She Believed In MeMichelle 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.