Decisions Decisions

Yes, there comes a time in someones life where they have to give up something that they enjoy very much...
And that time has come for me.

After sitting down and looking at my crazy life schedule, taking into account that I will soon be travelling much with work, and chatting it out with my husband, I've decided to take a step back from coaching.  It's something that I thoroughly enjoy doing, but at the moment I just feel that I do not have enough time and energy to put into it right now - It's very time consuming...beyond the 10 hours a week I was on the ice. 

This is a sad moment in my life.  I've been skating ever since I can remember... I can't remember a time where I didn't have to lace up my skates before or after work or school.  I can't remember a time where I wasn't carrying an extra bag around with me just because I had to have my skates for a practice.  I can't remember a time when I went to the movies and in the middle I heard music and thought to myself - this would be great to skate to, which I'm sure I will still do.

I love watching kids grow up on the ice... I love sharing my sport with little ones. They are so eager to learn. They love to try things that are hard and usually aren't too scared of what could happen {yet}.  They are so cute in their helmets, gloves, winter coats, snow pants, and smiles or tears.  I love how they call me Miss Abby and how they give me hugs before and after lessons.  The kids make me laugh, cry, and sometimes even fall. You don't want to disappoint them with an unpassed test because they cry and then in turn, you want to cry.  It's so fun to see their faces when they do pass and they get their badge.   The correlations they make are fantastic and hysterical!  And since they are not always so sure on their feet, they occasionally get in your way or trip you! My fondest memories are skating. The friends you make, the mentors you have, and the love you find for something that is your special thing.

Skating teaches you so much.  I'm not exactly sure how or why, but it does.  Maybe it's because you have to learn how to practice on your own, you rely on yourself to get from beginning to the end of your program, you are in charge of you and no one else.  I think it helps you grow up...

I always liked that about skating.  It was just me.  All me.  I couldn't blame anyone, I couldn't get mad at anyone but myself if I messed up... unless I didn't and the judges still were brutal.  But, that happens.  I just liked going out there doing my thing and knowing that I was doing something that most could not.  Skating is special.  It's not like soccer or baseball.  It's not a sport that everyone can do. It takes coordination, power, a mindset, and confidence.  That's why it's so special.  And that's why I loved sharing it with those who were eager. 

I'm sad to be leaving my current kiddos, but I can do so because I know that whoever they choose to continue on with, I have confidence in.  We have a great set of coaches around here and I'm lucky to be able to work with them and be able to call them friends.  They are wonderful!  And they all have their own unique qualities... good and bad, but we love them all the same!  They are strong women and a few strong men. 

Maybe some day I'll be back when Ells wants to skate or asks what those brown things are in the garage...  My mom thinks I will be back when Ells is about 5 but for now I need to focus on my family.  I need to have some moments where I'm not running around like a chicken with my head cut off and I have a minute to breathe.  I need to spend as much time with Ells as I can when she's young.  I'm the only one she REALLY recognizes at this point and I don't want to become a stranger to her.  She's my Ells. 

So I say goodbye to the sport I love and has defined me as a person.  It's been everything in my life up to now.  It's how I grew up always hanging out with older people... how I grew up travelling all over for competitions... it's how I learned to get ready on my own.... it's how I became disciplined enough to get up to practice before school and after... it's how I learned to not quit at something once you've started and how I accomplished that by passing all the levels in not one but two skating disciplines... it's how I got to do some extra traveling and earn some extra money after high school by becoming a professional figure skating on a show... it's how I got through college earning money to live on... it's how I met my husband... it's a huge part of me and I'm sad to let it go, but it's the right time.  There are so many other good things about skating that I would love to share, but as the tears well up in my eyes, I realize it is special and always will be.  It will always be that part of me and I will always be a figure skater. 

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