I stopped skating for a while mostly due to funds but I'm not back at Lee Valley.
I really need my skates sharpened but can't find anywhere :( Lee valley only do it Thursday evenings & Sunday mornings but tomorrow, next Sunday & Thursday I;m not available.
- Skate Attack - I'm not sure I can just turn up to the shop and get them done.
- Streatham - say they only really do skate that are bought through them, email doesn't work.
- Queensway - Can I just show up and get them done they say they usually do a 2 day service but may do 'while you wait'
- Ally Pally - not sure what they do
I think I've figured out why my cute teenage skating instructor
turned out to be so unexpectedly good at teaching.
I had no idea, really. I suppose I should have suspected something when we kept having substitute teachers because Alex was out of town competing in something or other. I guess next week he'll be here
And the first week that he missed a class he must have been here
At my Tuesday class I started out (as usual) shaky on the whole concept, but sometime during the class I started getting the RFO 3 turn again, even better than last week. My skating buddy Julie saw me do three in a row that she called "flawless" (probably a bit of an exaggeration, but it's nice to know that they looked as good as they felt). Now the big test - can I do it again at tonight's class - the one I think of as my "real" skating class? Or will my new knowledge desert me when I try to show it to the coach I want to impress?
The Tuesday class is an odd one. I signed up for it solely for convenience reasons - it's at a rink that is literally on my way home from work at a time that I can actually manage easily. Other than that, it's a pretty substandard class environment, as is often the case with adult group classes. 2/3 of the rink is in use by the local figure skating club at that time. Our class is not only jammed into the remaining 1/3 of the ice, we are sharing it with a large class of tiny pre-Alpha skaters! The rink figures they can get away with this because they never get more than a handful of students for these adult evening classes. Sure enough, there are only 4 of us -- at 3 different skating levels! Julie is learning jumps and spins, I'm working on 3 turns and mohawks, and the other two ladies are beginners struggling with forward glides. On top of all that, the instructor is a baby-faced teenage boy who has never taught adults before. Sounds like a disaster, right?
Yet, somehow I seem to be making more progress in this class than I ever have in any other class. Go figure. Instructor Alex is not only cute as a button and sweet as sugar, he seems to be a natural teacher. Not only is he a gifted skater, he seems to have a knack for breaking a move down into its smallest components and figuring out which of those little sub-components is the key problem for the student. Then he uses his flexible young body effectively to demonstrate exactly what the difference is between doing it right and doing it wrong. So he moves from one student to the next, analyzes something very specific to work on, watches a few iterations and then moves on. Julie and I have been kind of working together, taking what Alex says and giving each other feedback on whether we're doing it or not. So far we've had two lessons with Alex and both of us have had breakthroughs in the moves we're working on. Hard to argue with that.
Well, I finally got back on the ice after about eight years, and I seem to almost be back to where I left off with skating... pretty much terrible at it, but for some reason I still enjoy it and believe I could get better.
I have a little problem, though - my left boot is really digging into my ankle for some reason! They're not super-new boots, they were definitely broken in before I stopped skating, but it's actually done this
to my ankle and it kills trying to do back crossovers one direction because of the pressure.
Any advice? Should I wrap my ankle? It's only the left one, the right boot is fine.
also, do you have any recommendations for websites that have advice on basic skating techniques? I'm gonna spend this first month just working on edges, crossovers, turns and such and then start up with (basic) lessons in November.
I've been working on 3-turns for over a year. Looked back at some notes I made, and I see that in July of 2008 I excitedly reported: "Did my first one-footed 3-turns last week! RFO only. Sloppy, but I did 3 or 4 last Friday and several more on Tuesday." In September, 2008 (just about a year ago) I find this: "
Also, my RFO 3-turn suddenly started working right. Until tonight my left foot would swing out and throw me off balance. Can't do it every time, though."
Well, guess what - that's EXACTLY where I was a year later, just before starting my fall lessons. I could do a nice 3 pattern on my right foot, but 90% of the time ended up off balance with my arms flapping in the breeze and my left foot swinging out to the side. Every now and then I would surprise myself and do it more or less correctly 3 or 4 times in a row just before my legs got too tired to continue skating. Then the next time I skated I had completely lost the feel.
But last week, I really believed I had made a breakthrough. I got some good tips from both instructors and finally started to see some benefit from an exercise I'd been doing against the rink wall (holding my arms extended on the wall, and just snapping my legs and hips back and forth two-footed). Last Sunday (Oct 4) I was able to do a balanced 3-turn repeatedly in a little space I'd carved out for myself in the middle of a chaotic open-skate session. I was sure I had it. I was able to repeat it at my Tuesday class, but the instructor was a sub so she had no reason to be impressed by my form, not having seen what I was doing the week before.
Then I went to class on Wednesday with Tina, excited to show her how much I'd improved. Alas, I couldn't do it at all. I sort of remembered what to do with my arms, but my balance was off and my hips just wouldn't snap. I not only couldn't turn I had a hard time not falling over every time I tried it. *sigh*
I went to my favorite open skate last night and was somewhere in between. I managed just a couple of pretty good 3-turns, but not as good as the ones I was doing earlier in the week. What happened to my breakthrough???
