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May 12, 2011

Hey Everyone,

I know it's been a while since my last entry so I'll do my best to make it up to you :) I'll pick up right before Nationals.

I had the chance to go home for Christmas and I even got an unexpected gift. There were severe snowstorms in the northeastern section of the US that caused huge delays and cancellations in all the airports throughout New York and Pennsylvania. My long weekend home quickly turned into a short vacation home. It was just two extra days but it was well spent with my brothers and sisters :).

Training before Nationals had gone really well and I felt good heading into the Championships. My first few practices were shaky and I started to doubt myself. I had always thought of myself (and still do) as a strong competitor. I started to question whether I could go out there and deliver.

My short program was a mess. Thinking about it now --it's almost a blur. Okay, that's a bit dramatic :P. The whole time I had so much going through my head that when I finally stopped talking to myself, I had already finished skating. I felt lost. I knew I had one day to clear my thoughts and doubts and I also knew I had to use it to my advantage.

On my way to practice the next day, I sat down and talked with 2010 Olympic Champion, Evan Lysacek. He helped me to put the whole situation into perspective. I walked away from our conversation knowing I could do one of two things when I had a future opportunity to look back at this competition; block it out and pretend it never happened or I could remember how strongly I came back in the long program. I was determined to do the latter. In the end, I did come back strong with a program I fought for.

It was a mix of emotions because as happy as I was for skating well, I knew I had dug myself into a deep hole after my short program. I was able to pull up in the standings and earned a trip to Four Continents. Some saw it as a consolation prize for skating well in the free but I was relieved and happy to accept.

Before I knew it, I was at the airport again but this time with a ticket to Taipei. When I skated in Taipei I felt confused, emotionally drained, and not like Adam Rippon, the skater with amazing hair who is totally awesome (or so I've heard). I guess to explain my confusion I'll have to explain how the dynamic in my training changed. The team I had gotten so much out of the year before wasn't the same. David Wilson, my beloved choreographer, was no longer spending the majority of his time at the Cricket Club, and I didn't have much time with my secondary coach, Ghislain. That, along with a few other things, made for a very different training environment. I wanted the event to be over with before it even started. I skated like I wanted to get out of there and take off the really itchy “mental” sweater I felt I was wearing.

When I got back to Toronto, I sat down with Brian. It was clear by the end of our meeting that we didn't have the same thoughts on what happened during the season and we weren't on the same page. I'll always be thankful to Brian for how helped me out when I first moved, along with everyone at the club who made me feel so welcome. But, I felt that if we continued to work together, history would repeat itself. That is why I needed to make that change.

Since returning from 4CC I've been working with Ghislain and feel I've already made some big improvements. What makes Ghis-the-wiz so great is how I know without a doubt he has my best interest at heart. He has been so helpful throughout this entire process. He has also encouraged me to go and try out different training sites to see what's out there. All in all, he's awesome. Another unsung hero throughout everything has been my trainer, Dr. Frank Pasztor. He's helped me from going completely insane and always keeps me focused on the big picture.

Another positive and helpful person during this transition for me has been David Wilson. On that note, when planning for the 2011-12 season, and after some discussion with David and Ghislain, I'll be using two new choreographers this year. Why? I love working with David because he is amazing! With only two seasons left before the Olympics, David and I thought it was important to try a few different styles and get me out of my comfort zone. That's why for this season I'll be working with Shae-Lynn Bourne on my short program and Pasquale Camerlengo on my long program. I'm so excited to work with both of them and can't wait to get started later this month. I also have been working on some new elements and I'm hopeful to even make some history. :)

For all the support and love I received this year, I can't thank you guys enough. Your messages, cheers, and unconditional love is what helps me continually push myself. It means the world to me.

Thank you all again,
All my love,
Adam Rippon

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