by Audrey Krimm
I wanted put into words for everyone here and for myself what synchro means to me. We all made a decision to be here. Be it last year or ten years ago, we all made the choice to drive to tryouts and start doing this sport. And for me, and for most of you, something stuck, and year after year we keep making the choice to come back. It could be the thrill of competing, the camaraderie, the artistry, or any combination of factors that make this sport so appealing. And a lot of these things are so intuitive, you don’t even realize how much you appreciate them. And sometimes, because of that, you forget.
Because synchro isn’t easy. It’s not easy to wake up every day before school for practice. To miss sleepovers and parties and vacations. It’s not easy to pay for lessons or miss work or school for competitions. It’s not easy to be a swing skater, and stand by the boards while the rest of your team skates. Or to not have your best skate at Easterns or when it matters most.
I say these things to give you an idea of what was going through my mind when I scheduled a meeting with my coach earlier this year to tell her I wanted to quit synchro if not skating all together.
But, thankfully, I’m still here. And I want to tell you why. I forget the exact words she said, but my coach basically told me that this sport isn’t about me. That yes, it is not easy, and it can be disappointing, and frustrating, and challenging. But it’s so much more than that. When something doesn’t go your way, you have the shoulders of an entire team to cry on. A team that’s right beside you when you struggle through crossovers or do back-to-back runs. You have friends who you have to trust on the ice, and as a result, trust beyond anything off it. Friends who you have superstitions and stories and late-night talks and trips around Cape-Cod with. Friends who get to skate even when you don’t, and who will stand behind you no matter what happens.
You have coaches who push you towards more than just winning. They teach you commitment and dedication, and how to not only respect your teammates, but also yourself. They help to build an organization that is not only extremely successful at competitions, but has a reputation and environment of compassion and teamwork, where skaters can feel comfortable to confide in them. And for which I am forever grateful to be a part of.
And lastly, with team, you always have a family. My parents are my biggest fans and are absolutely the reason I’m here tonight. But during the past five years, my family has expanded to include a good portion of this organization. All my team managers and the moms and dads who come to our practices and competitions, who make me feel special every time I see them, are my parents. And I have countless little sisters, who I admire and believe in. Every time I go to the rink I see familiar faces, and there is no better feeling than being on the ice and knowing that we have hundreds of fans cheering us on.
I know that I’m not unique in becoming frustrated with this sport and there’s going to come a time for most of you where it’s going to feel too hard. But what my coach said was true- being part of a team means that you’re part of something bigger than yourself. And surrounded by my friends and role-models and family I know that this is where I belong.
If you enjoyed this article you should explore other articles in our What Synchro Means to Me series.