Skating - Old (Personal) News

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Test Session
Babson Skating Club
Babson Skating Center

I passed my Adult Pre-Bronze FS test. So I am officially no longer a "No Test" skater!

Test Session
Patriot Ice Club
Foxboro Sports Center

Barb passed her Adult Gold MiF and Intermediate MiF tests, and, despite much nervousness and some silly errors, I passed my Adult Pre-Bronze MiF test. I learned a lot about the necessity of preparing mentally for a "performance" that didn't involve music, which usually helps me focus and have fun.

Much thanks to the club and its Test Chair for accommodating Barb's desire to skate the Intermediate MiF test after her Gold, which initially didn't seem possible due to the busyness of the test session!

2007 Cranberry Open
The Bog
Kingston, MA

We watched a few events (and friends who competed in them), and competed in three ourselves (as individual skaters).

2007 "Summer Sensation"
Patriot Ice Club
Foxboro Sports Center

Barb and I performed our "Happy Face" routine, and each did a solo program (she did her "Benny & Joon" routine, while I did my USFS "Lasagna" routine).

This two-hour show featured numerous young and adult skaters, and a well-choreographed, enjoyable Finale.


Barb and I started working on our first-ever duet about a week ago. It "debuts" this coming Saturday evening!

Earlier this year, Barb passed her ISI Freestyle 5 test.


Barb passed her Adult Silver MiF test, with flying colors!


Had my first "case" of somebody (a coach, though not my own) asking me for help finding music for a skater's program, resulting in them choosing one of the songs I'd picked out of my "vast" (1,000 or so) collection of CDs! Nice to be able to help out this way, and to put my longstanding love of music together with my newfound love of figure skating.


My wife passed her Adult Pre-Bronze and Bronze Moves in the Field and Freestyle tests last week at New England Figure Skating Club. These are the first figure-skating tests she's taken since passing Pre-Gold Dance tests as a youngster.

Congratulations Barbara!

Also, today I did my first Waltz-Waltz-Waltz sequences, and generally, despite problems with my takeoffs, my landings are pretty good and I hold them for several seconds, sometimes for a complete circle.


More updates on Shepherd Clark. The short story: he fell ill early in the week at the 2003 US Nationals, it seriously caught up with him shortly after the short program Thursday, resulting in his having to withdraw after testing the waters during the free-skate warmup Saturday.


I skated this morning for the first time since 07-24, over five weeks ago.

At first I was somewhat shaky, and since the surgeon who repaired my right arm says I can (as of my appointment yesterday) skate only for "conditioning" but cannot do anything that risks falling, I didn't push it. Did limited work on finding my blades again.

Because it takes about 3 months to fully recover from this type of injury, I probably won't be allowed to skate full-out until late October. Sigh...we thought we heard the surgeon say, four weeks ago, that he might clear me to skate as of yesterday's appointment, so I felt "ready to roll". But the fact that I still can't straighten my arm out completely kept me from being fully convinced that I'd be allowed to skate full-out.

In the meantime, I'll probably skate two or three times a week, early in the mornings, to avoid crowded ice, for an hour a day, since there's not much I can do, as a beginner, that doesn't involve some risk of falling.

Seeing some "old friends" at the rink was a real treat, as was being with my wife, who made sure her schedule would allow her to skate for an hour before heading in to work. (She even managed to "score" a pick-up lesson with one of her favorite coaches, who was available early and able to push another scheduled lesson off for half an hour to accommodate Barb.)

While I definitely have missed skating, and will continue to miss working on and learning new moves, I've put my energies into off-ice training. I'm probably a bit more fit now than when I injured myself, and hope to be in even better shape by the time I'm cleared to resume my normal skating activities.

And I should mention how grateful I am for the excellent prognoses following the surgery (on 07-25) and yesterday. Though some mechanical problems require a bit of attention soon (I'll undergo a minor surgical procedure in a couple of weeks to remove some slipping metal work), everything that truly belongs to "me" seems to be doing very well, including my increasing range of motion, which I was originally told was especially problematic for the elbow joint, but which I'm now told is progressing very well in my particular case.

So, while I was a bit disappointed to miss competing in the 2002 ISI World Championships, which would probably have resulted in my being able to call myself the "World Champion Alpha Male", a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity (since I'm likely to "test up" to Beta level soon after resuming full-out skating), that pales in comparison to all I have to be grateful for, in terms of health, friends, and so on.


Injured my right arm this morning. It requires surgery, scheduled for tomorrow morning.

The doctor says that while it's possible I'll not have to be in a cast and might have good movement of the arm shortly after surgery, he doesn't want me skating for at least a couple of months.


Found out from the on-line schedule that my events at the Worlds will be basically identical, competition-wise, to the Districts: two female competitors in stroking, no competitors in the freestyle event.


According to the mailing I received Monday from the ISI, the tentative schedule for my events at the Worlds has me skating Wednesday and Friday mornings. Please try to come to see me on Friday at least, and cheer for me and stuff!

Another adult figure skating has a web site, "Figure Skating Journal, Reflections of an Adult Figure Skater". I was looking at it a few weeks ago; it is really nice, and likely to be of more interest to anyone beyond beginning figure skating.


Had an adequate "debut" of my "Lonely Bull" program at the 2002-06-08 Spring Ice Show at a local rink. Kinda ended up on an inside edge, curving to my left, during my first "phoenix", but otherwise it was okay, and my wife said it looked great!

Now that my local rink has closed for much of the summer, I'm trying a new rink that has quiet, early-morning freestyle ice available. Might stick with this through the entire summer, if I can handle the early schedule, and maybe even beyond that, since I love quiet ice!


For the past few weeks, I've been working on my first "program", that is, an "artistic interpretation" of a song, which is a shortened version of Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass's "The Lonely Bull". The program has "alpha-level" moves (forward sculls, forward stroking, forward crossovers, snowplow stops), one advanced move (a two-foot spin), and two moves of my own invention, which I call the "phoenix", modified to not end up in a spiral (since that would be another advanced move, but "they" allow only one per program).

Focusing on this program has meant less time spent focusing on backwards skating, so I have yet to pass my "beta" level. (In fact, my coach didn't want me to even think about taking my beta test before the deadline for the ISI World Competition this August, which finally passed on May 1, so I could still do my alpha program at the competition. So we haven't really worked on backwards skating for awhile, though I do practice it for at least a half-hour three or four times a week, and it is improving, slowly.)


I've passed my "pre-alpha" and "alpha" ISI levels, and am hoping to take my "beta" test within a few weeks.


Recently joined the US Figure Skating Association and am taking (beginning) lessons.

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Copyright (C) 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 James Craig Burley
Last modified on 2008-01-14.