Skating to Success

A unique activity for a unique individual

Craig Eddy

More stories from Craig Eddy

Craig Eddy
May 15, 2020

Strapping on the thin-bladed skates, stepping out onto the cold,  empty rink, emptying the mind of all the stresses and worries of the day, taking it all in. No distractions, just the rink and the skates. 

Every week, junior Nathan Roark goes through this simple yet unique process at the Rec-Plex for his riveting recreation: figure skating. For many high schoolers, figure skating may not be the average answer for an after school activity, but for Roark, it was a wonderful idea.

“I needed something to do, I thought [figure skating] was cool,” Roark said. “So I started taking lessons and it just took off from there. It’s sort of like a second home to me.”

Ever since his freshman year, Roark has been skating the day away in hopes of becoming the best he can be. Thankfully, he has his skating friends and his coach to lead him through to the end.

“A lot of my other friends that skate are really good motivation,” Roark explained. “They’re my biggest supporters and my coach really helps me out.”

Along with his friends, Roark has been defying the norms of society and other high school ideals, starting way back when he first decided to try figure skating.

“I remember I was going through a phase where I didn’t want to be a couch potato anymore, however nice it is,” Roark said. “And everyone else was into soccer and football. I was looking at something online and it was about figure skating, and I’ve always liked skating so I pushed for it and wanted to try.”

Something as simple as an Instagram post can strike a certain chord with people, and be the start of something grand. Roark has been putting his all into this hobby, and it’s paying off. As for his aspirations, he’s just going with the flow, or more accurately, the figure.

“I’m just looking forward and seeing where it takes me, you know?” Roark mentioned. 

“[during practice} I kind of mess around and stuff. I play.”

Figure skating can be anything from recreational to competitive, with tournaments and contests left and right. For Roark, however, it seems as though he is taking it easy and learning as much as he can before putting himself before the world.

I’m just looking forward and seeing where it takes me.”

— Nathan Roark

“Right now, I get lessons with a coach and I do a lot of practice. I kind of mess around — I play,” Roark said. “But I would like to [compete]. It seems fun.”

In the financial world, professional figure skating has a less than preferable salary, earning roughly $20,000 a year, according to a study done back in 2017 by The Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is significantly less than many normal career choices, but figure skaters may think the joy from skating outweighs the financial issues. For Roark, this may be an issue.

“Right now it’s kind of a financing [problem],” Roark explained. “You know, figuring out the money and where to put it.”

Although money may be an issue, Roark is not giving up on his dream, and he’s working hard to make it a reality.