Sorry...this ended up longer than I thought it would...
So, seeing as many of you are skaters, coaches, skating parents or simply know the logistics of the sport, I wanted to run a few ideas by ya’ll and hopefully get some feedback. Any feedback positive or negative is appreciated. Please be honest.
So, this year I will be graduating high school; while it had always been my intention to go straight to college after high school, I’ve begun to look into other potential options. I have already been admitted to all the schools I applied to and all of them allow students to take a “gap year”: a year between the end of high school and the beginning of college to do some sort of project of their choosing. I was thinking about giving skating another try…
Figure skating has always been a passion of mine. From a young age, I’ve always found the sport intriguing; there’s a combination of strength and elegance found in figure skating that can be found in no other sport. When I was about 7 years old, my parents bought me my first pair of figure skates; I took group lessons and quickly progressed on to a private coach. I continued skating up until age 9. Then…I quit. Looking back on it, at the time, quitting made sense. I was beginning to progress to a higher level in my skating, and with this higher level came a higher level of commitment to the sport. You all know how expensive skating is and the added ice time was beginning to put financial strain on my family, not to mention the time commitment and sacrifices required of everyone. So…that’s where my skating ended.
But I’ve never given up the desire to be a skater. Logistically though, it’s just never worked out; I’ve never had the time to work enough hours to pay for ice time while balancing school. But in a gap year, I would. I’ve already gone through all the financials and ice time at local rinks and I could realistically skate up to 14-15 hours a week (depending on how much coaching time I have, the cost of the coach, cost of off ice training, and living expenses). Since I wouldn’t have school, I’d have the time to work enough hours to support myself financially and pay for skating.
Now, I know this may sound silly to some of you, and I realize there is only so much I can accomplish in a years worth of skating, no matter how many hours a week I put in; I also realize starting later in life generally doesn’t work well. However, I’m not expecting to be Olympic champion or anything like that. I just feel like I’d be remiss to leave my youth knowing I never pursued that one longest held childhood dream. I had thought about trying to pick it up at college, but all the colleges on my list are quite rigorous and I doubt trying to start up in college would go far. But if I can give myself this gap year to really focus on it, I can maybe find a way to keep with it in college. Maybe I could use this year as a springboard.
Plus, Johnny didn't start until he was 12 so it's not -completely- unheard of for someone starting a little later to make something of the sport
So…does this sound crazy? Should I just accept that skating just wasn’t in the cards for me? Or just skate recreationally and realize that starting now to be a competitive skater is a lost cause? I was considering contacting a local coach that I know to talk to her about my plans and possibly have her assess my potential, but if this is a completely outlandish idea, I don’t want to waste her time. I already know all the basics, have passed my juvenile MITF test, and can still do all my singles, axel, double toe and double sal.
I dunno…I just feel like this is my last chance to really focus on skating.
I know that was long; thanks if you read the whole thing.