Hello again and thank you as always for keeping up with us and reading our blog!
The last time we released our blog was when we had to withdraw from the European Championships because Josh had Covid. Unfortunately, this blog has more bad news. However, despite the bad news, not all is bad in the world and we are lucky to be where we are.
On March 2nd, the ISU released the roster for the world championships and we were not on there. It is very unfortunate because we have been training hard for Montpelier, and we were not able to show what we have been working on these last few months. The world team for Switzerland was chosen based on the results of the European Championships, which we unfortunately had to withdraw from. On top of that, Josh’s recovery from Covid was/has been slow, in fact he is still not 100%. Josh’s slow recovery led to injuries caused by exhaustion that slowed us down even more and we weren’t able to show the Swiss officials our full potential and thus we were not chosen for the world team.
Although we did not get named to the world team, we consider ourselves very lucky to even be in the position where we could get named. We were merely the victims of bad luck, and we know we did everything that we could. Ultimately, that’s what both of us want in life: not to wonder “what if”; “what if” I trained harder, “what if” I did more. Because we know we gave it our all and then some, even when we had nothing left to give. We can look back upon this season as a huge success. Even participation alone this year is something to be proud of. After the US Championships in 2020 we were, for all intents and purposes, done. However, we knew about our opportunity to compete for Switzerland and decided to give it one final push. We battled through the uncertainties of the pandemic, we trained with boots that were falling apart, through multiple neck spasms and countless injuries and illness and everything that we could endure just for the opportunity to compete again. We did not skate from October 2020 until June of last year and we showed up at Cranberry Cup two months later with a personal best score and, when it mattered the most, one month later in the short program at Skate Canada Autumn Classic, we skated cleanly. We have done so much this year that we could be proud of. Navigating the difficulties of attending an international competition without our organization setting it up for us, going to a foreign country as a new member and stepping into the top spot on the podium, finally getting the triple twist to be a confident element, and learning to skate just for ourselves. I could go on and on, even the little things leave us proud because we remembered the reasons that we skated to begin with.
So, now with the season over, what does the future hold for us? Well, Jessica has built up a fleet of students that she loves to teach and bring her joy every day. Josh is taking a month off of skating altogether before returning to the ice to continue partnering his students at the rink that want to learn pairs. Actually, Josh is getting a much needed vacation later this month since he had already taken the time off when we thought we were going to the World Championships. He is also continuing his work at the restaurant and still working on getting his newlywed wife a green card so she can become a US citizen.
As for competition, we have decided that we are done. We can look back at our careers and have a lot to smile about and be proud of. We gelled right from the beginning, receiving a grand prix assignment in each of our first two seasons despite limited success with our previous partners. We came just a few points away from the podium at the US Championships, we medalled at an international competition, we fought through adversity of the highest degree, we conquered our demons, and through it all, we became bigger, better people. The things that we have taken from competitive skating more than anything else is not feats of athleticism, but rather how we can become better people and grow internally.
For now we are taking a break. We do want to do some show skating, but to what degree is still to be determined. In the meanwhile we are looking for small shows to do, with the possibility of doing bigger, longer shows in the future. We have already learned a few show tricks from our time off of competition last year, and we are looking forward to learning even more!
It is hard to put into words exactly what the support of our followers has meant to us, but it has kept our website running for several years without any outside help. In fact, there probably are not any other self-run skater websites out there, and we keep it up for the likes of all of you who read our blog and keep up with our skating. Unfortunately, this will probably be our last blog as there does not seem to be any reason to keep the website up and running, but our videos will still be on Youtube for all of our friends, family, and followers to enjoy over and over again. In December we had a fundraiser where we sold official Joshica shirts and the response was overwhelming; just an outstanding example of how much support we have received from you all over the years. We would like to specifically thank Bob and Sharon McMillan for their unending support of our careers and willingness to help us in our personal lives as well, and also the Southwest Florida Figure Skating Club and all its members for doing so much for us, even when Josh was not part of the club.
We have so much to be grateful for in our years of skating, but nobody did more for us than our coach, Lyndon, who worked tirelessly to make sure we were happy, healthy, and did the best that we could do. Choosing Lyndon as our head coach was the best thing that has happened to us and we are endlessly indebted to him for all the things that he has done for us. Lastly, we are most grateful for each other, each of us being a rock to support the other when we needed it the most. April 27, 2015 was our first day skating together, and little did we know all the adventures, challenges, and great times we would have together. Every step of the way has been truly amazing together, and we have truly found the meaning of the adage of the journey being more important than the destination; both of us know that there isn’t a single person we’d rather have shared that journey with.
Thank you again for your continued support, for reading every word that we put down in our blogs, and for following along with us on this rollercoaster of a journey. While we are disappointed that we did not get to compete in the European or World Championships, we are elated at the success of our careers and the incredible times we have had together. We know we could not have done it without the help of so many others, and for that we are endlessly grateful.
Signing off for the last time,