Friday, February 1, 2013

my life as a figure skater: behind and before

You may not know this about me:

I was a competitive figure skater for 9 {amazing} years.

This is a group picture that was taken at the 1996 Bay State Winter Games for our local newspaper.  I am in the front row on the left.   I was 15.  

I won 2nd place in my group level that year.

It's pretty much my only claim to "real" fame.

I first stepped on the ice ate age 11.  And I never turned back.  My ultimate dream was to go to the Winter Olympics.  I wanted to not only attend as a competitor...but I wanted to win it all.

So all of my energies and efforts and dreams were poured into that sport.  I ate figure skating.  I drank figure skating.  I lived figure skating.  If you cut me...I'd bleed ice.

In school...I wrote all of my creative writing pieces about figure skating.  All of my poems...odes...stories.  And all of my art projects...conversations...doodles...all things surrounded my dream.

I sacrificed friendships...after-school sports...sleep-overs...good grades...a "normal" teenage life (but really...what's "normal" when you are a teenager anyway...but I digress).

I was skating 5 days/week during the school year (aka. the competition season).  Before and after school.  During the summer (aka. the training season)...I still skated 5 days/week...but I would show up at the rink at 7am and not leave until 3 or 4pm. I was involved in ballet...jazz...conditioning...cross-training...and all kinds of ice-time.

But when I went to all came to an end...and there are a billion reason as to why.  All those little reasons added up to one big burn-out.

Nonetheless...if you cut me today...I'd still bleed ice.  

Yet for quite a few years...I struggled with my identity.  With my self-esteem.  With living a "normal" everyday life.

Which has carried over until now.

Although I am learning every day to be confident in who I am in find my identity in Him...find my worth in Him...and to live this mundane life with excellence for Him....I have struggled with one specific thought:

Why would God allow me to pour SO MUCH OF MY LIFE into figure skating
for it to amount to nothing??

I know God is sovereign and does EVERYTHING with a specific purpose.  So I "know" it wasn't for nothing:  I have incredible self-discipline (almost to a fault)...I know what it's like to work incredibly hard in order to achieve seemingly not count "success" on how much I'm "winning" but on my accept compliments without excuse and with a simple "thank you"...and to humbly accept criticism as constructive and NEEDFUL for my overall improvement in this life.

Like I wasn't for nothing.

But it feels like it was for nothing.

I's obvious I never made it to the Olympics.  Or to a level where I would be anybody...except my parents {Hi Mom!}.

So it feels like nothing.


...last weekend.

Yes.  That's ME!  ON THE ICE!!!  Wearing my beloved figure skates (I'm pretty sure I have an unhealthy affection towards my husband can't even we went to get them sharpened a few weeks ago...I spent about 10 minutes smelling my freshly sharpened blades...they have the best smell when they get sharpened. You don't get you? Well...think leather.  If you like the smell of new can somewhat understand.  Except think...metal.  And zamboni fumes.  But I digress...again.)

When Mike presented the opportunity for us to help out the Rochester Youth for Christ and their hockey came full circle for me.  And I cried.  I cried to God and begged for forgiveness for not having faith! For not believing He had a purpose and a plan for my life that INCLUDED my figure skating skills.  (I had always thought that once I stopped skating...that that was it.  Skating would NEVER be a part of my life ever again.  I believed that my life in Christ would EXCLUDE figure skating.  How wrong was I?!  PRAISE GOD!)  I cried to God and thanked Him for His greatness and His perfect sovereignty!  I thanked Him for the immeasurable JOY in being able to use this God-given gift of skating for His glory!!!

Every Sunday afternoon...for 9 weeks...Mike and I head down to the Rochester YFC.  We hop on the ice and teach the city kids how to skate...and the head coach teaches the more advanced skaters all the fancy hockey drills {which I haven't a CLUE about...}.  The hockey skates...gear...helmets...sticks are all GIVEN to the kids for FREE.  The lessons are FREE.  And the coolest part...when the lessons are over...they eat pizza and HEAR THE GOSPEL.

All those years of blood...sweat...and tears wasn't in vain.  It wasn't for nothing.  It was for SOMETHING.

O LORD you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar.  You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.  Even before a word is on my tongue...behold O LORD you know it altogether.  You hem in me...behind and before...and lay your hand upon me.  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it.   
Psalm 139:1-6

Happy February everyone!!


  1. oh, friend you made me cry this morning!! You are beautiful, inside and out!! So delighted to see God using you... and your dreams!!

  2. Anonymous2/01/2013

    It is really amayzing how lessons or things that we learn in one part of our life come back to "play" in another part of our life!

  3. Anonymous2/01/2013

    I had no idea you. What an amazing blessing from God and then these kids hear the gospel. Nothing is ever wasted when He is in control. Praise to our God; you are being used for His purpose again!


Love is to the heart what the summer is to the farmer's year - it brings to harvest all the loveliest flowers of the soul. -Unknown