July 18, 2016

I Quit. Part II

Did you read "I Quit?" That's part 1 and you'll be confused and left out if you don't read it first.

...Continued from "I Quit."

23 years old. After beating my sunburnt competitors for a silver medal in Hawaii, I found the fresh training environment I needed to reach my competitive potential to regularly finish "middle of the pack." I got so good, I could beat my toughest rivals when they made at least 3 mistakes! The 2009 Eastern Sectional Championships was my shining moment as a competitor. I skated my best performance, ending with tears of joy to a standing, slightly drunk ovation. I never knew I could be so proud of a 7th-place finish! I couldn't quit in my prime, so I continued to train for the next year.

July 15, 2016

I Quit.

"I quit."

Don't fear - I'm not quitting the volunteer blogging business. But these are words I'm not good at saying, along with "no" and "Britney's past her prime." I'm good at leaving things unfinished like cleaning and writing books, but once I'm committed, I'm not a quitter. I don't even quit jobs; I just move or I'm asked to stop showing up because I "graduated." And technically, I'm still working on my book and my room, even if my work's been on hiatus since 2012.

I have quit ice skating: many times. But in quitting skating, I've been an utter failure. I'm the hen who cried wolf of ending my skating career. After my tearful, dramatic farewell to Hens on Ice lasted a mere 6 weeks, no one believes me when I cry again at the next show and say, "This is it!" You'll all be sorry one day when you don't take my sobbing farewell to the ice seriously, whether that day comes this year or before my 2048 presidential run. Until then, let's reflect on my history of quitting.

July 1, 2016

PULSE and Other Things That Suck

Even the funniest birds don't cackle 24/7. The Cackling Hen is a pretty funny bird, but even this cackler gets blue. Sometimes blue can still be funny and I love self-deprecating humor, like look how I can't cope leaving Hens on Ice! or look how my bedroom is decorated like a 12-year-old girl's! But then there's the other kind of blue, a deeper depression and/or tragic shattering event. That recent, horrid event that out-blued the other tragic events in the news was the Orlando Pulse massacre.

I can't put fitting words to the tragedy that happened at Pulse. It's unimaginable. It's beyond disgusting, horrifying, senseless, and tragic. Seeing the news unfold jarred me at my core and sunk my heart to an unknown depth. It is just unreal, and I don't think my brain will ever 100% compute such a horror. Just down the road from me and knowing that my hen friends and I frequent the gay bar, it rattled me more than any other attack because it could have easily been any of us there. In my mind, just like we hope schools and churches to be safe havens, places like Pulse have been safe havens for many up to this point. Although acceptance of all people continues to progress, there are still many people all over the world who don't feel they can fully be themselves for whatever reasons. A place like Pulse is supposed to be a safe escape where anyone can come, no matter who someone is or who someone wants to be, and have fun. Great music, cheap drinks, fun, attractive people, drag shows - what's not to love? Tragically, just as the domestic terrorists and deranged souls have entered our elementary schools, our churches, our college campuses, our movie theaters, and our malls, one has now targeted and bloodied the gay bar. It just sucks.