jo skates

Skating in the key of life

I’m on top of my femur


I have tried not to repeat any musical selections on this blog, but today I’m going to do it anyway. I include this song in a post last January–repeat! I can’t think of a more appropriate theme song for today’s practice session. But boy, is that ever an awkward title!

I’ve tried to cut these corners
Try to take the easy way out
I kept on falling short of something

I coulda gave up then but
Then again I couldn’t have ’cause
I’ve traveled all this way for something.

So I had this lesson yesterday in which Ari told me I wasn’t putting my weight on the correct part of my blade. My weight tends to move too far back towards my heels, which means that I then compensate by leaning my upper body forward. I have written about the “bobbing bird” effect before, but clearly it keeps on bobbing back despite my best efforts to banish it completely.

So we spent some time at the boards going over how my ankles and knees are supposed to bend naturally and my hips need to stay in neutral. And then the kicker: I need to keep the top of my femur over the middle of my foot.

If I do that, all will be well. Or at least better. I had trouble doing it during the lesson (couldn’t quite feel it, couldn’t quite maintain it when I did). But then I thought about it and slept on it and probably dreamt about it (though I can’t remember, I was so tired from skating) and today, it worked.

It made everything better. I could actually feel my foot beneath me, and I felt much more stable on edges and turns. It was one of those great sessions in which I got pretty tired (different muscles) but I was so excited about this new development that I didn’t want to stop.

I’m sure I’ve gone over a similar idea on lessons before. But I have been spending a lot of time thinking about the top of my femur lately. Just ask me where it inserts into my hip and boom, I’m right there! (Haha!) It also helps that my left foot is getting stronger and that I can actually engage the ball of my foot without wincing. That’s an awful lot to be thankful for.

Don’t these lyrics sound appropriate?

I’ve tried to cut these corners
Try to take the easy way out
I kept on falling short of something

I coulda gave up then but
Then again I couldn’t have ’cause
I’ve traveled all this way for something.

Some more lesson notes from the last few weeks:

  • mohawk, b. outside three: where are you looking? Allow body to turn, check coming out of three.
  • outside-outside mohawks: don’t cut off entry edge, lean into circle.
  • brackets, more speed/glide, correct lean into circle, turn in free foot.
  • inside three with extended leg, step forward, cross stroke, repeat on other side: after the turn, open body to outside of circle, skating hip feels like its moving backwards to keep from spiraling in; think about lobes, step forward outside.
  • three step mohawk pattern with knee bend and extension on b. inside edge. Don’t touch down!
  • more speed!
  • alternating progressives (big, three to a side); think about energy, don’t cut off last edge, don’t steer edges.
  • swing rolls: change of edge,then transfer weight, don’t let free hip get ahead, skating hip lead (just scissor free leg for swing).
  • learn to transfer hip weight side to side without letting free hip get ahead.

No cutting corners, no easy ways, no falling short. But I’m on top of my femur!

Author: Joskates

Don't see me on the ice? I may be in the classroom or at the theater, or hanging out with my family and friends.

2 thoughts on “I’m on top of my femur

  1. Hooray for being on top of your femur! That is progress!


  2. Thanks, Eva! We’ll see how the week goes, but right now I’m sooo happy about it!


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