Circle of (Figure Skating) Life

JulianneThis past Saturday evening I attended the Quebec Summer Championships, although there were several events happening concurrently I chose to watch the Senior Men’s, Ladies and Pairs short programmes as I train or have trained with several of the competitors.

The funny thing is I can remember when they were back in juvenile and pre-novice…. such is the lot of the adult figure skater who trains with young competitive ice skaters. When you first meet them, they may be a tad cocky and perhaps a bit perplexed by the old lady who is struggling with elements that come to them so easily. They sometimes are constantly underfoot and at times rather arrogant, especially if they are winning their events hand over foot due to unlimited natural talent.

But over time reality sets in…an element that continually gives them trouble, a season-ending injury…boyfriend woes…  you end up being den mother to a gaggle of teens who you see at their best and sometimes, at their worst moments.

All of a sudden they are young adults, ready to leave the “ice skating nest”. They are starting university and can’t devote the time needed to continue as high level competitors, or they begin their coaching career or decide it’s time to move on to new things…like marriage and (gasp!) children of their own!

Back to Saturday night.

Julianne Seguin, who I had the privilege of training with  when she was an energetic pre-novice, skated a strong short program, enough to win the event. As a youngster, she stood out as a quiet, courteous young lady who gave 100% effort every minute she was on the ice. What also made her unique was that she clearly loved every minute of it, it was rare to see her without a huge smile on her face and her energy was, and still is, infectious!

I was fortunate to be present for some of her figure skating milestones, landing her first double axel and all the triples that followed in rapid order afterwards. Her first pairs tryouts, landing throw jumps like she’d been doing them all her life…and that was just the first week! I’m sure her Mom, coach and partner will tell you she has her down days but when she’s in her natural environment, the ice, she makes you feel like anything is possible!

A few years ago she changed training locations and I do miss her, but after not seeing her for two years it’s good to know that she’s still loving what she does. Because she always reminds me of how much I love figure skating and because she is relentless in her pursuit of excellence, I hereby declare Julianne an honorary adult ice skater and is International Adult Figure Skating skater of the month for August 2014!

Do you skate with an inspirational youngster or teen? Be sure you let them know how awesome they are and then share their awesomeness with us!

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4 Responses to Circle of (Figure Skating) Life

  1. Lori Robertson says:

    And that’s the way it should be Kerry: next best thing to family!

  2. Kerry says:

    Today, I was shopping at the grocery store. A young teen skater and her father were in front of me in the checkout line. She immediately recognized me, and gave me an extremely warm and happy welcome. While I casually see and talk with her at the rink, it was really neat how she greeted me outside the rink. I asked about her studies, because she was taking a class over the summer to get ahead in her self studies with our county school system. I told her father, whom I didn’t know, that she was an awesome girl and that she will go far in life because she is very dedicated to whatever she wanted to do. In the end, I think we actually do have mutual respect for each other. Both as skaters and as people.

  3. Lori Robertson says:

    Mary, that sounds like a wonderful supportive skating community, what a great experience! Good Luck in the Big City!

  4. Mary Ferrie says:

    Loved your article on youngsters in skating!
    I was in a very different environment, I started skating in Edinburgh,Scotland where there was an element of precociousness. However, there was a number of families who skated and this was evident on a Sunday when the Murrayfield Ice Skating club met.
    I moved back to my hometown in Paisley, which just had a rink open and the kids didn’t know any different to begin with, which was great and we had a good core of adult skaters (although I was the first to compete in open adult comps).
    I am still in contact with a number of these ‘kids’ and adults and so many of them are still involved in the sport and encouraging me to get back on the ice.
    I guess I was lucky and blessed to have this experience as an adult skater.
    I now live in London and I’m looking forward to getting back on the ice again – and even have a fellow adult skater to help me in my new environment.
    I really do feel blessed!

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