Sunday, September 13, 2015

Dear Universe....

"Dear Universe,
Thank you for letting me live out my dreams since I was five years old. I know you're thinking there were other unfollowed follies in these 30 years of mine, but figure skating has always been my first and foremost love. So, I thank you.
My son recently posted this on his Instagram and Twitter accounts for all the world to see. It not only made me very proud, it was corroboration that all those frozen moments of the past 26 years were worth every second. Not that I didn't already know, but to see it in print - to see the image and emotion of pure joy behind the words - actually took my breath away.
It also made me stop and think about what this sport can really mean to  skating parents like me as we transition into our new "Normal."   
Many of my son's contemporaries have now left competitive skating. They have moved on, but many have not moved out. I follow on Facebook and Twitter; I marvel at what they are still accomplishing - some without national and international titles; most without realizing the Olympic dreams they harbored since childhood. They have taken their passion for skating in new directions that will do nothing but improve the sport for the new generation coming to the ice. We have many who are touring the world doing shows, either with companies or on cruise ships. Their travel photos and posts of the places they've been and the things they've seen are better than I could have imagined.
Some have moved on to working as professional skaters and choreographers for companies who are exploring alternative movement on ice. It's exciting to see their creativity as they defy convention and push the boundaries of what we thought could be done.
Several skaters have moved directly into coaching and are bringing along exciting new singles and teams. A few have chosen the path of commentating, replacing the "old guard" with a freshness born from understanding the system as it is now because they've been there, done that and they can communicate it in a way that makes sense.
And certainly, there is immense pride in those who took the discipline of practice and competition they learned in skating and applied it to becoming scientists, researchers, doctors, lawyers, accountants, nutritionists, trainers and teachers with the same passion and dedication they exhibited in their years on the ice. 
As parents, what more could we ask of the Universe than to see our children follow their passions and make it their lives? I guess the only other thing we could hope is that they see it, acknowledge it and say thank you. It makes us realize that, in some small way, we did something right.

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