We Get Up

We Get Up

Each day is a new day. A new day to give it our all. A day to fight to win.

Grace Leonard

Synchronized skating is a combination of all disciplines of ice skating: the freestyle elements of the singles discipline, the partner elements, spins and group lifts of the pairs discipline, and the edge quality and turns reflective of the ice dancing division. Not only do we incorporate a little bit of something from every skating discipline, sixteen of us do it in unison. Thirty-two legs have to be on the same step. Thirty-two arms in the same position. Thirty-two blades have to be angled precisely the same way, moving at the same time. The combination of precision, athleticism, grace, flexibility and artistry that is required to be successful in this sport is what makes it unique, and at the same time, so incredibly challenging.

A little over two years ago, U.S. Figure Skating launched a campaign called "Get Up." The slogan is "We Get Up." The idea behind the campaign is simple: when we fall, we have to get back up — both on the ice and in life.

I have never known a group of women more resilient than the ones I am privileged enough to surround myself with each and every day.

At the beginning of the year, my teammates and I sign several waivers that state that we recognize that synchronized skating is a dangerous contact sport (even though we try mightily to avoid that contact!). Every day in practice, people fall. People trip themselves and sometimes trip others. People get dropped. At any given point there are eight or more bodies coming at you at full speed or blades inches away from your face.

My team's motto is "Champion Standard," which means that we strive for excellence in everything that we do. Champion Standard, when applied to student-athletes, requires myriad skills. Even with advance planning, all-nighters happen when an important exam impends, but we still bring a laser focus to practice the morning following that sleepless night. Champion Standard means that when you are in the gym and your arms are burning so badly that you cannot possibly do another chin-up, you find the inner strength to do two more. Champion standard means that when you are going through personal trials and tribulations, and you don't think you can possibly face everything the next day holds, you do it anyway.

Where do you find the fortitude to meet this standard? It comes from the knowledge that you are a part of a whole—part of something that is larger than you. Champion Standard is holding each other up when it's needed and pushing each other above and beyond what is expected or even thought to be possible.

The public gets to see the end result of this process. But they do not see the 99.9% of the effort that leads to those results. They do not see the blood, sweat and tears that led to the end result. They don’t see the stitches from being bladed. They don’t see times when we fall just short of our goals — the times when we are just slightly "off."

The public also sees the times when we fail to reach our goals — when we fall short of our best. There are times when we fall literally and figuratively. We fall and take a long time to get back into the program. We get a bad grade on an exam. We lose.

Ice is slippery. Life is messy. Failure is inevitable. We set goals and we don't always reach them. Every day is not great or even good. That is the danger of being in the arena. That is the danger of trying. Sometimes we come up short.

But what sets us apart is that we do not fail for good; we do not give up. Perhaps if we were skating for ourselves, we would succumb to the pressures. But we are not. We skate for each other and for our school. On the days when we find it hard to do it for ourselves, we dig a little deeper and do it for our teammates. When we fall, we get up and we make sure that the same mistake doesn't happen the next time. When we are exhausted and discouraged, we have just to look to the right and to the left. Those are people we do not want to let down. Those are people we will not let down. And so we reach down and find a will do succeed.

Each day is a new day. A new day to give it our all. A day to contribute to a collective goal. A day to fight to win. My team is different.

We Get Up.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Politics and Activism

4 Ways The Plan To Deport International Students Is Dumb, According To An Exchange Student

The whole policy isn't very stay-in-place, if you ask me.

Wikimedia Commons

On Monday, July 6, new federal guidelines were announced that do not allow international students to remain in the U.S. unless they are taking classes in person. Which, if you ask me, is stupid.

Keep Reading... Show less

Naya Rivera Is Missing, And She Deserves SO Much More Than Being Labeled 'Big Sean's' Ex'

We are all sending prayers to Naya Rivera hoping she finds them so we can find her.

I woke up this morning looking to find Naya Rivera's name trending No. 1 on Twitter. I was reading all of everyone's prayers wishing to find her so she can be reunited with her baby boy who is only 4 years old.

Naya's son's name is Lord and the entire collective is hoping the Lord is with him right now. I'm a firm believer in the Fear of God, I hope all of Naya's love is protecting Lord right now.

Keep Reading... Show less

With the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic still surging in the United States, where we are averaging 50,000 cases daily, wearing a face mask has become even more important. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, has stressed the importance of wearing a mask and is pleading Americans to take notice of the "disturbing" rise in cases. It would be common sense to listen to him, considering we are dealing with a virus that has a mortality rate higher than what we have seen with other viruses.

Keep Reading... Show less

10 Sex Toys You NEED To Turn Up The Heat This Summer

They say diamonds are a girl's best friend, but...

It's your fairy sex godmother back at it again and here to tell you that masturbating is an essential need, just like toilet paper.

It comes with so many benefits, besides cumming. According to the New York City Health Department, "you are your safest sex partner" during a pandemic, so why not use the best toys to get the job done? Shopping for the best fit can be tricky because there are a few factors to consider — whether it's the price point, experience, sound, and more.

Keep Reading... Show less

These 3 Smoothies Totally Cleared My Acne-Prone And Scarred Skin

How I drank my way to flawless skin.

With this summer being the first of its kind for most people to be in the midst of a global pandemic, almost everyone is beginning to have an overall focus on improving their health.

Keep Reading... Show less

Everyone remembers the first time they went to one of the Disney parks. Spinning in teacups and having Goofy wrap his arms around my 8-year-old self were some of my fondest childhood memories, and I'm surely not alone in that.

Keep Reading... Show less

These Superfood Beauty Products Show Kale And Matcha Work For SO Much More Than We Thought

Just another summer's day with a cold glass of kombucha on my face.

I've been vegan for about six years now, so a love for fresh vegetables and superfoods has now become a core part of my being. Don't get me wrong. I love my indulgent, creamy pastas and truffle fries more than anyone. But I keep most of my focus on eating clean and healthy so I can indulge guilt-free.

But I'd say about a large part of my diet has always, unknowingly, included superfoods. Being Indian, lentils, beetroot, garlic, ginger, and whole grains have been core essentials on the family dinner table since I could digest solid foods.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments