Best Ever Mockumentary on Adult Figure Skating…

Scary thing is…..I do come dangerously close to eating, sleeping and breathing figure skating!
Does anyone know who made this?   Love it!! Can’t wait for the next installment!
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Figure Skating in the Arena of Life…

This is what it will look like!

After at least six months of deliberation — OK it’s longer than that, but that’s all I’m willing to admit publicly — I heretofore and with great ado, announce that I’ve embarked on a second book project.

Since it was published, almost two years ago, many of my readers have encouraged me by purchasing my first endeavor, a 50 page online book, entitled:  “Figure Skating?????  At Your Age????  An Introduction and Encouragement for the Hesitant Figure Skater of a “Certain” Age.”

I love writing and knew when I published my online book that I wanted to write many more.  I have spent considerable time thinking about and discussing what content should go in the second one as well as whom it should be aimed at.

I thought that perhaps a book for more advanced adult skaters dealing with things like competing at Nationals, injury management, etc. would be a worthwhile project.  It would have probably been an online book, and while it would have been fun to write, it more than likely would not have reached a wide audience or become a best seller.

Usually by the time an adult figure skater reaches this stage, he or she probably has a coach and access to most of this information.  There is also no possible way a book can help you master ice skating either.  You need a qualified figure skating coach to look at and correct you in real time… and then stay on your case until you get it right consistently.

I’m preaching to the choir here, but I think we can all agree that ice skating is life and many lessons learned on the ice are metaphors for life lessons.

For example:

Conquering your nerves and anxiety on a test or competitive situation gives you the wherewithal to control your nerves when making an important corporate presentation or going for a job interview.

Accepting that you don’t have the body of an airbrushed and photo-shopped model and going out on the ice and giving it your all in a sparkly lycra dress.

And, of course, the one thing we do a lot of every time we step on the ice: fall down!  As one of my former coaches used to say, ”You don’t start to learn until you start to fall”.  As a teenager, I had no idea how prophetic these words were to be in my life.

As skaters, we know this well.  I would like to share these life lessons with women in their 50’s who want to review and re-evaluate their life goals.  I want to give them strategies and encouragement to tackle those things that keep them up at night.  It would also show how participating in sport or any activity you love can give you the confidence and wisdom to do this.

There I’ve said it and now that I’ve put it out there I’m expecting you, my dear readers to keep me accountable to complete this project.

Figure Skating is Life… let’s tell the world!

What life lesson did you learn in skating?  How could you use your experience to encourage a non figure skating friend?

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Battling Your Figure Skating Demons

As adult ice skaters, we often have situations playing out in our non- ice skating lives that follow us to the rink.  In this  must-watch video,  elite US figure skaters share what their biggest figure skating challenges have been.    

Could you have ever guessed what Meryl Davis’ biggest challenge was?

Some of the challenges are heart-breaking such as death of a loved one, others are are testimony to just how tough figure skaters are,  such as coming back from a serious injury.    Enjoy and be inspired!   What has been your biggest figure skating challenge?

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Is Figure Skating A Real Sport?


Some  suggest figure skating is not a sport. Former Olympian Marie-France Dubreuil and NHLer Mathieu Dandenault come to its defense in this radio interview earlier this year.

Listen to Radio Noon interview 

Matthieu is very complimentary  towards figure skaters!

Here’s a video of Marie France and Mathieu

One of my favorite pro hockey players to watch is the Montreal Canadien’s  PK Subban…he’s got to be one of the most agile and athletic players I have ever seen,  I’m sure he could easily master a Level 4 footwork sequence.

Of course we all know ice skating is a real sport, no argument there.    Which pro hockey player do you think could easily make the (waltz) jump from hockey to figure skating?

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Getting It!


Cindy’s Got Glide!

Sometimes life’s like a roller coaster ride… along slow uphill slog and then… WHEEEEeeeeee!!!

For many of us adult ice skaters, figure skating is life, and the above analogy works equally well.  For example, you struggle with an element for the longest time (back spin anyone?), you are on the verge of giving up and then something just clicks –, and… you’ve got it!!  What a great feeling!

As a coach, the feeling of satisfaction I get when one of my students has a breakthrough like this is almost as good as when I finally “get it” in my own skating.  On Tuesday nights, I teach two different groups of beginners.  In my first group, I have two adults and in my second group, three 7 and 8 year-old boys.

