Already at the age of four, I was given a pair of roller-skates by my parents, because nothing was more interesting to me than whizzing around with the older girls from the block.
When shopping, my mother (never active in any sports) coincidentally met a lady, who noticed my talent and enthusiasm and recommended to register me at a skating-club.
From there on, training went well in both ice- and rollerskating , and in the following years I dominated all performance classes at country level (among other top-placements, 9-times federal state champion).
At the age of 9 I took part in the German Youth Championships and just a year later in the National (Junior) Championships. This event took place in 1971, incidentally, in the famous “Berliner Sportpalast – a truly historic building – before it was demolished two years later.
With an increasing national / international number of contests, the competition becomes harder and the neutrality of the value judges more and more a problem. This topic itself could write books.
However, without the time and financial support of the parents all this is not feasible. As a child and teenager you always need support,such as accompaniment and permanent transport to partly far distant trainings and competitions across Germany / Europe. At this point my father usually functioned as chauffer while my mother took care of the appropriate outfits. In the last two years of my career, when I participated in the Professional World Championships in 1978 and 1979, I finally selected music and costumes by myself and partly did the choreographies for the free programs.
I always skated because I wanted it and just playing around was somehow boring to me … surely success can be addictive. I was able to motivate myself to the hard training (daily average 3-5 hours, on weekends up to 6 hours, often already in the morning before school or also late in the night) mostly only because of upcoming competitions in front of an audience, while others at this point often lost nerves. Figureskaters, by the way, like to knit to control nervesness.
And yes, you somehow have to be a masochist in order to hold on a daily 30 minute crash training for weeks just to learn a new jump like the double-axel (2.5 turns resp. 900 degrees), until one day it works. Injuries, of course, are not left out.
The fascination of this sport to me still exists in the combination of artistry, drama, speed and music. Of course a high-level performance skater needs a certain presence to fill an ice surface of 30 x 60 meters with charisma. And there is no back: when the championship speaker calls your name, you have to get out. Then you are alone with yourself and the music, then no one can help you anymore and it depends solely on what you make of it – you get four minutes.
And so it is in daily life, because at every age you need to find the right balance of “duty and frills”, i.e. by creating your personal “feelwell-zone” or routine, but also facing challenges – as a result you may set free a bunch of endorphins respectively increasing selfconfidence and motivation.
Today, of course, I am no longer active and follow the scene mostly only on the screen.
The will to success includes subordination of many other things. Apart from high school and ballet there was only rarely spare time. This is how you learn to use your time efficiently. On the other hand I need to admit that from todays point if view my life till my 40th birthday, was – despite dicipline – a kind of marathon. This, however, is another capture …