The day I decided to retire from competitive skating changed my life immensely. After much thought I came to the conclusion that I was happy with what I did with my skating and needed to leave my competitive career behind me and see what new obstacles the future would bring. Adapting to a new lifestyle was difficult at first but slowly got easier. While I was competing I attended school but not full time. I was fortunate enough that my school allowed me to only attend 6 class periods out of 8 and miss gym class and lunch. I left school everyday at 12:20 unlike all of my other classmates. My classmates would always say, “I wish I figure skated so I could leave early.”
When I stopped competitive skating I was entering my senior year and wanted to make it my best since I had missed out the past 3 years. I attended school for 7 class periods including gym (which I hadn’t taken since 8th grade). As a senior I was given the privilege of leaving one class period early. Since I wasn’t skating I worked really hard in all my classes. I had honor roll 3 marking periods this year and straight A’s the other marking period.
I finally was able to get involved in school activities and decided to join my classmates in the Powder Puff Football game that takes place once a year. The game was played between the senior girls and the junior girls and our cheerleaders were the guys. This was the first big social event I participated in outside of skating. I also went on my senior trip down in Florida at Disney World and went to my senior prom, where my brother won Prom King. Along with school activities I also got a real job at a local restaurant as a hostess. At the time I was coaching group lessons at my local skating rink as well. Well one day I was rushing to work at the restaurant, running out of my house (in heels) and sprained my ankle. This was the same ankle I injured 4 years before and had skated on it for those 4 years. Unfortunately I couldn’t work as a hostess anymore and had to sit on the side lines at the Powder Puff game cheering my classmates on.
A month later I had arthroscopic surgery on my ankle, 2 days before Christmas. The surgery went well and I was in a cast for 2 weeks and on crutches for a total of 6 weeks. I went to physical therapy 3 days a week for a few months and I am now finally getting back to being the active girl I use to be. I currently am working on getting a freestyle program choreographed so I can eventually test my novice, junior, and senior free program. I still am not able to really jump yet but with time I’ll be getting back to that. I also will be taking the last of dance tests within the next couple of years. I coach a few days a week and have 3 of my own students who all placed first at their first competition in May. I recently graduated in the top 20 percent of my class and in the Fall I will be attending Widener University for Psychology and a Doctorate’s degree in Physical Therapy. For the time being I am enjoying my first summer at home and not living away to train, hanging out with my extremely supportive boyfriend and shopping for cool dorm things! Skating will always be a part of my life and I hope to continue coaching and once done schooling apply my help to skaters and other athletes who have injuries like I did.
~ Michelle Scott