It is five in the morning and I am sitting on a bus that is about to depart for Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. Team USA is on its way home after competing at World Cups #3 and #4 in Europe. It has only been two weeks, a short trip for us considering we will be on the road for eight weeks come January, but I am ready to be home and engage in some holiday shenanigans.
I had a moment this weekend, resting with my legs up before a race, where I thought about how weird my life is. A real, "How did I get here?" moment. Because really, how did I get here? I get to travel the world and ice skate in circles for a living. I get to toe the line with the best athletes on earth and am fortunate to count myself among them. The hardest days I have are of my own making. And I have a support system larger than I even know.
It is not a bad gig.
I am infinitely grateful to have grown up in a family and an environment that not only allowed me to dream but supported those dreams. And while I was busy chasing the dreams down, the number of people standing behind me steadily grew.
Thank you to everyone who has played a role in getting me to where I am today. I know I saw myself here as a little kid, but it can still genuinely take me by surprise how far we've come. I love what I do - even on the most tiring of days, even with the sometimes disappointing results.
There is still a lot of work to be done. There are more goals I have yet to reach. But there is power in knowing I have already come so far. And there is strength in knowing I have the people I will need to reach those dreams.
What a life, huh?