It’s May, which means I’ve been skating for almost three months now. Wow. Before I started skating, I had no idea how quickly people learned (despite numerous Google searches trying to figure out how long I could expect to be in Basic Skills), and I suppose it’s one of those things you can’t quantify anyway. But I definitely didn’t expect to learn jumps of any kind for at least a year.

On the one hand, I feel like I’m moving really fast, and sometimes I wonder if it’s TOO fast… Based on the USFSA Learn To Skate curriculum, I’ve learned almost everything in the Basic Skills program, with a few exceptions being the hockey stop and ballet jump. And I think if I were shown how to do those, I could pick them up relatively quickly; we just haven’t gotten to it. So I’m probably around Freestyle 1 right now. Which seems fast, even to me.

But on the other hand, I don’t feel like I’m rushing to push beyond my skill level. I feel ready to learn whatever I’m being taught, whether it’s salchows or swingrolls or spins. I think Coach A is working hard to make sure I’m always being a little challenged without being thrown off the deep end.

I’m excited at my progress, and frankly totally surprised. I’m not particularly athletic and I’ve got no dance background, and combined with my advanced age (hey, at 32 my knees and hips feel pretty advanced) I was prepared to spend a long time learning basic skills. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t find skating easy in the least. It’s scary and my body is constantly sore from one thing or another, and half the time I chicken out of trying skills that scare me, which is almost everything. It’s just that I think I’m catching on faster than anyone at the rink expected, myself included.

I wonder if I’d have made a good skater if I’d picked it up as a child—although I sincerely doubt I would have had the discipline or patience to stick through all the hard, painful stuff. And there’s a lot of that.