HEBRON — While most Northwest Indiana residents are happy to put the snow, cold and ice behind them, one young woman is equally delighted to make ice a part of her daily routine.

Meghan Bateman, 18, of Hebron, has been figure skating since she was 7 years old, and now her years of hard work in the sport have earned her a spot in an international competition in France later this month.

Bateman will compete in Epinal, France, April 25-28 as a member of the Creative Ice Theater team, based in Naperville, Illinois, at the 2019 Nations’ Cup and Adult Gold Cup Theatre On Ice Interclub Competition.

Ice theater is a form of figure skating that blends jumps and spins with unique choreography, ice dancing, pairs moves, synchronized skating and theater, to tell a story. Skaters wear costumes and perform a long or short program with a theme. Past themes have included the Wizard of Oz, Harry Potter, Grease and Peter Pan.

Bateman first learned to skate nine years ago and “just kept going from there.”

“I just thought it was fun,” Bateman said. “I watched a lot of skating on TV. It’s kind of a stress reliever. It’s very calming to me. I love the sport.”

Mary Beth Bateman, Meghan’s mother, said her daughter’s schedule can be “brutal.”

Three days a week, they both wake up at 4:30 am and drive to the Midwest Training and Ice Center in Dyer where Meghan practices from about 5:30 to 7:00 a.m. Then, it’s back in the car so Meghan can be at Hebron High School, where she is a sophomore, by 7:30 a.m.

“The deal has always been ... as long as you don’t complain about it, I will take you,” said Mary Beth Bateman.

Weekends are spent training at All Seasons Ice Rink, in Naperville, with her Creative Ice Theater team.

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Even with her rigorous training schedule, Meghan also is active in her school’s track and field team and drama club and maintains a 4.0 grade point average.

Mary Beth Bateman said the years of early rising have taught her daughter a “work ethic.”

“She has to be organized to get her studies in, to get to bed on time, and to get up early,” Mary Beth Bateman said.

Meghan said her hobby helps her with “time management.”

“I’m really busy, but skating is a way to do something I enjoy,” Meghan said. “It also helps with my confidence, because I have to express myself on the ice. It continuously challenges me to learn new skills.”

Meghan also helps teach younger skaters, and she envisions herself coaching part time while going to college.

After she graduates from high school, Meghan’s dream is to try out and win a spot with Disney on Ice during a “gap year” before college. Yet Olympic competition doesn’t really have a role in Meghan’s skating dreams.

“It’s a big hobby of mine, but it’s not my life,” Meghan said. “I want to go to college.”

Proud mom Mary Beth Bateman said it’s gratifying to “see the fruits of all these years of labor paying off in a big way.

“To be representing the U.S. (in the competition) is a proud moment,” she said.

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