Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Recipe for Making Lemonade..

Not going to lie: This was one of the toughest nights we have ever gone through as skating parents. But understand that our disappointment is not in how we feel, but in how our skater feels right now.


That started me thinking about lemonade.


My great grandmother always used cliches when talking about life's challenges. Of course, her favorite saying was, "When life deals you lemons, make lemonade." I always rolled my eyes whenever she would say it and I even though I have repeated it over again and again for many years, I don't think I truly understood what it meant until now.

We all have dreams - many of them wistful Jiminy Cricket wishes for things to come true. Life doesn't play out that way sometimes. So, the only thing you can do is figure out a way to make it all work. 


Lemons and Lemonade. It all makes perfect, though verbally hackneyed, sense. 


Whether it is a basic skills competition, or the basic skills of the world's largest stage, the only defeat is the one you give in to. Winners figure it out, and that doesn't always mean getting a gold medal. The true winners  create a recipe for life's lessons. They make Lemonade.


Is that a way to make us feel better? Perhaps. 


But this isn't about us; it is about our skater and how he feels at this moment in time. It is about how he chooses to deal with the lemons in his life right now. I, for one, am standing in line, waiting for him to squeeze the life out of this experience, mix it with a healthy dose of something sweet and turn it into something we can all enjoy.


Lemonade on ice. With love and honey it is the elixir of the gods.

30 comments:

  1. Love you, Happy. Here's to Lemonade!

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  2. Well said. He is such an amazing skater to watch; so emotive and graceful. Crossing my fingers for Thursday!

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  3. Very well said. I couldn't agree more, and I hope your son will take this to heart.

    I felt for Jeremy tonight; he's an incredibly talented young man, and being at the Olympics with so much pressure put on him has to be tougher than he lets on. And then, having to wait around, where the ice quality sure didn't look too good via the TV link (I wondered if they even bothered to resurface after last night's pairs long program competition) surely didn't help, either.

    I hope your son realizes how rare and special he is. And that he does something very few people in the world can do, so well that he makes it look easy, even artistic and fun to watch -- he brings a smile to people's faces, and inspires many a youngster to pick up a pair of skates (no doubt). All of this is very, very good.

    I'd like to add that I've watched skating for years; I think I understand most of the newer "code of points" system. I do think it hampers the skaters with the best skills, like Weir, or your son Jeremy, or Stephane Lambiel. It exalts the jumpers, and while Jeremy has the requisite set of jumps, that's not what defines him to my mind -- it's his joy (or _joie de vivre_, as the French say). His passion. His willingness to take it all in and show the world who he is without holding anything back.

    If he does all that on Thursday, even if he falls ten thousand times, he is a winner.

    Barb Caffrey

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  4. Nicely put. I was devastated for Jeremy last night, and I really hope that he can turn this experience around on Thursday with that beautiful free of his.

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  5. He steals my heart when I see him skate. So sorry he had a rough short but he'll rally in the long I'm sure.

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  6. Well, that explains a good deal about what an extraordinary young man Jeremy is: he was born to and brought up by some very extraordinary parents.

    One tough night, even at the Olympics, does not eclipse a lifetime of talent nor level the mountain of love from which this special young man should survey a future full of hope and success!

    God bless you!

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  7. Patrick and Jennifer LongFebruary 17, 2010 at 7:42 AM

    Couldn't have said it better. Anyone who has worked as hard all his life and has made it this far deserves a medal regardless. (His parents too). Every experience is an opportunity to learn and grow. No matter what happens at this year's Olympics, Jeremy has so much he can be proud of!

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  8. I'm so happy I found this blog. When I saw Jeremy win so gracefully at Nationals despite being the less recognizable of the men's trio, I thought, "That's the kind of person you root for. The one who lets others steal the off-ice spotlight while he gets the job done on-ice."

    My heart sunk when I watched Jeremy's performance last night, but I know this experience will make him a better person and athlete. My cliche about life is that everything happens for a reason. We just have to figure out what those things are supposed to teach us. I have no doubt that when the dust settles (or maybe even before that) Jeremy will know why he had to go through this experience.

