What Does It Mean to Be an Adult Skater?

While I skated for a few years as a child, I did the majority of my figure skating as an adult. I still remember when I picked up skating again as an adult, back in the 80’s (wow, was it that long ago?). One thing that stands out about that time is that there were very few adults out on the ice. Most of the skaters were actually just children accompanied by coaches who were preparing them for one competition or another. It was even somewhat intimidating at first… All these kids zooming by and doing difficult jumps, while there I was, clobbering around on my skates, trying not to fall on my butt in front of kids who weren’t even in middle school yet.

When you did encounter an adult, they were ice dancers and certainly not figure skaters who did jumps and spins. So they practiced the sport to feel the rush of the speed and the beauty of the aesthetics, but rarely took chances with jumps – that was unheard of for adult skaters in those days! I remember thinking how weird that was back then. Little did I realize then that I was skating into unchartered territory and blazing a new trail!

I also remember that there were limited opportunities for adults. It was as though adult skaters didn’t seem to exist, even though there must have been others (there was no internet back then or ways to form a meet-up group). Also, there were no adult standardized tests yet developed by the U.S. Figure Skating Association (USFSA), and I had to go through the same test structure as the other young skaters to get my certification. The standards were tough and the judges showed no leniency.

And possibly the worst part; there were no special group lessons pussy888 test id just for adults either, and my only option was to take the group lessons with children. Yep, I looked pretty foolish at times, but thankfully I could brush off any red-cheeked embarrassment to the cold temperatures at the rink.

Then, when I was ready to compete, there were no special categories for adults! So I competed against the young competitors. The tough thing about that is I couldn’t really win either way! Either everyone just chuckled at the grown woman who took a trophy from a 12 year old, or chuckled at the grown woman who lost to a 12 year old (talk about humbling at times).

And, finally, there were coaches who simply didn’t want to teach adult skaters. It wasn’t worth it to them. There weren’t enough adult clients, and they couldn’t build the same reputation for themselves as they could by helping a teenager win trophies and awards (adult skaters don’t often make it to the Olympics – hence, less opportunities for coaches to build a name).

Some coaches were also just downers. They were so focused on the competitive nature of the sport and not the fun aspect of it that they couldn’t just focus on teaching. In fact, I had to leave my first coach after a few years because she didn’t think I could learn axles or double jumps – a great motivator she was. So, I went on to do just that in spite of her and fortunately found a wonderful coach that didn’t limit my abilities… Someone who encouraged me and inspired me to achieve my best. Life was much different back then! While it seemed unfair at times, I can honestly say it made me a much stronger skater and competitor as a result.

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