From the age of 10 my dream was to become a World Championship competing synchronised figure skater. Although I was a successful solo figure skater, placing both 1st and 2nd in competitions, I succeeded most when competing alongside my team. For those of you that won’t know, synchronised figure skating involves between 12-16 people doing the same thing at the same time side by side on the ice. Despite the challenges and difficulties faced relying on everyone to stay in synch, it is genuinely one of the most beautiful sports I have ever witnessed and been lucky enough to partake in.
During my time as a figure skater I competed both nationally and internationally with my team, reaching my first synchronised British Championships at the age of 11. The end goal was to represent Great Britain at the World Championships and then begin my training to become a skating coach. Figure skating has next to no funding in the UK in comparison to countries such as Sweden, Ukraine and Canada where some of the best teams in the world come from. Winning was never realistically going to be achievable but I hoped one day we would have the opportunity to at least try.
Unfortunately for me my journey as a figure skater came to an abrupt stop at the age of 15 after being diagnosed with severe hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism is when too much of the thyroxine hormone is released into the body. When treated you can lead a healthy lifestyle, however without treatment it can lead to serious heart problems and a dangerous condition called thyroid storm, something I was on the verge of entering.
After almost a year out of training and endless hospital visits I was finally stable enough to have my thyroid removed and was only one small step away from returning back to the ice.
Like any sport, the physical training and fitness takes a long time to build up and when I thought about my return back to the ice I think I underestimated just how much work would have to go in to even attempt to build myself back up to the level of fitness I once obtained.
Upon my return to training it became extremely frustrating to me that I wasn’t the skater I used to be and realistically I didn’t know if I had it in me to reach the level I once was as my body still had a long way to go in terms of recovery and there was only so far I could push myself.
In 2014 I decided to hang my skates up and stop competing.
At the time it was an extremely difficult decision to make because for 6 years my life had revolved around the ice but I had to put my health first and accept that some dreams are meant to just stay dreams.
Now that the doom and gloom has been spoken about lets focus on a positive!
I had always loved writing and used it a lot as a method of expressing my feelings when I wasn’t well. After I stopped training I needed a new focus and ambition and decided that a career in writing was the way forward for me.
3 years later and I am at the Centre for Journalism adamant to make my dream of being a journalist happen. This new and exciting chapter in my life has only just begun and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for me during my studies and after them.
The harsh truth of dreams is that some just aren’t meant to become a reality despite the desperation we have for them to be. But just because one door shuts it doesn’t mean another can’t open and I am a firm believer that despite life throwing at us some of the most unexpected curve balls, everything we encounter is meant to happen to allow us to become the person we are today.