When I began skating as a shy 8 year old, I created a list of goals: pass senior moves in the field and free skate, compete at regionals, skate a short program and free skate and do a triple jump (the harness counts).

These weren't the loftiest goals, but attainable for my skill set. Skating through my high school years provided an escape from family problems and school drama and taught me how to focus to achieve my goals. At the beginning of my senior year, I had just passed my senior moves and was working on my novice free skate. I desperately wanted attain the goal of passing my senior free skate!

The summer before I started college, I took the novice free skate test and failed because of that darn double toe loop. I had to test again, but college was about to start. I signed up to test at the end of my first semester of college and failed again. I was very discouraged and had my doubts of ever getting it passed. However, the little 8-year-old me was still there with her list of goals.

I continued skating throughout college even though my college town didn't have an ice rink. Sometimes I wouldn't get to skate for up to two weeks. But I maintained my skills, tried to gain confidence in that double toe and trained off the ice as much as possible.

My last semester of college was to be completed at home, and an opportunity opened up to test again. After a lot of mental training and encouraging words from my coach, I landed the double toe when it counted and finally passed the novice free skate test! At that point, after waiting so long, working so hard, and feeling really good about my physical shape, why stop? I plan on taking my junior and senior free skate tests before the summer of 2017 and my skating skills have never been better (especially the double toe)!

During this time, the goal orientation, motivation and focus I learned in skating didn't stop at the rink. I used this same mindset when I approached school and my career. I graduated high school and college with honors, got a great job as a nurse at KU  and am about to start graduate school to become a nurse practitioner.

Skating has taught me that no matter how long it takes, and no matter how old you are, you can achieve your goals if you have the motivation and determination to get there. We all fall. So GET UP.