I’ve written a variety of articles about our daughters being figure skaters and, as part of those articles, I usually mention the time and work that they have to put into the sport. However, despite that, they love it just as much today as they did when they first started with it.
The one thing I realized I didn’t mention in those articles was they reasons why they love it as much as they do. Not counting the obvious benefits of participating in an organized activity like figure skating, there are three main reasons they (and my wife and I) love the sport.
First, it’s just like dancing, only on ice. My oldest daughter took ballet lessons prior to taking her first skating lesson. She quit ballet the next day because she discovered figure skating was very similar only with some added perks, such as being able to “dance” in front of large audiences. Her younger sister feels the same way and, since signing her up for her first skating lessons, has never asked about dance lessons.
My wife and I actually gained a little bit of a benefit from their decision too. As expensive as figure skating can be, it actually turned out to be less expensive than the dance lessons would have cost us if our kids had gone that route.
Second, they have a choice to either work as part of a team or as individuals. Our oldest daughter is actually trying to make this decision now and has a choice between joining the synchronized skating team or learning to perform solo. Ultimately, she might even choose to do both (time and money permitting) but the point is, unlike other sports, she and her sister have options.
Last, it’s something they can do all year long. We actually force them to take a few weeks off every summer but, if we would let them, they would take lessons and compete 12 months out of the year. This does actually have its perks because they don’t have to worry about being bored just because it’s no longer baseball or soccer season. And, since it’s indoors, weather isn’t going to be a factor. Not to mention, it’s actually a nice way to cool down on a hot summer day.
Like most sports, figure skating isn’t for everyone. However, at least as of right now these three reasons are why we expect them to be participating in the sport for a long time.