glide out of my spin with this look on my face:

Spin Ecstasy

That was what I called a revelation..

Friday, February 16, 2018

Group Coach Crossroll Tips

I'm back in Group and after warming up, I ask the new Group coach to give me some tips on forward crossrolls. The last time I did these was October of last year...or maybe September....time passes when you get old.

So I get on the line and do a couple of small ones, then I decide to add some power and do a couple of big ones.

"Hmm," she says as she skates up to me. "Those first two were really good. You had nice flow and stepped only your outside edge after the cross. But the last two were way too big. And didn't flow well."

Did I ever tell you everything in skating can be taught by referencing your boobs?  When you're learning figures it's "put your boob over the line." When you're learning certain kinds of turns it's "point your boobs at the boards!" When you're in a performance: "Presentation is everything! Push the girls up and out!"

So now I look at here and say, "So I'm doing D cups? And you want B cups?"

She brightened. "A cups!"

Oooh, I bet you thought there would be a completely different picture, didn't you!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

"Figure Skating Is Not a Sport"

Okay, if that guy from Fox News can create "Figure Skating is not a sport" as clickbait for his posts--so can I.

Click away lovers (and HATERS) of figure skating as a sport. I'm going to wrap myself in the fuzzy blankets of your clicking and raise the worth of my blog from $80 to $82.

Let's define sport: Sport is "an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment." 

Let's do a checklist:
 1. Physical exertion -- check
2. Skill--Check
3. Competes against others-check
4. Entertainment--Check

Figure skating is not a sport proponents rant on that figure skating is judged by aesthetics. And for some reason judging by time, or weight, or  distance,  accuracy, (biathalon), or smoothness is like you know REAL sports judging (end snark).

Huh? I hear you cry? What sport gets judged on smoothness?

Half-pipe snowboarding.

In fact let's compare half-pipe scoring (which as EVERYONE knows, half-pipe is  a 'real' sport because it 'doesn't ' judge based on aesthetic) with figure skating judging--figure skating judging 90's style.

1. The winner is selected on order--that is the snowboarders are stacked in orders based on their scores.  How do they score?
2. The run is scored on difficulty. You know, like how a triple axel is harder than a double.
3. Variety. You know, like how in old-style figure skating scoring you'd see jumps and spins and combinations or footwork you don't see anymore because they don't get 'enough points'? That old school variety. 
4. Execution. Since you won't believe my description, here's the quote. "How smooth is the ride? Does the rider appear to be steady, in control and moving with fluidity? Are the landings smooth, or does the rider appear shaky?"  Really? you know what that is half-pipe fans? That's judging on aesthetic! Annoyingly, half pipe snowboarding doesn't have equivalents to edge errors, or toepicking on stroking, or  other finesse issues. It's like half ass 1990s figure skating judging.

So if half pipe snowboarding has the equivalent of a scoring system that figure skating had in the 90s. I'm mean, scoring like figure skating had back in the 90's when audiences chanted "Six! Six! Six" and there was variety in performance and choreography, and audiences packed to the rooftops.

Instead, because of that stupid judging scandal involving 'the French Judge' and whining from the 'sports writers' we got stuck with IJS--a complicated system that probably judges fairly, but to get there we're stuck with repetitive choreography that makes one program look pretty much like any other program: shuffle the elements and skate-skate- jump.

AND STILL  we get stuck with stupid comments every Olympics that "Figure Skating Isn't a sport  because it's judged on aesthetics". No, it hasn't been judged on aesthetics for 14 years--and it's only occasionally does a skater break through the IJS restrictions and deliver a powerful, exciting program.

Wanna win? Skate to the numbers.  Wanna be dull? Skate to the numbers.

 Oh, I miss those old skool programs. If IJS isn't going to get figure skating any respect from the 'sports whiners writers' no matter what the scoring system, can't we loosen it up so we can get some spectacular skating again?  I miss big open jumps. No points, but oh they were beautiful. Or jump landings that go into back spins?

(Oh, and remember the French judge? The one who starred in the scandal that started it all? She never got banned from the sport at all--just a 3 year suspension.)


Saturday, February 10, 2018

Training Videos

I have a lazy  clockwise back crossover.

So, my coach pulls out her secret--well, not so secret--weapon...Her Cellphone.

"Please, not the Cellphone from Hell!" I cry.

My coach says, "I'm going to video you so that you can see what's going on with that lazy right foot on the cross behind." 

I have never felt such fear as I did then. I have 'issues' with the Cellphone from Hell: videos make me look slow, and fat and old. I am not putting up with that.

But, my mantra (this week) is 'Don't argue with Coach.' So I do a quick mohawk into a back edge then do my clockwise back cross around the center circle. After one cycle I eyeball my coach.

"This is interesting," she said. "You can do it perfectly well when the camera is on you." She puts the cellphone away, "You're ready for our Fall show."

That's quite a leap there Coachey!! Looks good on when a camera's pointing at me, therefore ready for show?  Is that how they pick the Olympians?


Saturday, February 3, 2018

Back from Germany!

I had to go to Germany for work for a week, but I think this is the final trip for a while for me since I started traveling in November. So I'll start skating regularly again this week.  Just not today (Saturday) since I was up -- no sleeping-- for 24 hours.

For those of you who plan to fly to the EU and are addicted to Diet Coke, it's about $3 for a bottle half the size of one in the US. I wasn't prepared for that!

My return trip was dogged by bad weather, plane changes, being double booked to Paris and Amsterdam as intermediate stops, and at one point in JFK the pilot announced "We're 30th for take off". The wait on the taxiway there was longer than the flight home!  But, I really really liked flying on KLM.

I was in Stuttgart, and there is a nice ice rink in Stuttgart. Here's a picture of it.

Googling "Stuttgart Ice Rink" and finding this picture was as close as I got to skating in Germany!