Hard work, calories and other important ingredients for a blessed off-season

May 31, 2016

Howdy! My life is a whirlpool of experiences and aggressive food eating. So much has happened since Nationals in January.

To begin, I feel obligated to address my Nationals performance. Leading up to the event, I was riddled with injuries. Although this sounds like an excuse for my unideal performances, I take full credit for not being able to use mental strength to overcome those hurdles. I remember right before my very mediocre and tense short program, telling my coaches, ‘I feel good.’ We all knew I was desperately trying to mask my anxiety. I actually felt like rabid animals were ferociously trying to eat me alive. The positives were that I was able to (semi) stand up on a quadruple toe, enjoy every second of performing, and use this to learn and improve!

Following Nationals, I got some much needed rest to heal up and focus on how I can reach my full potential. Since then, my love for the sport has prevailed, and caused me to work harder than ever before to make progress! I went crazy and decided to work out almost every day to get rid of the off-season pudge. I started working on quadruple Salchow on the harness and refining my other jumps! Everything seemed to be going right.
The Pneumonia
In March, things were looking peachy and dandy. Phillip Mills was scheduled to choreograph my programs in the middle of the month. The very day that Phillip arrived in Colorado, I fell deathly ill. Being raised in a military family, and having the mindset of a psychopath, I decided to push through it and hope things magically got better. Because Phillip was flown in for one week only, I convinced myself that I was fine so that we could complete the programs. I started my long with Phillip, which is Jekyll & Hyde (the musical). He told me that my eyes looked yellow because I was so sick, and took a video of me going through the choreography. I looked gruesome. I’m surprised that the little children on the ice didn’t start crying at the sight of my unsettling face. The good news was that I literally got into the character of Hyde, who is a filthy and abhorrent monster. In the middle of the week, I needed to go to the hospital. Ignoring my symptoms was a horrid idea. The doctors diagnosed me with pneumonia and provided me with a plethora of medicine to get me through the next couple of weeks. Phillip and I decided to push the completion of both of my programs to the week after, in California.

Carly Gold and I (with Luke Chilcott and Billy Littlefield) at the World Championships

By the time I was in California, I was so much better. The first day I arrived there, I skated with the lovely Carly and Gracie Gold at the Toyota Sports Center. I have a theory that their beautiful presence cured my pneumonia all the way. Phillip and I created my new short program titled “Last Days” by Max Richter. It is some of my favorite music of all time. The songs are from the TV show “The Leftovers”. Unfortunately, it’s about the leftovers of the human race, not leftovers from dinner. Both of my programs are my favorites that I’ve ever had, and I’m ELATED to show them to everyone this season.
Hanging with Japan's Shoma Uno

Hanging with Japan’s Shoma Uno

2016 Worlds
After finishing my programs, I got the delightful opportunity to go to the World Championships in Boston to watch all my favorite skaters. It was so inspirational and mind-blowing. All my friends and all the best skaters were in one place, I was freaking out. I was standing in line at the Starbucks at the main hotel, and Guillaume Cizeron, who won a second ice dance world title the day before, stood behind me in line. I almost collapsed a lung, and struggled to keep it together. It was so cool. Worlds was a blessed experience that I’ll never forget!
My coach, Tom Zakrajsek and I

My choreographer, Phillip Mills

My First Competition
Soon enough, training started for my first competition in Santa Fe. I woke up one morning and decided that I was going to get it together. I scheduled to get my eyebrows threaded, something that I had never done before. It changed my life and truly opened my eyes. I’m ashamed that my mom didn’t prioritize getting my eyebrows done when I was a newborn baby.
I started working so hard.  I’ve never been in this kind of shape so early in the season. Beyoncé’s Lemonade has been blessing me and my soul through the training process. My cardio is pretty much a Beyoncé concert.
On May 20, I officially began my 2016-2017 season. Because of the old condition of my boots, I needed duct tape to support myself when I skated leading up to the competition. Right before I tied my skates to debut my short program, I (brainlessly) ran out of tape, and the only thing the rink could provide was scotch tape. During the six-minute warm up, I felt all the scotch tape rip. Usually, I would let competition adrenaline carry me through the event. I let “first competition anxiety” possess me, and I threw away all of my Pilates training, resulting in me skating my short program like a freshly cooked spaghetti noodle. I got two invalid elements, by tripping on a spin and a jump take off. I left an obnoxious amount of points on the table and could’ve easily gotten a much higher score. I went to my hotel room that night, took out a face cleanser, and exfoliated the failure out of my pores.
The next day, I was intelligent enough to bring extra tape for my skates, and my long program was heaps better. I made two silly mistakes, but nailed most of my jumps and presented my program much better than the short, I’m blissful with the performance. The exfoliating worked! I am thrilled with the way I started this season, and can’t wait to take steps up from here to work hard and slay.
Looking Forward
I renewed all my equipment, which are my Edea Concertos and John Wilson Blades. My costumes will be done by Brad Griffies, and my first important competition will be Broadmoor Open. I’m so enthusiastic and motivated to compete this year, and I’m working hard to reach a new level with my skating.
Thanks to everyone for reading and supporting me!😘