I’m Not Alone

Funny how sometimes people come into your life at the perfect moment.  For weeks I’ve been feeling all “What the hell am I doing even thinking I could ever speed skate”, the doubts growing larger than my ever increasing ass thanks to a complete decline in any training whatsoever.

And then an email pops into my inbox.  It’s from a woman named Kaari and she’s been speed skating now for 14 years.  Kaari thinks I’m crazy for doing short track – too many people on the track at the same time.  I think Kaari is crazy for doing long track because you have to skate about a kajillion miles each race.

That’s a rough estimate.

Here’s where the whole serendipity comes to life.  Like me, Kaari couldn’t skate a lick when she started. She spent her entire first season wobbling around the rink on the local lake (her words, not mine) and when she started her second season at the official long track she couldn’t skate all the way around the oval at first.  Which, you know, sounds pretty much like where I’m at right now.

Kaari’s been at this for years and now competes in long track meets and has gotten good.  She’s offered me training tips and advice but most of all she’s offered me something I lost somewhere along the way this summer…..hope.  I’ve been away from the rink for a few months, the new season is fast approaching and that voice in my head is telling me that I’m just going to embarrass myself.  The thought of going on the ice with everyone being better than me and me fumbling around and making the entire class wait while I finish up a drill….it’s all been a bit overwhelming for my brain and has left me feeling defeated before the season has even begun.  But Kaari has also given me something else.  Faith.  Faith that I can do this and if I persevere, not only can I do it, I might even become good.

For awhile it was cool being the only 40-something woman I knew who started to speed skate this late in the game. But it’s a hell of a lot cooler knowing Kaari’s out there too.

You can check out Kaari at The Long Track Life.



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About Sharon

Sharon DeVellis is a mother, wife and writer who can uncork a wine bottle in less than 10 seconds but buys twist-offs for emergencies. She’s currently in therapy to stop talking about herself in third person.
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5 Responses to I’m Not Alone

  1. Something that they say in the yoga world, “Practice, practice, all is coming.” (I say this to my husband every time he complains about a bad golf game.) Everyone is a beginner at one point, and – as Kaari is showing you – success comes with practice! I know you can do it!!!

  2. Kaari Cox says:

    I’m so glad I could help re-fire your enthusiasm! Speedskating is hard, but it’s well worth the effort…I can’t tell you all the cool stuff it has brought into my life–friends, travel, fitness, fun (oh, and bit of pain here and there, but it’s all good). I’m a bit envious of you; you’re just at the beginning of all that cool stuff to come!

    And just remember–it doesn’t matter where you started; all that matters is that you don’t stop!

  3. Bruno says:

    You inspired me to consider speed skating for this upcoming winter. Forget about the other people you see on the rink skating. Block out those people and make it about you – make it about something you enjoy doing that is fun and challenging.

    Hope to see you on the ice this winter.


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