When I had an incredible synchro season, nothing really exciting was going on in figure skating, and vice versa. My season 2010-2011 as a single skater was beyond my expectations. However, it looked rather complicated.
Being born in June, I didn’t have the opportunity to skate for one more year in the Novice category. So I made my entry into Junior. The level was highest, however many skaters stopped after their Novice years.
Indeed, the competition to qualify for the French Championships was less important: we had to be around thirty or forty skaters to hope to secure a place among the 18 selected against a hundred in Novice for 24 places!
Personally, it didn’t change much, I continued my little adventure.
At the French Cup 2010, I fell in love with the Jingu Ice Messengers, a team representing Japan. Their program was amazing and I loved the music so much that I wanted it for my next program.
So thanks to our French Cup contacts, we got the tracks, then my father downloaded them and took care of editing my music. I had the music I wanted: it was original, never heard in France and I could only make an impression.
However, my season was almost compromised because of my first injury. I started to feel pain behind the leg at the joint between the gluteal muscles and hamstrings. The more I jumped, the more the pain got worse. At the Christmas gala in Louviers, I asked not to do my solo program. A first, but also a relief. In one of the numbers, along with the other solo competitors, I had to do a double flip. I was told I could do just a single, but I was stubborn, I was going to do the double. I succeeded, but turning around to continue the choreography, I thought I was going to fall into pain… Morality? You also have to know how to be reasonable!
The verdict came during a consultation with the sports doctor: inflammation of the hamstring. I stopped training for three weeks to heal it. The only exception: the French Elite Synchro Championships. After that, as TSE didn’t qualify for the World Championships, I took a rest without much joy. However, I was out of the question for me to spoil my solo season before it even started.
The revelation of the season for me was the Tournoi de France in Rouen. What I usually liked about TDF was to skate in front of strangers because it took the pressure off me. Although I was skating in my second rink, it was still the case. Also, I already knew the ice, so I had all the conditions for a good performance.
On Saturday, when I got there, I had a big surprise: we were only four registered skaters. I could make a podium and I really didn’t want to be the one who wouldn’t get on it!
With this little bonus of motivation, I fought throughout my program. I didn’t want to end up with my butt on the ice, and although I put my hands here and there, it didn’t. I was happy and satisfied with my performance, which showed in my scores. I had just made my best score, plus beat another skater! So I was sure to make a podium!!
In addition, I had good marks regarding my skating skills and I validated my level 4 step sequence, so it was a double victory for me!
On Sunday, the competition continued for other skaters from my club. Being the only skater in competition the day before, my club president, Pascal, hadn’t come. When he arrived at the rink, he had the pleasure of talking to one of the technical controllers from our region, Anne Bunel, who was also on my judging panel. She told him that it was yesterday that we had to come because the little skater from Louviers in Junior D2 had done a good performance!
Thanks to this third place, I had a big surprise looking at the national ranking. I had just gained a lot of points and made my entry into the National top 10! Now, I had a chance to qualify for the French Championships!
So much so that when I saw myself go down in the national ranking when the other skaters were scoring points after their competition, I wanted to participate in the last competition which took place in Valence, in the South of France. However, for once no one seemed to want to follow the madness of my ideas. So I spent a long weekend waiting for the result of this competition, as well as my day on Monday to see if the national ranking had been updated.
Until it finally did, at the end of the day. After finding my name, I looked at my ranking: I was 18th. 18th? This meant that I was the last one on the list to be selected!!! I was qualified!!!
It was a great victory and pride to have achieved this goal, especially for me, my family, my coaches, but also to all the people who did not believe in me because despite everything, I went to the end of my dream and this is the most important. Never give up for the wrong reasons.
It was I who had the honor to announce it to my coaches but also to my club president. I was proud and yet embarrassed, I had a little trouble realizing.
Besides, I had to make sure that I was registered correctly for the competition because I almost lost my place because of jealousy…
In any case, on April 24, 2011, I made a dream come true: to skate at the French Championships. It wasn’t my best performance, far from it, but I had managed to achieve something that I had never really dared to desire before.
