Question for practicing court reporters and such

The question is: given what I remember as the Gregg culture of high school and college shorthand courses, if indeed you did start out in that environment, when and how did you discover that you could go on to do something such as court reporting which required a much higher speed, etc. than the familiar secretarial emphasis did?
I'm fairly certain that I remember that finishing a year of shorthand as an A student meant taking dictation at 100 wpm, and I had a friend who went to business college in Memphis where she attained that speed with Speedwriting.  The one pen writer whom I've found nearby to talk to said, however, that she had the necessary speed for court reporting after her college business courses, only that further training with other reporters was needed to learn legal terms, formatting of a transcript, etc.
I know - there's always somebody in high school or college who can walk on their hands or eat light bulbs, or recite the Bible from memory,etc. which the rest of us mortals cannot do, but I hate to leave it at that!  And I am not really joking, because it really is not easy to ever get really fast with shorthand.
When I first learned Gregg, I was amazed at how smoothly it flowed compared to the humps, bumps, loops, and squiggles of ordinary handwriting, and how much faster it seemed.  But, oops, it wasn't very fast after all, and I have never gotten very fast till yet. I know the standard prescription is PRACTICE, but those good students I referred to did practice and used their shorthand every day thereafter for years.
Cortez Peters, the typing champion, said that practice does not make perfect, but only the right kind of practice. So, what do I need to know?

(by ukulele144 for everyone)