Synchro skater testimony: "We will come back stronger"
Les Suprêmes Senior. (Credits: Danielle Earl Photography - 2020)
Like many teams in Quebec (CAN), Les Suprêmes have not been training since the beginning of October. The measures introduced by the Government still allow individual practices, but the lack of synchro strongly affects the morale of athletes. Agathe Merlier, senior skater and also correspondent for Jura Synchro, shares her feelings in this editorial.
When the second lockdown was announced, I felt different emotions, changing over time. Although I still had the desire to skate, this second stop also gave me a feeling of freedom. Indeed, not being able to train our sport as I have always known it, that is to say, to keep my distance from my teammates, having to tie up with sticks, was starting to weigh on my morale and this unwanted break was welcome.
Doubts set in: it took three months before returning to the ice after the first lockdown, how long would it take this time?
What was supposed to be three weeks, has already been extended by a month, and will surely be so again, probably until the new year. It's hard not being able to do what you love most in the world, but I remain grateful that I haven't had any cases of Covid-19 in my team.
However, I take the time to exist outside my team. I'm reviewing my way of approaching my sport. I no longer try to be the best copy of my teammates. I'm trying to find the figure skater that I was. I take this opportunity to re-work on things abandoned or that I haven't tried since I arrived in Canada 7 and a half years ago.
I take the time to discover who I am as a person and as a skater, to release my emotions and exist for myself. To think about what I want to accomplish.
To compensate, we try with a few teammates to organize sessions to be able to skate together. It feels so good.
I also watch skating competitions from a new perspective. I'm no longer analyzing what the other teams are doing. On the contrary, I'm rather envying them and saying to myself: "Me too, I did that before."
It's like a feeling of living the "after" as if I had decided to stop skating. While not at all. I'm still here, I'm not ready for this and I don't want to. It's too early. It's always too early.
So at least once a week, I watch old programs that I skated and remember what skating taught me. I bring my memories back to life. It helps me to stay motivated: I can't stop like this. I will relive other moments like these, for sure. I know it deep inside me.
Despite everything, I keep my dreams alive. When this is all over, I have a whole new world to conquer, and I wouldn't want to miss a second of it. I would come back stronger, physically, but mostly mentally.
Our sports career is short, so there is only one thing to do: make the most of every moment to regret nothing. It's often said, but it makes even more sense in these difficult times.