How I Transition From Individual Figure To Synchronized Skating

My Transition From Individual To Synchronized Skating Was Easier Said Than Done

The most humbling experience of my life.

Emma Enebak

From the moment I arrived outside Dodds Hall on July 28, I was instantly hit with the unfamiliar from all angles. The first floor of the dorm was packed with potential members of the Miami Varsity Synchronized Skating Team. But none of us were official members yet. That's what this week would determine.

The first thing I remember thinking is how uncomfortably out of place I felt. A feeling I had never truly experienced in my life. Out of place in the humid Oxford air, in the hallway filled with girls I had never met who all seemed to know each other, and most of all, out of place trying to understand this new form of a sport I once thought I knew everything about.

I had grown up my whole life as a competitive figure skater. It was the one thing I always knew, the one thing that essentially made me, me. I was extremely successful for the majority of my teen years and continued to excel in the sport at a more rapid pace than anyone expected. But toward the end, a series of severe injuries came between me and my dreams. It eventually became physically impossible for me to continue skating at the level I was at. After a lot of consideration, I decided I couldn't bear quitting skating altogether. I had to find another way.

That was how I ended up here, at Miami University, trying out for the best synchronized skating team in the country. The only issue was that I had never tried synchronized skating in my life.

I thought to myself, how different could it be?

The answer is: very.

From the first day I stepped on the ice for tryouts, I was being peered at by judgmental eyes who could tell I had no clue what I was doing. I had never felt so foreign in a place where I was supposed to feel so comfortable. Skating was the one thing I could always rely on. The one thing I always knew I could do as well as anyone else. But suddenly, that truth disappeared into thin air.

I felt as though I was invading these girls' territory. They had grown up around synchronized skating their whole lives and had dreamt of being on this team since they were kids, and there I was, throwing myself blind into these tryouts on a complete whim. I couldn't blame them for being skeptical.

Needless to say, that week was easily the most humbling week of my life. I had to suck in all my pride and courage and admit to myself that I didn't know what I was doing. I had to form a new level of respect for this parallel form of skating that I had once deemed as "easy" and realize it is more challenging than I could have ever thought. I had to ask people for help, something that was never my strong suit. But hardest of all, I had to basically start from scratch with a sport I had just spent 18 years mastering. Humbling myself in such a way is one of the greatest lessons I've ever had to learn, and I now know that I was always meant to show up outside of Dodds 116 that day, scared and unsure and alone. I was always meant to take a deep wavering breath and step directly into the unknown. I am better because of it. And I know that I always will be.

I am thankful for that difficult, terrifying, emotional, and lonely week, one of the hardest I've ever endured in my life. And I'm even more thankful that I've found a new dream, a new passion to chase after with everything I've got. I could have never guessed I'd end up here. But I suppose our greatest adventures always are the ones we never expect.

Report this Content

Minorities are consistently under-represented in our day-to-day lives, notably in the world of fashion. It's likely you're looking for a way to support black artists. Whether that's the case or you're just a fashion-lover in general, these brands aren't just some of the best black-owned fashion brands — they're some of the most innovative brands of our time, period.

From luxury staples to fun accessories and loungewear, these brands aren't just stunning names you should definitely be following on Instagram, each honors the founder's roots in unique ways with the power of storytelling through artistic expression that manifests in pieces we can't wait to wear.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

10 Home Items You Need For Stress Relief, On The Days You 'Literally Cannot'

Fill your home with peaceful, calming coping mechanisms.

I'd like to think that 2020 is teaching us a lot. Or will teach us a lot. Or will be a story we tell at parties one day. Ultimately, this year has been — and is probably going to continue to be — a bit of a mess.

At the beginning of the year, Australia was on fire and we mourned the death of Kobe Bryant. Then, coronavirus (COVID-19) took our spring and shut us in our homes, inciting panic over public health and sparking political upheaval at every decision made by local and federal officials alike. Now, a week after George Floyd's death at the hands of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, a nationwide conversation is reignited with protests regarding racial injustice in the United States. There is an enormous amount of tension, hurt, and change that is upon the American people.

Keep Reading... Show less

No matter who you are (an introvert, person of color, member of the LGBTQ+ community, Scorpio, TikToker, you name it), we want to hear what dating in America is like for you and the thoughts you have while working through the talking stage, first dates, navigating love, working through dating problems, etc.

Keep Reading... Show less

30 Black-Owned Skincare Brands Every Beauty-Lover Should Know About In 2020

They're not changing the game — they're making a new one.

Skin is something most beauty-lovers obsess over from our early teens, whether our aim is to be glowier, softer, dewier, or poreless, most of us are consistently tracking a new skincare goal. No matter how many products we try, we'll likely forage on with the goal of IRL Photoshopped skin, no matter how many dollars go to them.

The black-founded skincare brands below are the brainchildren of extreme dedication and resilience within the privileged world of beauty. Born out of resilient entrepreneurs overcoming circumstance in a world that does not favor business people of color, these brands have loyal cult followings, and with good reason.

Keep Reading... Show less

A huge part of being in a relationship is communication and, well, part of communication is listening. So, why not have a little fun with your partner and see just how well they know you?

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

7 Ways You Can Safely Attend A Protest In The Middle Of A Pandemic

Wear a mask, but speak up.

It seems like coronavirus (COVID-19) has been around forever now. Life before masks and with public sporting events is a distant memory, hoping to make a comeback sometime this year. We've all had to make some sort of life changes to abide by this pandemic's rules. But that doesn't mean everything has stopped. On May 25, George Floyd died at the hands of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, sparking a cry for justice and racial equality across the nation.

For the last week, protests have taken place in major cities like New York City, LA, DC, Chicago, Phoenix, Portland, Dallas, and Floyd's hometown of Minneapolis. Many of the cities experiencing protests have begun phased reopening, while others (specifically New York City and LA) have yet to begin phase one of post-coronavirus reopening.

As COVID-19 is hardly in our rearview mirror, there are extra precautions protestors can take as they advocate for justice.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Helpful, Effective Mental Health Resources Specifically For The Black Community

These organizations are qualified, caring, and acknowledging the mental trauma individuals are experiencing.

On May 25, George Floyd died after being pinned to the ground by a Minneapolis police officer. In the last week, protests have sprung up across the nation, demanding justice for Floyd and accountability for police brutality. Social media has also seen widespread conversation regarding Floyd's death, Black Lives Matter, and racism in the United States. Today is #BlackoutTuesday, where many are sharing a single black square to represent unity and support for Black voices.

In light of the heavy climate that our country is facing, it is a safe assumption that many individuals' mental health may be suffering. We wanted to highlight mental health resources and organizations that are Black-owned and prepared to assist in whatever you're going through.

Keep Reading... Show less

15 Black-Owned Haircare Brands That Cater As Much To Inclusivity As They Do To Your Locks

Championing Black entrepreneurs who make some of our hair favorites.

The haircare industry is vast. With the rise of social media came hundreds of thousands of empowered, niche brands. Single entrepreneurs came out of the woodwork with hair brands that now, years later, have dedicated cult followings.

Of those multitudes of brands, few cater to all hair types, most made without regard for curly or coily hair. These brands, however, are different.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments