Sunday, September 29, 2019

Cheap stuff for skating from the Dollar Store/Tree

In the US we have some shops that sell stuff for a dollar. If you are in the UK, this may be loosely equivalent to Poundland. If you're in Canada, France, or Germany there may be the equivalent.

Since I've had a lot of foot and boot problems, I've gone through a lot of boot adjustments, and  padding for my feet. Here's the stuff I use.

The Absolute Best Thing to Keep in Your Bag:
Paper Tape
Paper Tape is thin enough not to disturb the fit of your boot.   It's is good enough to hold padding to your foot, or toe spacers in place, or other uses where maybe you want to keep something from slipping from your foot or leg. Then when you're done skating it will peel off.
I avoid the cloth athletic tape like the plague, especially around the forefoot. The cloth tape is too heavy and  thick. Stick with the paper tape.

Light Compressible Foam :
Designed as adjustable toe spacers, but 
you can do so much more 

These foam tubes can be cut to length as toe spacers, or protection of a hurt toe. The foam compresses nicely. HOWEVER, I usually cut them LENGTHWISE!. This gives me a little square of foam I can cut to size or shape, the stick it on my skin with Paper Tape. For example I've used it to:
1. Pad the top of my foot to keep my boot from rubbing on a sore spot.
2. As a lace bite pad when other other pads are too thick
3.  A protective cover where a boot top rubs a spot raw. Not as thick as a gel ankle tube, so you tie the laces  tighter.
4. Under an insole to give extra padding under a sore toe, or pad under a sore spot under my foot. These compress nicely, but you'll have to replace them after every few skates. They're not long lasting.
5. I've also folded a small piece into a toe spacer and taped between two toes.

 Medium Compressible Foam Insoles:
Thicker and more resilient 
than  the light foam Toe Bandages

These foam insoles can be cut to fit your boots as insoles. I used them for years like this because I could cut holes in them so a toe or bone could fit, or I could add padding under a toe or heel.
I now just cut them up to make small toe spacers between my Great Toe and first toe.They are the perfect width and I just tape the spacer to one toe. When the session is done I just throw them away.
Right now I've got a piece of one of these insoles as a lace bite pad on one foot. The other foot has a different product as a lace bite pad, because that leg needs something stiffer. Feet are different, they don't always match.

Glue Dots
These are in the craft section. Sometimes when I want to place a toe pad under an insole, I use the glue dots  to hold it in position so it doesn't move when I insert the insole over it, and the under pad doesn't slide out of place.

And there you are! Cheap stuff for fitting your boots!

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Adults Using a Skating Aid

My home rink was closed today for some hockey thing, so I went to my alternate rink. They have penguin skating aids,

There were 2 adults using the aids
 This is some UK TV personality

I was tempted to skate up to them and say, "You know, the penguins are for 5 year olds." But damn, not my rink, and I just don't care anymore as long as they stay out of the center. 

So I spent most of the day trying to get my back spin. 

I worked really hard, and I can now get my skating foot in the right spot for the back spin in the two foot spin. However, when I do that, the speed makes me dizzy. 

I'm now on my back spin where I was two years ago with my forward spin.  Dizzy as can be


Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Most Important Words in Figure Skating

Okay, Sunday, I Fell Twice--Backwards
 Like This.
(minus the horse)

I have never seen a look of fear in a
rink guard's face like I did then


Did I ask for help? 
Did I cry?
Did I just lie there like an old lady.


Instead I yelled
The most important words in Figure Skating!

And I popped up before the rink guard could get to me . 
So THERE! teenage hockey player in a Staff jacket.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Back to LTS -- Freeskate 2

I got pretty bored in Freeskate 1 --- I don't think the rink really cares where I go--- so I signed up in Freeskate 2, AND I'M THE ONLY STUDENT

Alone again...Naturally

The coach is lovely. 

I am awful.

Freeskate 2 is intro to back spin, back inside 3, half lutz, salchow, BI3, alternating inside and outside spirals, back edges. 

What I can do is back edges, step through on the half lutz,  forward outside spiral (yeah I can do an inside spiral, it just never shows up).

Let's just say, she is being so sweet. Offering to work on dance with me, or anything I want because I am just so overwhelmed.

I stick with the Freeskate 2 skills because how else will I learn?  And because I'm working on backspins I can almost cross my leg over on my forward spins, Hooray. (Let me just mention there's a lot of leg crossing at the ankle while skating on one foot in this level. If I could get over this fear, I could improve most of these skills. )

Just a note. A 20 year old girl stopped me while I was on practice ice and said, "You are so healthy! How do you do it?" 

"These skates don't move themselves"

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Learning to Step Through Jumps

So I signed up to LTS for Freeskate 2 at the rink that follows the LTS USA 'rules'. Let's face it the LTS rink has been really nice to me, and doesn't seem to  care if I jump or not to pass Freeskate. But,  I'm ready to move up,

I told my coach of my plan. A light goes off in her eye. "You need to learn a half flip and a waltz jump to pass Freeskate 1." She knows this is totally unnecessary, but for some reason she wants me to do it, "Against the boards," she says. She apparently isn't looking for miracles.

I don't jump. I'm notorious for not jumping. I have a bad hip on one side and a bad toe on the other. Jumping is off the table.
I'm the cat--jumping is the cup

But my coach looks so happy and cheerful and delighted at the prospect of teaching me some half jumps -- even at the step through level I say "Okay."

Just to make her happy
Sometimes the skater has to make the sacrifice.

So, I stepped through the Waltz Jump and the Half Flip and after I got them mixed up a couple of times, I finally was able to step through them. And they were decent too. I just had to keep one finger on the boards for emotional security.

Then my coach pulled her LTS card set from her pocket, delight in my success wreathing her face. "Let's see what's in Freeskate 2. I don't remember." Then she flipped between two cards. "Oh, I'd forgotten, half flip is in 2. Mazuraka is in 1. I suppose we'll have to work on that."


Monday, September 2, 2019

Checking (EDITED)

I took a lesson checking---because my checking is non-existant. I'm not sure if I have good checking now, but let's just say, if I don't---I've suffered enough for it.

Let's look at a photo of the great Irving Brokaw whose dynamic pose demonstrates the technique I learned.
 There's more going on here than can you see

 The skating leg is leading So here it is the left leg is leading. The shoulders should be back (no hunching) and rolled down...way down. Don't let the shoulders pop up.

The red arrow indicates the carriage of the leading arm. My coach told me to carry it so the hand was over the belly button. It's seems a little close to the body in this picture, but it can be carried from belly button level to shoulder level and away from the body. It just needs to cross the midline of the body.

The shoulders need to be  rotated in opposition. If as in this picture, the left arm is leading, the right shoulder need to counter rotate. The hard part here, is in not letting either shoulder roll forward, up, or forward.

I know when I'm in the right position

OMG the Pain!!

And when I get a little bit out of alignment the coach gently presses my scapula to get me in the right position

 So, I've been doing it wrong for years. It's not easy.

Note: The next day my 'core' hurt so much I could barely do a sit up. I mentioned this to the coach and she nodded sagely."When I was young enough to wear a bikini, I had a six-pack. The guys couldn't keep their eyes off me."

 Another reason to do compulsory figures!!!