In the past few weeks, I have seen the light go on for all of my students, as they master the basics of figure skating.

Just by looking at his expression, you would have thought he had hit the ball out of the park, when little Roy made the connection between making snow and stopping.  Last week, he made the connection between swinging a bat in T-Ball and initiating the rotation of a two-foot spin.

When Joachim, my Energizer Bunny, learned to glide on two feet… going really fast — and without falling down.  It was Christmas in June!

When soft-spoken Bhu “got” swizzles, there was no stopping him and they had to be bigger and faster than anyone else’s swizzles!

Cecile is one of my adult beginners.  She has a gymnastics background and breezed through all the elements of stage one… except for backwards skating.  She couldn’t figure out how to push off her inside edges to propel herself backwards.  Until, one day between the two of us, we figured out a little exercise that helped her to get the feeling of bend and stretch.  She left that day with a mission to find as much public ice as possible, so that she could master this skill as fast as possible!

Cindy is my other adult beginner; she struggled for at least 4 weeks without success to glide on the ice (as opposed to just walking on the ice).  Her kids are both in the group right next to us, on the “Mini” (little kids introductory) session and Cindy stoically accepted the reality that they were advancing faster than her.

I can see a lot of myself in Cindy; when I am trying to master a particular skill, sometimes I just need to go off in a quiet corner and play with it a bit.  I had left her to her own devices and was working with another skater.  Well, when I looked over to make sure she was OK, there she was, slowly moving forward and actually gliding a little on each foot!  VICTORY!!

She was so thrilled that she just wanted to bask in the moment.  At her request, I let her go back to her quiet corner and just have her moment… and contentedly glide along on each foot.  The following week, Cindy mastered gliding on two feet, rudimentary stopping and began skating backwards.

Our Adult Figure Skater of the Month for June is none other than — drum roll please –   Cindy!!

What is your favorite “Got It!” moment as an adult ice skater.  We want to hear about it!

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Adult Figure Skaters Pay it Forward

DoWhatYouLoveMy recent post  on special needs figure skaters generated some great feed back.   Several of you have volunteered to work with special needs skaters and some of you actually have some type of physical limitation but love the freedom and challenge of ice skating.

Julie sent me a link to her blog, another wonderful read and I want to share it with you and my hope is that   you will be inspired to “pay it forward”.  It doesn’t matter whether you do this through  something that is figure skating related  or some other activity.  Random and planned acts of kindness are always in fashion!

“I want to share a beautiful experience with you, that touched my heart and made my soul dance (or more appropriately, skate!)

A group of adult skaters at my rink – including myself – were asked to help out with a group of visually impaired and blind children, and teach them to skate.

I was a bit nervous beforehand because it’s been a little while since I’ve done any regular coaching – mixed with the fact I’d be relying solely on my words and descriptions to teach them, with little to no demonstrations. Fortunately my job as a radio journalist and presenter means I communicate stories for a living, without the use of any pictures or visual clues, and I think that helped.”

Read Whole Post Here.

Thanks Julie :)   I challenge you, dear readers to do some random act of kindness this week, it doesn’t have to be huge, in fact other than yourself nobody may even know about it.   For example picking up a piece of trash at a park makes is a little safer for some of the park animals.  Even though it was almost 20 years ago, I will be forever grateful to the anonymous young man who gave up his seat on a crowded bus to a very pregnant mom (me) with the antsy toddler.

Posted in adult figure skater, adult skaters, Special needs skaters. | Tagged | 4 Comments

Letters…We Get Letters…

overcomenEver since I was a kid figure skater I’ve loved to get letters…I’m ancient enough to remember when snail mail was it,  I realized early on that if you want to get letters you have to write them so via  my school’s pen-pal club I acquired friends from far away places such as Tonga and Hong Kong.

Now that I’ve become a web geek,  all my correspondence is electronic but I still love it when people connect, take for example Amanda who wrote me a few weeks ago.

Amanda writes:
“…..I absolutely love your blog. Just this January I have returned to the sport of figure skating after 20 years! It truly suprizes me that I have been able to retain so much from so long ago and your blog is truly an inspiration to adult enthusiasts of the sport. Since I was not sure if I was going to be able to reacclimate to the sport, initially, I got riedell 112 recreational skates and as I am progressing through the early FS 1 and 2 and single jumps, I realize that I will soon need to upgrade. Any recommendations on what would be a good skate for me? How do you feel about Jackson Freestyle skates. Any advice would be helpful!!–”

Well Amanda, let me start by saying it’s great to have you back!   I can answer your question although not  as a boot-fitting expert, for that you should find a good local skate shop, but I can answer your question as a fellow adult figure skater.

