Energy on Ice
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.