For sophomores Lane and Noel Domke, ice skating has always come naturally. For the past seven years, they have spent their afternoons and evenings at Channel Islands Ice in Oxnard honing their skills and as twin sisters, they can’t imagine not sharing the experience.
“It’s something that has really brought us together. If [Noel] did a different sport I feel like our relationship would be a lot different,” Lane Domke said.
The girls had their first taste of skating on annual trips to the rink with their Girl Scout troop.
After going skating again with a friend who had been a skater, they fell in love with the sport.
For their 9th birthdays they received ice skates along with a few lessons, and haven’t stopped skating since.
“I loved it. I got the hang of it and started skating backwards […] it was just something that came naturally to us,” Noel Domke said.
Getting to share their love of ice skating has been important to both Noel and Lane Domke. They tend to progress at the same rate, which means they can help each other master different skills.
“We’re usually in sync on a lot of things. We just have the same timing,” Lane Domke said.
“We’re at the same level so, sometimes we compete against one another. Usually, I’ll win some and then [Lane] will win some. It trades off,” Noel Domke said.
For both girls, skating has taught them life skills that help them both on and off the ice. Struggling to learn a new technique has taught them that persistence is key to success.
“There are going to be days you can’t land a single jump. You’ve been able to do it for multiple years and then you just can’t one day and that’s okay. You have to understand that there are off days and falling is good,” Lane Domke said.
Meanwhile competitions have taught them the importance of confidence.
“Confidence changes your entire attitude, especially when you are competing or testing, the judge can really see confidence. Two skaters can do the exact same jumps and spins, but the one who has confidence will show it,” Noel Domke said.
After suffering injuries and being unable to skate, both girls have learned to be thankful that they are able to skate. Noel Domke remembers after suffering a neck injury watching her sister going off to practice and wishing that she could be with her.
“My motivation is I am healthy […] and I can skate. I should make the most of it since I’m so lucky I get to skate,” she said.
When Lane Domke sustained a hip injury a few years later she shared many of the same feelings, especially on the days her sister didn’t want skate and it was the only thing she wanted to do.
“On off days I think that at least I can skate. I’m well, I’m not injured,” she said.
In the next few years the twins hope to pass all of their skating tests in both the free skate and moves, so that they can qualify for higher level competitions. They want to enjoy their time skating and not have it be stressful.
“There’s no other like [skating],” Noel Domke said. “You just get to glide and spin and jump, there’s just so many different parts of skating […] you can always learn something new.”
Background Photo Credit: Chloey Settles/The Foothill Dragon Press