Monday, August 17, 2020

I May Have Hit my Head

I Fell

Oh, the drama

I rolled off the back of the inside right heel, and did a mighty splat. Ass over teacups. 

Anyway, I'm approaching my 69 th birthday, and my coach, and a guard, and a teenage freeskater as tall as Michele Obama, gathered around. I have that familiar feeling of being at the bottom a huddle of people fingers paused to dial 911.

My coach said, "Well are you getting up or what?"

"Or what.  I think I hit my head."

"I was watching, I don't think you hit your head," she said. "And you have your pad in your hat,"

"I did hit my head." I grumble, "Is one eye bigger than the other?" My coach and the guard have to yank me to my feet, and at that point the rink guard just disappears and abandons me figuring if I'm not bleeding, I'm not speaking in tongues, I'm not declaring Ronald Reagan president, I'm probably not going to sue the rink or call an ambulance so he bolts.

I'm so embarrassed. I had to be picked up off the ice, like so old lady. But once I get up...

"Okay Coach, let me shake out my muscles"

Fall down seven,
Get up 8
It's better than


Sunday, August 9, 2020

Adventures in Figure Skating

I Found a packet of Buffalo Wild Wing 
Condiments on the Ice...
Tempted to track the culprit down by smell.

 First Lesson since March
Coach "Oh the ice is slow today, you like skating slow."
Me: "I like skating slow on fast ice...I don't like skating fast on slow ice. I just grind to a stop."
 Masked people come up and greet me while I'm skating...
 Who are these people?


Saturday, July 25, 2020

CRS Cross--Figure Skating Supplies

I was randomly surfing around on Amazon using the words "figure skating"--just to see if anything struck my fancy-- when I stumbled across CRS Cross. It's not a name I've heard before but they have a wide range of skating supplies: gel ankle tubes, a wide variety of  sleeves  with gel pads built in --lace bite pads, several designs of malleolar pads, heel pads, boot bumpers--, padded gloves, padded butt shorts, spinners, blade rags, soakers, guards and skate tape.

And then, I looked at their line of skate socks...
My heart stopped


I have searched for white skating socks for years and had to settle for white knee highs (too thin) and HUE white knee highs (okay, but still not heavy duty enough), and now I have found real heavy duty white skate socks.  Danskin, and Mondor, and other companies carry tan and black, but no one else carries white socks.
And why have I yearned for this unicorn of white skating socks, when there's a dozen shades of tan, and a variety of other colors on the market?
So I can fold my white socks over the top of my boots and secure my match my boots!
Man, I hit that 'buy' button about 10 seconds after  I opened the page.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Back on The Ice!!!

Just so you see I'm wearing a mask!!
Yes this is actually me. It's not required to wear a mask
ON the ice, just OFF the ice. But call me a contrarian,
I wear a mask on the ice.
 I haven't been on the ice since the 2nd week in March. It was sooo slippery!

You can relax in that I didn't fall. I didn't even even come close. After 30 minutes of lap skating I did a couple of 2 foot spins (both ways) that were like 5 or 6 rotations, and I only stopped because I was getting dizzy. I DIDN'T DO ANYTHING EXCITING.

Report on the rink procedures and people on the ice:

1.  Before we showed up we had to sign a sports waiver that if we got COVID-19 we couldn't sue the rink. FYI, in my state these pre-event waivers have almost no legal standing, so I signed it, Howevr, the rink did not check any list or require you to bring in a waiver, so I guess anyone could come in. I passed that on to the coach who made a call to me about something else today, and she's going to take it up with the rink manager.

2. The rink did the required cleaning and procedures. They were serious about cleaning the boards,  the bathrooms and the counters. The cafe was open but I didn't check that out.  The rink had lobby seating with 6 foot spacing marked.

(I'm sorry, people who leave their bags on the bench
even in normal times annoyme anyway.
3. Things I didn't like, but the state didn't regulate: The rink rented out skates. It's probably not a big threat, but I wouldn't skate in rentals right now. They had changing rooms open 'on a limited basis' . I don't know what that means. Maybe for comps and games? I'm sure they'll figure it out.

