Jul 2014
Lauren Florea

Energy on Ice


Live the life you’d be envious of if you saw someone else living it. This is my personal mantra…. Instead of waiting to be inspired by someone else and being jealous that they’re living a life I wish I had, I tell myself not to wait for that moment and to start being the person I want to be … Think, if I have the energy to wish for it, I have the energy to do it. – Olivia Dunn

I am a figure skater. I have been skating for 12 years, and it is something I am super passionate about. The thing is, I know I’m not the greatest skater out there. No, I’ll never compete at the Olympics and I am not the most natural jumper. In fact compared to a lot of skaters I always looked super awkward on the ice because of my long limbs and lack of refinement.

I took a break from the ice when I started college because I had become burnt out from skating during high school. I didn’t see myself improving in the sport and I thought I had maxed out on my potential. It was time to move on and find a new passion.

The thing about the ice rink, however, is that once you call it home it never seems to stop calling you back to it. I got back into figure skating my sophomore year in college and started training hard again because I wanted to pass my Senior field moves test.* It took me almost a year, but I got out in front of the judges and I finally accomplished becoming a gold medalist.

I again took a break after passing that test to go study abroad. But I’ve been back a year now and am working towards a new goal of passing my Novice free skate test. This means getting back several double jumps that I have not worked on in years, improving the speed of my spins, and overall skating a three minute program with power and grace.

I catch myself wondering sometimes about why I keep setting goals for myself and working so hard. I joke around with people at the rink about how old I am, about how I shouldn’t be able to do these things anymore. But why not? Sure, I’m not as naturally flexible, fearless, or energized as a 10-year-old. I will never be able to pull my leg straight up next to my face like Yulia Lipnitskaya. I know my limits. But I now work harder than I ever did back in my competitive days of figure skating. I run, I do pilates and yoga, I stretch, I dance. I can honestly say I am stronger, more flexible, and more mature in how I carry myself on the ice than I ever used to be.

And that’s all that matters. I love being on the ice, and I love working hard to try and make myself better. This is the life I want to have, and I think it’s safe to say that I will still be ice skating for many more years to come.

*Yes figure skaters take tests! Here is a quick break down of how skating levels work. Beginning skaters start with the basic 1-8 levels, then free skate 1-6 levels. Once you get past these, there are eight upper levels: Pre-Preliminary, Preliminary, Pre-Juvenile, Juvenile, Intermediate, Novice, Junior, and Senior. To move up in the levels you must pass a field moves test and a free skate test.