Tag Archives: happiness

10 Ways Ice Skating Improved My Life

20 Apr
cropped layback spin feet

Figure skating has been one of the greatest joys of my life. It can be for you too! --Michelle (And yes, those are my legs and skates.)

I skated competitively as a kid for about 11 years before I took 9 years off due to knee trouble (Osgood-Schlatter’s condition) and to focus on school. During that time, I missed skating…and I gained a significant amount of weight. I skated occasionally for recreation and to stay limber but it wasn’t enough. I tried other types of exercise like running and yoga but nothing moved me like skating, and I didn’t stick with any of it. Then a few years ago, I called up my coach and asked him if he’d help me with some light training so that I could get back into shape. Within six months, he had me back in the skating club biannual recital and gearing up for competition. Within 18 months, I had won a couple local competitions. You see, while I was away from the sport, a whole track of testing and competition had been developed for a growing population of adult skaters–both people who started skating as adults and people, like me, who were skaters who became adults. This scene allows people 21 and up to test and compete within different age groups in levels similar to the traditional track but without the pressure of competing against kids who are working toward the regular national qualifying competition scene (e.g. 9 year olds who can do double loop jumps because they only weigh 60 pounds). Adult figure skating has its own regional competitions in which you can qualify for the adult nationals, which is my ultimate goal now.

I tried living my life without this sport and I can’t do it. It’s too ingrained into my muscle memory and my heart. No other workout provides the same level of full-body involvement for the duration of the exercise. It’s such a challenging, rewarding, and thrilling sport that taps into the dancer and artist in me. But it also is the only kind of exercise I’ve ever experienced that is so fun that I don’t think about the fact that I’m exercising; I’m only focused on trying to do the spins, jumps, or edge moves that I want to be able to do. I can’t encourage people enough to give it a real try. It’s so fun. When the cool air whooshes past my face as I skate around the rink, I feel exhilarated and joyful. Yesterday was my first day back on the ice in a month due to a sprained foot and being back felt so good that I had a really stupid big grin on my face the whole time.

Here are 10 ways that skating has improved my life, myself, and ways it could do the same for you (in no particular order): Continue reading

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