Tag Archives: backward three turn pattern

Oops, I did it AGAIN.

21 May

Broke my leg, AGAIN, that is.

I’m sure it didn’t look as dramatic as this but it is very close to how I felt.

The words “toe pick”  have a whole new meaning for me now though. For fans of The Cutting Edge … can’t you just hear Moira Kelly aka Kate Mosley singing those two words?

For those interested in the gory details, I broke my leg by catching my toe pick in the ice while doing a back inside three turn pattern in a lesson. My body kept going and my toe pick kept sticking until I wrenched it out of the ice and fell hard to the side. I didn’t feel the fall at all, just the foot and ankle wrench. This proves that having extra fat on your body is a good thing in skating as it completely absorbs the shock from falls. Butt? Chest? Tons of cushion. Leg? Not so much.

The last time I broke my leg it felt so much worse then this that I thought I might have just wrenched my ankle terribly. Nope, no such luck. I did much more than that. Note to all skaters: If you fall and think you broke or sprained anything have the boot removed from your foot immediately before you even leave the ice. I remembered that from last time and that was the first thing I did when I hit the ice. You can’t feel anything right afterwards so that is the best time to remove it. Otherwise, you are going to be in trouble with a capital T. As it was I had to cut my favorite skate pants off later to get them off my leg.

RIP favorite tight skate pants. Sniff.

So, it’s been about a month now since that fateful day. I broke both my fibula and the top part of my ankle along with tearing some ligaments. I had surgery 2 weeks after to stabilize the breaks (that sucked) and now, here I am, sitting pretty with a fashion forward black boot that I can pump up with a big blue button at will. It sounds awesome, I know, but trust me, it has it’s drawbacks.

For one, I can’t tell you how many times people have asked me if I hurt myself doing a triple axel. All non-skaters obviously. At first, I tried to explain exactly what I did and eyes would just glaze over. Now I save my breath and just say, YES, that’s exactly what I did, a triple axel broke my leg. So much more believable. It’s crazy, no one even questions it.

Now, it will be another 4 weeks before I can put weight on the leg and another 4-6 weeks before I’m out of my walking boot. Until then, I’ve invested heavily in what I call anti-anxiety & boredom medication aka beer. HA. Just kidding. Well, sort of. I temper it with food and this thing called ice cream. Extremely addicting. If anyone is wondering, Coldstone’s “The Pie Who Loved Me” is the absolute best. That pie loves me long time, people!

I do miss skating A LOT and my skating buddies. I miss flying around the rink and working on all those spins that I was finally figuring out how to do but I also miss that thing called WALKING the most. My arms are getting pretty ripped from those crutches though. That’s a plus and my left leg is super skinny. Sorry Kate Moss, my leg IS skinnier than yours at this point.

All kidding aside, I guess this is the risk you take whenever you play any sport especially one that requires sharp blades and a stiff boot. Right now, all I know is that I pushed myself to my limits this year trying to achieve everything I wanted to learn in skating, competed, tested and I did not hold back on anything (obviously ;)) I’m happy with that..for now.

Who knows if I will return to the ice after this break though. I don’t know. It’s an important question I’ve asked myself but it’s something I’ll think about later on down the road. Like, when I’m walking. Until then, that thing that looks like melted ice to us skaters… you know, the pool? Looks pretty darn good right now. I think I’m going to go try that for awhile. I’ll save the triple axel for later….and my legs!

To everyone else, happy skating this summer y’all!

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Traveling Skates

10 Nov

Last week I was in Arizona and I did indeed take my skates with me. They had to go in my checked baggage and luckily they arrived safe and sound. However, I do hear that if you have a USFSA member card you can take them in your carry-on. I heard this from another adult skater but I have not tested the TSA…yet 😉

While I was in Arizona, I, being the crazy adult skater that I am, mapped out all the rinks within a 15 minute radius. This is pretty much an automatic thing for me to do whenever I travel. It’s like taking a tour of the country but through the different ice rinks! Well, I found a nice coffee club session for adults with a 20 minute lesson included. I haven’t been to a coffee club session since I left Penn State! So, with much happiness I left my hotel room last week and found my skating rink, The Ice Den, in Scottsdale.