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  9. I am a parent of a Special Olympics Texas USA figure skater Level 4 ice dance Level 3 . Melissa loves to skate and has met many Professional skaters such as Scott H. Kristi Y., Michelle K., Tanith and Ben and many more. SHe trains with 3 PSA coaches 12 hours a week. SHe gives it her all when she goes out there to compete. SHe usually gets GOLD but if she does not come in first I am VERY proud of her as she is gracious to her opponents. I feel like most USFS moms I hurt more for her if she does not come in first than she hurts for herself. To her any award is good as GOLD!!!

    WE are enjoying the Olympics and she has her favorite men she likes to watch amd she gets upset if they mess up. Melissa does not understand the point system 100% but she knows the harder jumps gives you more points. It is the opposite in Special Olympics. If you do more than your level calls for they deduct points form your score.

    We are rooting for our USA men and she loves Jeremy as one of the young men she trains with at our rink is friends with Jeremy!!!

    Jeremy just go out there and do your job.

    God Bless You and Your Family!!!
    Julie and Melissa "The Ice Princess"

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  10. I learned so much watching Jeremy skate last night about the pressure and competition at the Olympics. I'm so looking forward to his skate on Thursday. Jeremy is a professional and I believe he will deliver one of his best performances. Every skate is a new opportunity right? We are all pulling for you in Colorado Jeremy.

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  11. I agree, let's have lemonade, lots of it! In time, Jeremy will realize that this won't be the moment that defines his life, it will be one part of it or slice of the pie that will come together as a whole experience. Not many people can say they are Olympians, and they are Olympians for life. Very special group of people, no matter what sport you compete in at the Olympics. Go Jeremy for Thursday night, we can't wait to see the pigs fly!

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  12. Thank you ALL for your comments, and for your love. We looked at Jeremy's Twitter this morning for the first time since his skate. Here is what he said:"I promise with all my heart that there will be a reason to smile on thursday! My goals are out of reach, but my Olympics is not over yet!"

    Several people sent me "condolences" last night. I thought that was odd as a great friend reminded me of the song in Spamalot "I'm Not Dead Yet." I'd prefer to think like Monty Python.

    Lemonade anyone?

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  13. It's gotta be frustrating when you know how you can skate, and the world gets to see less than your best. Still, all the beauty and artistry and mastery of the blades on the ice were there and I know he'll put out something just beautiful tomorrow night. He's already of a select few who can call themselves Olympians, and he should be very proud of himself.

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  14. Beautiful post, AToE! I raise my glass of lemonade to you. You gave your son a champion attitude and it shows.

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  15. I am overwhelmed by your insight,calm appraisal,and positive emotional thoughts on Jeremys adventure with the huge challenge he faced last night.
    All of his fans know and have experienced with him the beautiful transitions,jumps and musical integrity he expresses within his program's.. Lets lift that galss of lemonade to his and our pleasure.

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  16. Always take consolation in the fact that a bad day for the ego is a good day for the soul.

    I bet his soul soars on Thursday.

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  17. Allison, I am so incredible proud of Jeremy and your family and love you all to pieces. I can't even begin to imagine the emotions/pressure J felt when he stepped onto the ice last night. I am so proud that he's representing our country in the Olympics and know he will make peace with last night's performance. He's a pro, skating is his passion and he should be proud of himself. So, here's to lemonade and more of Jeremy's beautiful skating on Thursday. I'm rooting for you!

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  18. Thursday is going to be Jeremazing!!!! I think it's impossible to go into the OIympics as National champion and not feel the pressure - now the pressure is off. He's under the radar again and magic happens when you least expect it. I'm a little sad that the world didn't get to see the best men's short program this year without a couple of mistakes, but that doesn't change the fact that it's the best men's short program this year! (And anyone who saw it at Nationals, knows that!) Spamalot, lemonade and flying pigs - all his fans are rooting for him!!!

