B-Yourself: Anita Saxena


The Modern-Day Renaissance Woman

Name: Anita Saxena

Hometown: Pelham, AL

Age: 32

Profession(s): Optometrist, owner of Saxena Video Productions, LLC, co-owner of Movies on the Spot, Inc., competitive figure skater, figure skating instructor.

School: UAB School of Optometry

How long have you trained as an ice skater? I started at 11 years old.

Do you feel the dedication you put into becoming a doctor, which alone is commendable, has prevented you from going further with your ice skating career?

Education was always the most important thing in my family. So, yes, in some ways, skating did take a back seat. But, I do believe I became a better skater when I moved to Birmingham in 1998 to attend UAB and train at the Pelham Skate School. Skating and school both take discipline and perseverance and require a significant monetary and time investment. I honestly don’t believe I could have accomplished skating or school without the other.

Where do you see your future in ice skating?

After tearing my ACL on the ice in 2010 I realized how I used to take my ability to skate for granted. Every day that I can skate is a blessing, and I strive harder than I ever had in the 20 years prior to achieve my goals of attaining my gold level tests in freestyle and ice dance.

How does you do it all? What is your typical week like? I usually practice optometry three to four days a week. Videography is a seasonal business that usually complements the down-time in optometry. Movies on the Spot is pretty much a turn key operation that my fiance and I manage. I typically skate an hour a day four to five days a week and I work out at PurMotion two to three days a week.

Do you ever get overwhelmed with all the responsibilities? I do have moments when I become overwhelmed, especially in the fall because of Pelham Skate School’s annual ice show. This year’s show, Enchanted Moments on Ice, is December 1 and 2 at the Pelham Civic Complex. Leading up to the performance, I’m busy editing music for the soloists and groups, practicing my own solo, choreographing a group number, teaching basic skills classes, and driving back and forth to Gadsden to work at my optometry practice.

When do you sleep, how do you make it all possible?

Well, I’m in bed by 11p.m., wake around 6 a.m. I then write 1 to1.5 hours (she’s writing a book too), take care of my three cats, start warming-up at home for skating, arrive at rink by 8:30, go to PurMotion around 10:15, shower, eat lunch, off to Gadsden around 12:45, see first patient at 2 p.m., home by 7:45, cook dinner (healthy diet is mandatory for her lifestyle), after dinner work on video business, talk on the phone, or chill with my fiance. Some days I work from home and then teach ice skating in the evenings. Saturdays I catch up on house chores and help with show rehearsals. On Sundays, I visit my family in Huntsville or watch a Steelers game.

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

My passion for being an artist. Whether I’m writing or skating, my goal is to show truth and beauty in life.

Photo and Interview by Angela Karen Simpson

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