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I’ve come to understand that when I choose a path in life, I’m bound to face some roadblocks along the way. I now see these hurdles not as impenetrable obstacles but instead as opportunities. I can appreciate the new direction they take me and the lessons I learn from them. My faith in God has helped with this clarity.
March 2013 is when I thought all my doors closed. Or maybe they opened. I was an up and coming skater, amazed by the possibilities I could pursue. My career was on track to compete at the international level; I had goals to accomplish, and I looked forward to the day when I’d finally make the world acclaimed Team Braemar Junior Synchronized Figure Skating Team.
Then, my long time coach who had brought the top team to five national championships quit to join the coaching staff of a rival team. Chaos ensued as she persuaded many of my closest friends to join her team. I was shocked by their sudden departure and felt betrayed by them. I found myself uncharacteristically nervous about my future. Remaining at Braemar would require tenacity as we now lacked talent and focus. What had seemed like a promising future in skating was now a lingering dark abyss.
After much upheaval, the light started to emerge at the end of the tunnel. We eventually found a new coach, new skaters, and I, little Addie, was promoted to the top team two years ahead of “schedule.” Being younger and weaker, I had a challenge set before me. I would find an inner strength I didn’t know existed and test it constantly. I pushed myself on everything I tried. When the choreography called for moves that weren’t in my repertoire, I added coaches and ice time to my already packed schedule. I had no time to be fearful of my limits. When competition season came, my teammates and I were ready to take on the nation. The hours and days of hard work yielded an amazing opportunity, a chance to represent our country at an international competition in Milan, Italy. The experience was amazing. We skated the highest score of that international season and won a silver medal.
Looking back, I can now appreciate how frightening my decision to stay had been. I knew that I had to finish my journey at Braemar but was uncertain where that would take me. I still had lofty goals I wanted to accomplish. When I reflect, I realize that I made the right personal choice. The J.K Rowling quote, “Sometimes we have to choose between what is right and what is easy”, resonates well with me. I value my loyalty to the club and will always choose the more difficult path to honor my standards. I rose to a challenge, stuck to my principles and reaped greater rewards as a result. I matured into a stronger skater and stronger person.
I learned that God has a plan for me and that sometimes things have to get worse before they get better. I believe that everything happens for a reason. God wanted to test me and as result I am the person I am today. I’m tougher; I work harder, and I’m less afraid of failure. I know that I will continue to stay on a good path if I have the faith and the courage to trust God.
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