Ice skating quickly becomes way of life for Raleigh family
Posted January 27, 2013
Bella Grace is the younger of the Lineberger kids and, like many younger siblings, she went along for the ride when her older brother took skating lessons at Polar Ice House a few years ago.
So Bella Grace tried it out too, starting in Polar Ice House's Mice on Ice program, for ages 3 to 5, and quickly moving through the program's skating school.
Today, the seven-year-old is a competitive ice skater, getting high marks in regional competitions last year where she skated against other girls several years older. The next season begins in March.
Her weekly schedule is full of regular lessons and training sessions. Her coach is Elena Betchke, who won the Olympic silver medal for pair skating in 1992 for Russia and works at Polar Ice House's Cary and Garner rinks.
Mom Beverly Lineberger said the quick rise through the program and drive to continue all comes from Bella Grace, a natural performer who enjoys entertaining her family with shows in their Raleigh living room.
"Tomorrow she could get up and say I don't want to do it anymore," Lineberger said during an interview Friday.
Bella Grace quickly replied: "That's not going to happen." You've heard of soccer moms; now meet a figure skating mom
Lineberger, a former high school science teacher, left her job to stay home with her kids when her son was born 11 years ago. She now helps run Lineberger's Tree Service, the family's tree care business, and the family's crane business; homeschools both kids; and carts them around to their various extracurricular activities. Bella Grace also does gymnastics. Brayden is involved in baseball and tae kwon do.
Lineberger also has had to become a quick study of the sport, learning the terminology for the various spins and jumps and navigating the ranking system. Ice skating wasn't a regular pastime when she was growing up in North Carolina. But she now owns two pairs of skates - hockey and figure skating - and the family enjoys heading out to the rink together.
Lineberger loves that her daughter has found something that she can be passionate about. At the same time, figure skating is an activity that takes regular practice and determination - good lessons for other things in life too.
"I don't really care about how far she gets in skating," she said. "It's the discipline."
For Lineberger, the regular training sessions, added to her work schedule, homeschool duties, and son's extracurricular interests, can add up to a lot. Lineberger, a long-time high school and collegiate volleyball coach, has had to scale back on her own interests. She now is a coach for the Triangle Volleyball Club.
"The biggest juggle is maintaining your own passion and identity while balancing the passions of your kids," she said. "... We balance all of it and keep a pretty happy family."
Hear more from Lineberger and see her daughter skate in the video. Go to Polar Ice House's website to learn more about their programs, camps and parties.
Thank you to the Linebergers for meeting with me on a very chilly Friday morning at Winterfest, Raleigh's downtown ice rink.
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