My name is Ginny Mahoney and I am very excited to be a writer for Get It Called this season. I love skating, especially synchro. I have two daughters who skate individually and on teams for Saratoga Synchronized Skating. I myself also skate individually and skated for two seasons on an adult synchro team. I am currently a Team Mom for both of my daughters’ and am very involved with the management of our synchro program. Through my articles this season, I hope to share my love for the sport with you as well as our teams’ experiences.
Since you will be reading what I write about, I thought I should first share with you a little about my background. I’ve loved skating since I was young. Though not a skater growing up, I never missed any televised skating specials and I vividly recall watching all the Ladies Figure Skating events during every Olympic games. I envied the beautiful skaters and the way they moved so effortlessly across the ice.
Fast-forward many years – my oldest daughter Lauren was five when I decided she should learn to skate. Little did I know then what a life changing decision this would prove to be. Lauren was a natural and took to the ice immediately. I watched her enviously from the stands each week as she quickly progressed through the basics. I wanted to be out there with her! It took a couple more years before I finally had the chance to do so, but when I did, like her, I was hooked.
Unfortunately, I was no natural. The first thing I discovered was how much harder skating was than it looked! But I am nothing if not persistent; I kept at it and skating soon became an activity I shared weekly with both of my girls. Aside from an enjoyable way for us to spend time together, skating also provided a welcome reversal of roles for us, a chance for my daughters to be the experts and me to learn from them.
We discovered synchro when Lauren began looking for a more social way to be involved in skating and my youngest, Cathleen, wanted to perform in skating as part of a group. Synchro fulfilled both of their desires and as their involvement in the sport grew, so did mine. What do I love about it? Besides the fact that it’s an activity I can share with them, I love the sisterhood and camaraderie of the sport, the fact that my girls are learning firsthand the true meaning of teamwork and seeing that together they have the ability to be and accomplish so much more that they ever could as individuals. I love that they experience how every skater on a team brings something special to the group.
Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses and as teammates, it’s up to them to find a way to mask the weaknesses and bring out the strengths to accomplish a common goal. I love how our skaters learn not just skating skills but life skills through synchro. They work hard together on the ice and off. And lastly, I love that synchro has given me close to 30 new “daughters” to support and cheer on in practice, at competitions, and in life. They keep me young and never fail to make me smile. While our synchro program strives to create winning teams and athletes, the emphasis is on excellence, not perfection. It’s the experience and the memories rather than the medals that the skaters will treasure long past their skating days. I am so glad to be a part of it.