This fall, I finally bit the bullet and retired from a rather unspectacular 30 year career as an Occupational Therapist.  Being permanently downsized last year forced my hand a little but overall it was a good thing since I had reached the point where I had worked in numerous different settings with different patient populations and nothing really was grabbing my interest any more.

During this time I also had major surgery (total hip replacement) so apart from a little coaching I was also off the ice for the better part of a year.

I kept busy with long postponed sewing projects, husband and sons now all have nice fuzzy jammies for wintertime.  I also tried to stay as active as possible with swimming and cycling as well as catching up on all the books on my to-read list.

At the beginning of the summer I dug into the task of determining what new career would best suit me by attending a series of workshops and working with a job training coach.   At this point I actually have a job in an industry that is moving me closer to the field I want to be in (travel) but it is far from my ideal job.

While the demands of the job are not terribly intellectually demanding, it has played havoc with my skating schedule and the challenge has become reconciling these two elements of my life.  On the other hand, my place of work is located relatively close to home and there is free employee parking so I can’t complain.

One of the things I love about my job is that there is a lot of walking, I work at our local airport so I have to make frequent trips from the check-in counter to the gate, often pushing a wheelchair bound passenger.   Oddly enough my younger colleagues complain about the effort required but I like to see it as an opportunity for some cross-training.   In fact every so often I train after my shift and I usually arrive at the arena nicely warmed up!

Another big challenge will be frequent schedule changes and shift work, I’m fortunate to have an understanding coach who can accommodate my change of schedules as well as a training facility that has a lot of available ice time.

So far things are going well, my hip strength is not back at 100% yet but I’ve got all my jumps up to flip my basic spins except for camel.  The biggest challenge is going to be getting through my programs! GASP—WHEEZE lol.

I write this not so much as to bemoan my situation but rather as a shout out to all those dedicated adult figure skaters who manage to pursue their passion while working around a full time job.   You are the ones who are out there at six in the morning (or even earlier), taking vacation time in order to compete or test and somehow getting it all done!

You are adult ice skating heroes!!  Please comment and share!



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