Friday, October 2, 2009

Fun things from this week

ankle gellie

Skate Spinner

I finally made it to the gym this week and met with a personal trainer. She came up with a split program for me where I work the lower body on Monday (the furthest day away from ice skating) and then work my upper body between skating days. That way I can waste my muscles weight lifting but I should still be able to skate. She put together a mix of weight lifting machines, free weights, ball work and mat work for me. I am working all of my major muscle groups and throwing in some cardio as well. At the end I get to walk on the treadmill at an incline to get my heart rate up. Never done that before. I used to weight lift fairly seriously 17 years ago and have done it on and off since then in small spurts. I am looking forward to getting back into it and recovering some of my muscle mass. Mostly I am looking forward to sit spins being easy again.

On another note, I got tired of rubbing the skin off my ankles with my new boots so I finally ordered ankle gellies from Rainbo Sports. Since I was putting in an order I decided to try an off ice spinner as well. It was a difficult decision since I had no expert advice on them. There are two basic designs: plate style or rocker style. The plate style is actually two plates with ball bearings in the dead center. You stand on the top plate and can only spin around if you are perfectly centered on the bearing. Otherwise the top plate hits the bottom and the whole thing grinds to a halt. The second style is a piece of plastic that has a double curve on the bottom. One is cut to approximate the rocker curve of a skate blade. The second curve is more drastic and is on the short axis of the spinner so you can simulate edges. In the description, the rocker style is endorsed by the PSA (Professional Skaters Association). Well, with no other input, PSA's recommendation is good enough for me. Rocker style it is.

My son was very disappointed when the UPS truck showed up yesterday and the package turned out to be for me instead of him. He chucked the small envelope at me with disgust and I couldn't rip it open fast enough. Out dropped the gellies and the extra laces I ordered but I needed to do some more ripping to extricate the spinner. Once I managed to free it from the almost too small envelope I devoured the enclosed instructions which turned out weren't terribly helpful so I just dropped it on the kitchen floor and took it for a spin (sorry I couldn't resist). I spent the next half hour doing scratch spins, attitude spins and back spins. If I had enough room I would have tried camels but as it is I would have wiped all of my pots off the stove along with the jar of cooking utensils and possibly the block of kitchen knives as well. Considering the potentially disastrous consequences I'll have to stick with upright spins.

I went skating today. Not a bad crowd; the usual Friday ice dancers with the odd speedskater in the mix. There were only three of us figure skaters there. With this particular crowd it is relatively easy to pick a corner and get left alone. I started with eights and loops. I only used them for warmup since I haven't had my blades adjusted yet I don't want to get too comfortable doing edges on them. My loops are getting a distinct lean to them though. I am going into them too late and exiting too early making them lean severely to the left. They look like they've had one too many vodka martinis. Not good especially this early in the day. I'm going to have to work on that. On to the spins. After all that practice last night I should have no trouble with them. HA! Wrong! It was more like starting over again. Bad traveling. Going off my edge. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. I seem to be getting sloppy again now that I am used to my new boots. I am even falling off my inside edge during my camel which I used to do all the time in my old boots. I guess when I was first on the ice with my new boots I was being extra cautious, taking my time and doing things correctly. I was spinning much better two weeks ago than now. Suddenly all of my bad habits are back. I decided that I needed to slow down, take my time and concentrate on my actions. I did a decent scratch spin, a couple of nice multi revolution camels, a half decent sit spin and a back spin with the correct entrance and two full revolutions! I definitely need to slow down so I don't get sloppy. I don't want to start developing a fresh set of bad habits.

I have rave reviews on the ankle gellie. Love the thing!! No pain. No blister. Just copious amounts of sweat. Ick. My little toe went numb but I'm not sure that is the fault of the gellie. I'll find out when I use it again tomorrow. I'll have to get one for the other leg.
All in all a good skating week. Now I just need my blades adjusted and a second ankle gellie and I'll be ready to take lessons again.

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