It's my 11th Skativersary!
11 years ago today I first set foot (er, skate) on ice... Here's that very first post
. I have to think this is one of the longer-running skating blogs out there, though alas not the most interesting, probably.
It's been a long road. For a middle-aged guy it's pretty interesting, really. I went from being a geek/nerd/couch potato to being a geek/nerd/skater :-). I mean, it's really tough to remember what my life was like before skating. What did I do with all that extra money? :-)
Some of the positive things I've gained from skating:
- Courage. While I still struggle (I imagine most adult skaters do) to overcome fear, still, I am a lot braver than I was, and a lot braver than I thought I could be.
- Perseverance. I've been slogging a long time on some things (spins, anyone?). I have been working on spins longer than many of the kinds I know have been alive! Argh.
- Friends. I have met some amazing people and made some awesome friends (of all ages!). It's been quite amazing to me the depth of the friendships one forms in skating, even (in my case) with people a lot younger than me. Since skating is at heart a very lonely sport the social aspect has been very meaningful and gratifying to me.
- Freedom. As any skater will tell you, there's nothing quite like that feeling of freedom when you're skating. It's amazing.
- Laughter. Okay, a lot of that laughter has been at myself (when I fall, for example) but really, I do laugh a fair amount.
- Muscles. While I am currently not in the best of shape, I certainly have a lot more muscles than I did when I started. Awesome.
- Balance. My balance has improved a lot, not surprisingly.
Of course, there have been some downsides to skating, and I'd be remiss if I didn't mention them:
- Money. I could figure out, if I chose, how much money (approximately) I've spent on skating... I'd rather not! But I would conservatively estimate that it's been about $70,000 over the time I've been skating. I could have bought a Mercedes with that!
- Injury. If you put together the on and off ice injuries related to skating, there have been a broken wrist, a broken foot, a badly injured knee, an injured quad, and any manner of aches/pains/sprains and bruises.
- Scorn. As a male figure skater,and an adult, I've definitely had my fair share of ribbing (some of it light-hearted, some not), weird looks, and assumptions that I'm gay. Let's say it hasn't helped my dating life.
- Frustration. I've been frustrated a lot. I'm a slow learner and it's not pleasant to see people who have been skating a short period of time zoom past you, skills-wise -- and not just kids, but adults also.
I had certainly hoped/expected that I would be at least solidly in the Bronze category after 11 years, but I am still a lowly Pre-Bronze skater. On the other hand I have skated probably 30 events (most competitions I've done more than one event) including showcase light and dramatic, free skates, several figures, and a duet. I've (mostly) learned to control my nerves and get out there and do my thing, which is no small feat.
Now I'm in the middle of a rebuilding period where I am re-focusing on
my skating skills. It's my goal to conquer some of my weaknesses and
build a firmer foundation for what lies ahead.
When I was skating with Olivia last weekend, she said something very interesting to me. She said she didn't think I'd really found out who I am as a skater. I think she's right. It's something I really need to do if I want to take things to the next level. Go big or go home!