Megha Siripurapu
Editorial Team Member

When I first started figure skating at the age of four, I would’ve never guessed the impact it would have on my life and well-being. Throughout all these years, although I wasn’t seen as a figure skating “prodigy,” my passion kept me going. However, fear of failing often held me back, usually landing me in third place in competitions. But last year, something changed. Instead of getting anxious before performing, I focused on the hard work and emotions I poured into training daily. This shift in mindset gave me a sense of purpose and turned my fear into determination, helping me clinch victory. It wasn’t just my win; it was a testament to the support of my family, especially my father, who woke up early every morning to drive me to practice and stood by me through every setback.

However, everything changed when my father suddenly passed away in 2023. I felt like I had lost my biggest supporter, and it was the darkest time of my life. It felt like my whirlwind of a junior year, had abruptly stopped, and I was left at a standstill, unable to move. Despite the overwhelming grief, my skating coaches encouraged me to get back on the ice. Remembering my dad’s dedication to my passion inspired me to start training again. Skating became a source of comfort and a way to honor my father’s belief in me.

Amid sorrow, figure skating has become a refuge, offering me solace and renewed determination. I realized how much the lessons I’ve learned from years of dedication to the sport and the impact of my father’s passing have shaped who I am today. With these experiences guiding me, I move forward, embracing resilience and self-discovery with my father in mind always.