I was accused recently of always "stepping over the line and trying to 'grow'" (yes, with finger quotes).
I'm not really sure what to make of this, as in fact that is exactly what I am trying to do, what I've spent my entire adult life trying to do-- to get better at whatever it is I'm learning, to master things, and yes, to 'grow' (finger quotes). But it was fairly clear that this person was leveling a criticism at me, for trying to be something that I'm not. For quite literally overstepping (he demonstrated this with a giant step over an imaginary line).
You hear a lot about "lifelong learning," which is a euphemism for continuing education, which is itself a euphemism for adult education. And the reason we keep having to run away from these phrases is that there is such a fear, or distaste, or even contempt for the person who admits that they don't know everything.
Unlike other professions, figure skaters reach their skills peak at a very young age, and grow up hearing a lot about how wonderful they are. Sometimes they can't get past it; they don't learn that skill at coaching is not the same as skill at skating, and that coaching is an adult profession that you learn as an adult, not something you pick up from years spent as a student. If that was possible, we'd all be math teachers. (Although, truth be told, most figure skating coaches needs must learn on the job, since until recently there were no courses in this, and even now the education offered by the Professional Skaters Association and Ice Skating Institute are entirely at-will. You don't have to do continuing ed to get a rink to hire you as a coach.)
I never skated at the high level that other coaches have. If I wanted to coach, I had to come at it from another angle. Where other coaches succeed via their skill at skating, I had to succeed via my skill at teaching. There is a fear among some coaches that I will "overstep" right into their expertise-- high level or competitive skaters. Mind you, only one of them has ever asked me why I keep trying to learn about high level skaters, or if I want to move into teaching them. For the record, I don't. It's neither appropriate based on my background, desirable based on my ambitions, or necessary based on the market. I just like to, well, "grow."
What we all do as adults, is take our hobbies and our talents-- music, or writing, or math-- and turn them into professions. We train, and study, and apprentice to achieve the skills we need as teachers, managers, or scientists working in whatever field drew us.
Figure skating was my hobby. I studied and trained and apprenticed so that it could be my profession. I sacrificed a lot to do this, starting with a very high paying job, leaving behind not just the salary, but the reputation I'd built over years in that field.
I want to be good at what I do. If this means that I admit to gaps in my knowledge and ability, this is a strength, not a weakness. But apparently figure skaters don't see that.