I'm an adult figure skater (serious but not competitive) looking for other adult skaters to chat with and trade tips.
I started figure skating lessons in December of 2007, mostly because I was looking for a way to stay active through the winter when biking season was over. I didn't skate as a child except for a little bit of bumbling around on the local mill pond with over-large skates. I took a couple of quarters of figure skating in college just for fun, but that was almost 40 years ago and I have forgotten almost everything I learned. Skating is definitely NOT like riding a bike, I've discovered! As you get older (and in my case, fatter) your center of gravity changes, balance of muscle tone changes, and apparently some of the brain cells just die off. Anyway, it was almost like starting over from scratch - I couldn't even skate backwards on two feet! Not only that, my feet would tense up so much when I skated that I had to stop and rest every 10 minutes to keep my feet from cramping. Not a very auspicious beginning.
But I love the feeling of gliding along on the ice, and dimly remembered that it was even more fun when I could find my edges and do a few turns, so I kept at it. I scoured the Web looking for ice arenas in my metro area that offered adult lessons and/or open skating at times that were useful for a working adult. I found that schedules for both lessons and open skating vary wildly from month to month and ended up with a spreadsheet tracking the schedules at a multitude of ice arenas. I've taken lessons at 3 different locations, and have 6 different rinks that I track for open skating. With one thing and another I have managed to keep skating 1 to 3 times a week year round (although the pickings are pretty thin in August and early September!).
I really love skating, but I have to admit that I have very little natural talent for it. Although I was an active tomboy as a child and have enjoyed physical activity my whole life, I have always been something of a klutz. I just don't have terribly good balance, so my progress has been slow. But I do keep inching forward, especially when I manage to skate three times/week.
As I close in on 2 years of skating, here's where I'm at:
- I can now skate for up to an hour and a half (the longest block of time available to me) - a big improvement over stopping every 10 minutes to unclench my feet!
- Forward edges: pretty good on all four. Backward edges: I can do them all, but my balance is weak on the left leg.
- Forward crossovers: good, although I find it awkward on a large circle. I'm pretty good at using tight crossovers to change direction.
- Back crossovers: a year ago when I was testing for Beta I had it down. But I've been working on other things for last 6-9 months and my CCW back crossovers have decayed alarmingly. I'm taking lessons again, and my teacher is pushing me to practice this.
- Stops. My right T-stop is really good. Left one is okay, but I usually stop on the other foot. Snowplow stop - what a dumb move. Why would anybody every use this stop once they learn the t-stop? They made me do it in my first class, but I haven't done it since. Hockey stop - I can sort of do a one-footed version one direction, but not very well. I would like to learn this, but it's never come up in any of my lessons. I think that figure-skaters don't really like this stop and they don't like teaching it.
- Forward swing rolls and chasses: I took beginning ice dancing for 6 months and got reasonably good at these moves.
- Forward and backward slaloms (2-footed): I love doing these. My favorite warmup.
- One-footed slalom (I think it's called something else, though): I can do 4 or 5 of these before i start to lose my balance. Fun.
- Forward inside mohawks: I can do these both directions, but my form is very sloppy in the R to L direction.
- Right outside reverse mohawk (step-out): I can do this easily right-to-left, but am totally unable to do it the other way. It's all part of my weakness with LBI and LBO edges.
- Three-turns. My nemesis. I've been on the edge of mastering the RFO 3-turn for over a year and never seem to get any better. Hopeless at the LFO 3-turn. Haven't even tried the inside turns.
- Cross-behinds: a weird move that came up in my ice dance class and was clearly way beyond my ability. I worked on it for weeks, hanging onto the wall, and can now do them (slowly) with a straight glide in between. I actually got to the point where I could do two in a row, but never made it to to three (which is what the Rhythm Blues calls for).
- Combinations: 5-step mohawk: I can't do it gracefully, but I can get through the sequence. Power 3: I could probably do this in at least one direction if I ever master the 3-turn.
My current goals: 3-turns!!! I am determined to learn this move before my 2-year anniversary! I would also like to learn the hockey stop and improve my form on the RFI mohawk.
So... that's where I'm at. How about the rest of you?
I'm an adult skater in my second year of lessons looking for others to talk to. I was delighted to find this community, but it doesn't seem terribly active any more. Anybody looking for an online skating buddy?
I'm just kind of curious - if you're a member of a figure skating club, what is your relationship with it as an adult skater? Actively involved, or do you just pay dues so that you can test/compete/whatever? Is there much support for the adult skaters in your rink?
I've always been fairly involved in my club, but of the 8-10 of us "senior citizen skaters," only two of us really keep up on what's going on. I'm in a position now to reach out to the rest of them to possibly get things more organized, but I'm really not sure where to start. Anyone have any suggestions?