The right sport for me? | Golden Skate

The right sport for me?

griessel

Spectator
Joined
Oct 19, 2021
Hi everyone :)

I've been lurking here for a while and would like to ask about your experience starting with the sport of figure skating.
Some months ago I moved to a new place and all of a sudden there are ice rinks nearby, yay! After not having put on skates for about 10 years (I am 29 now) This October I've decided to give it a go again. I enjoyed it, went there again and plan to go there on a regular basis. And as I love to watch figure skating I somehow would also like to learn a bit more than just moving forward.
I've already informed myself a bit and know that training for grown ups, the so called 'hobby group', will start from November on. Now the problem is that I am not a very sportive person. I am slightly overweight, and dont really do much more than riding the bike now and then. I would really like to change my lifestyle and be more active and more healthy but I wonder wheter trying out figure skating would be too tough for me. I would also be very satisfied with learning the basics, I would really love to learn crossovers, skating backwards....that kind of stuff. I know that jumps are not realistic for me, but if so, does it even make sense to join a club? Or would it be ridiculous to have such a basic goal? I am quite a shy person, it is a bit difficult for me to take such a big step (at least for me) and actually show up there and try it out. So I would really like to know for what I have to prepare myself or if I should rather carry on with pure leisure skating.
Maybe some of you can share their experience, perhaps there are people around, who are also not that sportive but are skating or tried it out.
 

WednesdayMarch

Final Flight
Joined
Mar 24, 2019
Country
United-Kingdom
Go for it. I'm not a naturally sporty person but for me skating doesn't feel like sport! As an adult, it's all about the joy. Join the group/class, take the lessons and enjoy your journey.

Also don't write off the idea of jumping. Plenty of adults learn to jump and love it.
 

Girlbird

On the Ice
Joined
Feb 1, 2018
I’ve known adult skaters of all shapes and sizes, athletic backgrounds and not. And yes, many of them jump - when ready to do so - You never know until you try. Its also fine to not jump. There are many disciplines available to you and things to work on.

As far as joining a club, you can do that when you’re ready. For learn to skate/ group lessons that’s not typically necessary. Unless you want access to club practice ice.

Get fitted at a reputable dealer for some skates appropriate for you and get on that ice!!!
 

griessel

Spectator
Joined
Oct 19, 2021
Thanks for your replies and encouragement!
I guess my fear is that I spend lots of money in skates, training, etc. and it ends up being a desaster and at the end I loose my passion for even just watching the sport. I really enjoy skating, the feeling of it, but I feel so wobbly at times
Well, I know I should approach this task differently and I'll try to!
 
Joined
Jul 17, 2021
Go for it! I find that in the adult skating world - the ones who are hardest on themselves and have high expectations for quick improvement - are the ones who struggle the most. Try to enjoy the journey and have fun, and give yourself a break if progress is slow. As an adult - there are fewer things we're 'not good' at and for me, skating is one of them. I'm trying to have the mindset of a beginner once again, and it's lovely. Enjoy!
 

griessel

Spectator
Joined
Oct 19, 2021
Go for it! I find that in the adult skating world - the ones who are hardest on themselves and have high expectations for quick improvement - are the ones who struggle the most. Try to enjoy the journey and have fun, and give yourself a break if progress is slow. As an adult - there are fewer things we're 'not good' at and for me, skating is one of them. I'm trying to have the mindset of a beginner once again, and it's lovely. Enjoy!
very true! I'll keep that in mind :)
 

Vicki7

Rinkside
Joined
Aug 27, 2018
Thanks for your replies and encouragement!
I guess my fear is that I spend lots of money in skates, training, etc. and it ends up being a desaster and at the end I loose my passion for even just watching the sport. I really enjoy skating, the feeling of it, but I feel so wobbly at times
Well, I know I should approach this task differently and I'll try to!

I understand that, but don’t let that fear stop you! I don’t know how long your learn to skate sessions are in terms of how many lessons you sign up for each time, but if you’re concerned about buying skates, maybe hold off for that first set of lessons (unless your rental skates are feeling like they’re holding you back) before you buy skates?

Then go to a reputable fitter, let them know your level and budget and see what they recommend.