I finished the season by winning the title of Champion of Normandy and I certainly achieved my best performance of the season at the end of season gala in Louviers.
Fun Fact: During this performance, I evacuated my stress by talking and joking with Adrien Tesson, a friend I met during my summer internships in Cherbourg, before skating. I almost forgot that I had to skate until my name was called on the ice. My pet peeve in my program was my double lutz, and that day it passed without any problems. It boosted me for the rest of my performance. So much so that my mother and Marine, my trainer, said to themselves that perhaps Adrien should be hired to come in competitions with me…!
For the rest of my individual adventures, there will be no more great things to tell. I fought to validate my bronze medal, and I missed it by 0.14 points… Without this medal, I could no longer participate in the Tournois de France.
At the same time, with only 4 hours of training per week, including two hours on Saturday morning, it was getting harder and harder to keep my level or even to progress… I must have had difficulty accepting it.
I guess that I was the only skater in the club ready to train at 6am every day…!
In addition, the manager of the rink cut our hours of ice for more lucrative activities financially…
Fun Fact: Before turning the page, Valérie absolutely wanted me to validate my level. So I got my PN7 and PN8, the equivalent of bronze, but for non-competitors.
Anyway, when I was little, I absolutely wanted to have my PN6, because, with this medal, I could apply for Holliday On Ice!
If I had to have two or three regrets in relation to my journey, it would certainly be these:
The first, not to have had a last solo act during my last end-of-season gala in Louviers in 2013. Only a group show had been planned.
Nevertheless, I had changed the theme during the season, I had taken up the music on which I had qualified for the French Championships. It was like my lucky charm, I was comfortable and I had to finish with it.
The second, certainly to have been too stubborn at times, not necessarily to have trained in the right way to be able to skate to the maximum of my ability, but that I would realize later.
The last would certainly be my mind. That’s what makes a skater strong and in individual, that was my biggest weakness. I could finish second based on the value of my elements, but my performance dropped me to 6th place because I wasn’t able to manage my stress and my negative thoughts…
Sometimes I would also have liked to start skating earlier, but I’m sure if I had, my story wouldn’t have been so good. Just for that, I wouldn’t change a thing and I’m happy with my career. I fought for what I have today.
2010-2011 was my best season as an individual skater while it was one of my synchro seasons that I enjoyed the least. Like an impression of having to sacrifice one in order to succeed in the other. But it was impossible for me to choose.
Everyone thought, me first, that if I had to choose in my life, my choice would be figure skating. I always knew my love for figure skating was greater. I loved doing jumps, spins, working for myself, knowing that my motivation and my success was based only on my efforts. To get what I wanted, I couldn’t blame anyone for my failures, just me.
I think that’s why I found the perfect balance between the two:
Figure Skating, for surpassing oneself,
Synchro Skating, to share my passion with other people and live my sport to another level. (International)
However, if my story is to be believed, I ended up choosing Synchro.
This is also why I had never considered the possibility of changing clubs to move to a more competitive place. Louviers was my home.
It was not the best synchro club, nor the best figure skating club in France, however, it was my ice rink. It looked a bit of a shed, sometimes smelling of chocolate thanks to a business nearby.
That’s how I still see it today.
I didn’t have the most ideal conditions in the world, but I enjoyed taking on challenges. Perseverance, isn’t that a sign of success?
Most importantly, I never had to choose between figure skating and synchro. I was fortunate enough to be able to experience both to the highest level that I could. I would always be grateful to my club and to Valérie. Without her, I certainly wouldn’t have had the same journey.
In figure skating, my efforts were rewarded: I was offered to rub against the best or almost. In no time, I had progressed enough to catch up with skaters who started before me. What pride!
In Synchro, never in my life would I have thought to participate in a Junior World Challenge Cup!
you will always represent the place where I discovered the pleasure of skating.
Thank you for allowing me to dream bigger.