When I was 4-years old I told my parents I wanted to become an ice princess. Shortly after, they bought me skates and took me to the ice rink. What they didn’t know was that from that moment onwards, they would be driving me to the ice rink for the next 14 years.
At first, it was a hobby, but very soon I was training two times per day, 6 days a week. I loved skating and it started to determine who I was. I wasn’t really talented, but I compensated that with hard work, determination, and setting clear goals. This kept me going, especially during the moments I felt tired or weak.
Unfortunately, after having had too many injuries, I had to end my career in figure skating. Until today, that has been one of the hardest times of my life and it took me several years to figure out my identity outside the sports arenas. In the beginning, it felt like I had wasted 14 years of my life. However, slowly my thoughts started to change, and I realized that during those 14 years I had learned some very valuable lessons for life that shaped me into who I am today. Those lessons greatly benefit both my personal as well as my professional life.
I learned to be self-aware: understanding your strengths and weaknesses is important on your journey to success;
I learned to set goals: in order to succeed you need to be clear on what you want to achieve on the short and long term;
I learned to be accountable: you can have a supporting team or coaches around you, but in the end, you are the one responsible for your own actions and achievements;
I learned to be self-confident: to be able to succeed, you need to be realistic, acknowledge your skills, but also trust something is possible;
I learned to learn from my mistakes: If you really want to accomplish something challenging, you are not going to succeed the first, second, or third time. Making mistakes hurts. But, learning from mistakes and setbacks will make you grow and become stronger;
I learned to work hard: it is very unlikely you will reach challenging goals without hard work;
And finally, I also learned to enjoy the journey: If you focus and reach your destination, that’s great. However, the greatest enjoyments and discoveries will happen during your journey to the destination.
Being a figure skater was great and I am very proud of it. However, the greatest gift I got from my past was the way I look at life today. And isn’t it amazing that today, as a holistic health coach I am even helping others finding their own ways to improve their personal and professional life.
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