Today I was told by a distant family member that I’ve never worked a day in my life! She said teaching skating is not work.
I’ve been told this before. My father-in-law worked hard all his life and just didn’t understand that giving group and private ice skating lessons could possibly be work. He never quite understood that I worked full time and worked hard to improve at my chosen profession.
I had to manage some skaters careers and plan for their future. I spent hours thinking about my students and guided their parents. There were some highs and some lows during my early coaching days and at times it seemed that all I did was work. My father-in-law just didn’t understand that what I did was a job since my job was different than what he considered a job to be.
I began teaching skating in 1983 shortly after I earned a teaching credential as a graduate student. I didn’t need a teach credential in order to teach skating, but I decided to teach skating instead of school because after I earned my teaching credential I realized that I scared to death about being in a classroom all day long with children I might not be able to keep under control! Being under five feet tall had its disadvantages.
Becoming a skating coach was a way for me to teach kids (and adults), but be in an environment where I was confident. Skating is like walking for me since I began doing it when I was so young. Ice skating is fun and children want to be at their skating lessons. Also, it doesn’t hurt that parents are at the rink monitoring their’s children’s behavior, so for me, teaching skating was and is an ideal job. I loved every minute of being a full-time skating instructor.
As a new skating coach, I was on the ice over eight hours a day, five to six days a week, giving group and private lessons. My feet ached at the end of the day and I was really, really tired, but I was dedicated to each and every student I taught and I never let any of my students know that I was exhausted.
When I raised my own three children, I continued my work as a skating coach and taught skating part-time, but that didn’t mean I didn’t work. I worked and I worked really hard.
I went on to be hired as About.com’s Figure Skating Guide-Expert. That was almost like a full-time job and through that job, I dedicated myself to share my knowledge of skating with the world. I also wrote articles for several other skating publications, Then, my book, MY SKATING LIFE: About My 50 Plus Years of Skating was published.
It hurts when someone says teaching skating or getting paid to do things related to skating is not real work.
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