By J1 Reporter Jackie Blossom
The fluorescent lights are blaring down on her. It’s early enough in the morning that there’s not many people on the ice. Grace Stannard is at Motto McLean ice arena practicing her triple jumps. She keeps falling down, but one thing she’s learned over the years is to get right back up and try again.
Junior Grace Stannard has been ice skating ever since she was 5 years old. For years she has been waking up at 4 a.m. so she can get to the rink by 5 a.m and get in time on the ice before school. She has missed school to go to competitions and to make it to practice on time. She has gotten injured over and over again.
Stannard has been learning the ins and outs of ice skating for 11 years. She coaches younger skaters every Thursday night. She practices every morning on the ice and has off ice training every week night. “One lesson I have learned from ice skating is to get up,” Stannard said. She says that she applies this lesson to not only when she is on the ice, but to her everyday life.
Stannard uses this advice when she is learning a new jump, gets a bad test grade or even if there is a death in her family. “I always apply this to my life and whenever something bad happens, you always just have to get up and try again.”.
When Stannard was going through her Grandma’s death, she turned to ice skating as her happy place. Every time she competes, she competes for her Grandma. Skating is Stannard’s way of coping with things happening in her life. “Whenever I am skating, I forget about everything, and I just feel free,” she said.
When Stannard was turning 12 she got very unmotivated realizing she was not going to the Olympics. “I got really unmotivated and it was really hard to keep going, but I just looked to my coach and my friends and I started wanting to be big locally.” She turned to her students she coached and really focused on making them great skaters and making sure they have fun skating.
Stannard wants to continue ice skating into her college days and hopes to go to a school that has a hockey cheer team. She wants to continue skating for fun but she plans to stop competing after she graduates from high school.