4. Things the rink didn't do, but the state mandated: They didn't ensure people off the ice wore a mask in the lobby or the  in the bleachers. So there were people maskless hanging around in groups. And when I got off the ice after an hour, there were people without masks crowding the benches.  “¯\_(ツ)_/¯“ Whadya gonna do? Some people are just dicks.

5. There was STILL no hot water in the ladies room.  This is not required or anything, but after 6 months I figured they'd have it fixed by now.

6. The coach that called me up today, called me about  restarting LTS. I said that the trip was too long to show up for a 30 min lesson and 15 min practice ice. I draw the line at 60 min. She said they'll give me 6 sessions credit since I said, I'm not coming back right now. I thought that was VERY generous! Yay rink!

Monday, May 25, 2020

First Time on Ice once your Rink Opens....

I know this will happen..

And while I was away, Blogger redid its editing interface.....Where is everything..?

Sunday, March 15, 2020

OMG! Back Spin! For Real! (Rink Closing UPDATE!)

Sometimes my figure skating dyslexia comes in handy. My coach was working with me on my arm position to increase my spin rotational speed. I'm spinning to the left, then to the right. I get the left spin pretty good and my coach does this.....

Alrighty then. Solid left one foot spin with 3 rotations.

Next second, I do a two foot entry into a right spin, and when I lift one foot....I go into a back spin.

My Coach does this
She's soooo happy! "That's the best spin you've ever done. centered! Fast! Perfect body position!"

I like making my coach happy.

This may be the highpoint of my skating for a while. One rink closed today, my home rink may close soon. Just glad I had a perfect moment to remember.

(About 5 hours after I posted this, my home rink closed for two weeks) 


Friday, March 13, 2020

Croronavirus and the Rink

Some rinks are closed. Mine are not.

However, Thursday night both rinks sent me emails (at the same time!)  about Coronavirus 19 and what they are going to do. I have to give them credit, the ice rinks beat the  flow of 200 Coronavirus-19 emails a day I've received since then by about 6 hours.

One rink sent me a pretty detailed email about their increased cleaning regimen. I showed it to a friend before group when I got the email. "What do you think?" I pointed to the 'increased cleaning regimen' sentence.

He said "Well, why aren't they doing that anyway!?" Which is exactly what I thought.

Clean up--we always clean up
Hire this guy....and see if he can do pairs--he's got the shoulders
We both looked down at the detritus over the mats. Candy wrappers, tiny toy parts, random pieces of candy, nuts, more candy wrappers with gooey pieces of candy in it (let me say 'Merica, if you're wondering why your kid are so fat, I think I've found the answer.) The rink always looks like that.

Then I got angry. I typed a message back to the manager. "If you're worried about hand cleanliness, why has the hot water in the ladies room sinks been out for the last two weeks?"

I am going to hold that rink's metaphorical hockey skates to the fire, and that emotional fire better be under the hot water heater that has a pipe to the ladies room.

So, I have to give the rink credit. I had an answer in fifteen minutes that they were going to fix it as soon as I told them which rink of their stable of rinks....oopsie.  Maybe I should ask them to fix the two broken doors in the ladies too while they're poking around.

Fortunately, our rinks are satisfactorily crowded, but not crowded like a Sunday Mass during Lent. I don't feel bad about skating as you seldom get closer than three to six feet to people.  So, I continue to skate.  So far....

Sunday, March 8, 2020

The "Cute Little Mohawk Element"

My Coach Loves Mohawk Variants
Especially the Mohawk Back Cross
The way my coach does it on a line
it looks like she's going backwards
and forward at the same time

I struggle with these because it makes me do mohawks, then turn my body in a way that confuses my feet. Basically, I'm mohawk back cross dyslexic.

Coach says, "It's Forward-Back-Back-Repeat." This is to be my personal mantra for the lesson. I have to do it on the line, and remember the rink geography.

