When I was about 20, in college, I had a friend that liked to watch figure skating. I have always been very competitive, and enjoyed watching it in the Olympics, but I was more of a football girl and never really got into skating all the time. But we had fun watching together on the fuzzy TV in my dorm room, and I started getting more and more invested.
Turns out there was a fairly new ice rink a few miles from the college, so we decided to go skating one day. I had never been ice skating before. Of course, I spent most of the time pulling myself along the edge, and barely dared venture out toward the center of the ice. But it didn't matter. I was hooked.
We went back again and again, and there were a lot of young, friendly skaters that would give us pointers. Before I knew it, I was doing cross-overs and two-footed spins. I decided to take a class and started to learn jumps and other spins.
Then... I graduated. I moved away from the ice rink and only skated once or twice a year. But I still really loved it and always wanted to go back.
Fast-forward ten years. I got married and we moved to an area that had a rink. So I bought some new skates, found a coach, and started skating again. It was harder, much harder, than when I was 20. I had less power, less muscle, and more fear. Things hurt that never used to hurt before. I was having trouble keeping off weight. But the idea of skating again motivated me to start working out and eating better. I have never been athletic, and skating was just for fun, but that competitive nature in me still wanted to win. Until we moved... again.
Fast-forward another ten years. Yes, ten more years. I thought skating at 30 was hard. When I took up skating again about a year ago, I had pain in places that I didn't even know existed. And when I fall, it's even harder to recover. The bruises are bigger. The pain is more lingering. And the fear has compounded as well. But I still have that drive to win, so I am training again, eating a healthy diet (mostly), and I joined a competitive skating association that is forcing me to work hard if I want to be on top.
I learned from a great book more about my body type, and how to exercise and eat based on my genetic makeup. It seems to be helping a lot. Of course, my type tends to have trouble building muscle, with is what I really need for skating if I want to win.
I'll get more into the strangeness of competitive adult figure skating later. But for now, I've lost eight pounds, I'm exercising regularly... and I'm off to pick some new program music for next season!