You ever wish for a day to come and when it finally does, you wish you hadn’t wanted it to arrive so quickly? Yesterday was that day for me.
February 21 – the West Coast Challenge Cup – marked the end of another great synchro season. Now that it’s come and gone, I’m really sad it’s over.
The past five months, I’ve had the opportunity to skate with a new team in a new category with a new coach – to say it’s been an interesting experience would be an understatement – but not in a bad way.
We managed to collect some new hardware – two golds and a silver – and a respectable fourth place finish in Ontario against some of the best teams in the country. Although, a medal would have been the icing on the cake….
We pulled together this season to skate a fun, upbeat, Saturday night 90s throwback routine. And we had a hell of a lot of fun doing it.
Not uncommon with any team, there were moments where the practices felt long and our patience ran thin. Muttered comments were occasionally made and dynamics were tested. We’re women, we have hormones and a lot on our respective plates outside the rink – we can’t help it.
A few gals experienced life changes, some planned, some not; others had hectic work schedules; some fell ill; others just had an opinion, myself included.
Yet, despite all of this, it’s moments like yesterday that matter. Moments where the differences and BS are put aside and we just skate. We skate for ourselves, we skate for each other, we skate for the sport – because we truly friggin’ love it.
Yesterday, we laid it all out and the results were reflective. We achieved our first 50-plus point score of the season and had more energy than any of our previous skates. We stepped off the ice feeling confident, powerful and united – like we had all achieved something great together because, well, we did. We topped the podium the same day we organized and ran the competition.
We all deserve to take great pride in our achievements. It’s something we may not have been able to pull off individually, but as a team, as Ice Evolution, we’ve proven ourselves to be unstoppable.
At the end of the day, we’re different gals from different walks of life and although we may not always agree on everything, we do share the same love for one thing: synchro.
It unites us in our passion, it’s the reason we get up at 4 a.m. with a smile on our face and head to the rink (coffee in hand, of course) and it’s the reason we return to the ice year after year, despite saying just months before that it may be time to take a “break”.
Having only been back on the ice for two seasons after a nearly 10-year hiatus, I can say that the past two years have really ignited a passion for this sport I thought I’d long lost.
I’m grateful to the two coaches who took a chance on me, allowed me to join their rosters here in BC and came up with fun and challenging routines for us to skate to.
I’m grateful to the two managers who busted their asses, took time away from their families and made sure the team showed up where they needed to and on time, with a back up bag of extra essentials just in case.
I’m grateful to the other gals on the ice who made me feel welcome and who have befriended me despite my quirks, sarcasm and propensity to swear. I’ve made some friendships on the ice that have further been strengthened off the ice and I’m truly appreciative to have met these awesome gals.
Although I don’t plan to skate next year (no, seriously), I know this won’t be my last season. It’s not a matter of if I’ll skate again, just when.
In the meantime, I’ll keep my three new shiny bits of hardware polished, my memories close and my skates sharpened and ready to go…. just in case.