Written By: 2017-18 U.S. Figure Skating DREAM Program and Crystallettes Senior Team Member, Rachel Teets
Coming off of the World Championships, we jumped into this season and immediately set new goals to help us further achieve our dreams; we took chances on a new choreographer and an abstract theme. We were excited about the possibilities the new season held for us, the opportunity to retain our spot on the World Team and to make a move for USA 1. We began to work to make our dreams a reality; then came one unexpected obstacle after another.
As our summer training came to a close, we had four skaters who chose not to fulfill their obligation, a few months later we had two more skaters who could no longer skate due to medical reasons, we experienced broken bones overseas, and lost luggage with skates in them (never to be returned and only one week between Switzerland and France to break in new skates)… I could go on and on.
These unfortunate circumstances could be seen in many ways; they could be seen as a threat, an opportunity or even a puzzle to solve. Our coach, my mom, Holly Malewski, has told us time and time again “mistakes and obstacles do not define us, how we choose to react is what defines us”.
If we had accepted these obstacles as defeat, we would have been overwhelmed with irrecoverable thoughts and emotions, pressure that surely would have made us crumble. It would have been easy, but Crystallettes are fighters. As a team we reached out to help each other prepare for a new spot or to work on something we were struggling with. Our coaches came in early and stayed late. We faced each challenge and adversity head on, together as the “Beautiful” team we are.
The ending result of the season may not be what we wanted, but reflecting back on each challenge we overcame, I cannot deny our success. We never gave up. We never turned on one another; instead we turned to one another. We accepted those things that were out of our control and moved forward. We accepted mistakes as a normal part of the process. We did not let our obstacles define us, instead we let our determination define us.
As synchronized skaters, we are so lucky to each be apart of a team, in the truest sense of the word. I promise you that matter what obstacle you face, no matter the mountain you feel you simply cannot conquer, you, and your team, are unstoppable.