She Believed In Me

Michelle was my ice skating teacher.  I didn't start skating until age 25 and that is considered well and truly past it by many.  Michelle said  you are never too old.  Then she told me she was going to teach me everything to do with skating, figures, jumps, spins, ballet - you name it. She was younger than I, in her early twenties.  But she was a natural.

I was never much good at sport.  But I wanted to do skating after watching the winter olympics one year.  The ice skaters were inspiring and I wanted to do at least some of the things on ice that they were doing.  But when it came to sports, I was always the last one chosen on the team, the one who never got a single ribbon for any event ever.  I was more a judo sort of person.  And now I was going to take up something that demanded athleticism, gracefulness, balance, and co-ordination.

Michelle broke every skill down into little, easily achievable steps.  What a difference this made!  She was no nonsense.  "Come on!" she would demand.

I could hardly believe it when I did my first jump and landed without breaking anything.  But Michelle kept raising the bar.  "Now for a Lutz!  Now an Axel!"  Two foot spins, then one foot spins.  And ballet - never in a million years did I envisage myself doing such things as spirals, spread eagles and inner bauers, but I did. 

Michelle made me believe I could achieve something I wanted to achieve, even though I was full of self doubt.  In a world where so many teachers cannot see beyond the obstacles, she enabled with her marvellous "can do" attitude.  My first ever ribbon was for freestyle ice skating in a rink competition at age 25.  Many thanks to a superb young teacher who made a big difference to my life.
perseverer perseverer
56-60, F
5 Responses Nov 18, 2011

Like I said you are a strong willed lady and can do anything you put your mind to,and you are a blessing to read and talk with.

Unshakable, thank you. If I have had any impact on the lives of others, it is because others have had a great impact on me. So often it is just a kind or wise comment at a critical moment that makes the difference in someone's life.<br />
<br />
Neeran, thank you for commenting. It is good to be reminded about being able to achieve challenging goals.<br />
<br />
amberdextrous, you are so right. I never dreamed I could learn to jump and spin of the ice, and I am so glad I did learn. I do truly consider people who can get us to move beyond our self doubts and limitations an absolute blessing. It really was a magical time in my life, learning to do freestyle ice skating.

Thank You for an inspiring story about an inspirational teacher, perseverer. <br />
<br />
Sometimes we just need a voice *outside* our own head, telling us we *can* do things, to counter our own self-doubt.<br />
<br />
It must have taken a lot of courage to make that first leap, but what a sense of self-fulfilment You must have felt! Magical.

Such an amazing story.

You do make a difference in your students lives too.