When we are young, we dabble in a variety of different activities. Some we continue into our teenage years and then stop, some we quit before we even reach thirteen. As soon as we enter university, most of us are so preoccupied with studying, working, and spending time with friends and family to really entertain hobbies or even think about them. When I was in university, there were a lot of clubs that I wanted to join, but school never came easy for me, so I had to spend every moment studying my butt off.
When I was a child, my father introduced me to skating. My parents taught me to skate forwards, and a few weeks after, I watched figure skating on TV. That’s when I saw Elvis Stojko and knew that I had to get lessons. My parents took me to skating lessons in the evenings and at 6 a.m. every morning, I would beg my dad to take me to the rink so we could get some more skating time in. I completed my first CanSkate class and moved up to the next level where everything was too easy for me, so they immediately moved me up to the third level. I don’t exactly remember what happened, but after the season was done, I told my mom that I wanted to quit. Many years later, I asked her why I quit, but she told me that I had never told her. I honestly can’t remember why.
For years after that, I was notoriously known as a “serial-hobbyist” girl. I tried a variety of other activities that I kept up for a short time, got bored of it, then moved onto the next interesting thing. I took gymnastics, quit and moved onto piano, then quit because drums looked more interesting and aggressive. I switched to guitar after a couple of lessons, then quit shortly after. When I was twelve, I played soccer for one season, but never went back. Then, I entered high school and took up cheerleading, which I quit after one year.
After that, I didn’t pick up any new hobbies, but continued to write furiously into the wee hours of the morning. One of the only hobbies that I continued into adulthood. It wasn’t until I first entered university that I picked up guitar again and started teaching myself. I even bought myself an electric guitar and an amp. I still play on and off, but I can never really focus on it because it makes my wrists hurt too much. Once I graduated from university, I picked up photography and I still dabble in it here and there, but not every day like I used to a year ago.
In 2010 my entire life changed. I saw Daisuke Takahashi skate for the first time and I was blown away by his form, grace, and fluidity. He was better than Elvis, better than Evgeni Plushenko, and I fell in love with figure skating all over again because of him. That same year, I started skating again at the arena every week, sometimes twice a week.
I was stressed a lot because of school, but any time I tied up my skates and went out on the ice, I forgot about everything else. I was able to escape my crazy life, and at the time, dramatic. After I graduated, I couldn’t skate as often because of working two jobs like a maniac to afford living on my own and saving up to move to Japan (which never happened, by the way). I moved back to my parents in 2013 and lived there until 2014. It was also then that my figure skating world turned upside down when Daisuke Takahashi said that he was retiring.
I continued to watch figure skating, but it wasn’t the same without Daisuke. My heart wasn’t in it as much, and all I could think about was watching him skate. My heart ached for the ice and the feeling of release, which Daisuke gave me when I watched him. I lived through him, but because he no longer competes, I had nothing except a huge hole in my heart, regret.
I regret giving up skating when I was a kid. It was the biggest regret in my life and I was pretty depressed over it for a while before I finally decided that I needed to take matters into my own hands. I had just turned thirty in April, but I didn’t care. I searched high and low for a group that offered skating lessons to someone with the skills that I have, and found my “ skating family.” I skated for one month during the spring season. I knew that I would be moving again later in the year, so I didn’t sign up right away for lessons because I didn’t know how far they would be from my new place.
As soon as we got settled in the new place, I signed up in late October and started skating lessons again in November. I’m currently doing the Winter season, and I’m going to sign up for the Spring season (April and May), and I’m even considering either getting private lessons through the summer, or going into dance lessons (ballet or contemporary) to keep myself active during the off-season.
It’s impossible to describe how I feel when I enter the arena. The smell of the arena, the feeling of the cool air on my skin. The moment I put my skates on and get out on the ice, the sound of my blades gliding on the ice and the cool air rushing in my face. Sure, I’m the oldest in the group because I’m almost 31 and everyone else is either sixteen or eight, but I don’t care. I love skating so much and I have gotten used to the girls that I skate with, that it’s now.
What I’m trying to say is that, if you enjoy doing something and it makes you happy, why does your age matter? You do things to bring joy and light into your life, so just get out there and do it. The worst feeling in the world is always wondering “what if” and having a huge hole of regret. It’s better to try than to not try. Never let your age discourage you from doing the things that you love.