jo skates

Skating in the key of life

Feeling good, moving well, repeating myself

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Scientists have been studying the way people learn new skills, and some believe that practicing different variations on a task, rather than just repeating the same task over and over, helps you learn better. This is due, they think, to the ways in which the brain recalls and processes its memories.

If any scientists out there has funding to study this with adult skaters and needs a test subject–I hereby volunteer!

So at my lesson last week, Laurie told me that my upper body is still moving around in rather random ways. She told me that I should avoid being one of those inflatable figures they use to advertise car dealerships and mobile phone stores. You know, the kind of thing that attracts your attention through flopping around in unpredictable ways.

 

Inflatable

Inflatable man?

Columns_in_the_inner_court_of_the_Bel_Temple_Palmyra_Syria

Or pillar of the community?

Some of this unwanted motion was definitely in response to being uncertain about my edges as well as alignment. I’ve been working on getting a much more solid connection between what’s going on in my blades and what I’m doing with the rest of my body.

Yesterday I went to a rather crazy public session and spent most of my time trying to figure out the optimal spot on my blade for edges.

Today I was inspired by Mary’s post at FitandFed reminding me of Ben Agosto‘s term, “glankles,” in which bending your ankles also fires the gluteal muscles.

This “theme and variations” strategy seems to be working. I’m feeling way more stable this week. Hopefully this will last through the upcoming holiday season.

Some Bach–even with all the times this has been repeated, it’s still beautiful.

Lesson notes:

  • Outer edges from push back: don’t scrunch left side of torso.
  • Lunges: practice basic positions. Also practice just deep knee bend on two feet with feet parallel and not allowing knees to fall inwards.
  • Outside edges: think about where your ribcage is. Turn in new skating foot slightly to grab edge from the beginning.
  • Back inside edge: make sure you are on the correct part of the blade.
  • Progressives: think about what is going on in the skating hip (slight turning in, turn out as the free leg elongates, then the action of the free leg coming in makes it turn in again)
  • Edge pulls, generating speed as you go.
  • Inside and outside mohawk: allow hips to “soften” when the free leg comes in. Work on exit edge
  • Swing roll with edge pull, change edge mohawk: continuous action. Don’t touch down! Do swing roll into skating arm; then arm stays in same place to allow mohawk to turn.
  • Extra work on right swing roll: allow free leg to come around (not directly in or kicking through). Use the straightening of the skating leg to put pressure into edge. Keep hips under.
  • Inside mohawk, push back, toe to heel, back outside three; alternating: foot immediately in front on back edge, mini-edge pull.
  • Inside Mohawk, triple three
  • Three turn, change edge, cross in front, change edge, step forward and repeat on other side: use that back inside edge power pull!
  • Inside counter, back choctaw: work on just allowing the back edge to come around on the back choctaw and just “sliding” off it.
  • Rocker, immediate back three (flat).

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.

7 thoughts on “Feeling good, moving well, repeating myself

  1. I am inspired by the way you are continually learning and practicing.

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  2. Jan, you are so sweet! Everyone misses you at the rink–hope we can see you soon.

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  3. I love your analogy about the inflatable character at car dealerships. I feel like I’m always skating like him! Seriously though, I am glad you are figuring out the best way for you to make progress. Somewhere, I believe I heard this quotation, “Insanity is when you do the same things over and over again and expect a different outcome.” We must learn to adjust and build new connections in order to make progress. 🙂

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  4. Eva, I LOVE this quotation. Skate-insanity rules! And I love seeing your weekly skating connections on those jumps and spins!

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  5. Hi Jo. How fun that you resonated with ‘glankles’! Had you heard him teach on that before? For me, my glutes don’t fire just because I bend my ankles: I have to consciously do both at the same time.

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  6. Mary, my coach Laurie took some workshops with Ben, and she told me that he used that term there. Somehow I always am one degree of separation from this fount of skating wisdom. But I am glad to have the knowledge from those who have touched greatness!

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