When you devote ten years of your life to something, it leaves an impression. Ten solid years of my life revolved around synchronized skating. By the time I was a senior in high school, missing days of school and rescheduling midterm exams was common. Late night and early morning practices were second nature and I could sew my hair into the perfect bun in less than two minutes. I never, for one minute, considered a time in my life where I wouldn’t spend ten plus hours of the week at the rink. That is, until I was forced to make a decision about where I would attend college.
I was one of the last people in my graduating class to decide where I wanted to go to college and it was a big decision. I had narrowed my decision to two schools–one in Boston and one in Washington. At one school I would be able to skate and at the other one I would not. I accepted my offer to attend American University (AU) in Washington and at the same time turned down the chance to skate on a team I had set my sights on since I was a freshman. It was one of the hardest decisions I have ever made.
Since starting out at AU, I have not regretted my choice. But as the first semester of my freshman year drew to a close, I found myself missing synchro more than I thought I would. Not being able to skate several times a week has made me appreciate the time I do get to spend on the ice. Skating around by myself and recreating footwork sequences from programs past is one of my favorite stress relievers. The feeling of satisfaction I get when gliding across a sheet of fresh ice is one I never want to lose.
Synchro also provided structure, a way for me to keep in shape, and provided an outlet for my stress. During the more difficult days of high school, all I needed to do was step on the ice and my concerns would, temporarily, be erased. I became frustrated that I no longer had an outlet for my stress and began counting down the days until the semester would be over and I would be able to get back on the ice that I had called home for so long.
After that first semester, I realized something: After devoting so much of my life to skating, it has become a part of me. Even if I wanted to give it up completely, I do not think I would be able to because it is has become a central part of my life. All those years on the ice, I was learning more than just step sequences and program choreography. I was learning discipline, how to work for a goal, how to commit yourself to something greater than yourself, and how to work as a team.
While I do get on the ice at home as much as possible, working with Get It Called this season has reconnected me to the synchro world in a new way. I am a part of a team of interns and professional staff that really understand what it means to be a part of a team and carry the same passion for this sport that I do. Even though I am one of just a few on our staff who is not currently competing, I love keeping up with the play-by-play of each competition we report and wishing my fellow interns good luck! Being so close to the action over the last few months reminded me why I fell in love with the sport.
While I never would have believed it three years ago, there is a life beyond competition. I have fallen in love with the sport over and over again over the past three years, learned a lot about myself, and made a commitment to keep synchro a part of my life for as long as possible.