Senior Spotlight: Vishva Rana
It is a well-known fact that we, as students, need some time to ourselves doing the things we love as a break from school. For some, it’s art or music. For others, it’s something physical. Rarely does our escape involve more work than the thing that causes us stress. But if you are committed to this activity, it’s not work, it’s fun. For 17-year-old NHS senior Vishva Rana, this is her exact situation. With a course load including five AP classes, Rana does have a full plate. To let out all her stress, she starts her days early in the morning at Floyd Hall Arena at Montclair State University.
Beginning in sixth grade, Rana slowly began to be introduced to the world of ice skating, starting with her cousin who ice skated. When she got new skates, she gave her old ones to Rana. “It was funny because they fit me perfectly,” said Rana. From there she gradually took an interest.
At first, Rana went ice skating for fun with friends and family members, but it later grew to taking lessons and competing. She never thought of ice skating as something she would do as a sport. “It was just something I did recreationally. I didn’t think it would be a sport I would compete in,” she said. Now, Rana goes as often as possible, sometimes every day to practice. Each morning she goes, she wakes up at around 5:30 am to practice at Floyd Hall Arena, “because that is when the rink is clear.”
Generally, when she’s practicing, Rana is preparing for a recital or a skills test. “A test is the same thing as a competition, but the judges are the only ones in the room with you,” described Rana. “I would go in the morning, it would be on a weekday and have to miss school. I would go into some weird rink, never at [Floyd Hall]. It really quiet with up to 15 other girls there. Everybody is stressed out of their minds, not talking to anyone else.” Once it’s her turn and she is all warmed-up, her coach gives her words of encouragement and gentle reminders of what not to do. “Then they call your name, go up to the judges, introduce yourself, look really happy to be there, and then you just do your test,” said Rana.
Rana has passed every test she’s taken except for one. “The last test I took for the intermediate level back in August, I failed by half a point,” Rana explained through giggles. She seemed confident in her skill when she said, “I took it again back in October and this time I passed.”
In the one competition she competed in during freshman year, Rana remembers feeling less stressed. She was just, “showcasing [her] skills,” which made the experience more enjoyable. In both of the events she competed in, Rana received gold. “At the time, I remember my routine being very hard. But looking back on it, it was actually pretty easy.
Her future in ice skating is bright as she is excited to continue into college. “I want to go to a college with their own rink or least one nearby.” She has her sights set on MIT, majoring in mechanical engineering. Luckily for her, there’s a rink right on campus.