Tag Archives: figure skater

Summer Skating

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Summer Skating

Greetings! This past year, I have enjoyed firing up my old passion of figure skating by learning how to ice dance. Every other week, I drive up to Lakewood to work with one of my old coaches, who I consider one of the best of the best. He truly is an extraordinaire in all things figure skating and it has been such a pleasure to have him teach me again.

Unfortunately, with summer upon us, all of the hockey camps are in full swing and it drastically changes the times when us figure skaters can do our thing. There were literally no times that I could skate in Lakewood with my coach, Chris, without rearranging my work schedule dramatically, which I really didn’t want to do.

So, I had to come up with Plan B and contacted the coach, whose name is also Sarah, and who taught me literally everything to see if she could squeeze me in. Thankfully, we arranged an early morning ice time for a skate sesh and I worked with her for the first time in close to a decade this past week. And, did I mention that it was at the rink in Kent where I learned how to skate? Talk about nostalgia!

I enjoyed my skate time so much by being at my old rink with my former coach and it felt just like the good old days. I even worked on a few jumps instead of just strictly ice dancing, which I wasn’t expecting, but I’m glad I did! I had such a blast and felt so good afterwards that I just had to call my parents and thank them for all of the years that they supported my sport.

All of the lessons, dresses and skates, and competitions were not cheap. But, they gave me something that I will be able to work hard at and that gives me so much joy for many years to come and I am so thankful for that. It hit me so hard after being at the rink where they would take me for all of those years and I am looking forward to spending my summer ice time there. Thanks again, mom and dad! ❤

What sport did you play when you were younger? Are you still active in it now? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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Making Time For Me

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Making Time For Me

Hello! I know the title of this post might seem a bit extra to some, considering I just recently was on vacation. But, oh my goodness is it necessary. Upon returning home from my trip, my work days were absolutely insane. We’re talking rising at seven to get ready and going, going, going nonstop until my arrival home after nine at night. Ah, the joys of playing catch up when you work for yourself and don’t get PTO!

With all of that craziness in mind, it was so important for me to make time for myself to go skating in between clients this past week. Despite a forty-five minute drive there and back to the rink, just one hour on the ice made me feel much better. The cold air, the challenge, and the exercise was more than enough to clear my head half way through the week and gave me the drive to push through until my weekend days off.

Sometimes, I have a really hard time making time for myself. I will work myself so hard to the point that, when I do have free time, I just want to veg out and do nothing. And, believe me, I was feeling this way last week like no other. But, I pushed myself to get to skating practice, even though I was riding the struggle bus, and it was well worth it. Not only did I feel proud of myself for having a good skate, but it left me feeling invigorated and ready for work, which I had to be at shortly after practice.

Making time for yourself doesn’t mean that you need to take an entire mental health day. Although, sometimes, that’s good too! Rather, I took under three hours of my day to do something that I really enjoy and the pay off was grand. Over the past few months, I have experienced the effects of feeling burnt out, and it is no walk in the park. But, I know that if I keep carving out time for myself during my work week, that my mental health will continue to improve and my determination to finish the week strong instead of idly passing through it will keep me on top in all aspects of my life.

How do you make time for you during your working hours? What do you do for yourself when you start to feel burnt out? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Do You For You

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Do You For You

Hello everyone and happy weekend! As many of you probably know, I figure skated competitively for close to ten years. I still love to hit the rink every now and then to get my skate on, but, I haven’t had a real lesson in about eight years. And, this past week, that changed! After running into one of my old coaches while I was at work, I decided that I would like to try my hand at ice dancing. And, try my hand at ice dancing I did!

I had the absolute best time being back on the ice and actually learning something new. Ice dancing is completely foreign to me, but the old girl can’t jump like she used to so I figured that dancing would be the best way to go. I had a half hour lesson with my coach, Chris, who is really the end all be all in my neck of the woods when it comes to all aspects of skating. Then, I got to practice on my own for a half hour.

By the end of my time on the ice, I was beat! But, boy, did it feel good. As I consider continuing to learn ice dancing, I find myself leaning towards not doing it, because it’s rather expensive. And, then, I find myself thinking that I do so much for others and that maybe I should do something for me, for once. Having a lesson every other week is definitely not as desirable as weekly skate time. But, it’s the best I can do and it sure would make me happy.

It feels so good to have something that I’m genuinely excited about. I’m twenty-four, which, for all intents and purposes, is over the hill in the skating world. But, I came back on the ice strong, I tried hard, and I can’t wait to do it again.

Doing you for you is so important, because if you don’t take that extra time for yourself, it’s so easy to become burnt out. I was definitely getting to that point and just one hour on the ice made me feel totally rejuvenated. And, you just can’t put a price on that. 🙂

Then and now! ❤

How do you do you for you? What is a hobby that you did when you were younger that you would like to get back into? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Special Olympics 2017 Banquet

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Special Olympics 2017 Banquet

Hi everyone! This past week, the Special Olympics hosted their yearly banquet to celebrate the athletes, coaches, volunteers, and families that dedicate themselves to such an incredible organization. I have been coaching Special Olympics figure skating for three years now and every practice, competition, and event is such a joy to be a part of. This year, I was honored as the Volunteer Of The Year for my involvement as a coach. It was such an amazing surprise and I have my award displayed proudly already! Check it out:

awardd

^^^ Isn’t that cute?!

