Isolation Diaries: My One Regret

Hey Everyone,

So, I know this is a law blog but isolation has formed a very real part of our current lives. Like many others, law students and graduates have been severely impacted by the virus so I feel it’s important to address this. Although I have the next 3 months of posts planned, sometimes things just crop up unexpectedly and I feel it’s equally important to address these matters.

A few nights back, my mum put a Netflix series on called ‘Spinning Out’. This series followed the lives of two figure skaters as they navigate the challenges of the skating world. Over the weekend we watched the whole season. One of the nights, I went upstairs and just sat on my bed and cried my eyes out. I was confused as to why I was crying and what exactly it was about this series that triggered the emotion inside me. The following day I came downstairs fresh minded and realised something…

Apart from the law, my true passion in life was to be an Olympic figure skater. I know a stark comparison right ? – let me put some things in context for you.

My dream started when a family friend so kindly brought my family and I to New York for a holiday when I was about 10 years old. In Manhattan we bought some skating boots and I had the opportunity to skate. As soon as I stepped foot on that ice I knew that was where I was meant to be. When we returned home from the holiday I remember pestering my parents everyday about figure skating. As we didn’t have an ice rink anywhere near my hometown we travelled to the UK to a family member so I could skate. My parents wanted me to learn correctly and so they tried everything to get figure skating lessons however, there were no coaches available for 9 weeks. I didn’t mind as I was happy skating on my own and simply being on the ice.

One morning, I was skating when I was approached by an elderly man on the ice. I was a bit skeptical to speak to him at the start but ended up chatting to him anyway. He said that him and some friends (some familiar faces) had been watching me skate for a couple of weeks. He asked me who my coach was so, I told him that I didn’t have one. Shocked he left the ice momentarily and I thought nothing of it. 15 mins later he introduced me to one of the UK’s best figure skating coaches and said well now you do (turns out he was an Olympic figure skater in his day). I trained for a couple of months, 7 days a week, 5 hours a day. I completed grades 1-10 and bronze, silver and gold in figure skating and ice dance and was going on to compete and complete further grades.

However, school was fast approaching and I was faced with a difficult decision. Commit full time to figure skating and move to the UK at 14 years of age or continue down my path to become a lawyer. Kinda obvious which path I took !!

Saying this I do not regret studying the law, as my passion for it has flourished and I love what I do everyday. I am a firm believer in the ‘butterfly effect’ and if I chose the skating path I would never have met Michael and so many incredible others. However, I find myself thinking what if ?. What I do know is that my couch said I would’ve made the British team after just few months of me training. The netflix series triggered something within me. Would I have achieved my dream of getting to the olympics? Was I good enough? Would I have got injured?. Isolation has allowed for a lot more thinking time and as a result all these questions were floating around my mind.

Although I will never make the Olympic team, isolation has taught me that I don’t have to give up doing something that I love just because of my age. I am only 23 years old therefore, I have decided to start back figure skating again when restrictions ease and I hope to finally land my doubles.

I wanted to write this post firstly to get it off of my chest but secondly, to affirm that dreams have no age limits. If you want to do something do it because you’ll only regret the decisions that you didn’t have the courage to make. Isolation has provided us all with a clean slate so use that to your advantage and create your new destiny.

Thank you for letting me vent – I would love to know if any aspiring lawyers have other dreams apart from the law.

Keep dreaming always,

Evangeline.

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