  1. Forward on the right foot, starting from the line, Facing the wall with the CLOCK
  2. (mohawk step) Backwards to the line , To 'the Wall without the Clock'
  3. Bring the right foot over the left foot (back cross) -- This is supposed to just magically happen and I have to face forward on the line
  4. Forward on the Left foot, to the wall without the clock
  5. (mohawk step) backwards on the right to the wall with the clock
  6. Bring left foot over the right, facing down the line
I know my right from my left, but when I'm going backwards I've been know to think 'stage right' and 'stage left' which is from the audience perspective. Therefore I wear a black glove on my left hand and a red glove on my right.

To help me with right/left in the mohawk back cross, my coach gives me a marker to hold in my right hand. I hand it back.

"I don't need that.I have a red glove on my right hand," I tell her. "Right is red."

"Oh!" she says in surprise.

This is not  an actual picture of my coach--she is just this adorable

Anyway, with my mantra (Forward, back, back) and waving my red gloved hand for a tip on going the right direction, I can get ONE or maybe get TWO mohawk back crosses. Then everything falls apart. I don't do a 'real' mohawk, or I forget which foot I'm on or something. Normally this would be just a one lesson thing, but Group Coach wants me to do it, and when I told my private coach she's determined that I do it well, This thing is going to live on and on, LESSON AFTER LESSON.

"Forward, Back, Back"!

Sunday, March 1, 2020

I drive 120 Miles to pick up my boots after a sharpening--then more!

Last week I was on business travel and left my skates with my sharpener. He sends me a picture on Friday that they're ready.
And there they are

Fifteen minutes later when I check Saturday's schedule, I discover that my rink is having a 4 day hockey thing. Competition? Intermurals? Some kind of hockey bowl thing?

And I have to have my skates on skate.... in a completely different rink... in a completely differen town.

Sunday, I drive 60 miles south to get my skates.

Then I drive 60 miles north to get home
-- skates in the trunk 

I drive  50miles NORTH! to go to LTS
Then home again is another 50 miles

For this many miles that LTS lesson better be worth it!!

Monday, February 17, 2020

Ageist Figure Skating Bullies

I ran into another adult skater at the rink Saturday,  she's young and fit and charming to chat with.

"I see you here all the time," she said. "And you're so fit."

I spread my hands wide. "Figure Skating keeps me that way. Not bad for 68.'

"You know," she confided, "When I started, people said I was too old."

Me, "And you're what? 21?"


This is not an anomaly. I read it online often, in boards and forums and Facebook. "I'm 12 (or 13 or  17 or 20 or 23 ) and someone told me I'm too old to skate. "   (I've never seen it on, or on the Facebook adult skating groups I follow. )

They make me so angry

I don't know who they are. But, they like to spoil everyone's good time. 

Basically, they're bullies. 

It's unlikely a person who learns to skate after their late teens is going to make it to the Olympics, mostly because it's going to take years to pass the required tests and competitions.  But that has nothing to do with them being "too old" for the sport or even to try to get in the Olympics. They could still have fun in recreational skating or competitions or having a lifetime participation in a demanding but delightful family sport.

You need to have a reply to those "you're too old"  comments. Hmm, what could it be?

I don't recommend

This works even when you're IRL, I've used it several times.

And if they persist in telling you that 
you're too old and keep yammering on?


Sunday, February 9, 2020

My Coach Praises My Back Crossovers

"Who kidnapped my skater and replaced her with one with good back crossovers."

It's pretty hard to do a response to that while
 on a strong back edge, but I managed.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Group Lessons--Foot work

When we all succeed on completing  footwork across the rink
The people in Basic Skills never notice our little celebrations
When all the adults in the class end up in the same spot
while doing alternating 3 turns

The group coach is shocked when I'm first across the rink doing a swingroll, mohawk, turn forward, 3 turn pattern across with a gratuitous spin at the end


Sunday, January 26, 2020

Alternating Spins

I told my Thursday group coach that I was working on my alternating spins, but there was some 'technical trick' I was missing. 

She said, " Do your spin and to check it punch out your arm. Right arm if you're spinning right , Left arm if you're spinning left."

Just like "Check" Norris

So, yes, I can alternate my spins. As long as they're
  1. Two foot entrance
  2. not too fast
  3. 3 rotations or less
Like a Boss


Tuesday, January 21, 2020

The 3 turn Spin Entry Dyslexia

It seems like all at once every coach I have contact with want me to do a 3 turn spin entry.