I know that I used this word already, but “honored” really describes how I feel about receiving this award. Out of all of the incredible coaches that volunteer their time to the cause, yours truly was chosen, and that is such an indescribable feeling. I am so proud to have been celebrated by my beloved athletes and their families, and I am looking forward to working with my skaters to be the best that they can be, on and off the ice, at our next lesson. ❤

What is something that you are proud of? Which organizations do you volunteer for? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image By: CBS DFW

Lil Red Loves: Giving Back!

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Lil Red Loves: Giving Back!

Hello everyone and happy Sunday! If you have been following lifewithlilred for a while or even are just friends with me on Facebook, you will know that there are two particular causes that are very close to my heart. One being animal rescue organizations and the other being the Special Olympics. Canine Lifeline, the rescue group that I volunteer for, and the Special Olympics are both organizations that I have worked with for about three years. Both causes are incredibly dear to me and I am here to talk about why. Let’s discuss:

Canine Lifeline:

I have had many a post on my blog about my precious rescue pups, Gem and Ollie, both of whom came from Canine Lifeline. This rescue group brings dogs up from rural, all kill shelters and tries to find them a new furever home in Ohio. Not only that, but they work hard to cover the medical expenses for the pups that are heartworm positive or who suffered in abusive conditions in their previous owner’s “care”.

My mom, sister, and I try to do everything within our time budget to help out with the needs of this amazing organization. Whether it be walking the dogs, bathing them, washing the blankets in their cages, or giving them some play time, we try to lend a helping hand as often as possible. We also have fun trying our luck at their raffle fundraisers where you can win amazing gift baskets! If it wasn’t for CLL, Gem and Ollie wouldn’t be here to be such a treasured part of our lives. With that in mind, the least we can do is try to give back!

gem1ollie

^^^ Gem is in the first picture and Ollie is straight lounging in the second one. *Featuring Patrick Starfish*

Special Olympics:

This will be my third year of coaching Special Olympics figure skating and I am SO excited for practices to commence in October. I have been working with people who have special needs for roughly three years, as well, and I can’t imagine being in a better, more rewarding field. Compliments to about ten years of competitive figure skating, I have been able to use my somewhat forgotten skills to help my students grow as athletes and it brings me so much joy.

Coaching and motivating my athletes in whatever way that I can has led me to wonderful new friendships as well as a weekly workout – it’s really a win/win situation! I live for the practices, the actual Special Olympics games, and the celebration banquet when it is all over. Seeing my students enjoy themselves and succeed in an incredibly difficult sport is all the payoff that I need, and I plan on coaching every year until I physically can’t do it any more. Plus, Coach Sarah has an excellent ring to it!

team

^^^ Team picture!!! ❤

There is nothing better than volunteering your time, energy, and skills to an organization that is special to you. And, of course, monetary donations are also much appreciated, especially to both of my above causes, which are nonprofit.

And speaking of nonprofit organizations, if you are helping to plan a fundraising event for one of your causes, then the services at Eventbrite are a great place to start. Your raffle or dinner will be sure to be a hit with Eventbrite’s event planning, promotions, and social sharing tools to help your favorite cause reach new audiences and, of course, earn some money.

Lil Red Loves: Giving Back and I hope that this inspired you to help out with a cause that is meaningful to you! Which organization do you volunteer for? How do you give back? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image By: Comal Habitat

Monday Update: Take A Walk Edition

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Monday Update: Take A Walk Edition

Hi everyone and happy Monday! I hope that all of you had a fantastic and relaxing weekend. So, technically, this Monday Update should be called Take A Walk/Run Edition (a rawk?) but Take A Walk sounds a bit more snazzy so we’ll just go with it. ANYWAYS, this past week, my mom decided that she would like to give walking at the nearby middle school track a go and asked if I would like to join her. Because I am a loving daughter and also because I’m trying to get my beach body in check I said, albeit a little grudgingly, “sure”. ALSO, the “comfort” few pounds gained when I was still with my ex-boyfriend are no joke so, I repeat, I really want to get my beach body in check.

So, my mom and I made our way to the track and because simply walking bores me, I thought that I would try to run as much as I could before taking a walking break. And LET ME TELL YOU, the ol’ smoker’s lungs were on FIRE. Despite this, I walked/ran (rawked) a mile and a quarter and felt pretty happy about it. Granted, it felt like pure and utter torture, but it was sort of fun? Can torture be fun? I guess the answer is YES.

My mom and I have gone to the track five times within the week during the evening and each time, I’ve been able to run a little bit longer than I was able to the last time. This is exciting to me. For those of you who don’t know, I was a competitive figure skater for a long time but gave it up when I was about sixteen (I’m 22 now). I miss doing things that involve athleticism (even though shopping is a sport, damnit), so it felt really good to be able to do something to get the blood pumping again and put my legs of steel to use.

