Hard work is paying off for local figure skater

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 14, 2002

To most teenagers, 4 a.

Thursday, March 14, 2002

To most teenagers, 4 a.m. is still the middle of the night. To 17-year-old Trista Munk, it’s just the beginning of her day.

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Trista, a senior-level figure skater, wakes at 4 a.m. four or five days a week to drive to Rochester where she begins practicing at 5:30 a.m. and skates for an hour to an hour and a half. She then comes back to Austin, goes to school and after that, practices her skating again-either at the Riverland Ice Arena – if it’s open – or in Rochester.

After the final skating session, she goes home, exercises, does her homework and crawls into bed close to 11 p.m.

It’s a rigorous schedule for anyone, but Trista is more than willing to do it for the sport she loves. "I love skating. The joy of skating … has never left me. I’ve always liked it. Rarely do I say I don’t want to go to practice, and that’s only if I’m really sick or something," she says. "I can set goals for myself and when I reach them, it makes me happy.

"There are so many different aspects of skating. If it’s a bad jump day, you can work on spins, footwork or choreography. There are so many different parts of it. It doesn’t ever get boring because there’s always something else to work on," she says.

Her love of the sport can be traced back to when she was three and got her first pair of skates. Trista’s mother, Patty Munk remembers "her grandfather bought everyone their first pair of skates and because of that, how could I not support it?"

Trista says, "I had a lot of fun and I kept on learning more and more. It was just something I enjoyed to do.

"Right away, I started taking lessons at Riverside and in the fourth grade, I started going to Rochester. That allowed me to skate all year instead of just a few months of the year."

She remembers she started competing in the third grade when she went to a competition in St. Cloud. It was not a fun experience.

"I woke up in the middle of the night (before the competition) and thought I was blind," Trista says. "I put my hands up to my eyes and they were all crusty, so I woke up my mom and dad and it turned out I had pink eye."

– For more on Trista Munk, please turn to Page 6