It was actually one of the largest rinks I’ve been to with a sunken rink on both sides of the building and from what I hear, another one in the works towards the back! Everyone was extremely friendly and reminded me so much of my old rink. I met a few people, one person in particular was performing her artistic program for an ice show. Her fingers lit up and she swung rope like lights in a rhythmic movement to the music that was playing. I found out she was planning to go to adult nationals in Chicago in 2012 (this year) so we exchanged emails. She also introduced me to the Skating Director later on who was also super friendly (they do say this part of the country is one of the friendliest!). I found out she had just come back from helping Dorothy Hamill as a coaching assistant with her adult skating camp in Nantucket! She said they had a full range of adult skaters from one who could barely do crossovers to others who were working on doubles. I thought that was so great to hear! However, the camp as we all know is extremely expensive so I said I would love to take part in that camp one day but I would have to save up some mucho moola before that would happen! As it turns out though, when I returned home my Monthly Skating Magazine was waiting for me and they had included an article on the Hamill camp and a photo which included the woman I had met at the Ice Den! It’s the small things in life….

As for the lesson, during the coffee club we worked on holding first a right outside edge and then switching to a left inside edge hold as we went around a circle. Then she added in a forward outside three turn, holding the free leg position. Then we worked on forward and backward cross rolls both of which are on the silver test. I can do the forward cross rolls better than the back but she had us thinking of pointing the toe of each foot towards either side of the rink when we performed the cross rolls. So, your foot should clearly point in a 90 degree angle to either side as you cross your foot in front. For the back crossrolls (I am stiffer on these) you should feel like your feet are meeting a backward T-position. She had us hold a T position which is where you should push off without feeling like you are stepping back. Using your knees helps and pointing your toe also helps. More to come on this in the coming weeks as I get back into private lessons.

All in all it was totally worth the $14 for a 20 minute lesson and at least an hour of ice time! Definitely visit the Ice Den if you are ever out there. In addition, if you have never been to Arizona it is absolutely stunning. The sunsets are amazing, as they almost look like a small fire burning in the distance. I don’t have a photo of those fantastic sunsets but I do have one of the landscape. So different from our grassy/tree landscape in the northeast.

Now onto my other lessons, I haven’t written lately because I had been out of town and in general getting used to a new schedule. I discontinued the group lessons and started sharing a private lesson with another adult skater who is working on her pre-bronze test. She is actually more like a bronze level skater but like most adults has put off testing.

We shared the first lesson with the coach who I actually took group lessons from when I first came to MD last year. He has a completely different style to some things and in some cases (especially in freestyle) it is totally different from what I’ve known as far as technique. I have been trying to get a feel for whether or not I wanted to do full-on private lessons with him or go back to my other coach so it was great to be able to share lessons.

So for our first lesson we worked on my nemesis, the backward inside three turns. I have many evil moves and jumps but I am happy to say these are no longer one of them! After working on holding the inside edges and tweaking the arm positions I can now turn the 3 on the back inside edge. YAY!
Now, to put it into an actual pattern down the full length of the ice!
The notes below are what made it click for me:

Back Inside Three Turns (Arms Unblocked Version)
1. I block myself with my shoulder so I have a hard time looking over my shoulder when turning the back inside three on both sides. You do need to look over your back shoulder before you turn the three. So, my coach had me open both my hands with my thumbs pointing up. Sounds stupid and probably looks weird but it works. It automatically opens my shoulder and I can freely look back. If it is a right back inside edge your right arm is back behind you with your left is crossed in front. No fists, palms open, thumbs up and voila! Open shoulder!

2. I usually feel like I am tripping forward on my toe especially on the right. I usually feel like I force the three and don’t wait for it to turn. How to fix it? My coach had me just hold that back inside edge on both sides until it started curving automatically in. You should have it curve in to feel this until you can’t curve anymore. It should curve into a tiny circle until it stops. When I go into the back inside three turn instead of thinking turn the three, I think I am just continuing the edge and if you put a little more pressure on the inside edge it will automatically turn that 3-turn. This was a huge revelation! I hardly ever trip over my toe pick now on the turn.

3. Apply pressure. This I am still working on but when you press the inside of your thighs together as your are turning the back inside three turn it will help stabilize the turn. Your free foot should always be in front when you are doing this.

Hope that helps! It did me!