Do  a 3 turn, do the  hook and do the spin. I'll get it in a couple of lessons.

But, and this is the critical point, all the coaches want me to do a back cross-step forward entry into the 3 turn.

No problem with that, I've been doing back cross-step forward into 3 turns for years.

Problem? When I do the back cross and step forward I don't know whether I'm doing a right 3, or a left 3, and furthermore, if I end up with a left spin or a right one.

What's coming out of this back cross: Left spin or Right spin?
Coach asks for a left spin, and I stare blankly, imagining the back cross the step forward,

Coach says, "Go ahead."

I ask, "So for  a left spin which back cross do I do?'

Coach steps through it. BACK-STEP FORWARD-SPIN. 'That one."

For reasons known only to God, I DO THE OPPOSITE BACK CROSS.  And I still end up with the left spin.

Yeah, either I'm adding an extra step, or I step forward facing out of the circle, my body is going to get the spin my coach wants (as long as I don't think about at all!)

PS; Last night out of nowhere, I started doing a right forward spin, then somehow switching to a left forward  spin. It's not pretty, but there's possibilities.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

I Got My Spiral Back!!

What Did My Spiral Use to Be?

 No kidding. It was this bad.

 Where is it now?
This is not me

How Did I lose my Spiral?

I got old?
That's only part of it.
 I relied on my natural flexibility--
and didn't do anything with it.

And I lost it

I do 30 min. of 'beginner stretches' every day  for my hip therapy, but that just keeps the pain away. If I wanted to make spiral progress, I had to get serious.

How did I get my spiral back?

I did 2 months of Krystin Scott's Flexibility Yoga in the following order

Part 1:To start--5 days a week for a month. Just part 1 (plus my other exercises )

 Part 1 + Part 2 in order starting the following month: Both! in order. 5 days a week for another  month. (plus my other exercises)

Part 1 is easy to learn, but it does challenge me more than my usual stuff.

Part 1 + Part 2 : 5 days a week. Not only lengthens the time of the session, but there are some positions in Part 2 that took me several sessions to master. 

My hip is up to hip height.

My coach wants it higher.

Part 3 of the exercises is much tougher. I'm giving the Part1+Part2 combo another month before I try Part 3.
So. Yes, I can get my spirals back!!

Use it or lose it Baby!

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Low Spins CLASS: Part 2

I tell my coach the hardest thing about the Low Spins
class is there's no time to warm up before class,
so my first spins are crap.

My coach is gleeful


Friday, January 10, 2020

Low Spins LTS

I Add a THIRD LTS Session

It turns out my home rink has a 'Low Spins" special class, during Kids Basic Skills ice. There's no age limit on it, so I sign up. So, this means, I have Low Spins, Practice Ice right after,  then the ADULT Freeskate 2 on the same night. Basically, Low spins is all kids except for me.

 This is how I Look Skating in the Low Spins Class

This is How I look in Freeskate 2

All night long. Look up, look down..

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Avoiding Foot Surgery to Skate

You may remember the problems I've had over the last year with my bunion and bone spur in my right foot. Last year, I had to have my foot padded up like the picture below, and I was worried I was going to have to have foot surgery.

This is what my foot looked like last year

So I had physical therapy, a cortisone injection (worthless), and I wore the podiatrist recommended "ugly shoes with rocker soles" everywhere! Yes. there are actual shoes with slightly curved soles called 'rocker soles', that take the stress off your bunions and bone spurs in your great toe.

These are ugly, 
but they feel gooooooood
This is not me.
 The ugly shoes took the stress off my feet, and over a period of months, the inflammation in my foot reduced a remarkable amount.
The only padding I now need 
And now, are you ready for my secret boot super-fitting technique?

I skip the lace holes over the bunion/spur

I know you may think it leaves a loose fit, but surprisingly, it doesn't. Maybe I couldn't jump in this, but since this is my pick-in foot, I don't think I'd be jumping with this toe problem anyway.

So there you are.  By being patient, and flexible with my approach to my boot fit problem, I've managed to avoid surgery and give my foot time to heal.