HOUSTON - Many girls dream of being a figure skater, and for the ones that didn’t get the opportunity, that dream dies as they get older. However, for 37-year-old Dayyanah Coleman, her desire to become a figure skater stayed with her into adulthood despite her battle with a rare illness. Coleman was born with Wolff-Parkinson-White, a rare condition that causes the heart to beat rapidly.
“My heart would kind of just short circuit. A lot of people deal with this. They have this condition and they don’t have any symptoms, and some people it’s only a minor inconvenience, and for me, it would cause like episodes of tachycardia which is like rapid heart rate, and my heart would be like 250 bpm plus.“ says Coleman, who is the Assistant Director at Ice at the Galleria.
The condition made any chance for her to be physically active impossible, even her childhood dream of becoming an ice skater. It wasn’t until she was 27 years old, and saw a sign at her neighborhood rink that inspired her. “I didn’t even know that adults could learn how to skate. So I said if the surgery works I’m going to sign up for the class.”
One month after the successful procedure, she took her first lesson and went on to compete, earning two gold medals. Achieving all of this while balancing her life with a husband and children. Coleman now coaches full time at Ice at the Galleria. She hopes to inspire young black girls that do not feel represented in the sport.
“It helps people to believe that if they see someone that looks like them, that is doing something, they can do it too.” She also wants to encourage adults that it’s never too late to follow a dream.
“However you can make that dream come true, it might not be the picture that you had in your head, but to find a way to make that a part of your life, because if it’s something especially that keeps pulling at your heartstrings and it’s not going away, it will never go away until you pursue that.”
Coleman was born in Haiti but raised in Florida. She is working with the Haitian Skating Federation to make their headquarters here in Houston, where she hopes she can help train a young skater of Haitian descent and bring them to a world championship.