(May 17, 2015)
Life’s tough. Yes, I know, you’ve heard that already.
One thing about me is that I’m an avid reader; frequently I’m found soaking in fairy tales as a way to meditate. I take advantage of these moments to understand the stories and characters through my own eyes, and how some of the characters’ downfalls are like my own during several skating programs, but that at the end they somehow always rise again. Reading is an integral part of my personal sanity check. If I could join Hogwarts and learn all the spells necessary to become the greatest skater of all time, I would, but instead I’m an ordinary Muggle. A Muggle constantly defined and challenged by the internet, the media, and what people saw of me that moment on television.
What am I talking about, you ask? Online, it’s easy to criticize another’s accomplishments and misinterpret one’s motivation. Google me and see for yourself. There’s a hurricane of mass media, stating my achievements and downfalls, my interviews and my criticisms, my coaches and how I’ve evolved both good and bad over the years. I’ve seen my own quotes / pictures online (yes sometimes exaggerated or severely manipulated) and I understand it’s part of a media’s job to analyze, preach or refer to me. Sometimes they’re kind, sometimes they’re distressing. And sometimes they’re just really, really hurtful.
I had so much energy, optimism and confidence going into Nationals, yet I still didn’t do as well as I’d hoped. The weight of injuries, media attention, and public pressure fogged my concentration and limited my physical abilities, and to this day haunts me. Yes the media can say what they want to say – after all, everyone has a right to their own opinions. But, as cheesy as it may sound, my personal mantra is that: I’m a fighter. My decision to move to Colorado Spring and switch coaches is my way of proving that I’ll never give in. My jump rotations may not be perfect and I may not be as consistent as I wish. But again that doesn’t mean I’ll give up, and I’m no delusional optimist.
I’ve made tons of mistakes, no hiding that. Many, especially the media, have asked why I haven’t quit yet. My response: honestly… it’s not about winning for me, it’s about passion. I still have unmet ambitions and unmet personal goals. I chose to stay a Muggle because I believe you don’t need to be a Harry Potter with spells to be the best – you just need to believe in yourself and love what you’re doing, while being human.
People fall every so often, and I’m one of them. Yes, life’s tough, but at least I fall while on my two feet, literally. I’m so grateful to everyone who’ve continued to support me – it takes so much courage to share my thoughts here. Thank you to those who’re reading this and continuing to support my everyday tries, regardless of how many times I fall.
This is just another beginning – time to begin another book.