Nov 24, 2010

Figure skaters don't need to dream of flying

It's a trope-- the "I'm thankful for" essay on Thanksgiving, but I'm not above a useful trope. So here are my figure skating thanks.
I'm thankful for coaches like Chris Hyland, Sheila Lonergan, Kristen Tanakatsubo, Henk Green, and Jim Draheim, among others, who have never disparaged, discouraged, or belittled my desire to be a skating coach, even when my skills or attitude were not really up to the task.

I'm thankful for my apprenticeship mentors Nick Belovol and Craig Bodoh, and my more informal mentors Angie Riviello and Jan Tremer, who have been generous to a fault with their time and knowledge.

I'm thankful for all the skating directors I have worked with, who put up with my moods, skill building (on their dime) and occasional unwarranted (as well as occasional warranted) arrogance.

I'm thankful for skating parents, both the sane ones and the crazy ones, because I understand what they're going through, and for sharing their fantastic children with me.

I'm thankful for my students Ella, Sophie, Schuyler, Gia, Rachel, Alexa, Mariette, Molly, Sonia, Elizabeth, Alina, Spencer (and his mom), and Evan (and his mom), and for the nearly 100 private students and thousands of class participants before them, who remind me every day of the joy of childhood, skating, teaching and just being.

I'm thankful for my coach friends, who took me into the fold on very little motivation, and my non-coaching friends who still can't quite believe I did this.

I'm thankful for my daughter's coaches Christian, Chris, Sharon, Jola, and Jim, who helped make her the beautiful skater and wonderful person she is today.

I'm thankful for the networks, both "real" like PSA and "virtual" like Twitter that have helped me find lifelong friends who share my passions for gardening and skating.

I'm thankful for my daughter, who has never evinced embarrassment at my teaching where she was a student, even when she was a teen, and for my uber-cool son, who apparently thinks that doing this is also cool.

I'm thankful for my husband, who supported me when I quit a very high paying executive job to work as a $12 an hour skating instructor.

I'm thankful for the skating bloggers who helped Xanboni find a voice, and an audience.
And finally, I'm thankful for the sport of figure skating, which lets me fly.

What are you thankful for?


  1. DEAR DAUGHTER LOVES HER MOMMYNovember 24, 2010 at 11:27 AM

    I'm thankful for my TOTALLY AWESOME mom who is the number one example of following your dreams and doing whatever the hell you want to! Thanks for supporting me no matter what and not freaking out too much in front of me about leaving home to go on tour! It must have been scary! LOVE YOU MOM!

  2. wow. I'm even more choked up than when I try to read the last chapter of Winnie the Pooh. :}

  3. omg, that was so sweet! How I very so wish that I have this same relationship with my kiddo after we get through these pre-teen years.

    Great post!

  4. Xan -- Oh my gosh your family is so sweet! I cannot wait until Grey is old enough to comment on my blog! -- Nancy