Saturday, July 2, 2011

Getting the Gold When It's Not Expected

To all those who work so hard at their craft, sport, studies, jobs, and even research -- if you hang in there long enough and work hard enough, the recognition will come -- although it may come when you don't even expect it.

What is important is that you stay with your passion, despite the obstacles that may block your way, and that you never stop believing in yourself.

Last weekend, we were at the ISI (Ice Skating Institute) district / regional figure skating competition in Norwich, Connecticut, which covers all of the New England States. Our daughter was competing in three different events. The Norwich skating rink is located right next to a golf course and is in a lovely location in southeastern Connecticut. The competition took place June 23-26, 2011.

Our daughter was very much looking forward to skating at this competition and her events were scheduled over two different days. She had her dresses/costumes packed up and had been training for months, while holding down a heavy set of academic subjects in school and also being on the varsity track team.

Interestingly, there were decorations throughout the rink with a Chinese theme (consisting of lanterns, Chinese sayings, and graphics of what the various Chinese years mean, i.e., the year of the dog, horse, etc.), so we interpreted these as good luck signs.

She had a wonderful time, as did we, and earned gold medals in Freestyle Gold, Artistic Freestyle, and Light Entertainment Freestyle, as well as the Freestyle trophy. (When the incorrect music was played initially for one of her events, she did not panic, gracefully skated to the judges, and provided a backup copy of the correct music and back on the ice she went.)

The organizers of this competition did a superb job of making the events run in a timely manner (something that I very much care about) and created a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

The results are posted here.

Behind every achiever, there stand the coaches and the support network (family members, friends, and the community at-large) and special thanks go to them! The Daily Hampshire Gazette has a nice feature article recognizing the accomplishments and notes our daughter's truly exceptional figure skating coach, who makes skating, learning, growing, and doing one's best, such fun.