Tuesday, November 20, 2018

"Group" Lesson Three--Alone again..."Private lesson!"

The second student of last week has disappeared to skate in Adult six on Saturdays, so it's just me alone with my "Group" coach.

She likes to start me off with a couple of hard fast circuits of the rink, dodging people and doing crossovers on the shortboards. Then she skated over to one of the other coaches and asked for him to loan her part of his lane so I can have the space for an entire group class, and he can cram his 5 students into half a lane.

"Now," the coach says to me, "I want you to do crossovers around this circle then switch to a one foot glide and skate over this other circle here." She draws it on the ice with a marker.

Oh, dear God, I think she's prepping me for Bronze moves.

Then we do 8s in a back crossover (my left foot is still giving me problems here, sadly). Then she moves to another space on the rink and has me doing alternating 3's (inside and outside--sad face for inside 3's). And we end up doing mohawks. She shows me some new steps. "That looks like a five step mohawk pattern." I say. And so she has me doing that over a space that is about a quarter of a sheet of the ice: 5 step mohawks in a circle, on a line, alternating.

I'm dipping and dodging and zipping through other peoples classes, ripping through other people's patterns, because I am a good figure skating student  and I go where the coach points.We end up moving from the corner of the rink, to gradually taking over the center. None of the other coaches said anything. They moved their classes so to avoid me, and when I charged through their lines,  I dodged them...probably.

Have you ever had a dog? A big dog? An indoor big dog? If you're not a sadist you probably gave up at some point in enforcing the 'humans only' rule of bed occupancy. You yielded to the sad eye, and the cold nose and let the dog get on the bed. Am ' right? It's just easier than raising a fuss.

Imagine then, that the bed represents the surface of the ice rink, and the person in the bed represents all the students in all the other group lessons.

I am the dog.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

I Never Thought I'd Say This....

Oh My God, I LOVE Chloe Noel!

Okay, I could write poetry about the first time I put on a pair of Chloe Noel over the boot tights. Great handfeel, heavy material, just the right amount of stretch and compression. I was finally unfat enough to wear Adult Medium. Which yes, is not dance sizing. 

However, Chloe Noel seems to assume all women are 5'8". The inside leg on a Medium is 32".  I'm 5'2", my normal inseam is 29". In order to get the leg length right, I would have to wear Child Large or Child Xtra Large. I'm never going to be that tiny. I might get to Adult Small, but that's only going to go to a 31" inseam..

Fortunately, I'm able to  take up some of the extra length by pulling  the over-the-boot part of the pants all the way down to cover the toe of my tiny feet.  It stays securely over the toe without any clips or bands under the boot to keep it in place. I actually look like I'm wearing boot covers.

So, I'm happy with them. Long, but it's okay. Form fitting. Meh, I'm 67, I don't think I'm going attract any attention. 

At my age, I just don't want to give anyone nightmares at seeing me in tight pants.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

How to Shop for your Coach for Christmas

 Rule 1: It doesn't have to be about Skating

I gave my coach a great gift one year, a Home Depot gift card contribution to redecorating her bathroom in her mountain cabin.  I think  this was her favorite. Another time I gave her a canvas 'hair tools' tote. Which, like me, she carries stuff in the car in. (I cannot tell you how useful one of these is.)

Rule 2: If it is for skating, it shouldn't be soakers or blade guards--unless they have been making some specific hints. Some people are very fussy about those things. I change mine about once a year, or when I lose one of a pair, but my coach has been repairing her first soakers since she started skating.  And laces are fine, but do you really know the length and whether you coach likes cotton, poly, mixed or nylon? And really, that's cheap.

Rule 3: Stuff which you can give, when you really don't have any good ideas. You almost can't go wrong with fancy moisturizer, lip balm, or skating socks, tights or something for the car like one of those ice scrapers with a mitten over the handle. Car stuff is useful: jumper cables, a seat warmer that plugs into the 12v plug. Just, for God Sakes, don't give candles.

