Junior competitively ice skates before school
Skating has taught junior Ashley Makalous the importance of concentration and emotional interpretation
Q: When do you practice and what do you work on?
Junior Ashley Makalous: I skate at KCIC and my favorite thing about the rink is that it’s really quiet in the mornings so it’s easier to concentrate on my practices. I wake up early for practice because I don’t have another time since I’m typically busy after school with homework and school activities. My practices are typically at 5:45 am or 6:15 am, so I will wake up 45 minutes early to make sure that I am at the rink on time. My practices are around 30 minutes long so I will spend extra time at the rink in the morning for more practice time. Normally I get on the ice a couple minutes before my coaches and warm up by doing laps of different exercises. During my practices, if I have a competition coming up I will work on the skills in my program and make changes in the routine so it can be at its best when I’m competing.
Q: How has your skating progressed over the years?
AM: I have been skating since I was five which is 11 years. I took classes along with private lessons when I first started skating. With the system of classes, you graduate out of them once you get older. If you’re a competitive skater, you have to have a private coach. Most skaters have more than one coach when they get to a certain level in their skating career. I have two and they both focus on different aspects of skating.
Q: What life lessons have you learned from skating?
AM: Over the years, I have learned to never give up. Going through rough seasons can leave you defeated, but it is worth it to push back. I’m glad that I pushed through those times because it got me to have a better attitude and be a lot happier in my sport. I have been able to apply this mindset to my relationship with school and my friendships.
Q: How are competitions organized and what is your typical routine?
AM: I’m a unique skater in that I compete in several musical theater events. I compete in free skate, emotion interpretation and a character program. Emotion interpretation requires you to tell a story, the character program requires you to make a story based on the character. I wake up a few hours before competitions I need to be at, and prep my makeup and hair. Before I go to the rink, I practice my routines either on the ground or on fake ice and then I get breakfast on my way to the rink. Once I’m at the rink, I compete at my scheduled time and after the awards I rest until it’s time for my next program.
Q: What are your biggest accomplishments and proudest moments in skating?
AM: My biggest accomplishments are landing my axel which is a really hard jump in skating that takes years to perfect. It is also always a big accomplishment when I pass a level in skating because depending on how fast they exceed in testing and learning new skills then they move up a level. I have to spend a year perfecting every skill in order to move on so it is a huge accomplishment when I do. My last competition was such an amazing moment for me because when I stepped off the ice my coach was crying from my performance. The judges’ faces also lit up when I walked onto the ice which is always a great feeling. I’m extremely proud of my Omaha competition because I stepped away with three gold medals and made my coaches proud. It was such an amazing way to start the season.