My Oldest Daughter Graduated from Learn To Skate Last Night

In an unexpected development last night, my daughter, Azalea, passed Freeskate 6 on her first try. This makes her a Learn to Skate graduate. She'll continue to skate (of course) but can focus on improving her skills without having to worry about passing any more classes.

Her journey through the program is more a story about perseverance than anything else. Some kids sign up for skating classes, are naturals and breeze through the curriculum. My daughter is not one of those kids and had to overcome her lack of natural talent through hard work. This meant repeating some levels multiple times, usually because she got hung up on a specific move and sticking with it.

On top of it, she had to sit out several weeks with a broken foot (non-skating related), sustained numerous bumps and bruises and nearly gave herself a concussion on two separate occasions. In fact, she pulled a leg muscle while practicing Monday and passed despite being a bit gimpy last night. She also had a sudden 3 1/2-inch growth spurt set her back a couple years ago because she couldn't figure out where her legs ended when she was trying to do jumps. So, in other words, this is a well-deserved graduation.

Since she is 14, she is old enough to become an ice nanny now (essentially an assistant private coach) and can make some spending money while waiting until she is 16 and is old enough to become a junior coach.

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