I've always loved the feeling of being on the ice. With my arms raised high and the cool air blowing past my ears, I feel for a moment as if I've taken flight. I spin and turn and jump to the rhythm of the music and absolutely nothing is on my mind except for this incredible feeling of my body soaring through the air. Sometimes, I even dream about being on the ice and that moment when time freezes and everything around me is a blur and it's just me here gliding through space and time.
And so I decided I would quit my job early so I could figure skate full-time for the month of May. I've never been happier to do nothing else because I was ready to once and for all give this sport my absolute everything or nothing at all.
Since late March (because I'm still working at Viacom full-time), I've been waking up 2-3 times a week at 5AM to get ready for my morning skating session at 6:30. I go to the gym on my off days twice a week to build my strength and flexibility. My feet feels painful after skating for hours on straight; my leg muscles ache from the constant stretching for flexibility; and I am still adjusting to smaller, more frequent meals to fuel my body. But everyday, I wake up wanting to be on the ice. I could skate on forever and it is not until after do I realize how exhausted I really am.
I love skating because it is a sport that requires enormous precision as ten degrees out of position can throw everything off and send you landing on anything but your feet; it is a sport that requires your undivided attention because timing is key to making friction and momentum work for you and not against you; is a sport that requires keen self-awareness because only through acknowledging your mistakes are you able to correct and improve; and it is a sport in which you must first learn how to (gracefully) fall and fail before you can accomplish anything at all.
And after you've fallen for the one hundredth time, and jumping on ice no longer scares you because you've gotten used to the pain (but actually, the fear and pain never ends), that's when you know you are getting closer to achieving that perfect turn, spin, and jump. And still then, it is your job to make everything appear utterly effortless as if gliding and lifting your whole body into the air is as easy as the lifting of an artist's paintbrush.
For me, skating parallels the way I want to live my life. Because life is a continuous process of self-awareness and discovery of our strengths and weaknesses. Life is precision in our actions and undivided attention in our pursuits. Life is presence and enjoying the moment we are in. Life, is about learning to accept that we've made a mistake when we fall, and to pick ourselves up without missing the beat to our music.
Life is no matter how terrible, aggravating, heart-breaking the situation before us, to always and forever stand graceful and tall. And as if nothing had ever happened, continue pushing on.