Rule 4: If you give clothes then include a gift receipt. And clothes or a gift card to a shop is perfectly okay. Just don't buy something and monogram it.

Rule 5. If you know your coach's taste in music, movies, or entertainment--give away! My coach does not know I'm a fan of Tyler Perry's Madea, cause I'd kill for a collection of those movies.  And until I know her taste that well, I'm not giving her movies or music.

Rule 6; CASH....Liquor...cookies...can't go wrong with these!

Rule 7: Does your coach have a hobby? Skating may be your hobby but your coach's may be skeet, or travel, or  art.

This year my coach is getting a gift card to TALBOTS.  She said once she always wanted a sweater from there....well, have fun shopping!

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

"Why yes I did lose 40 pounds and it improved my skating"

So, long story short: I've  lost 40 lb. I'm on my way to losing 15 more, which will put me probably at a 6 or a 4 (US sizes).

You'd think I'd be jumping with all that loss of weight, right? Well, here's my experience. The answer is no the to jumping--I'll explain that next--but yes to the improvement.

Why no to the jumping? First off, I am 67, and while I may get some half jumps later,  *mature* adults do lose strength as they age. Also, our reflexes slow. This is just  inevitable (along with cataracts, baldness, wrinkles, and droopy boobs--gravity sucks). So when you're old--the change is not the same as it is for a 20 year old. A 20 year old with the reflexes and strength of youth might be doing salchows by now after losing 40 lb.

However, my quickness and power did immediately improve simply because I'm not hauling as much weight. I'm skating much faster, and I have better control on my edges, I'm able to do 8's on a single push, and as I discovered last night, I can do stepwork now that I was terrified of before (the dreaded step behind).

Other things that happened as the weight dropped off  were that I became much, much more flexible. I am now able to do a catch foot spiral in skates off ice, and soon I'll have enough blade grab security to do it on ice. And, my strength training did get easier and more productive. If only I had an hour a day to work on it I'd be an adorable muscle model.

What's holding me back from instant improvement?  Well, I have some bad habits left over after all the years of hauling zaftig me around the ice. I'm breaking these bad habits as I run over them and usually I can break them right away. For example, last night I fell doing a spin, and as I fell I had the control over my body to roll myself directly up from the fall without hesitation. I just popped up. I never could do that before.

Edit: Although I just used a free calorie counter on my phone, the weight loss turned out to be expensive.Saturday, my favorite pair of skating pants got so loose I wasn't sure it was going to hold on through the lesson; and only two pair of my capris still fit (one is hanging on by the fingernails, and when that one goes, I'll be down to one pair of small capris).I finally bought  a pair of Chloe Noel Adult Medium over the boot  pants---which fit perfectly, except as one fellow skater put it, "There's more leg in the pants than leg in your leg" Yeah, they don't call me stumpy for nothing. So I have the new Chole Noel, two pairs of capris, and that's it to skate in.

There is another downside. When I was fat I didn't have any facial wrinkles. But now, I look like an old lady. However, I'm apparently a hot old lady.

So, I'm in a convenience store and a gray haired man in line ahead of me, looked at me and said,I'm only 57, and I know you're older than I am, but you're a nice looking woman."
I look at him and say, "I may be older but I don't have gray hair like you do."
His friend, standing next to him starts slapping his leg in laughter. "She got you, she got you."

Damn right. If I'm hot enough for figure skating, strange men are free to comment on it if they can take my shots right back. 

Monday, November 12, 2018

All by myself---my lesson ISN'T!!

Remember how I switched to group at another rink and I was the only student in the class. Two miracles have occured:
1. Another student has joined--who is somewhere in the vicinity of my age
2. The class has now become Pre-Free because as the coach put it "You can do everything in 6,"

I feel like I've been allowed to skip a grade in junior high.
This gif never  gets old.
Anyway, here's pre-free

So, funnily enough, after losing 40 lb I can  now do skill D, which is the hardest. Crossover crossover mohawk step-behind cross front turn forward into the circle.   And I can do E, which is upright one foot spin,  and A and B are so dead  easy she skipped them.  And I can do C, which is basically a back mohawk. 

