Author: Galina Antonova , GE Digital Energy, Canada
For as long as I can remember myself, I only wanted two things: to play the piano and to figure skate. This is all I could dream about as a child, while growing up on the White Sea, 3 degrees south of Arctic Circle, in a small apartment overlooking a year-round lit sign that read: "Our Goal is Communism".
Like in a fairy tale off any bookshelf that I touched, which looked even remotely like a piano, it produced acoustic sounds in the right tone and tempo in the ears, or rather the mind of an inspired child. My parents had no choice but to send me to a music school and even find a private teacher in kindergarten to teach me to play and write music before I learned how to write.
Later in my night time dreams, Rachmaninoff himself was giving me piano lessons. Piano has always been something holy for me and I feel privileged that I could touch Its keys, talk to It, tune into It, so that together we could express what words cannot.
I was equally excited about figure skating, but apparently there were no skating clubs or coaches in our small town. So, we taught ourselves how to skate and do fancy moves from spirals to Waltz jumps. I remember returning from our outdoor skating rink at below -30C and crying because of my frozen toes, then going again the next day and the day after.
Many years later in Canada I joined a Figure Skating Club and learned about edges, turns, twizzles. I progressed well with ice dances, as I've been pursuing my childhood dream. I have been taking lessons from the best professional coaches, passed a few tests with flying colors and even got to dance with Victor Kratz! It still seems like magic to me that one can balance so gracefully on such a small area of one sharp edge... It's like balancing on a sharp knife blade
I will never forget my first Gold Medal in an Adult skating competition where I received a great comment from a small boy. He saw the stuffed animals I received for dancing, and asked if I got them. After hearing my "yes" he rolled his eyes full of admiration and said: " Wow!!!!!!!!". Nothing in the world could make him happier than such prizes!