Just Add Ice: 3 Things All Figure Skaters Know

December 29, 2017

I started at Fast Horse just two short months ago, but if there’s one thing I’m pretty sure every Pony already knows about me, it’s that I love figure skating.

Like most native Minnesotans, I grew up on the ice. I performed in my first ice show as Peter Cottontail when I was four years old and instantly fell in love. I know I’m extremely lucky to have found something I’m so passionate about at such a young age, and even more so that it continues to be such a big part of my life.

After competing through high school, I traded my sequined performance dresses for a coach’s jacket. I’m a proud coach for the City of St. Louis Park’s Learn to Skate program, spending two to three nights a week helping youth skaters master everything from two-foot glides to double toe loops.

To say figure skating has impacted my life would be a huge understatement — I am who I am because of it. And while yes, I can still throw down a mean sit-change-spin if I have to, figure skating has taught me so much more than just on-ice tricks. So without further ado, here are three things all figure skaters know — and how they have helped shape my professional career.

You can’t land the jump if you don’t leave the ice.

Seems logical, I know. But you’d be surprised how hard it is to convince new skaters that they can actually leave the ice, rotate, and then (someday) land on one foot to complete the jump. There is no reward without risk — even though jumping for the first time is absolutely terrifying.

The worst thing that can happen isn’t so bad.

Falling is painful. Whether it’s a toe pick trip or a botched axel, falls are as tough on your pride as they are on your body. But once you fall hundreds (okay, thousands) of times, you learn it’s not about the fall — it’s teaching you to always get back up and try again.

Train for hours, perform for minutes.

Skaters practice for hundreds of hours to perfect a three-minute routine — and they have to. Commit to the training and over prepare, then it’s easy to trust yourself when it’s time to compete.

So there you have it. I’m Heidi, and I’m a figure skater — always have been, always will be. If you haven’t skated for a few years, consider this your nudge. Rent some skates and head to an arena (it’s Minnesota, I promise there’s one nearby). You might be surprised at what all you’ll learn.