Love and Sacrifice
Growing up, people always wanted to know the sacrifices that I gave to be able to compete at a high level. It was the number one question that I never seemed to have the answer for. I was very spoiled and very lucky in my life. Anything that I wanted to do, my parents made it work.
People asked me if it was hard leaving Newfoundland?… I was young, and excited about the world ahead. I just wanted to skate.
People asked me if I missed out on having a childhood?… I thought my childhood was pretty kickass. I got to travel to places I never thought I’d ever go, let alone travel all the way to Japan by the time I was fourteen.
People asked me if I ever got to experience high school parties?… I was committed to something that I loved. But I still had a strong life off the ice, with great friends that we spent almost every weekend together. I got to travel the world and celebrate with different people from all over!
I wasn’t the one who sacrificed anything. I got what I wanted, lived how I wanted, and knew how to work for things that I wanted to accomplish. My parents made sure every door was open for me.
It was my parents. They are the ones who sacrificed things for me, and my siblings. They were the ones that left a life in Newfoundland; where they grew up, had jobs, friends, and family. They allowed my sister and I to live in Montreal with our coach and our aunt when we were both so young. They sacrificed going on trips and vacations, so they could pay for everything their children wanting and decided skating competitions were equivalent to vacations.
They had to learn how to let me go when I started traveling internationally at fourteen. How to deal with the overloading of emotions when competitions got more stressful. They took care of my pets while I was away. They learned how to let me enjoy life while being on tour and not being the best at communicating while I gone. I was the last sibling left living at home, until I moved out last year, and they let me go. Willing to take their days off from work to help me move in to a new home, provinces away from them.
They sacrificed a lot while I was growing up, and I never fully realized it because they always had a smile on their faces. Never arguing. Never letting on that any of it was difficult. I always just assumed that’s what parents did. They said yes to everything that their children wanted to do and supported them at always in every way that they could.
I saw growing up that parents like mine are rare. I’ve seen other ways parents can be, and I know how incredibly lucky with mine. Lucky that they nurtured all the dreams that I had.
That type of sacrifice is something I want to learn and one that I would forever be proud of. I’ve always found ways to make myself happy, and I will always continue to do that. But I want to have someone I care about so much in my life, that I can sacrifice a bit of my own happiness to unsure the happiness of the person I love. I want to feel that connection with someone so strong, that I will always be happy for them, even if it means doing something I don’t necessarily want to do. Or even like to do. I want that person to feel the love that I felt from my parents my entire life. No jealousy, no comparison, just joy for one another and self-love that can grow together.
I love my parents for all that they’ve taught me. But learning about sacrificing for the people you love the most is, by far, my favourite thing of all time.