When I came back to ice skating after being off almost 15 years,  I was like you and didn’t feel ready to spend big bucks on new figure skates since I didn’t know how long I would last,  in fact I used my old beat up skates for the first year or so.    Since then I have had several different brands of skates.   I  have been through Risports, GAMs, Jacksons and now EDEAs.

I liked the Jacksons very much….especially the heat molding.   It took me about three hours to break them in and they lasted me about 18-24 months.    Right now, EDEAs are all the rage when I train,   it took me about 8 hours to really feel comfortable in them but I was doing all my jumps by the end of the first two hours.

How fast your skates break down is a function of so many different factors.   For example, with my last pair of Risports I never did up the top hook in the 18 months I wore them, at that point I was doing dance 6-8 hours  a week and they are still way too stiff for me .  On the other hand, my friend Sylvie  broke hers down in less than three months just doing singles.

I now have Edea Concertos, supposedly the same boot that Patrick Chan does quads in and not the stiffest model that Edea makes. My friend Sylvie?  She’s still doing huge singles but in Edea Ice Fly, the stiffest boot they make she loves them and is happy that they are not breaking down prematurely.

So Amanda all this to say that as far as skates are concerned  what works for you can be vastly different from what works for me.   Don’t forget what blade you use will also bear on how the skate feels as well.   Just don’t be tied to one particular manufacturer because famous skaters wears that brand.

What brand of figure skate do yo wear?  Do you have any advice to share with Amanda?

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All Hail The Zamboni Driver!

If you are devoted adult figure skater  then you have spent time waiting for the zamboni to resurface your ice between practice sessions.   Where I train, the ice is resurfaced every one to two hours depending on the the number of skaters on the ice and their level.   For example the learn to skate classes are only re done after two hours but the sessions for the novice/junior and senior level skaters are re done every hour.

The drivers are usually rink employees who perform a variety of tasks, but as far as we ice skaters are concerned this is the most important of all!  A few take their job to heart and ask what we think of the ice and are quite pleased when we give them a thumbs up.

So how does one prepare to be a top-notch  Zamboni driver?   Have a look at the video to find out.  

One thing I have observed over the the years is that Zamboni drivers tend to be pretty modest and low key folk.    I have to admit that driving the Zamboni is on my bucket list, OK maybe not high up there on the list but up there all the same!   

Apparently I may not have much longer to do this since someone has invented a resurfacing robot!

Do you have a secret yen to drive the Zamboni?  Would you like to drive it at, say Madison Square Garden?   What’s on you figure skating bucket list?

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Best Ever Ice Dance Video.

Words elude me…. this is brilliant!

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Special Needs Ice Skaters

SpOlySmileSometimes it’s rough being and adult ice skater, maybe you are over weight,  uncoordinated,   tired, stiff and some days you wish you were just 20 years younger.     There may be a (thankfully) rare occasion when some may find you pathetically amusing.  But does that stop you from getting out there and figure skating?


Xan-boni is the alias of a United States  figure skating coach who posts sporadically on figure skating.   Recently she wrote a wonderful post about  her weekly class of special needs figure skaters.

The Kids Who Won’t Go to the Olympics

“I’ve been working with atypical skaters for several years– kids who have special needs, first as a designated aide, and now as a Program Leader with the Northern Suburban Special Recreation Association (NSSRA), part of a national movement of “SRAs,” essentially park districts for individuals with special needs.

On Saturday mornings, I teach in a fast growing program called SPICE (SPecial skaters ICE Experience) with 20 kids and 20+ “buddies”– high level skaters who work one-on-one with class participants. SPICE was NSSRA’s very first program, a couple of decades ago. Here’s a typical class:”

Read entire post

Whatever our level and whatever our abilities as ice skaters, we are all united by our passion for our sport.   The competitive special needs skaters I have had the privilege to meet are as fiercely competitive and any world champion…..    and they remind me of what’s really important when I’m having a figure skating pity-party for myself.

Have you had the opportunity to meet or skate with a special needs skater?  Share it with us!

Posted in Adult ice skater, figure skating, figure skating coach, Special needs skaters. | Tagged , , | 2 Comments