If my diary from when I was eight were correct, I should be touring the world after winning my Olympic medal by now. It would also say I should be married to Aaron Carter, but that’s beside the point.
I spent a third of my life waking up before the sun, lacing up my ice skating boots, and combing my bangs straight with a single dream: to stand on the podium with a gold medal. Competitive figure skating is not like your regular extracurricular sport where you can come and go as you please. For a third of my life I ate, slept and breathed for ice skating. You could find me (and my mom) on that ice year-round before and after school, on the weekends and on holidays. From the moment I touched the ice I was absolutely enamored with it. But things got more complicated as I got older. The things I wanted and needed, skating didn’t offer me anymore so I said goodbye to the skating life.
What I didn’t realize at the time was how all those years of ice skating has made me a better adult and given me so many lessons I could apply to every area of my life, even today.
Things Ice Skating Taught Me:
Before you get anything right, you’re going to fall A LOT. When I was younger the only way I learned a new skill was to figure out why I was falling so much. In fact, you knew you were close to greatness when you had bruises and an icy cold, soggy bottom. (Thankfully that last part doesn’t apply anymore).
When you find a mentor, trust them. I don’t mean this in a ‘jump off the cliff if they tell you’ way either. Mentors are humans too, but their hindsight can be your foresight. Skaters were nothing without their coaches, and the coach reflected on the skater. The same can be said for our managers as adults.
Hold onto the “why” of what you’re doing. There are days when every little thing goes wrong all day and the possibility of you turning on a dime and running out of the door grows exponentially as every hour passes. Sometimes the best solution is to take a minute and remember why you are here and why you loved what you’re doing in the first place.
The more experiences you can get, the better human you will be. At school, I was surrounded by people who were all very similar to me and usually fell in at least two of the following categories: southern, conservative, wealthy and religious. Without my friends that I had made from skating, I am scared to think of the kind of person I would be today. I try to do activities and choose experiences that expose me to all kinds of people, passions and places. A great example is that time I moved 1, 204 miles away from home by myself to work in a city I’d never been to. 😉
So, I’ll leave you with something I think eight year old me would’ve written down in her diary: Maybe sometimes the best things in life can’t be hung on a string or tied around your neck.
Also, I think she would tell me not to give up on that Aaron Carter thing.
~Submitted by: Paige Adams