The holiday season can be such a busy time of year for everybody, and for an athlete like me that is an understatement. With practices, competitions, exhibitions, finals, and everything in between, the past few weeks leading up to the holidays have been quite eventful! But, even though we all get wrapped up with the things we need to do, it is important not to forget all incredible opportunities and people that make our lives so special.
For me, being away from home at college, I could not be more thankful for my teammates who have become my family. Every single Haydenette truly is my sister and the bond we share as one unit is unbreakable. Around this time of year we become even closer than we already are thanks to several different traditions and special events.
In late November, a special tradition for us is the Haydenette Thanksgiving. This year, Eliana Marostica’s (also a DREAM skater and Haydenette) family invited us to their house for a delicious Thanksgiving feast. We always enjoy taking the time expressing at the dinner table all that we are thankful for and hearing special messages from our parents via email.
In early December, we were honored to participate in the Bryant Park Tree Lighting in NYC. Our quick day trip to New York went by in a flash but was filled with laughs, smiles, and great skating as we helped bring the holiday spirit to the crowd.
We competed in our second competition of the season, the Cape Cod Classic, in mid-December. This was a great experience for us, as we were able to put out our two programs for the new season and gain great feedback from the judges. This was also a fun competition as we stayed right on the beautiful beach of Cape Cod, and got to enjoy amazing home-cooked food from two Haydenette moms at the Albert Family home on the Cape!
Before we take a weeklong break from practices for Christmas, we skated in our club’s annual Holiday Show. Here, it was fun to see all the younger skaters who look up to us and aspire to be like us some day, and it reminded me of the journey that I have taken to be where I am today.
All of these experiences, plus the hard working practices in between, make being an athlete around the holidays that much more special that they already are. I am so lucky for my team who has become my family and our coaches and team managers who do so much for us. Lastly, I am incredibly grateful for my family and friends at home who I get to spend time with this time of year, even if it is only for a couple of days. I wish everyone a happy holiday and new year and encourage all of you to think about all the things in your life that you are thankful for!