I’m an overweight adult skater who is also skating with a visual impairment and I can honestly say, this sport, particularly the adult community, is wonderful!
 

bostonskaterguy86

On the Ice
Joined
Jul 3, 2018
Country
United-States
I'm another overweight adult skater and I echo what others are saying - go for it! :)

Personally I've found skating to be just as much (or more!) about strength and balance as it is endurance. At my current weight I'll never be a great sprinter - but it hasn't stopped me in the least from getting to where I did with skating (got my single toe and sal, and was working on single loop and back scratch spin before the pandemic).
 

tstop4me

Final Flight
Joined
Oct 2, 2015
I guess my fear is that I spend lots of money in skates, training, etc. and it ends up being a desaster and at the end I loose my passion for even just watching the sport. I really enjoy skating, the feeling of it, but I feel so wobbly at times
That's the Catch-22 with figure skating. You didn't say what skates you're using now (your old skates you had from 10 yrs ago? rentals? garage sale? ...?), but if you're skating on crappy equipment, it wouldn't be at all surprising that you feel wobbly. The problem is that these days you need to spend (for an adult) at least $200 or so for a basic starter kit (boots + blades). And, unless you're rich, it's natural to be hesitant about spending such a big chunk of change, if you're not sure you'll want to continue. Add to that the costs of lessons. On the other hand, crappy equipment and struggling on your own will likely lead to a negative experience, and discourage you from continuing. As Hamlet would say: "Ay, there's the rub!"

But, your initial post indicates that you have modest and eminently realistic goals:

I would also be very satisfied with learning the basics, I would really love to learn crossovers, skating backwards....that kind of stuff.

That is, you're not one of those people who come here and post, "I'm 29 and haven't skated in over 10 yrs. How long will it take for me to train for the Olympics?" [I expect we'll get a flood of such posts come Feb.]

So, I'll join the chorus chanting, "Go for it!" Get a referral to a decent figure skating shop and get a properly fitted decent pair of skates. Ask around for lesson options for beginning adults: e.g., group lessons offered by a rink or club. A really good option (if available, if you can afford it, and if your schedule is flexible) is a private or semi-private lesson. This way you get to choose a coach that works best for you (group lessons tend to be hit-or-miss). In my area, several rinks offer public sessions during weekday mornings. These tend to be relatively uncrowded, and admission fees are relatively low. A private lesson (one-on-one with a coach) would be optimal, but also the most expensive. If you can schedule with one or two other skaters, you can split the cost of a semi-private lesson.
 
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MiraiFan

On the Ice
Joined
Oct 6, 2016
I understand that, but don’t let that fear stop you! I don’t know how long your learn to skate sessions are in terms of how many lessons you sign up for each time, but if you’re concerned about buying skates, maybe hold off for that first set of lessons (unless your rental skates are feeling like they’re holding you back) before you buy skates?

Then go to a reputable fitter, let them know your level and budget and see what they recommend.

I’m an overweight adult skater who is also skating with a visual impairment and I can honestly say, this sport, particularly the adult community, is wonderful!
The adult community really is so wonderful. I never would have come across the people I have met at the rink in my regular career/life and it's been so wonderful. We are all heights, shapes, and sizes and have so much fun on the ice. Everyone has different goals--some do dance tests, others focus on MIF, others do it all and compete, still others skate just for fun. It's totally what you make it--good luck!
 

griessel

Spectator
Joined
Oct 19, 2021
In the meantime I got myself a pair of skates - I think this is reasonable to do no matter what, because I save money in the long run and it is more fun than skating with rental skates.
It is true, with my own skates (I got Jackson Mystique) I feel much more stable and overall better.
But as soon as I am on the ice it seems completely impossible to me to do more than going forward. It is not that I have immense fear of falling - I don't want to fall of course, but it is something that will inevitably happen from time to time - but I feel like every other move than forward will definitely put me off my feet so I will not be able to even try them. I have no idea how other people can glide so effortlessly over the ice and not be fazed by the uneven spots on the ice, also the toe pick irritates me a little bit. With the rental skates I didn't notice it and now I am a little afraid it makes me stumble and fall (well, it already did :rolleyes:).
So yeah, either it is just too soon or really not the right thing for me. It is probably best to just do my leisurely skating which I enjoy and maybe I am ready next year (although that seems awfully far away) and if not, so be it.
 

