Skating goals and keeping the old bod on the ice

by Mary on December 6, 2014

skating at Lloyd Center

at Lloyd Center last month

Hi friends. I’m back after a three week break from blogging and skating that was a great rest for my body and mind. In September I made a list of goals for my September through June skating season, thought I’d share. I also finally decided to share my video from my competition a month ago (below).

One thing I’ve discovered about skating goals: they take way longer to accomplish than I imagine. Most of these will likely still be on the ‘want’ list in June. I have to focus on enjoying the process and looking for small improvements to appreciate, otherwise I’ll become frustrated.

My Goals:

General skating: Less scratching. Improve carriage especially shoulders. Nice expression, no scowling or mouth hanging open (a low standard I know). Extend legs. So far: maybe a little progress.

Freestyle elements: Learn camel spin and sit-change-sit, at least sit-change-sit if not both in program. Improve centering of spins. Get all jumps that I have (up to lutz) as solid as possible.

So far: Both of those spins are in my freestyle program, but neither one is good enough to receive credit as such. I’ve made some progress on centering my front scratch spin, sometimes I’m quite happy with that. A couple of skating friends spontaneously told me that my jumps looked solid. Encouraging!

Moves: Improve power pulls, twizzles. Learn juvenile moves (not sure if will have time), at least learn power 3 pattern and whatever else will give me more power/speed. I did a lot of these in the adult moves already but want to go back and learn them better.

My coaches felt that the juvenile moves would be more useful than the intermediate moves for my skating. The juvenile moves include skills like cross-steps that occur in my programs. They also include power pulls, and mine really need more work. When I worked on power pulls as part of the adult silver moves, I did as few of them as possible because they aggravated my knees.

Lloyd Center again

Lloyd Center again

So far: I had several lessons on the juvenile moves with coach Kim. We went all the way back to the beginning with the power pulls and I worked on them on two feet, then on one foot without overusing my arms. Under those conditions I cannot get any speed at all, but hopefully I’m getting some technique. I also learned the outside mohawk pattern, which has changed since I took the adult silver test from simple circles to a figure eight.

Ice dance: Work on pre-silver dances. Hope to test a couple before coach Ty leaves town next June. So far: I’ve skated the pre-silver dances enough to remember the steps.

Programs/events: Bring both dramatic program (rose program) and bronze freestyle program (to Fantasia on a Theme by Tallis) to Adult Sectionals and Nationals. For both, focus on artistry: extension, expression, not scratching, flow and speed. And also good spins and jumps of course! Hope to skate a couple of events to prepare, like competition at Lloyd Center in November, maybe one other.

So far: I did bring my Tallis program to Lloyd Center. This week I worked on artistry in my rose program and tried for prettier jump landings, more extension.

For the next several months the programs will be my first priority. Doubt I’ll have much time for the moves and dances. Unfortunately I have a new overuse injury, peroneal tenosynovitis on the right foot, that is limiting the amount of time I can practice. It’s not bad enough to need PT right now, but of course I don’t want to worsen it by overtraining.

So that adds another, urgent goal: learning a hockey stop on the left foot. Beginner move, right? But I always stop with a hockey stop on the right foot, and can barely do a hockey stop on the left. Not, I think, coincidentally, the tendon that has problems is responsible for turning the bottom of the right foot up to the outside, exactly as I do with a fair amount of pressure in that stop.

I could instead do a T-stop, which turns the foot to the inside instead of everting it. But the tendon on the inside of my foot has had problems too. Duct tape and baling wire, I tell ya, but for now it’s skate on…

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

GiGi Eats December 8, 2014 at 2:51 am

PLEASE post a video of you skating, I must watch! I give skaters so much credit because it’s SOOOO hard!
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mary December 8, 2014 at 4:03 am

Hi Gigi, there ought to be a couple of links to my programs in the post above, were they missing for you?


Cheri December 8, 2014 at 4:47 am

Just stumbled on your blog. What a COOL post. I do not have any cool talents like that!
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mary December 9, 2014 at 4:31 am

Aw thanks Cheri! Though it looks like you can do plenty of cool things I’ve never done like run a marathon and teach Zumba! I read a lot of running/fitness blogs because there the closest thing out there to mine, there are only a few bloggers out there who are also adult figure skaters. So I’m happy to find your blog, I think your outlook is very simpatico with mine.


Marcia December 8, 2014 at 3:19 pm

Your edging is beautiful and way to hang on to that reverse sit, my friend! Did you find the background noise/screaming in the mall setting distracting?? All the best with your goals. Yes, skating often takes so much time. I have many impatient students!
Speedy recovery with your peroneal tendonitis. I had the same thing, but from running. My sports chiro worked magic on it. Here’s to a fantastic new season!
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mary December 8, 2014 at 4:45 pm

Ooh, sports chiro. Maybe that’s the type of person I need to find. Did you have to take any time off or could you train through it? Yes, holding on to semi-out-of-control spins is a specialty, I have a lot of practice at it, LOL. And I do love my edges, that’s why I like ice dance. Thanks, Marcia! P.S. The noise at the mall did not bother me, in fact I liked the atmosphere, more like a normal day out at the mall than like a competition, I thought that was kind of relaxing.


Marcia December 9, 2014 at 8:00 pm

Mary I did take time off from running when I had the peroneal tendonitis. I did pool running instead and that worked out just fine. K-tape after that. Hopefully you won’t need to!
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mary December 9, 2014 at 9:56 pm

Thanks for the details, Marcia. I saw my massage therapist today and he thinks I am doing much better than before my three week break. Nonetheless I am going to see a well-regarded sports chiro next week, first one I have ever seen. Thanks for the nudge on that.


Eva December 8, 2014 at 5:04 pm

Great job, Mary! You look so poised and confident out there! Those are some great goals for next year, and I think you can do it. For power and speed, I do a lot of the Adult Bronze and Silver MIF patterns down the ice for my warmup. I don’t focus on the patterns; instead I am primarily working on pushing with each leg and maintaining/gaining speed with each push. I also do a lot of warmups on the hockey circles. Let me know if you want me to share some of those!
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mary December 9, 2014 at 1:17 am

Thanks, Eva! Sure I’m interested to know what moves you are using to work on power and speed. Adult Silver and Juvenile have a lot of overlap so I’m sure if I work on Juvenile I’ll be doing some of the same patterns that you are.


Joanne December 8, 2014 at 8:49 pm

It’s tough to stop even when something hurts. We try to just work through it thinking maybe it will get better.
As for the video, you’re looking great. Keep it up but be careful.
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mary December 8, 2014 at 10:42 pm

Thanks, Joanne! I will try to be careful, going to see my massage therapist tomorrow, will see what he thinks.


thedoseofreality December 9, 2014 at 12:22 am

Absolutely AMAZING!! Am blown away by your talent! WOW!-Ashley
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mary December 10, 2014 at 5:34 am

Thanks Ashley!


Lindsey S December 12, 2014 at 10:26 pm

Great to see you posting again, Mary. Your program is lovely – you’re a lovely smooth skater. Keep up the good work!
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