Growing up, I wanted to be a professional figure skater — wait, who didn’t? I would watch the likes of Oksana Baiul, Nancy Kerrigan and Kurt Browning (whom I loved because he has my same birthday) and my heart would soar with dreams of becoming an elite athlete.

There was something about their confidence, the beauty of their talent and elegance that drew me in. In 7th grade, I decided to get serious. I told my mom I wanted to be homeschooled in order to take figure skating lessons every morning at 6am and ballet lessons in the evening so I could become a competitive skater.

Compete I did. Make it to the Olympics? Not really … but it’ still a secret skill that I can bust out around the holidays on the local skating rink [smile].