AMHERST - Amherst figure skater Annie Crocker has delighted fans with her footwork for 10 years now but she will soon be moving on to new challenges.
After representing Nova Scotia at the National StarSkate Championships last weekend Crocker will hang up the skates for the summer and head to Memorial University in St. John's next September.
"It will be hard not to skate," Crocker said. "I love skating but I've been doing it for so long. I want to take a break but I know I'm going to miss it."
Usually she would spend her summer in training, but not this year.
"I'm going to have to have a job to pay for my university," Crocker said. "And I'll go water skiing and tubing and bridge jumping."
Crocker has a coaching licence for figure skating so she wants to stay in touch with the sport by coaching while she attends university.
"Tiffany Whynot, who finished second in the provincials in my event, will be going to Memorial as well," Crocker said. "So we're planning on team coaching up there. Hopefully we can help each other out."
Crocker will miss skating at Amherst Stadium.
"I'll really miss all the kids at the club because it's really fun going on the ice with all of them," Crocker said. "And I'll really miss all the guys at the rink."
Crocker said the guys who work at the rink were always willing to do anything to help.
"If I have a screw loose in my skate or anything, they were always to the rescue. They're great guys."
Figure skating has taught her how to stay focused and how to handle different situations thrown her way but what she liked most was all the friends she made in the skating community.
"I've made so many friends," Crocker said. "And everywhere I go I meet new people."
Crocker went to Cleveland, Ohio two summers ago and she still keeps in touch with the people she stayed with.
What advise does she have for young, up and coming figure skaters? First and foremost she said, "Skate for yourself."
"People are always going to say, 'do well for Amherst, do well for Nova Scotia but you can't do well for anybody but yourself"
She said it's nice to place high in competitions but, "as long as you achieve your personal goal for each week, each month and each year, goals that are different and achievable, that's what's important.
"As long as you're pleased with what you've done then you've accomplished your goal."