19, multi-award winning competitive figure skater
There’s dipping your toes in the waters to test them and then there’s diving in. For 19-year-old Misha Fabian, it’s about the middle ground, striking a balance between the two. But it all begins with the willingness to try. “I think one way of learning things outside the confines of a classroom is being open to trying new things. Be willing to try everything,” she says. “What often hindered me from going for things I wanted was fear: ‘What if I’m not good enough? What if I don’t get to do this properly? What if I don’t execute this the way I’m supposed to?’ It’s normal to have that fear. It just shouldn’t stop you from actually going after the things you want.” An engaging, bright young woman, she then turns the tables and asks: “How will you ever know what you’re capable of if you don’t go out there and actually try, right?”
Misha, a multi-award winning figure skater, didn’t start off trailblazing. Opening up about her more than humble beginnings, she explains: “I started taking ice skating lessons when I was six. When I fell ill, I had to stop. I got back into it when I turned ten, because it was something I specifically asked for on my birthday. It was something people thought I would lose interest in eventually though; people said, ‘Oh just give her a couple of years, she’ll be done with it.’ I then began skating competitively and now, here I am.” Every mention of a victory, however, is coupled with a reminder of the hard work required to gain her many accolades. “I started competing at 14, which is considered old in the skating world [laughs]. Most of my teammates started skating competitively at the age of 6 or 8. I had a lot of catching up to do, but hey, that’s my journey; that’s what shaped my story as a skater,” she shares. “I was told often, ‘You’re too old for this already. Everyone younger than you is already better than you, so why bother?’ But I knew this was something I wanted to do. I knew [excelling in this] was possible…difficult, but possible.” Since the start of her career in 2012, Misha has won numerous awards here and abroad, and is considered one of the country’s top figure skaters. In keeping with her dip-or-dive mantra, Misha is currently balancing her thriving ice skating career and academic responsibilities as a pre-law student at the Ateneo de Manila University. Take that naysayers.