Saturday, May 17, 2014

Whirling dervish

Whirling dervish?  Not me.  I'm still struggling with my forward single foot spin.  I have what is known on the skating forum as a "Sarah Palin spin" (on a clear day it travels all the way from here to Russia).  It's so bad that a junior competitive skater mistook it and congratulated me for having a great twizzle.

I was over a Piney Orchard, Thursday afternoon, and after another frustrating day of getting no better with the single foot spin, the tempting thought occurred that perhaps I should play to my strengths rather than my weaknesses.  Problem with that approach is that if I start experimenting with twizzles I'll probably (a). never center a spin properly for the rest of my life and (b). I may not learn enough to twizzle either.  But who am I to kick temptation in the mouth?  Sweet pipes, play on!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Bowie to get a new two-sheet rink

I've been attending city council meetings, not because I hang on every word from our local pols, but rather to lend support for a new ice arena in my home town.  Of course there have been several groups representing competing interests, all vying for council's ear and the limited funding which the town can muster.   These groups had agendas  supporting facilities ranging from an aquatic center, to more outdoor turf facilities,  to gymnasiums with basketball/volley ball courts, etc.  And yes, there were also groups against all of the above if taxes were to go up.  When it came down to a vote this past Tuesday evening, the council went 6 to 1 in favor of a multi-sports complex which includes a new two-sheet ice arena.

Hopefully once the new arena is functional there will be more opportunity for adult figure skaters during early evening hours when most working adults can actually use the ice.  For example it would be nice to have sessions specifically for ice dance.  Currently, ice dance lessons and practice take place during public sessions or free style sessions.  Neither are optimal, especially during the crowded holiday season or the run up to late winter/early spring competitions.  Another benefit of a two-sheet arena is that we should be able to avoid the dreaded two month annual maintenance closure that we currently endure each spring.  One sheet or the other should always be up.   

I am glad that the supporters of the new ice rink thought things through and didn't over reach by asking for a three-sheet arena.  The only facility near us with more than two sheets of ice is struggling financially, even with a strong hockey presence, and as a result one hears constant complaints about poor ice quality and other obvious cost cutting measures while at the same time charging over the odds.  I think we can support two sheets.  Three doesn't appear to be economically feasible--at least not in this area.

Anyway, you can read all about it here: 

Ironically,  by the time the new arena opens I'll probably be retired and thus will have the time flexibility to skate whenever it's convenient.  I have to keep reminding myself it isn't always about me!

Friday, May 9, 2014

So, you think you're strong and flexible? Get a load of this.

While not ice skaters, the Ross sisters certainly display a full range of motion that many figure skaters will envy.  My entire body hurts after just one viewing! The real action begins at about the one minute mark of this four minute clip.  A diarist "tip of the hat" to skating friend, S. for directing my attention to the video clip above.  I had not heard of this trio before.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

On the road to enlightenment; What do we want? "MINDFULNESS!" When do we want it? "NOW!"

Along with warming up/down and stretching before/after taking the ice, I also go to a local yoga class.  I'm not a particularly diligent yogi.  I only go once or twice a week.  But it's different.  Different enough that it's already opened my eyes to new possibilities:

Found this in a local bottle shop.  I normally drink IPAs but decided to give it a go.  I took a bottle to my yoga instructor; kinda like bringing the teacher an apple but kickin' it up a notch.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Rhythm Blues

The RB is the third of the three so called "preliminary" pattern dances that most beginning ice dance students tackle.  Just in time for a certain person, K & O have posted a video demonstrating this dance.  I particularly like that they've used more pleasing music than what's typically on offer.  To be frank, most of the music used at this level recommends itself mainly because the beat contained within the respective tune is strongly emphasized and, in turn, the tempo has the correct number of beats per minute.  Both of these qualities are important during the learning of a dance, particularly in the case of neophytes like your diarist for whom "musicality" and "artistic interpretation" are characteristics just barely within detectable limits. 

Beyond that, most of the music inflicted upon students does little to popularize ice dancing.  It amazes me that kid-couples can get pass the ick factor contained in this genre and stick with ice dance.  Goes to show how dedicated they are!

Enough of that.  Enjoy the new video.  Thanks again to Kseniya and Oleg.