Over 13 years of my life were spent on ice skates. To this very day, I walk slightly like a duck thanks to spending half of my life navigating with blades attached to my feet. I was on the ice before 6am five days a week and back on the ice by 1:15pm to 6pm. I trained seven days a week. I qualified through the school board to earn school credits for my skating and therefor never ate lunch in my high school cafeteria, nor did I take electives in high school or ever step foot in my high school gym.
Sometimes I'd sleep in my skating clothes just to earn a few extra minutes of sleep time. Mind you, that was 3 layers of tights and lycra. Probably not my smartest move sweat and smell wise, but those extra 15 minutes were golden. I learned things like time management, commitment, training, and pain before many of my peers. I learned I had to get back up more times than I fell down. I learned how quickly you could rise or fall based on your willingness to train. I passed on high school events and wasn't allowed to swim in our hotel pools before a competition, no matter how much that scent of chlorine called my name. Torture for a child.
I was a figure skater.
And although my skates are on the top shelf of my closet collecting dust, the memories and life lessons that I gained through my years of training are never far from my head and heart. They're part of my DNA. When I walk into a rink, mine or elsewhere, that smell brings me home. In seconds, I'm back. I'm home.
Anytime I sit and watch skating, I run through a mental list of shoulda, woulda, coulda's. There are so many things I'd do differently. I'd train harder and stand along the boards less. I'd be less timid. I'd chase my dreams a bit more. I'd check my brain at the gate. My head and mind was my worst opponent every time.
What I'd do the same? A lot. I'd enjoy it just as I did then. I'd learn from the ice, my time management and my coach just as much as I did then.
Whether you love to watch skating or loathe it, I encourage you to watch the gentlemen, Jason Brown, in the attached clip below. Sure, it'll require 7.5 minutes of your day, but trust me, it's worth it. This kid is a force to be reckoned with and he's everything I wish I would've had in me. He's training lived out.
By the last 10 seconds you'll see the crowd already on their feet for his ovation. I was giving him one right there in my living room with tears in my eyes on Sunday. He is going places and I'm proud that he'll be representing our country at the Olympics. And for 7.5 minutes, he allowed me to fall right back in love with my sport.
Check him out. You won't regret it!