With everyone writing about their skating journey, I figured now was the best time to share mine. My mother likes to tell this story of me being three years old and her taking me skating at Rockefeller Center in New York at Christmas time. She loves this story because at three I was able to balance on skates and with a little help from her, we did several laps of the rink before continuing with our day of shopping.
The problem, however, was that I didn’t just want to ice skate. I wanted to dance. I wanted to play softball. I wanted to play an instrument. I wanted to swim. I wanted to do theater. I wanted to do a lot of things all at the same time. So, I had to choose. There was only so much time in a day and I had a sister who wanted to do a ton of stuff as well…so, I chose to dance, and for years, I trained and competed as a dancer until high school. (During this time, I also played an instrument and softball, but only because they fit within the dance schedule.) My only time on the ice during those years was once or twice a year when we would decide to go ice skating because it was winter or because a friend had a birthday party at the ice rink. I was never a bad skater. I was always better than my friends, but I was still just a casual skater. I could go forward and maybe if I was lucky, could complete a crossover in one direction.
When I got to high school, dance became less of a priority and music took over. And then when I left for college, theater became where I spent my free time. I still skated every winter, but it was only an occasional thing.
Two years ago, at the age of 28, I found a card for a figure skating coach in a coffee shop and I emailed her. I asked if I could start lessons in two months after I had had surgery and she said yes. So two months later, I pulled out my old pair of skates and got on the ice for my first real lesson. The rest, as they say, is history. I haven’t left the ice since. In fact, I’ve only added more ice sports. I’ll be playing hockey in the fall and I’m very excited about that.
I don’t hold anything against my mom for making me choose between everything I wanted to do growing up. There was no way she or I could have known that 25 years after I made the decision to not take ice skating lessons, I’d end up there anyway. If anything, everything I did along the way has helped me be a better skater. All the music classes I took in high school have allowed me to cut my own music for programs. All my time in theater in college (and a bit after) allow me to make my own props for any exhibition/showcase skate that I do. And all those dance classes and competitions allowed me to learn how to be graceful and move with music, and how to deal with the stress of competitions. Everything I did helped me with where I am now.