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Dream vs Reality

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Dream vs. Reality

As you grow up, adults always ask you the same question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Little boys often say “super heroes” and little girls often say “princesses”. I, personally, got over the princess stage pretty quick and opted for mermaid. But, a few years later, I saw a movie that changed my mind. The title was “Ice Princess” and it was the story of a high school student who started figure skating. I begged my parents who eventually agreed to let me start classes. I was in middle school at the time, so I thought I had plenty of time to become a real ice princess. A girl’s dream always seems to be becoming a princess, or an ice princess, but over time and experience, reality hits. Figure skating is seen as a very graceful and effortless art, but it is still a sport. I tried all sports as a kid but never grew attached to any. Being athletic just wasn’t my thing. Figure skating appealed to me because of the ice, and how I would never get hot because of the cold temperatures. It seems like that at first, but it does get very hot after training for hours. As with any sport, training starts with the very basics. The way my program did it was there were multiple levels with certain elements in each one. After you finished all levels, then you would start doing programs, or performances, and competitions. It took me about a year to pass through all the levels, which normally takes two or three for other girls, so I thought I had finally found something I was good at and could stick to. I also felt the graceful aspect, when spinning, jumping, and footwork. Something about the different body positions to get into that a position someone wouldn’t do normally everyday. My favorite was a sit spin where I spin on the ball of my left foot then bring my right leg and connect my knees in a sitting position. What was fun was I could just plop down and spin my body on the ice. One of my difficulties, though, was flexibility. Even when I was doing ballet I was never able to achieve flexibility. Many components of figure skating require flexibility in not only your legs, but back and shoulders. As much fun as the sport is, it is a very competitive sport. By this point I was entering high school and had loads of homework. My parents were worried about keeping up my grades and keeping up the payments for a private trainer. A private trainer was required after a skater completed all levels to help train for programs and competitions. Some specialized in choreography, jumps, spins, etc. Pretty soon, I was showing up at the rink around 7:30 in the morning. This was pretty difficult considering I live in the south where it is mostly hot all year round and the closest rink was located thirty minutes away. This led to me being very exhausted during the school hours not only from lack of sleep, but also from workouts. I admit that I liked the feeling of accomplishing something such as a new jump or a hard workout, but grades come first before everything. I was very stubborn in the statement and was convinced I could take on school and figure skating, but many professional athletes quit school and focus solely on the sport or become homeschooled. My parents both have full time jobs so homeschooling was not an option and slowly I began to see how much of a struggle it was to keep up my good grades. Eventually, I ended up quitting. When I turned sixteen my parents made me get a job in addition to school. With figure skating, that would be the equivalent of a full-time job plus two part-time jobs. Reality hit. Even though I very much enjoyed the sport, it would not lead to a college scholarship or any sort of that matter. It was just an enjoyable past time. I still currently figure skate as often as I can but it is difficult since moving to Troy because the closest ice rink is located in a public mall in Montgomery. I also try to keep in touch with many of the great friends I made through the program. Some continued training and became very successful, and I would cheer them on even though I was very envious. Although, it is very fun going skating with my friends, showing off a little, and helping them to get further than the wall.

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