The Gaucho Gazette

A Stroke of Serendipity

Alice Antony, Reporter

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   Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve always dreamed of becoming an ice-skater. It all started when I watched the Winter Olympics for the first time. Watching Yuna Kim set a record during the free skating program sent shivers down my spine. Moving so gracefully on the ice, executing each jump flawlessly — I wanted to do that too. So, weeks would pass, the same nagging question during dinner time from me: “Dad, can I do ice-skating?” Finally, my dad obliged; he and my mom planned to take me to an ice-skating rink during a Saturday afternoon.

   Apparently, my father is geographically-challenged (it must be genetic) and we did not end up at an ice-skating rink. Full of excitement and eagerness, eight-year-old Alice walked in to see a roller-skating rink. The disappointment was crushing, but the young me always made the most of every situation. I convinced myself that we’d go to the ice-skating rink maybe next week, and now we can try roller-skating! Ironically, to this day, I’ve never been inside an ice-skating rink.

It turned out that I was actually pretty good at roller-skating. Sure, the skates looked clunky and I felt about as graceful as a beluga whale but it was surprisingly fun. After a few hours of skating, it was time to go home, but then I saw a brightly-colored orange flyer on the table next to mine. On the paper read “PRIVATE LESSONS,” and it sure did peak my interest. As an apology for the location mishap, my dad even signed me up for lessons.

   The first lesson was on Saturday morning at 8:00 a.m.. It was impossible. I lived in Marin at the time and waking up at 6:30 a.m. to get ready and go  to Rohnert Park was agonizing. So naturally, I skipped the class. After that, I skipped a few more classes and finally started skating after a month.

   Eight years later, I stood on top of a podium, a gold medal around my neck that read, “National Champion,” and wearing a pretty dress just like Yuna Kim. I quickly jumped off the podium to judge an event that was starting soon when the judge of my event stopped me. He asked me how I started skating and I froze. Should I tell him the whole truth? About how I really wanted to ice-skate and didn’t even know roller-skating existed? I settled with, “A friend took me skating and I liked it.”

   Although I never intended for this to happen, I am a roller-skater and a judge. Even though sometimes I complain about skating, I wouldn’t give it up for the world. It holds a very special place in my heart. I wanted to be like Yuna Kim, but I like the way I am now even better. It’s funny how you can wish for something and get something much better; you can always find something good without looking for it.

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A Stroke of Serendipity