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  • Writer's pictureBarbara J MacFarlane, MD

Follow Your Passions.

We have all heard that following your passions gives you more success. Many of us need a little more evidence of that. We all have passions and if we focus and hone how good we are with a least one of them, surprising things can happen.

Mixing Sports Medicine and Inline Skating.

Renee Hildebrand always had a passion for roller skating and a far away dream of becoming a world champion roller skater. She studied physical therapy as well as the applications of sports medicine, and became a physical therapist. This was in the early 1990's when inline skating was introduced as a popular activity. This changed everything.

Inline Skating Coach.

With the beginning of the new inline skate becoming popular, new avenues opened up. With Hildebrand's knowledge and passion, she could step up and develop her own coaching style for a sport that had essentially no coaches. This she did. Instantly she now was a bonafide inline skating coach on the same level as any inline coach, except she had extra passion.

Similar to Ice Speedskating.

Inline skating is very similar to ice speed skating. Hildebrand took advantage of this and studied speed skating technique. With her physical therapy knowledge and sports medicine knowledge she adapted the concepts to inline skating and proceded to coach with a passion.

Some Skaters Switched to Ice.

Derrick Parra an Olympic Gold Medalist in Speedskating at Salt Lake City was an inline skater initially. Chad Hedrick followed the same route to the Olympics. Joey Mantia came from Ocala under Hildebrand's training and made the switch to ice as a teenager. Brittany Bowe also is from Ocala coached by Hildebrand until she made the switch to ice as well as a teenager.

Better Training With Inline.

Strangely, training with inline skate can be better than training with ice skates. Hildebrand's passion may have found somethign unexpected. The goals of training for speed skating can be broken down to simple elements: strength, balance, power, speed, agility and endurance. Interestingly, the actual variety of drills and training programs you can do in inline skates have a greater variety than ice skates. The dryland training for speed skating is best done in inline skates.

Three Going to The Olympics.

Three of Hildebrand's athletes are going to the Olympics this year in South Korea to compete in ice Speed Skating: Joey Mantia, Brittany Bowe and Erin Jackson. All from Ocala Florida, a place with no snow or ice. This is a real tribute to Hildebrand's passion and skill in recognizing how to produce Olympians with a start at the Skate Away South roller rink in Ocala.

Passion to Amazing.

Hildebrand is an example, no different than the Olympians themselves, of a person with a dream, a passion and a dedication to focus on their passion and see where it takes both them and also those who are touched by the passion.

A life of living well is full of passion and full of finding a way to use it. What is your passion and how are you going to harness it for something amazing? Let us know. Your comments are welcome!


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