“Skating was the vessel into which I could pour my heart and soul.” ~ Peggy Fleming
A Skater’s Heart
There is literally nothing, NOTHING like gliding across the ice, hearing your blades scratch sweet music and even sweeter etchings into the ice. Trusting that these tiny blades will hold you as you execute required elements adding your own flare to impress judges.
Even the darker aspects, injuries, your derrière constantly becoming one with the ice, coaches yelling at you, struggling to look the “part,” hours upon hours at the rink, and of course the real bitch of the life of any athlete but especially skating: Age.
Oh, yes, age is a little bastard, constantly giving skaters a complex, a constant reminder that this is it, if you don’t go for it, you most likely won’t get another chance.
And yet their is something skating does to an athlete. It draws us in, making us want more never relenting its’ grip, even when we are “old.”
Is it a Sport?
First and foremost let’s put to rest the long tiresome debate of, “Is skating a sport?” I swear it could be an SNL skit. Even now, years later, I still get comments about how skating isn’t a sport.
Seriously I would love to see you try landing on a tiny blade.
That aside we are just skating around and doing all those ol’ “tricks,” looking pretty.
Yup, totally a fashion show on ice.
I won’t dispute that we are the most fashionable sport in the sporting world. Sorry football fans, but those pads do nothing for you.
But here is the thing, not only do we need to look glamorous, we have to do it while landing jumps with an impact ten times our body weight. We spin up to 308 RPM, and never have a hair out of place. Of course Aqua Net helps, but the point is, as glamorous as it looks, it is the epitome of blood, sweat and tears all for seven minutes of possible glory.
Why do we do it then?
Why does anyone do anything? Passion.
Going for Gold
Olympians are a very unique type of person. They spend long hours at the gym, training and practicing, forgoing extracurriculars, holidays, time with family, basically any semblance of fun or a life, for glory that only ever comes around every four years. Their chosen sport, IS their life.
Four years for a chance to prove your worth. To make your country, their sport, your family, your coaches, everyone who has ever had an impact on your life, proud. Four years whittled down to sometimes only minutes, even seconds to make or break it.
Despite knowing the slim chances of ever making it to the Olympics, (heck even making it out of regionals is a feat and a half) it didn’t stop me from training hours on end. Doing everything from off ice training, to weights to miles upon miles of cardio, just to perform better on the ice. Breaking my body down, and building it up, knowing the odds.
It might seem crazy. But quite simply, I loved it. I still do. Having the ability to fearlessly throw myself into the air, yet still be graceful, made me feel empowered. I felt strong and beautiful. Even the times when I felt broken and imperfect, like I was constantly knocking my head against the boards because I couldn’t do an element, the triumph when I did, made me feel like I had already won that medal.
Skating isn’t just a sport, but a foundation to live, not just on the ice, but also off of it. It taught me perseverance. It taught me when you fall (and you will…A lot!) you get up again. And again. And again. You don’t stop. You fight. You keep going.
Despite my competitive career ending with a foot injury when I was sixteen, I am still drawn to the ice. Lacing up my skates and having my ol’ achy body run through footwork and attempting the occasional jump or two. I am not as much of a daredevil as I was when I was younger, but the draw and passion for skating is still there.
Every four years, the world gets the chance to see a glimpse of what I still love so much. They see what makes an Athlete. The struggles, and perseverance, being the underdog and triumphing to make it to the Olympics. Because win or lose that gold, that is an incredible accomplishment to make it to the world stage.
It doesn’t matter what country you represent, athletes are united in that one goal. The goal of not just being the best in their sport, but of inspiring their country and the world. I can not wait to cheer on my friends who have worked so hard to make it to the Olympics and for others to see a sport I so passionately love.
As Al Michaels said “Do you believe in Miracles!?”
At least for two weeks the world definitely does.
Will you watch the Olympics? What is your favorite event?
15 thoughts on “Passion. Dedication. Gold.”
Sigh, how did I know you would post about this sooner or later 😛 I think skating IS a sport but I dont find it as interesting as other sports. For one, the goal is not to score but to create tricks on ice. I do find the creativity in some levels interesting, but mainly when you watch skating, you can expect basically the skaters making up tricks that for the most part, you may have already seen. Also, skating has never really caught my attention. I am so focused on football or soccer/basketball that I never really have time. Interesting post however!
Haha because I am a skater girl and also your auntie:)) and my darling nephew you just have not learned what it takes to be a skater:) if you did you would greatly appreciate it more😝 haha we don’t just “make up tricks” they are practiced over and over and over again and it is ever evolving case in point Nathan Chen landing five quads! Haha I love football and soccer too, but skating has its own edge of year seat excitement! Awe thank you hun💗
Oh lol. My mom found it so stupid about how Adam Rippon got 3rd.
Oh the Olympics, how I love thee! Also, you look like you could star in one of our favorite Hallmark Movies…you know they love a good ice skating scene! I hate that your completive career ended so early, but I love that you still lace up the skates and go for a spin here and there! xo
This comment made my day if not my life! Thank you beauty! I have always wanted to be in a Hallmark movie if for nothing else I could kiss Steve Lund and also they would stop showcasing photo shopped skating. Lol. I love movies with skating in them….But hate the fact no one can skate🙈 ahhh the struggle lol. Thanks beauty. It stunk, but it hasn’t stopped me from skating or attempting a jump here or there. I am actually going tomorrow!😍 I hope you have an amazing weekend!💗
OH HELL YES, skating is a sport! And also an art — and a science. Sometimes I think it doesn’t get the respect it deserves because of the occasionally outlandish costumes, but it definitely produces some of the most complete athletes out there (in terms strength, flexibility, stamina, balance, and focus all at the same time). Not many are as cute as you are, though. 🙂
Haha this comment just made my day! I am so glad someone else agrees:)) haha the costumes definitely do not help, I remember the era of costumes looking like shredded glittery rags…Why?!?! Who thought that looked good?
Joking aside it really does! There is a reason hockey players take skating lessons. Awe thank you. You are way to kind:) 💗
YES! Glittery rags — that’s the *perfect* description! But your mentioning hockey in the second paragraph has me thinking: Maybe I would enjoy hockey more if the uniforms had a bit of bling on them? HA HA.
Lol. I completely second blinging out the hockey uniforms! Rhinestones would definitely add some pizazz to them! ;p <3
I absolutely ADORE your skating posts!!! The joy from you absolutely radiates. You are one with the ice, m’dear! I love hearing a true skater’s take on the olympics too! I’m so sorry that you had that injury at 16, but I love that you continue to lace up the skates and never let it steal your fire (ok maybe fire isn’t the best thing to describe with ice, but you know what I mean ;)). LOVE this post, beauty!
THIS made me smile SO much! Thank you beauty! Haha I just died, I always tell that ti my friends when they go skating with me when they worry about falling, I just tell them they will be one with the ice. Be one with the ice. LOL. Thanks beauty! Once a skater girl always a skater girl:) Haha I am sensing some Game of Throne withdrawals with all this fire and ice :p Lol. Haha and yes I do and I greatly appreciate it thank you so much for your sweet words and the smiles you always put on my face with your comments sweets! <3
oohhhh I will remember those words of wisdom next time I take to the rink! And yes, GAME OF THRONE WITHDRAWALS ARE REAL! I started it around this time last year. UGH, miss it!!!
Lol yes! See you are already a skating champ! :p I know! One more year. HOW will I live?!?!