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  19. It's the new Olympic drinking game (or it will be if I can get it to go viral: http://twitter.com/Xanboni/status/9253224954

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  20. As challenging as it seems right now, I suspect that both the 'tincture of time' & 'elixir of experience' are going to come into play here - about four years' worth.
    Your boy WILL be smiling & even stronger in the end- we have faith in him, and look forward to his future, which IS so bright.

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  21. After reading your blog, I now understand a little better how your son has become such an admirable young man and skater. I'm glad to know that Jeremy has such wise and supportive parents to help him when he has a tough day on the ice. Wishing for you all as a family the best of all things at the Olympics and beyond. Thank you for your blog and for raising such a wonderful young man who delights us with his extraordinary skating gifts.

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  22. My heart sank last night after watching Jeremy leave the ice. I adore watching him skate and his short is my favourite programme of anyones. My husband was an Olympic figure skating competitor in 1980 representing Great Britain. He was second to Robin Cousins in the British nationals. I know Jeremy speaks of Robin as an inspiration. Robin would be very honoured to hear that. Please let jeremy know he is admired by many in the skating world for his shear ease of movement and his subtle understated style. I look forward to his long, trust yourself Jeremy, show the world how skating can be.

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  23. What a beautiful message from Jeremy's skating family. I totally agree! Jeremy, only a handful of the creme de la creme get to compete at the Olympics, ever. You have worked hard, you deserve to be there, so now just enjoy yourself and relish in the fruits of your efforts.

    A note to someone upthread who is blaming Code of Points: I completely disagree. Jeremy has rocked under this system before, and he will again. Last night wasn't his night, but I forsee plenty more success ahead.

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  24. Thank you for an inspirational entry. I raise my glass of lemonade to your skater and your family. I know so well what you are describing, we parents all want the world to know how our skater can "Rock the house" and it's so heartbreaking when things don't go as wished for them. I and my own skater son salute all that your skater has accomplished and know that this is not the end of the story, just the beginning...! Looking forward to that wonderful smile after his LP on thursday!
    Sk8rmom

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  25. I think the "code of points" giveth, and the "code of points" taketh away, but the skills are there and are evident regardless. And I still think the whole CoP thing does _not_ account for artistry _enough_. Because even on an off night, Jeremy had more than enough artistry to get more than 69 points to _my_ mind -- the artistic mark was not high enough, and of the three skaters I mentioned, only Lambiel's made any sense to me.

    I am unconcerned about that at this time, though -- and I'd wanted to come back to ask Jeremy's parents to consider two things.

    1) Christopher Bowman was out of it in his Olympic year, and he went out and skated _nine_ triples to come in fourth -- the only reason he did not get a bronze medal is becuse of the scoring system in place _then_. (He would've probably received a silver now with the same folks and the same scoring system in place, flawed as it is to my mind, because he completed _nine triples_.)

    2) Several Olympians have moved way up into the standings, as I'm sure you both know, from the short program to the long. It is not inconceivable he can hit the top ten. It is not even wholly inconceivable that he could get a medal (though many others would have to do poorly, and I can't wish that upon them), and sometimes the impossible happens.

    It's what gives us all hope.

    Go get 'em, Jeremy. (And you two -- hug each other and be good to one another. It's obvious where Jeremy got both his charm and his good sense, much less his intelligence.)

    BC

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  26. Oh, one more thing (sorry) -- didn't it take Scott Hamilton until he was age 28 to win his gold medal? Or am I misremembering?

    BC

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  28. Winners figure it out.

    I like that, and I know I'll see it put to good use. Thank for sharing, even a tough moment.

    ~Felisha

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  29. That was SOME lemonade tonight! J ricocheted to 9th palce..... That is phenominal! I think he spiked it with something! Wow! He has the courage of a tiger.

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  30. This was a wonderful post! You did a great job of speaking for all of us skating parents who try to encourage their children when there are disappointing results. We were all so happy to see Jeremy move up in the long program. I know Jeremy wishes he could have shown what he’s truly capable of, but we know he’s an amazing skater and a great person, which is even more important. I hope you are all enjoying the rest of the Olympics! What an amazing experience it must be to be there!

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