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Thread: Finding You Love Skating too Late

  1. #1
    Rinkside
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    Finding You Love Skating too Late

    Hello all,

    I've been a lurker for a little while here, but the more I've been reading, the more I've wanted to go ahead and post this (and I think this is the right forum, but please do correct me if I'm wrong). All around these boards, I see a lot of discussions of and by people who aren't sure "to skate or not to skate". Do what you have to, of course, but if you can, for heaven's sake, don't give it up if you love it.
    You see, I grew up watching and adoring figure skaters. I was a very little girl when I sat open-mouthed in front of the TV watching the old skating specials during the mid-to-late '90s. I knew who all of them were, had my favorites, all of that, and some of my earliest memories are watching those shows and thinking how wonderful it must be to skate. I remember being in awe of the mens' grand jumps and having that little-girl heroine-worship of the "ice princesses" in ladies', but it was always the pairs and ice dancers who really struck me as something special.
    I'm 20 now, and I set foot on ice for the first time about a month or two ago. This is the first time that I have had the money, the time, and the courage all at the same time. I'm no prodigy, but I'm picking it up slowly but surely. But I'm a college student with two majors and two jobs- I can't afford (money or time-wise) to spend much time skating except during the summer. And because I figured out how much I love this 15 years too late, I'll never get to try the disciplines (either of the pairs disciplines) I've always loved the best (because let's face it, I see a handful of women at my rink just picking up skating, but any men remotely close to my age either are already high-level competitors or never going to skate at all). And that's a very bitter realization.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is how much I admire all of you on here who got to skate young and are now picking it up again, and to say to the younger members not to give up on what you love, because getting to the ripe old age of 20 and feeling regrets is not very much fun. Be brave, be amazing.

  2. #2
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    I never skated young.

    When I started at 22, I started from scratch.

    Sure, it sucks that you'll likely never get to do partnered ice dance or pairs. But are you going to let that define your skating? Solo dance is a thing, you know.

  3. #3
    Rinkside
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    Didn't actually know that- thank you! And I appreciate the encouragement.

  4. #4
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    You're welcome.

    Just bear in mind that you may need a "higher" level boot than it seems. We adults are not exactly the shape, size and weight the boot-designers intended them for.

  5. #5
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    And do realize that there is Solo Ice Dance, which is something you can learn as an adult

  6. #6
    Rinkside
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    Hello there

    I am 20, in college, and I started skating last February. Now, I am skating backwards on one foot, and beginning my jumps. It is not too late. I am like you in MANY ways, growing up adoring figure skaters, but I couldn't learn it, wasn't allowed to. I skate regularly now, and at first I felt really discouraged by the younger girls doing doubles and crazy spins. But, you'll realize as you skate, that your progress really fills you with so much "wonderful-ness" that it doesn't matter. Who's to say you would have enjoyed it as a kid? You never know. You're enjoying it now and that's what matters. You'll be JUST FINE with your skating. My coach is 81, and he teaches people in their 50s to do jumps, if that's what you like.

    Also, there is a small, but happy world of adult figure skating and collegiate skating too. I find adult figure skaters are just totally in love with the sport, and it's worth looking into if you would like to compete Anyway, best of luck with skating. It's really made my college life much more enjoyable, and hopefully, it'll be a nice respite from your busy schedule.

  7. #7
    Tripping on the Podium figureskateobasan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erasona View Post
    Hello there

    I am 20, in college, and I started skating last February. Now, I am skating backwards on one foot, and beginning my jumps. It is not too late. I am like you in MANY ways, growing up adoring figure skaters, but I couldn't learn it, wasn't allowed to. I skate regularly now, and at first I felt really discouraged by the younger girls doing doubles and crazy spins. But, you'll realize as you skate, that your progress really fills you with so much "wonderful-ness" that it doesn't matter. Who's to say you would have enjoyed it as a kid? You never know. You're enjoying it now and that's what matters. You'll be JUST FINE with your skating. My coach is 81, and he teaches people in their 50s to do jumps, if that's what you like.

    Also, there is a small, but happy world of adult figure skating and collegiate skating too. I find adult figure skaters are just totally in love with the sport, and it's worth looking into if you would like to compete Anyway, best of luck with skating. It's really made my college life much more enjoyable, and hopefully, it'll be a nice respite from your busy schedule.
    It's really nice to hear many adult start learning how to skate recently! someday I wish I can go and do the same thing like you two.
    Though now my biggest obstacle is there is no ice rink during non-winter season here, hopefully someday I can move to other city that is more figure-skating friendly.

  8. #8
    At the rink. Again. mskater93's Avatar
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    Also, if you choose singles skating (if you can't find a partner), there are Adult National Championships in several countries around the world. US AN's are heavily attended yearly and a person only needs to be at the Adult Bronze level (preliminary-ish test level) where the highest jumping element is a single Lutz and no flying spins allowed. The nice thing about having Adult Nationals on your radar is it's something to strive for to become eligible to compete (and then to be able to be competitive at your level, then the next level and so on...) I know I use IJS score as my motivator at my level.

