Thursday, 7 June 2012

From glitz to guts in less than a month!

A moment of reflection written on the poma at the top of the glacier in between runs this morning!

I have never before been exposed to such opposite realms of life in such a short period of time. It makes the Dancing On Ice experience seem magical. Just one month ago I was on tour skating in front of 10,000 people.

As the slushy spring snow and hail batter my face the only reminder of the last bizarre 17 months is the slight throbbing pain at the top of my ski boot where the metal work is getting used to this new, rather severe pressure.

Throughout it all I am smiling.

The feeling of being back where I belong shines through the dense fog. Being the only racer enthusiastic enough to venture up the mountain, the progression of my skiing is easy to monitor by the tracks on the piste.

Every time I ski over a softly arched but perfectly carved turn I think back to how I got to feeling so very proud of the simplest thing. Something that 2 years ago would have seemed the very norm!

I reminisce, in a not exactly fond way, about those first few horrendous months where if it weren't for my amazing family and boyfriend, the proactive BFG Cliff Eaton and all those at Third Space who gave me distractions and ways to train and believe in myself again, I would have been lost. Claire, Cherie and Gareth I can't express how much I owe to you!

I think back to the first time I stood and walked on my right leg. That truly was a golden day!

I dwell upon the chance that Torvill and Deane took with me by giving me a place on this year's Dancing on Ice and at their genius idea to partner me with the fabulous Sean Rice - another angel sent to me from some higher source to get me back to where I am today.

At the back of my mind I think of all those who have written me off, from the press (which was almost to be expected since the GB tabloids love drama) to my very own ski federation who have chosen to not help with my comeback in any way.

I am still ranked 8th in the world. I have shown I have the drive and determination which would have beaten many others and yet they still remain unsupportive. What hurts that instead of helping me they are helping athletes ranked 500 places worse than me! But I will fight with them no longer for I am not doing this for them.

I am doing this for me.

And for those who have remained supportive, for the friends and sponsors who have stuck with me throughout this whole crazy journey.

I am so thankful to the Canadian Ski Team who have again invited me back to their fantastic, professional and successful set up.

This year, if I don't secure a head sponsor, it is going to cost me personally around 75k to ski. Now show me another athlete willing to sacrifice that and I will applaud them.

I don't know what lies ahead but I know how great a joy I am getting from realising that me and skiing.... We are far from done!