Oh, and we did pivots in many different configurations:  back forward inside outside. Which I can now do because I lost 40 lb.

That's almost everything

Mazurka and waltz jumps?

Saturday, November 10, 2018

A day of Terror!!

I realize I left my wrist guards at home
And I haven't skated without wrist guards since 2009

My Coach's reaction?
My coach decides to start me on brackets
forward and backward 

Then she starts me on Back Spins


 So far I haven't broken anything....
but I'm putting a backup pair of wrist guard in the trunk of the car

Honestly, I should get over this issue, but I refuse to.
It's just easier to patch it over...

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

All by Myself--my lesson is

I showed up for Group lesson at the new (much closer) rink Monday night. I found my coach, and I was in the correct class, Basic 6.

Then one of the other coaches skated  by with a clipboach and answered my group coach's question, "You know, you don't have a lane assigned to you.That's funny."

So while the  group coach was sorting out with other coaches how she was going to share lanes, I thought:

1. I really need to do a blog post on rinks that do LTS in lanes vs circles
2. I was the only skater signed up in Basic 6--which it turned out to be.

When the group coach told me I was the only skater I cheerfully said "Private lesson! private lesson!"

Private lesson!

So here's the basic 6 (LTS USA) list of skills:

This rink goes through every skill with every lesson. As an adult learner  I've got issues how LTS USA lines up its skill building, but it is what it is. Let me just say that I think perimeter stroking is a good skill, but WTF? You're supposed to do it with a group of adult skaters on crowded group lesson ice? Forward and backward? What genius thought that up?

So here were my results, which I will tell Coach Bianca,
A. Forward perimeter stroking--praise, dammit, praise! "Nice shoulders and posture. You've really worked on that, haven't you."
B. Skipped
C. FI3--ODG, these are as sucky as ever. I do not want to talk about it..ever.
 She had me do FO3 even though it's not on the list. FO3--I did them. Not anything special
D. Change edge pattern--I can do this, but I didn't do them well that night. It's a foot issue.
E. T stop--who waits until Basic 6  to learn these? They're an easy win for Basic 3 or 2! Anyway, I nailed them both ways, Ha!
F. Lunge--Skipped
G, Two foot spin into 1 foot spin. First time since my hip issue began. Two rotations. Solid. Even got praise.
Oh, and she ran me through my mohawks which I did in a pattern. (*cough* praise) .And,
she also had me do forward and backward crossovers.  I'm still having issues with my control of my left foot so there's occasions where I'm terrified my blades are going to crash together or I'm going to drop an edge. My physical therapist worked on my left foot today. It has to do with a nerve damage/ inflammation/ whatever in my left leg. So she improved it today with some PT technique that I can't describe. I''m starting to get some control back. At least she improve my range and quickness of motion in my left ankle.

Well, I know the private lesson shtick can't last and at the end of the class I said to the coach, "This one student in a class can't last. Are they going to move me down to the 4-5 class?"

She looked over to the 4-5 lane which was full. "You can't go there because you're way beyond that, and you can't go to freeskate because you don't jump. Maybe, someone else will sign up for 6. Or I'll just stay here,"

 Well, That's a Mystery I'll Have to Live With for a Week
I hate not knowing.
Did I just waste $116 to get put into 4-5?

Monday, November 5, 2018

Rink Thoughts

When I get off the ice, the only person in the booting area is
sitting on the bench right over my boot bag.

How I feel when I skate more than 30 minutes
Then I worry which pocket was my iphone in?

My anxiety during the first 15 minutes on a new sharpening

But a-ok after 15 minutes

Thursday, November 1, 2018

New LTS Program

When I find out a rink closer to me offers
LTS at a more convenient time than my home rink
And saves me an hour of road time.

But I'd have to skate with strangers

And I'd be skating on Stranger's Ice

But an Hour Less Road Time?