Okay, so now I’m officially an ice skating fanatic. I’ve always loved the sport, but since my daughter has been on a synchronized skating team, I’ve become so passionate about the sport that I am moved to tears at every competition. And, I’m not always crying because my daughter’s out there. No sir-ee. I am not sob-specific. Sure, I cry for my daughter and her teammates, but it doesn’t end there. I cry for other teams, other skaters, anyone on the ice…
So tonight, the movie Rise premiers in theatres nationwide and if you are not familiar, it is a one night tribute to the 1961 U.S. World Figure Skating Team that perished with their coaches, family and friends on their way to the World Championships in Prague in 1961. The movie is based on the book written by Patricia Shelley Bushman, who herself was a former competitive figure skater. She recounts the months leading up to the competition, illustrating the drive, determination and passion that those skaters have, that all ice skaters share. Only the 1961 team never got the opportunity to compete.
The ultimate tragedy is that to this day, they don’t know why the plane crashed. But the inspiration that I promised you at the beginning of this post? It lies within the surviors and the ice skating community. The crash took out so many key figures that the sport had to rebuild itself and did so with the same determination, strength, passion and committment that is evidenced at every level of ice skating today.
In reading about the movie last night in my daughter’s Ice Skating magazine, I was moved to tears, unable to keep reading. My daughter is used to my sobs in the stands of an ice rink, but this confused her (I don’t cry about everything, you know) as she handed me a tissue she had a puzzeled look on her face. “Wha..why are you…?”
“I can feel it. I can feel what it’s like to love something so much. To sacrifice for something that is so powerful inside of you that you don’t know why you do it, day in and day out, except that you love it. You love it more than life itself. And then, to never get the chance to shine, to get that moment in your life where your passion and drive and work pays off…it’s just tragic.”
So in the wake of tragedy lies inspiration to carry on with whatever it is that you live for. There is hope. There is tomorrow. There is time.