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December 20, 2010

Everyone!

I'm a few months into my season now and I thought it would be the perfect time to write a new journal entry.

My last entry left off right before I was going to leave for my first event, Japan Open. I wrote a little blog about my experience there but if you didn't have the chance to read it, I'll talk about it again. The Japan Open is a pro-am team competition (Team North America, Japan, and Europe). I was really excited to get the season underway. When I went out to skate my program I just did what I do every day in practice. It was exactally the way I wanted to open up my season. Just to be in an event with three Olympic medallists was an honor but to win the free skate was very cool. With my debut competition behind me, it was finally time to start the Grand Prixes!

My first event was Skate Canada. A few days before I had to leave the unthinkable happened, well, the unthinkable for a skater happened. I got sick. I did everything I could to deny the fact that I couldn't breath but I just had to face facts. Why is getting sick so difficult for an athlete? Not only is it hard because you feel tired, sick, and like lying in bed all day watching your favorite episodes of South Park and Family Guy instead of going to practice.
It's hard because we are so limited in what medicines we are allowed to take. We have to rely on pretty mild cough and cold remedies no matter the severity of the cold. I was doing everything I could to get healthy and I knew at that point, the only thing I could do was to rely on the training I had done before the competition and just focus on my job ahead.

When I arrived to Kingston with tissues in hand, I really wasn't feeling my best. I didn't know what I was going to do. I even, as embarrassing and dramatic as this is, looked at myself in the mirror at least three or four times and asked myself "How am I going to do this?" There was one pivotal moment when I started to feel fight in me again; getting in a bad crash with fellow skater, Patrick Chan. It was the 20 minute warm up before our short program, I was skating backwards doing some warm up jumps (walleys) and Patrick was doing foot-work. I jumped up for my last walley and I heard the
audience gasp (!!!) and I thought for the one second in the air, "I wonder what that's about." BAM! We collided while I was midair, I flipped over his shoulder and onto my face and my shoulder. If you haven't seen this crash on youtube yet, it's pretty exciting. In that moment, I was smacked into reality. I rushed over to make sure Patrick was okay and then went over to Brian to just stand and catch my breath and give my head a minute to stop spinning. I was back in fighting mode.

I skated a strong short and a solid long. I was very proud of myself and of my skating. That crash was a real wake up call. With my first Grand Prix out of the way, I was so excited to go home, regain my strength, and get ready for Skate America.

Heading into Skate America, I knew I had trained well. This event was during my birthday. Before I go any further, I really have to thank all the fans who wished me happy birthday. It really was a very special day. My short program wasn't my best and my long program was just a disaster. I haven't ever skated that badly, even in practice. My initial reaction to my skate was "Oh my god. Did I just skate like that? What happened?" It truly was an "out of body" experience. When I went out to skate my long program I didn't feel 100% over my feet so I told myself to fight for everything. Well, I did "fight" but a little too hard and in the wrong ways. I rushed my jumps, made silly mistakes I would usually never make, and by the time it was over it was too late to tell myself to just relax and skate. I would much rather learn this lesson at a Grand Prix than a bigger event. It's a lesson that every skater has to learn. It's putting too much stress on yourself, and not being able to go out and skate freely.

To be honest, it's actually been a blessing to have some extra time between events. I have been able to regroup and refocus. I've also had some time to change a few things up. I recently took a trip to New York City to visit my costume designer, Stephanie Handler, and we're working on a "new and improved" Romeo costume. I loved the costume I skated in early this season but I think a little change in costume will bring out a different side of the choreography. I'll keep you all updated, I promise!

To all my fans, Thank you all for your love and support. Thank you for going through these ups and downs and sticking with me. I will be working very hard for you all to see me at my best. Now that I'm 21, I feel much wiser. I'm already looking forward to the next time you'll see me. I'll be back and better than ever (I hope) :) :P

Thank you all for reading and have a great holiday season!
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year! :) XOXO

Let's make 2011 the best yet!

 

All my love,

Adam Rippon

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