Figure Skating is easy

As we drove back into town from a shopping trip this morning, my wife said “figure skating looks easy, too”. She was responding to my comment that people tend to take over projects that are done well by others, then fail to succeed at them.

In my home town, there are a myriad of these situations. Many festivals, events, and other positive things are taken over by the city, the Chamber of Commerce, and individuals. They die immediately, at times shortly after a sickening effort and result. I was wondering out loud why would someone kill a positive event. I supposed that, perhaps some disliked the feeling of the competent promoter making a buck off of the event. Her answer grounded my thoughts.



When one does something well, be it event management, governing, planning, or, indeed, figure skating, it looks easy. It is not easy. It just looks easy from the outside when a competent expert is doing it. I remember many contractors getting into dam repairs as a result of my company’s success in this work. It is a difficult and technical thing. Soon, of course, I was left finishing the projects that many of them started, as they found that it was not so easy after all.


I can skate. I am not nice to watch when skating. I can pick up my beautiful wife, and I could throw her into the air. I don’t do this – but I could. I could, theoretically, skate along, picking my dear wife off of her feet, spinning her through the air and catching her as she rocketed to the hard ice below, accelerating at 9.8 meters per second per second. I, however, recognizing my own limitations, after considered calculation of probability, prefer not to do this. I love my wife, and my knee is a little tricky and, at times, my lower back hurts.

There are people who do this as a matter of course. They pluck from the ice a scantily clad beauty, toss her effortlessly overhead, and retard her fall, her head stopping four inches from the ice. “I was a little short on the rotation that time – let’s try that one again”

Business is very hard, or, quite easy. The difference is all in the planning and the practice. Almost anyone can try. Those who are poorly prepared will look like me figure skating. After a time they will improve, or they will fail. Those who practice and prepare, get advice and coaching, and enter the ice with support and proper equipment and backing, have a far better chance of doing the quadruple axel. Those who skate out to center ring unprepared will have a sore bottom tomorrow.

Scott Cahill