Why I Skate
I received a (handwritten!) letter from a friend recently, and he asked me a good question - Why do I skate? I stopped to think about this and finally came up with an answer. I skate because I love it.
Yes, there are occasions where judges or other critics are involved, but do I really skate for them? No. Do I skate for medals, points and fame (no, no, and definitely no). I'm not trying to be the next national champion or even anything close to it. The reason why I skate is because I enjoy it.
Like most humans, I choose to participate in something because I love it and it makes me feel happy. Skating gives me a sense of freedom and thrill. I can't explain the feeling I get when I hit a perfectly centered spin or when I learn a new skill. The rink is the place where I can get away from my daily stress and obligations. The only barrier on the ice is myself. I control my own destiny out there, not bylaws, policies or other people (unless, of course, it's a reckless hockey player who runs into me... ha!).
I find this post (and my friend's question) timely because I will be re-testing my Adult Gold Freestyle this month. Yes, judges will be there to tell me whether I'm skating up to their standards. If I pass, then I will be ecstatic to say that I've crossed something off my 2014 skating goals. If they don't like my skating, so be it. I skate for me, and I don't need a piece of paper to define me. Either way, my love for the sport will not wane and I will continue to work hard and improve at something that I adore.