Elija

On the Ice
Joined
Mar 25, 2019
In the meantime I got myself a pair of skates - I think this is reasonable to do no matter what, because I save money in the long run and it is more fun than skating with rental skates.
It is true, with my own skates (I got Jackson Mystique) I feel much more stable and overall better.
But as soon as I am on the ice it seems completely impossible to me to do more than going forward. It is not that I have immense fear of falling - I don't want to fall of course, but it is something that will inevitably happen from time to time - but I feel like every other move than forward will definitely put me off my feet so I will not be able to even try them. I have no idea how other people can glide so effortlessly over the ice and not be fazed by the uneven spots on the ice, also the toe pick irritates me a little bit. With the rental skates I didn't notice it and now I am a little afraid it makes me stumble and fall (well, it already did :rolleyes:).
So yeah, either it is just too soon or really not the right thing for me. It is probably best to just do my leisurely skating which I enjoy and maybe I am ready next year (although that seems awfully far away) and if not, so be it.
Are you enrolled in a learn to skate class? If not, I would do this ASAP. You’ll be surprised at what you’re able to learn! I have taught adult and kids as beginners, and there are many who go from not being able to let go of the wall to skating backwards, learning swizzles, learning to stop and two foot glides etc within a couple of weeks.

Having someone to coach you and remind you to bend your knees and keep your posture correct will also help with issues such as feeling like you’re going to trip over your toepicks. You’ll also get taught how to fall and get up safely, which can help with confidence. Good luck!
 

marcopolobear

Rinkside
Joined
Aug 31, 2010
Country
Canada
Hi Griessel,

Everything you are feeling is perfectly normal so don't worry about it! The "hobby group" in November is a real skating class? If so, it should help you a lot. Skating takes a lot of practice, but you want it to be correct practice because it is easy to get into bad habits. No one starts skating backwards right off the bat that's for sure and I would not recommend even attempting it without lessons. Even going forwards is not easy at the beginning so don't be too hard on yourself.

The first things to learn are the safe way to fall and get up, proper skating posture, and the correct forward stroking technique (and stopping of course). The last one is scary to think about because at the average public skate I think only about one out of a hundred know how to stop (running into the wall or falling on your butt doesn't count haha).

And you've got real toe picks now so that's why you notice them!

M
 

griessel

Spectator
Joined
Oct 19, 2021
So, I have registered for the figure skating course and had my third lesson yesterday. Is it the right sport for me? Probably not. I have so much trouble to coordinate my movements, I also find it hard to mimic the exercises - too many things I have to pay attention to. And even though we are all more or less beginners in the group, I feel like I am miles behind everyone else - BUT IT IS SO MUCH FUN. I am very happy I found the courage to join the training. It may take ages for me to get even the most basic stuff right, but going forward feels so much steadier and smoother now and it is something I haven't experienced before: being quite bad at something but still enjoying it immensely :)
 

Ic3Rabbit

Patineuse élite et professionnelle
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Country
Canada
So, I have registered for the figure skating course and had my third lesson yesterday. Is it the right sport for me? Probably not. I have so much trouble to coordinate my movements, I also find it hard to mimic the exercises - too many things I have to pay attention to. And even though we are all more or less beginners in the group, I feel like I am miles behind everyone else - BUT IT IS SO MUCH FUN. I am very happy I found the courage to join the training. It may take ages for me to get even the most basic stuff right, but going forward feels so much steadier and smoother now and it is something I haven't experienced before: being quite bad at something but still enjoying it immensely :)
Keep at it. Things will eventually come together. After learn to skate you might want to get a basics private coach in order to have more attention on you and helping you learn and master things!

Keep having fun and good luck! :)
 

gliese

Final Flight
Joined
Oct 31, 2020
Country
United-States
Is it the right sport for me? Probably not. I have so much trouble to coordinate my movements, I also find it hard to mimic the exercises - too many things I have to pay attention to.
As a learn to skate coach, I can assure you that this is what everyone is feeling. Except the three year olds who think they're invincible.
 

WednesdayMarch

Final Flight
Joined
Mar 24, 2019
Country
United-Kingdom
When somebody types, "BUT IT'S SO MUCH FUN" in capitals, it tends to indicate that it is absolutely the right sport for them. Welcome to the addiction. Enjoy the glide. :biggrin:
 
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