The Edge Ice Center is a state-of-the-art ice skating facility that offers lessons and hosts figure skating and hockey competitions year round, as well as a summer day camp. But ice skating instructor Jessica Weafer doesn’t remember The Edge this way from her earlier days of skating.
Weafer began skating at the age of five with the encouragement of her grandparents. She instantly fell in love with being on the ice and knew skating would always be a part of her life.
“Back when I was younger, The Edge was known simply as ‘the ice rink,’” Weafer said. “It wasn’t open year-round, and I remember the roof leaking water on the ice when it rained. Trying to learn a new technique was difficult with drops of water on the ice. Competitions were unable to take place at the Owensboro facility, and we had to travel to Louisville to participate in the skating competitions.”
Weafer reached U.S. Figure Skating Level Five in freestyle skate, but quit skating competitively her sophomore year of high school. After college, Weafer married and started a family. Skating was put on hold as Weafer settled into her new role as a wife and mother. She also had heart surgery and wondered if she would ever return to the ice.
Weafer intermittently worked at the rink during this time but was inconsistent. Wanting to be a skating instructor was always in the back of her mind. Fully recovered from surgery — and with her kids a little older — Weafer decided to get back on the ice.
“Skating and heart health go hand in hand,” Weafer said. “I have to do some form of exercise for my heart, so it might as well be skating. It’s is my passion that I can pass to others. The learning process for skating is humbling; it takes time and hard work. Many people may be afraid of falling, but in this way, skating teaches us a great life lesson that it’s OK to fall, you just get back up and keep going.”
Weafer is currently teaching lessons at The Edge and volunteers with the Figure Skaters Club. She is also working to become a competition judge.
Still wearing the skates given to her by her grandparents, Weafer has been known to reach down and slide her hand across the ice as she steps on.
“I will always skate. Even when I’m 80, with a walker, I’ll be out there spinning,” Weafer said.
For more information on classes and skate times at The Edge Ice Center check out the website, www.owensboroparks.org.