Now onto this weeks lesson…. we are on shared private lesson #2
Forward power pulls and I have no secret to these yet, as they are still incredibly difficult to me. I’ve posted before on tips for these and they are still applicable but here are my newest coach instructions. (I’ll be working on these in practice this week)

1. Start SLOW and big. Think of this as an edge exercise on a red line.
Start at the red line, step onto a right inside edge, left arm in front, right behind. Free foot should be in front, make a half circle and just before you hit the red line you have to switch arms as you pull up to create that pull to switch onto the outside edge, again make a half circle and pull up before the red line.
This is basically a power pull, slower and longer. Forget what you see on tv or even what the kids do… this should be about holding both edges on each foot. I like to compare this to hell since it’s hell on my knees 😉 as of right now I can’t hold that second outside edge without swinging my leg like crazy. Yeah, it’s embarrassing. Arms are swinging too..definitely not pretty.

2. If it helps, really lean your body into that half circle. Think of your ear leaning towards whichever edge side you are on. I think this idea kind of helps me right now. I’ll know more when I get on the ice to practice in the coming days.

3. Arms – they should switch as you change edges but hell if I know how to do them in tandem with the legs. When I figure it out I will post it with a HOLY COW I DID IT right next to it.

4. When I can do this exercise I can graduate to actual one foot power pulls by thinking of long edges and pulling up at the end of the edge. Meaning, your are down in the knees for the whole first part of the edge (half of a circle) then you rise up at the very end. No wiggly butts!

Moving on from this little piece of hell, to flip jumps. Originally we were supposed to do back spins afterwards but we ran out of time. Thank God. Out of the three I can’t tell you which I despise more because each one contains a little special piece of misery for me. Nice, right?

I’m not sure if I can comment on what I learned for the flip, I’ve seen his technique for this jump before and it is still TOTALLY different from any other way I’ve learned it. Not bad or wrong just different.

So, all I can say is that we spent a lot of time holding the entry into the three turn without my usual push into the three turn. So weird. Then I spent time holding my toe pick in the ice until I turned towards the front to actually jump. I went with it not even trying to really jump until I figured out the cadence. At the end I landed one in this way very slowly. I think this is worth trying. Even though I am landing them pretty consistently the way I usually do them, I know that technique wise they are not so good so I think I will just try walking through them. Although I did notice it kills the momentum I think starting without the push into the three turn might be a good idea. It’s like there isn’t an assist to rely on which may be throwing me off.

Oh, I almost forgot, I am supposed to keep my hip under when I pick. None of this hip opening up business. Heh.

Now, you can scratch your head in confusion on what I just wrote! I’m trying to get everything down so I don’t forget but as far as the flip is concerned I will have to have another lesson to really break it down step by step. For now, these will have to suffice.

Happy Skating…

A photo of me at the Ice Den….enjoying my time at coffee club!

A Silver Pattern and Adult Figure Skating Videos

4 Oct

Today’s lesson was better. I decided my new skates just were not working out. They were making my bone spurs hurt and they felt ungodly heavy! I made an executive decision.

In with the old, out with the new. Within a half an hour on the ice I had warmed up and re-aquainted myself with my old skates. I felt more spring in my jumps and my spins were way faster! I’ll be selling the new ones and will look for other skates to replace the old ones for next year.
If anyone is interested, they are Reidell, Silver Star’s (7.5), used 3 months and are in good shape.

Onto the lesson recap.
We worked on the adult silver moves pattern, backward outside three’s. It was much better this week then it was the other week when I slammed my head off the ice. I was actually able to complete the pattern although my coach said I was retrogressing (sp?). Well, I have serious problems making my pattern even and turning the three at the tops of the lobes. That is something I will have to work on along with keeping my free leg up and turned in. I have a major turnout and its probably from dance/ballet, it just feels better to turn my hip out. This is probably not optimal for figure skating so it’s something that I will have to be conscious of.

After we went through the pattern we started to work on my program. We added twizzles and another flip jump. Joy of joys, my favorite jump will be in my program twice. Between the flips and the lutz, I’ll be in a constant state of terror throughout the program. After the flip we placed a sit change sit to end the program. Since the sit spin is so easy for me we decided to place it at the end rather than in the middle. We placed my camel in the middle right after the first flip. The camel is also iffy. I really am going to have to start practicing more and more if I am ever going to be able to perform this program well consistently!

I would like to see more adult skating programs so I can compare the level of difficulty. That would really help. I’ve seen a few on youtube and they are so great to watch!

I think I am going to start gathering a collection of them on my channel so that they are all in one place. I’ll start posting one or two here as well.

I love posting my favorite amateur and pro skaters here but I think since this is an adult skating journal I should cover the adults more often.

So, in the spirit of things I am posting my first adult figure skating video of the week here – An Adult Silver Skater, Youtube Name: Bublmidget