Following on from @evangelineskates post I want to share my skating story!
The first time I set foot on the ice was in 2010 on a family holiday to New York. Whilst exploring Central Park, we stumbled across the Trump rink. Me and my sister begged my parents to let us go.
I watched from the side, whilst tying my skates, at all the beautiful moves, jumps and spins. Something inside me clicked and I got butterflies, to this day I still get that feeling when I see the rink!
“Bambi on ice” is quite the understatement as to how me and my sister looked as we took on the ice in the Big Apple. Clinging to the side I watched people gracefully glide past me and wondered “how on earth do they make this look so easy!?”. Despite falling over (a lot!) we had an amazing time and it was safe to say that we did not want to get off of the ice.
When we came back to the UK after our holiday I quickly started researching ice skating lessons and local rinks in our area. I use the term “local” very loosely here. Where we lived at the time (deep in the The Lake District mountains!) there were no rinks. The nearest place was all the way down in Blackpool (approximately an hour and a half drive). Despite being far away, my mum said she would take me on weekends when she was free (whilst also working full time with her own catering business! Mums rule!).
Then everything changed.
Just before my 15th birthday I had my first seizure. The next few weeks are just a blur of hospital, tests, medicines and doctors. I was allowed home for Christmas but had to continue to go to the hospital weekly. The new year came around and the tests confirmed what we had all suspected. Epilepsy. But the doctors still wanted to run more tests and they also found out I have Aplastic Anaemia and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. Weekly hospital trips became the norm. The nearest specialist hospital was all the way down in Preston. The treatments made me feel rubbish, I developed horrible anxiety and my overall mood just dropped. Ice skating suddenly was pushed to the back of my mind. How could I skate when I was like this?
It was my wonderful mum who first suggested we pop to the rink after one of my appointments, as the rink in Blackpool was about a 30 minute drive from the hospital. Suddenly the feeling I had when we were in New York came flooding back! I laced up my (very uncomfortable!) hire skates and me and my mum hit the ice! It became part of our routine. I would go to hospital, have some tests and treatments then, if I was feeling up to it, we would go skating afterwards! An added bonus was that the rink was always empty because people were at school or work. Although we wobbled around, slipped and fell, we laughed and smiled so much I almost forgot that I was ill.
When I was skating nothing else mattered. It was my own little piece of heaven.
From then on I live by to motto “Find a way – not an excuse!”
This is where my story started, but it most definitely not where it finishes!
To be continued….
IG – @kaarma_llama