Where to start, where to start…I guess I’ll just start with this.
I’m currently on a plane to Tokyo to skate in the Medal Winners Open competition. I’m so excited!!!! I will say that this is my first trip internationally by myself…I was a lot younger than I am now when I competed waaaaayyyy back then.
It’s safe to say I’m nervous and have been nervous, mainly for the flight over to Japan though as strange as that may sound. I feel like skating and I have been through so many ups and downs. We are both finally happy with each other and in a committed relationship. LOL! Seriously though, I struggled with the will to keep skating after I had to stop, in fact, I just didn’t do it.
I was depressed and dealing with a lot that life had thrown my way all at the same time. For me, being given the opportunity to skate again with my friends and for my fans has been incredibly rewarding. I appreciated what I had ‘back in the day’ but taking a break from it and discovering my love for it once again has been one of the best things to happen to me. I’ve done a lot of self-discovery, as all kids my age have or will come to do, and I’m happy with where, as well as who, I am right now. There is so much I still need to learn and work on, but hey, I’m only a few days shy of being 23.
As I sit and think about all of the competitors that will be taking the ice this weekend, it’s this thought that keeps running through my head. We are all here because we love it. This sport has transformed us, as well as our lives and we can’t get enough of it. So much so, that coming back after years of not competing and training at a competitive level is not even a factor. I’m sure all of us had the same reaction of, wait…we have to compete?? when we first were asked, but I know for me there was really no question. I would do it, I wanted to do it with all my being.
So yes, the thought of lacing up my skates again for competition is daunting, but one I’m excited to embrace and relive. I can’t wait to feel that rush just before you step on the ice and even the tension that will be around in the locker room. I know all of us are seasoned vets, but you can never quite shake that feeling of pre competition.
Good luck to all the competitors this weekend in Japan Open and Medal Winners Open!!! No matter what, we are here because we are the best at a sport that challenges and asks for everything you have. So already, we have a lot to be proud of.
Did I really just compete? In Japan? With skaters who are LEGENDS in the world of figure skating? Oh…yeah…I did. This experience was so amazing!!! All day I could not stop thinking of what it was going to feel and be like to step on the ice as a competitor again. I remembered almost instantly what it was like. Now a little older and wiser, I hoped to bring my maturity to the ice.
I’m no longer just the jumping bean that I was, but in my opinion, more of a SKATER. It was exhilarating to look at the panel of judges and hear the crowd as I took to the ice. Inevitably my nerves were there having only a month or so to get my program ready and step up my training regimen, but I was able to nail my first jump giving me that feeling of being in control.
Unfortunately I rushed the takeoff on my loop and singled it, a mistake that I’m kicking myself over. Skating the rest of the program, I tried to put as much emotion into it as possible. Romeo and Juliet is one of my favorite love stories and it was hard not to quote the play as I moved forward! In skating it’s hard to pick right back up where you left off, but I was so excited to try again and feel the rush only a competition can bring!
After all is said and done, I’m so thankful that I was given this opportunity. It meant so much to me and I will use this one of a kind competition for that extra boost to start doing my triples in shows again. I remembered what it was like to be a competitor…and I liked it.
Now on to Japan Open and Carnival On Ice tomorrow!! Feeling blessed and excited to skate again tomorrow!!