Posts Tagged ‘Get Up’

Adult Figure Skaters – Inspirational Stories of “Getting Up” after Illness and Injury (Part 2)

Christy Hayes got up and back on the ice after a life-threatening head injury. Now she skates with a stylish protective headband.

See links to the January – March issues of my “Get Up” Blog at the bottom of this one.

I continue my monthly blog series based on US Figure Skating’s popular “Get Up” campaign which continues to share the message that life, like the ice, is hard, and we can certainly fall on it. But the more times we get up and persevere, the stronger we become.

Often, falls for adult skaters can be more catastrophic than for young children who seem to quickly bounce off the ice and skate on after a fall. So it takes extra strength and courage for an older skater to get back out there on the ice.

When I was soliciting examples of adult skaters getting up after a fall or illness, I got so many, I need to save some for part 2, so here we go!

Christy Hayes writes: I had an unwitnessed fall three days before testing bronze moves. Two kids found me in a pool of blood and thought I was dead. I woke up hours later in the ICU, lost four days of memories, and was off the ice for six weeks. I had to take several deep breaths and talk myself in to stepping back on. I’m the one you see wearing a protective headband out there. I “got up”, rescheduled, tested and passed bronze moves nine months later!

From Laurie Krueger: My story begins with a love of skating from the time I was a toddler with informal skating on frozen ponds. But then as an adult, I started to take lessons, moving up through the various levels pretty quickly. My final competition was USFSA Adult Nationals in Lake Placid in 2000. However, knee injuries upon knee injuries began to sideline me with NINE meniscus surgeries (6 and 3 on left and right knees) over the next few years and then finally….the big kahuna. A knee replacement at age 55 which sadly ended my competitive skating career. No more jumping as this was my jumping leg. And two years later, the other knee followed. On top of that, a lifetime of a genetically deformed spine caused me to have a spinal fusion, further reducing my range of motion. I thought my skating days were over.

My husband and I retired from our NY jobs and moved to SW Florida where I thought I would be riding bikes, swimming and playing pickle ball. But I was depressed. Very depressed. But as luck would have it, although it’s Florida, there was a skating rink a mile from my house. Little by little, the rink drew me back in. I “got up” and started just going once a week “for fun”, but last summer finally broke down and joined the Everblades Figure Skating Club and just participated in their Christmas Show this year and now planning on my first competition in 17 years in February. No, I cannot do what I once did, but that’s ok. I have just turned 60 years old, and to be able to do a show or a Showcase competition number….well, I’m over the moon! I plan to still be doing this at 70, and if I’m lucky, at 80! This grandma of 4 is happy again to be on the ice!

Michelle Daichman was reminded by her Facebook Memories that 9 years ago she going in for her my third knee surgery. She writes: My doctor made no guarantee that I’d be able to skate again. But I love that I “got up” and proved him wrong, and get to do so every day. This is my “get up story” – never underestimate!

From Aimée Ricca: I shattered my right ankle last January while practicing 3-turns. I now have a titanium plate 8 screws and 2 pins, along with something called RSD/CRPS (a rare nerve disease). I spent 2 months not being able to walk at all, another month in a boot, and then finally the challenge of learning how to walk again! But I “got up” and returned to the ice 1 May of last year and used skating as part of my rehab.

In December, I performed in my arena’s holiday show. Then, I performed the same basic program for a local competition and was award gold. I began jumping in January and was able to compete at Adult Eastern Sectionals with only having waltz jumps in my Pre-Bronze Free Skate, I placed 6th out of 7, which I say isn’t bad for only having waltz jumps! I competed at my club’s big event, the Morris Open, this past weekend and got the silver medal (full disclosure, there were only 3 competitors). I am now working on adding my toe loop and salchow. It’s a challenge every day because every day is different with an injury! My range of motion isn’t what it used to be and the pain waxes and wanes. I will keep getting up though!

And from Karen Burgner: I competed and medaled at my first nationals in 2012… after falling during my light entertainment program, getting up and finishing to take the silver. Later that same year, I suffered a spinal cord accident after two of my kids jumped on me. After emergency surgery and months of therapy I learned to walk again… and skate again, and got up and returned to national competition in 2015 – and I took silver in bronze 2 ladies free skate at nationals last year!

I hope these stories inspire you that even with bad falls, injuries, and illness, our love of skating can spur us on to “get up” and back on the ice, even if the rehabilitation period is several months.