  9. #9
    Rinkside
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    Thanks for all the tips, everyone! I feel much better now
    I'm new to these boards, so I haven't quite figured out how to do replies properly, but two follow-up questions. Re: skates- what would you all recommend? I know there are a ton of options out there, and I honestly wouldn't even know where to start. I'm a college student so can't afford super pricey skates, but it'd be nice to skate in something other than the awful blue snap-ons that I rent with my lessons! Secondly, re: continuing to improve and reach certain levels, how does one continue learning beyond just a basic class? The class I'm in right now is an Adult 1-4, for the record.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bwayrose7 View Post
    Secondly, re: continuing to improve and reach certain levels, how does one continue learning beyond just a basic class? The class I'm in right now is an Adult 1-4, for the record.
    The best way to advance as quickly/as far as possible would be to go from those classes into private lessons, maybe a half hour a week to start, and to practice several hours a week, year round.

    From your first post, it doesn't sound as though that path will work for you.

    So it will depend on what you have access to, in terms of what's available at your closest rink(s) and what you can afford in terms of time and money.

    Are you in the US? Are you thinking about passing class levels or tests, or just developing skills at your own pace?

    Are there more advanced classes available to you, either for adults or for all ages? Some rinks or clubs offer classes beyond the skills in Adult 4, including Freestyle through single jumps; others don't.

    If you're talking about the US Basic Skills curriculum, see the links here for lists of the names of skills you would be ready to work on after mastering those in the Adult 4 class, starting with those in the Adult 5 and 6 classes, and those in Basic 5-8 that aren't covered in the adult classes, and then moving on to freestyle or dance, etc.

    Can you practice on public sessions at least once a week, or a few times a month anyway, after the summer is over? Maybe check in with an instructor once a month or so? Or set up semi-private lessons with another skater of similar skill level?

    If working with a coach is not possible but you do have time to practice over the winter, you can find some instructional videos of the next skills you're ready to learn. Maybe video yourself to see how well you're achieving what the demonstrators show in the instructions. You could also look at videos of the Pre-Preliminary or Adult Pre-Bronze Moves in the Field tests for skills to start working on after/concurrent with the higher group classes.

    Eventually you might reach a skill level where you would need to practice on dedicated figure skating sessions, not public sessions unless they're fairly empty. But you probably won't get to that point in one summer.

  11. #11
    Rinkside
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    Quote Originally Posted by bwayrose7 View Post
    Re: skates- what would you all recommend? I know there are a ton of options out there, and I honestly wouldn't even know where to start. I'm a college student so can't afford super pricey skates, but it'd be nice to skate in something other than the awful blue snap-ons that I rent with my lessons! .
    Does your rink have a pro shop? That might be an ok place to start. There are definitely beginner skates out there that are less than $100

    Gkelly has great suggestions for how to make progress. Good luck with everything!

  12. #12
    Rinkside
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    Gkelly, thanks for all the suggestions! Yes, I'm in the US, but unfortunately in the Southwest so ice sports are not exactly a big thing around here so adult skate options are limited to the Adult 1-4 classes, then anything else has to be private lessons. I definitely would like to continue to push myself; I'm not really familiar with the "levels" mentioned above (ie Adult Bronze), but I'm going to do some research on that because I'd like to have some sort of benchmark to strive for.

    Littlerain- thanks! I talked to my instructor at last night's lesson and she referred me to a shop that she uses.

    I really appreciate everyone's advice- thanks again!

  13. #13
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    I started in group classes at 27 and have managed to do pretty well. I'm 49 now and plan to continue competing for awhile. I am also trying to get my double salchow back, which I landed for the first time at 38. I can only imagine how many more double jumps I would have mastered if I'd started at 20, taken private lessons instead of group classes for the first 5 years and not taken 5 years off after that. In other words, there is a LOT you can do starting as young as you are! Also, you never know what would have happened if you had started when you were 5 or 6 years old. We all assume we would have become great competitors, but maybe you would have blown out your landing hip like Tara Lipinski and your career would be officially over this year. Maybe you wouldn't have been able to enjoy it because the environment was competitive and cut-throat (not as friendly as adult competitions). Looking forward to seeing you at the Adult National Championships in a year or two!

  14. #14
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    I started skating at 27, and went right into ice dance. I've had 2 partners, been coached by national and world medalists, and danced with other national champions. I've been on the same practice sessions with Ben Agosto & Jason Brown. It's an awesome sport, and anyone can work with elite level coaches & meet elite level skaters. Don't despair, there is MUCH for you to aspire to!!

  15. #15
    Rinkside
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    If you don't mind me asking, how did you find a partner at such a "late" time? I'd love to try ice dance in the future.

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