Life hasn’t really stopped spinning since the 2018 Winter Olympics, more than one year ago. Skating tours, teaching seminars, coaching, getting pregnant and deciding to leave our home and start a new venture in Ontario… it has been quite a whirlwind! But I am trying to embrace the exciting challenges that come at this new time of my life. For over 25 years, being the best figure skater I could be was my life. I dedicated everything to that. It was a fairly simple life, if I can say that. I woke up every day to a schedule, pretty much the same from day-to-day. I worried only about myself (Athletes are very selfish people) and I got to do what I loved to do the most, work on improving my skating! After I decided that life as a competitive athlete was over, it was a mix of things. Some days I woke up and went skating, because we were on tour, or skating to get ready for tour. Somedays I woke up and went to coach for a few hours. And sometimes I woke up and wondered what was next for me. There had to be something bigger coming next, more than just a skating show.
My husband and I wanted to have a baby as soon as the Olympics ended. That was the goal. If I could be pregnant when I left PyeongChang, all the better! But it didn’t turn out to be that easy. One year later, as we started getting frustrated and thinking about fertility clinics, and I personally was unsure if I wanted to do the new “Rock the Rink Tour” or “Battle of the Blades” in the fall of 2019, life handed us another adventure, pregnancy! Isn’t it funny how it happens? I was becoming so uptight about my ovulation calendar and thinking that I had a true fertility problem, I had started to give up and accept that maybe I couldn’t will myself to become pregnant, like I willed myself through so many difficulties in skating. I relaxed, took a month away from touring, made appointments at a fertility clinic, and bam. It happened. When I least expected it to. Life is funny that way.
In the midst of all of this, Bruno (my husband) and I were tossing around the idea of relocating and starting a pairs skating school of our own. A little project that could be ours. We had a lot of offers, great ones, but the news about my pregnancy changed our route on those. Some offers came from America and moving there when I was expecting a child just became out of the question. There was too many issues that arose with that option. And one night we thought, what about Oakville? They have the biggest skating club in Canada, and they were very interested in starting a pairs program. It is in Ontario, my home. I have been in Quebec for 13 years now. Maybe it was time to go closer to home. And an entire list of other reasons why, that I won’t get into at this moment. I felt really good about making this decision. My gut told me it was right, just as it had when I was 14 years old and I moved away from home, and when I was 21 and moved to Montreal. My old skating coach, Lee Barkell, always told me to trust myself because it won’t steer you wrong.
So here we go, on a new adventure. After Stars on Ice Canada is finished, we will pack up and move to Ontario with our fur babies, and baby-to-be. In the meantime, I hope I will make it until the 12th show of Stars on Ice. Skating and preforming at 3 months pregnant, 4 months by the time I get to the final show in Vancouver, is proving to be a lot more difficult than I imagined it would. I have never been so exhausted or uncomfortable in my life. This is becoming the most difficult thing I have ever had to do in my sporting career, and I have had A LOT of difficulties. But like all difficulties that came before, I will get through it, thriving.
Hope to see you all around the rink or in some vegan hotpots as I venture across this great country!