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Earlier “get up” blogs:

January: Introduction to the “Get Up” theme with figure skating examples

February: Stories of Adult Figure Skaters “Getting Up” After Illness and Injury, part 1

March: Getting Up after Career and Vocation Falls. Read these four short inspiration stories of how these people “got up” to move on after falls and troubles in their vocational lives.

My “Get Up” Blog for March – Getting Up after “Career Falls”

When corporate culture where he worked shifted away from Val Boston’s business philosophy, he “got up” to start his own consultant practice where he could be true to his values.

For the March blog as part of my monthly “Get Up” Blog series inspired by US Figure Skating’s “Get Up” campaign, I am featuring people getting up, not from from physical falls, but from “falls” or unexpected downturns in vocations and careers. The “Get Up” message inspires us to get up from the many different types of falls we can have in our lives just as figure skaters get up and continue after a fall on the very hard cold ice.

I have four short stories to share:

Adult figure skater Shauna Lynn Panczyszyn shared: “I moved to my current city for a job that sought me out. They had made promises that they didn’t keep, and hired someone else to share my position without telling me a week after I started. Three and a half months later they fired me with absolutely no explanation. But I “got up” and dove head first into full time freelance illustration (link to her website) and haven’t looked back. Four years later it is the best thing that could have happened to me, AND I was able to fit skating into my day. Before that, I would have to travel an hour to another rink (my current was just across the street from where I live and I could only skate weekends there) just to get some ice time after work IF I didn’t get stuck working late.

After moving internationally and discovering that her past experience was not really valued in the US, Noa Ronan had to get up and forge her own path as a coach and consultant.

A consultant I met at my local SHRM (Society of Human Resource Management) chapter – Triangle SHRM here in North Carolina, Noa Ronan of Noa Ronen Coaching,, shared, “11 years ago I moved from Israel to the US. I had a fulfilling executive career as a change management consultant and HR and Training executive. But after our family relocation to the US reality hit me, neither my Israeli career experience nor my MBA from Israel was of interest in the US when I applied for jobs. I felt very lost and stuck; I didn’t want to apply for jobs that will take me back to what I did ten years ago or go in a different direction. I loved what I did and I didn’t want to let go of who I was in my past. It took me few good years to fall and fail again and again until I was able to “get up” and let go of the story I was telling myself about my “glorious” past and recreate who I want to be right here in the present. Today I am using all the skills I have acquired over my career with new ones, and I coach global leaders and people in transitions. Letting go of my past was about being present with my new reality and recreating a new future for myself.

And from a highly respected consultant who has been an invaluable mentor to me as I started my own business in 2010, Val Boston of Boston and Associates, LLC: “After 5 years with a global organization, they were sold to a much larger firm. With the acquisition came a major cultural and philosophical shift, from a service focus model to a more “bottom line” one. This change in business philosophy was in direct conflict with mine. I then I “got up” and decided to launch my own consultancy focusing on Diversity & Inclusion, and Leadership Coaching. That was 17 years ago!”

And another friend from TSHRM who is so supportive of my figure skating journey, Diane Olsen (link to her LinkedIn profile) shares her story of “getting up” multiple times: “After ten years building an amazing insurance industry career, where I climbed ladders, I turned down the ultimate promotion at a very large company. I decided to move cross country and go back to school, but soon found myself in a financial position where I needed to go back to work full time. I grabbed the first job that came along. When that company shut down, I job-jumped a few times while trying to finish my degree part-time. I had a roller coaster on my resume now.

Then it dawned on me that I created this storm. What was I going to be when I grew up? I didn’t get my answer until years later. I took a job in Raleigh as an Operations Manager for a start-up company, and I was employee number nine. Over the course of eight years, I built four other departments, was promoted to VP of Operations and HR, and was able to be a part of the buy-out of the company at the end of 2015. Each of these departments I created had information pulled from a lot of the in-between jobs I’d had in the past.

Sometimes, you are dusting yourself off without even realizing it. I have since left that job, taking a well-deserved hiatus. It’s a bit stressful being in transition, but exciting at the same time. Needless to say, I look forward to “getting up” and starting my next adventure with open arms.

Life, like the ice, can be very hard, with falls giving us a good jar. But we can rise up, persevere, and move onto something better.

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Links to all my earlier “Get Up” monthly blogs can be found on my skating blogs and videos blog page.

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