Week Sixteen: Amanda Kasper

Write about your favorite childhood memory

As I sit here, looking at this prompt, my eyes glaze over and I am taken back. Back to the time at the carnival my dad helped me win a stuffed purple crayon. I must’ve been 4. Back to the time my family vacationed in the Wisconsin Dells for the first time. A whole week filled with sun and water slides and miniature golf and saltwater taffy and teeshirt shopping. Who could ask for anything more as an 8 year old?

I am flooded with moments from the ice rink. From practice days and off ice classes and competition moments. I am engrossed with the feeling of belonging, of being on a team, of being my best.

One of my favorite moments has to have been a competition in Rockford, IL. I was maybe 12 or 13, and the majority of our rink’s competitive team made the 90 minute drive for this fall opener. We stayed in a hotel together, enjoying the “vacation” feeling at night and then getting dressed in our favorite Mondor’s and our sparkliest, most fitted figure skating outfits for competition morning.

But you see, it’s like the quote from the movie Miracle about the 1980 U.S Olympic Hockey Team.

It’s not the name on the back of the shirt that matters, it’s the name in the front.”

What mattered most wasn’t the outfits our parents paid ridiculous amounts of money to have created and tailored to our music and our personalities. Rather, it was the warm-up we put on over it. The one that claimed us. The one that matched us, together, and to the people we owed our competitive lives to – our parents, our coaches, our friends.

I’ll never forget the time I took the ice for my solo. Waiting in the far left corner for the music to start, forming to the first pose, nerves and excitement flowing, I heard the team cheer, louder and prouder than ever before…

“Smile-Shake it-We Love You-Wow! Goooo Amanda”

It wasn’t the words. It was the feeling. Knowing that a huge group of people I knew and loved and admired were cheering for me. They believed in me, and what I was about to undertake. And with that, how could I not believe in myself?

To this day, I still feel magic when thinking about that moment, that experience, those people.

________

Amanda Kasper is a writer, reader, quote lover, CASA advocate, and non-profit believer, seeking space as a lifelong learner, passionate lover, and irreplaceable friend. Amanda tweets at @AKasper513 and blogs over at “& this I believe”

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