Am I going to be the next Usain Bolt any time soon? Absolutely not. But I would be ecstatic if I could make it around the track once (which is a quarter mile) at a run without stopping to walk. It’s nice to have goals to accomplish even if they’re small and it’s also fun being able to be with my mom even if we’re just waving at each other from our different locations on the track.

I never thought that I’d say that I was actually looking forward to going for a rawk and getting sweaty, but I definitely find myself looking forward to it during the day. I even want to start hitting the ice again, although it would be just for fun. Being motivated in an athletic way for the first time in a long time feels good and I know my beach body goals will be achieved sooner or later. So here’s to bikini shopping not being a total pain this year!

^^^ As always, I have no rights to this song or video (I wish I did!!).

So there you have it, this week’s Monday Update: Take A Walk Edition! How do you plan on achieving your perfect beach bod this year? Who else enjoys a good walk, run, or rawk? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Monday Update: Special Olympics Edition

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Monday Update: Special Olympics Edition

Hi everyone and happy Monday! This past week, my Special Olympic ice skaters competed in the winter games and it was totally awesome. The events took place on Wednesday and Thursday and they were single handedly some of the best days of my life. On Wednesday my sister, Kristen, joined me at the competition and the banquet that followed later in the evening. It was so nice to have her keeping me company and all of my skaters and their families just loved her! The days of the competitions were long but they were so worth it, so let’s discuss:

Wednesday’s competitions were the races for the speed skaters and then the figure skaters would compete in their skills and compulsorary events. On Thursday, the figure skaters would perform their music routines. Wednesday started out much too early for my liking because I had to get up, get ready, pick Kristen up, and then make the twenty minute drive to the rink so I could prepare my skaters for the events an hour or so beforehand. I felt like a zombie but god knows I looked fabulous! 😉

Once we arrived at the rink, my tiredness was a thing of the past because seeing all of the athletes and their families was so energizing! Everyone was so excited and I couldn’t wait to soak up all of the positivity and happiness that everyone was exuding. It was so much fun to make my rounds to all of the athletes upon our arrival and introduce my sister to all of my friends. I was so touched by the warm greetings I got from all of my skaters and their families. I think the athletes were more excited about Kristen being there than me though because they got a brand new person to show off to!

The events started promptly at ten with the speed skaters on the hockey rink and the figure skaters on the practice rink. I had athletes competing on both rinks so I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off. I had skaters to give pep talks to, athletes to cheer for, and competitors that I had to track down that were going to be competing next. I didn’t mind the fast pace though and thanks to my time management skills, I was able to watch almost all of the skaters that are in my group compete.

Saying that I was proud of all of the athletes was a severe understatement and before I knew it, the events were over for the day. After all of the events were complete, we made our way to the hockey rink for the award ceremony. It was so special to be able to watch the athletes and my students receiving their medals on the podium. I loved seeing the big smiles, surprised faces, and arms raised in victory of all of the competitors. One of my students, Rick, ran to his family after he received his medals and went in for a big hug from his aunt. During the hug he kept saying “I’m so happy, I’m so happy” and I started bawling my eyes out! I was so proud of everyone and being able to see them celebrate and know that they did a fantastic job was the cherry on top of a perfect morning.

After the award ceremony, Kristen and I stuck around for a little bit while everyone had lunch and then we rolled out. Kristen treated me to lunch and then we went back to her apartment to rest and watch Netflix until the banquet in the evening. The banquet for the Special Olympics winter games was held at the Clarion Hotel. There was going to be speeches, dinner, and some good old fashioned tom foolery.

Kristen and I got to the hotel around six and made it right in the nick of time because shortly after we got there it was time to eat. Dinner was served buffet style followed by a huge piece of chocolate cake. Once everyone finished eating, there was a bit of a lull so we could all chat and digest while the dance floor got cleared off. Before we knew it, the dance floor was cleared, a DJ was playing, and disco lights were flashing. That’s when the real fun began!

As soon as the music started playing, Kristen and I ran to the dance floor with our friends so we could get our groove on. We were all dancing and singing along to songs from Grease and the Top 40 hits. My sister and I had such a blast dancing the night away. We were on the dance floor for over an hour and by the time we left, everyone was still dancing and jumping around! Clearly, all of the athletes have far more energy than I! Take a look at some of my pictures from the banquet:

^^^ I love us!!!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it a million more times, I am so unbelievably proud of all of my students and the athletes who competed at the Special Olympics winter games. I’m so thankful for all of my new friends and I’m so happy that my sister got to share in the fun with us. It has been such a privilege to be able to coach such a talented group of athletes and I wouldn’t trade the experiences I’ve had for anything! Coach Sarah loves you guys! ❤

So there you have it, this week’s Monday Update: Special Olympics Edition! The winter games were a great success and I’m so grateful that I could be a part of it. What is your favorite winter sport? What sports did you used to compete in or are competing in now? I wanna hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah