There is a certain amount of science to be learned if you want to be an elite speed skater.
Skaters need to learn the proper way to accelerate at high speeds on long blades with very little in the way of protective equipment to cushion the blow of a fall.
They have to adapt to digging in their blades to help them turn, move forward or slow down on a sheet of ice that provides little in the way of resistance.
There is a right way and a wrong way to do things.
Perfecting speed skating requires plenty of spins around the ice. Often, those spins are accompanied by lumps and bruises.
That is just fine with Rosemary Karn.
Karn, a 17-year-old Corner Brook native, just happens to have a love for science and plans on pursuing chemistry or medicine when she graduates from Corner Brook High in June.
For now, her focus is on representing Newfoundland and Labrador at the 2019 Canada Winter Games next month in Red Deer, Alta.
She is one of just two speed skaters from the province hoping to put in a good showing on the national stage.
“It’s become a really fun sport for me,” Karn said earlier this week. “I love pushing myself to go as hard as I can and skating around at fast speeds is kind of a thrill."
Karn has been flying around the ice on speed skates since she was seven years old, with the exception of one season where she needed to take a break from the ice to address a lower back issue.
It isn't always easy being a Newfoundland and Labrador speed skater. There are challenges to being a member of a small club, which happens to be the only one in the province.
Karn has had to travel to meets in Atlantic Canada to gain experience. She usually travels to three or four meets a year, but this year was a hectic one with five trips on her itinerary including a summer training camp in New Brunswick.
Being able to skate at the Canada Games has been something on Karn’s radar for a number of years. She was inspired by seeing fellow Humber Valley speed skaters Ashley Higgins and Thomas Park competed at the 2016 Canada Winter Games in Prince George, B. C.
At the time when she was beginning to embrace the sport for life.
She knows she’s in for a really great experience at the Games.
So much so that every time she felt down or didn’t think she could keep up with the commitment, she always painted a picture in her head of how great it would be to enjoy an event where all of the best in the country were gathered in one spot to showcase their skillset.
She’s bent on showing people that Newfoundland and Labrador has some fine skaters and can hold their own with other provinces despite so many obstacles.
It’s not about obstacles now. It’s about reaping the reward of sticking with her sport because it’s something that she wanted for a long time.
“It’s taken a lot of hard work and effort to get this far,” she said. “We might be small, but we’re very mighty. We’ll come do our best and that’s all we can hope for.”