Today, I skated. For the first time in over a month, I really skated a session. I didn’t skate my hardest, but I wasn’t lazy, either. I skated. For me. Because I wanted to, and because, honestly, I love it. I love this sport – not for the competitions, not for shows, not for tests. I enjoy skating – especially the jumping, but yes, even the spinning and the footwork. It’s an amazing sport. And I skated well. My jumps were good. For me, they were good. They felt good. My spins were, too. And I felt good on the ice. These were MY opinions on MY skating. The only opinion that really matters, especially at this point. I’m not an Olympian, I never will be. But I skate, and I skate for me.
I’ve come to a realization, slowly, that I need to skate for me – no one else. Not for Vika, who I’ve LOVED skating with and taking through the pair tests, not for my coach, Genia, who has been an amazing coach. Not for my wife, or my friends, or anyone else. But for me. What I realized today, was that I skated well because I wasn’t worried about what anyone else thought. I didn’t worry about who I needed to impress, or who I needed to improve for. I didn’t worry about showing off or proving myself. I got on the ice and skated for the sheer enjoyment of it. That’s not to say that I didn’t fall. I fell, but it was okay, and I didn’t get flustered or frustrated. I just analyzed what went wrong and worked to correct it. It was ok. And I realized, that if I decide to finish my tests (singles, moves, or even pairs) that it has to be because I want to, for me. I think that’s what burned me out, is that I was skating for the wrong reasons, for the wrong person, and with the wrong motivation. I think, that if I want to continue to skate, and to succeed at it (for whatever success is to me at this point), then it needs to truly be for me.
Why do you skate? What motivates you? Is it because you love it? Because you want to win? Do you skate because you’re told to, or because you just always have? Do you feel driven to succeed? For whom? I think answering these questions, or others like them, are important when you commit to a sport like this one (or really, anything else in life). The answers to these questions will define how well you do, and the right answers and the right motivations can really have an impact on your attitude, drive, and ambition. They can make or break you.
Discover why you skate, and in addition to whatever other reasons you have, do it for YOU. No one else.