School + Skating = Sacrifice

“Most people who don’t want to sacrifice will find excuses. The people willing to make sacrifices find solutions.”

It pains me to say that summer has ended, and with that school begins.  9 1/2 more months will pass before we can experience endless hours spent at the rink and full days of training.   It may feel like school gets in the way of training, but balancing school and skating teaches a considerable amount to skaters that we might not even realize.  One of the main things it teaches us is sacrifice.

Fitting in a whole day of school, on ice training, off ice training, homework and social time is a lot for one day.  The skaters who want to make it work and who are committed to skating will find a way.  Cramming all of this into your schedule can be an overload, but that is how you can tell if a skater is committed or not.  The skaters who want to train will find a way to make it all work because they will sacrifice time, sleep, social activities or even sitting down to eat a meal.  Here is a list of things I have seen or experienced in order to keep training during the school year:

  • Wake up and skate before school starts (yes, it is very VERY early in the morning)
  • Skate during lunch hours and study halls
  • Eat breakfast/lunch/or dinner on the way to the rink
  • Change into skating clothes in the backseat on the way to the rink
  • Sleep in skating clothes the night before so the skater can sleep longer and is ready to the go to the rink in the morning
  • Do homework/study while stretching
  • Do homework/study on the way to the rink
  • Wake up earlier or stay up later to either finish homework or perform off ice workouts
  • Find extra ice on the weekends to train even if its public skate
  • Perform off ice training during lunch hours or study halls

I understand that there are a number of factors that may limit how much one skater can sacrifice.  Some people have a harder time studying or have a learning disability that may require more hours of studying.  There are also people that receive more homework and projects, and there are skaters taking harder classes such as AP courses.  Everyone has a different story and always an excuse, but there is always more that can be done even if it’s a simple task like stretching while studying.

Figure Skating and School Ice Skate in Book

Most people who don’t want to sacrifice will find excuses. The people willing to make sacrifices will find solutions.  My school didn’t offer off campus lunch, but after speaking to the school board and superintendent we came to an agreement that I was allowed to go skate during lunch hours and study halls.  I know this is not possible for everyone, but don’t write something off before trying.  You never know until you ask (or put up a fight) for something like that.  If there is no ice time available before school, find out if it is possible to purchase an hour or two.  If the ice time is too expensive, you might be able to find a group of skaters to split the cost with you.  Off ice training can be done during lunch hours or study halls if you are allowed to use the gym.  If you can’t use the gym, you can run, stretch and do off ice jumps during your lunch hour anywhere outside.  You may be sacrificing time with your friends, but you are benefiting you’re skating.

The parents are usually sacrificing the most by planning the schedule, chauffering back and forth from the rink, and organizing everything that needs to be done in order to keep you’re training running smoothly and making it possible so you can make sacrifice to your schedule.  The skaters are usually most affected (especially in high school) by the social activities, school dances, football games and other sporting outings.  These are all things that are not going to benefit you’re skating.  If you want to be the best, or better than you are now, you have to learn to make sacrifices.  Maybe you won’t be able to go to the whole football game, but you might be able to watch the second half after you finish skating.  There will always be another social gathering, so if you miss a few here and there it is not the end of the world.

I missed countless high school social activities.  I would arrive late to the homecoming dances and almost all other high school and middle school dance.  I would be changing in the back seat of the car and my mom would zip my dress when we pulled into the parking lot.  Through everything I sacrificed I don’t regret any of it.  99 % of my classmates didn’t understand skating or any kind of training.  Even my supposedly closest friends at school would tease me about skating and thought I was wasting my time with it.  Missing social events with “the cool people” who didn’t care or understand didn’t upset me at all.  I would rather be on the ice doing something I love and spending time with people at the rink that actually understood me than going to some social gathering with people who don’t care.  Not only did I benefit from training more, but the friends I made at the rink are life time friends.

The amount of sacrifice you make for you’re skating comes down to how much you want to accomplish and where you want to go with you’re skating.  Some skaters will sacrifice everything because skating is their life.  Others will make excuses instead of solutions because to them watching a football game is more important.  How committed are you? What are you willing to sacrifice?



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