I, Tonya

I, Tonya ★★★★

When I was in third grade I had to move and change schools because my mom and aunt could not afford the mortgage on my grandparents house we were all living in. My grandparents were getting a divorce and we all were basically getting kicked out. So, I changed schools for the 2nd time in my young life and hated the world for it. I tried to adjust to the new school but that first year just plain out sucked. To make things worse, I also had the exact same kids in my class the follwing year for 4th grade. Anyway, one of the girls had a birthday party at a skating rink a couple towns away and my mom made me go. I had never been skating before and now thought "awesome something I can do that will embarrass myself in front of my classmates I cannot stand!" When I got there I even more overwhelmed because of the loud music, flashing lights and a ton of commotion of several birthday parties going on at once. I just decided to get my skates, drop off my classmates present and basically ignore the entire party. I also came to a quick conclusion, I would give this skating thing a try, I was stuck there for 2 hours so why not. I stayed close to the wall for a while as I tried to get my balance and eventually it all just started to click. I made my way to the middle of the rink to get out the "real skaters" way and actually made a couple friends that night. ( not from my school of course) They told me about talking lessons on the weekends and all other kinds of cool skate nights. I was deteremined to get my mother to agree, after all she made me try skating and now I was hooked. My mom said we could check out a "free" lesson day the following weekend and she would make a decison after she saw me in action and ran the numbers. With the help of some other parents driving me and a nice discount from the rink, I was skating 3-5 days a week in my 4th grade year. The session were anywhere from 2-4 hours long but it never seemed like enough. I stuck mostly to figure skating that first year and eventually doubled trying speed skating too. I was also skateboarding and riding bmx with my cousins in my spare time.
By the time I was in 6th grade I had won a few local medals and injured myself 3 times. First, I had a almost comical wipe out down a hill while skateboarding in a skirt of all things. My entire body was bruised and my wrist was definitely sprained. The next injury came when I was in a speed skating competition and I collided with another girl as we came around the bend of the last turn. I tore every ligament in my right leg, I was down for 8 weeks. The last injury came during a birthday party at the skating rink. A few of us were clowning around and not paying attention as we were crossing the rink. I was blindsided by another skater and my leg fell in the absolute wrong position. I damaged the cartilage in my right knee and you guessed it, tore my ligaments again. I was out for 12 weeks!
As I was recovering from my lastest injury my mother also told me that we would be moving again. We would be living with her cop boyfriend, his parents and one of my cousins she just got temporary custody of. At this point I knew skating 3-5 days would not be happening. My short lived career (roughly 2 years) would now be a memory. Mom told me it was for the best because of the injuries and the distance would be a burden on everyone. She would make an effort every now and then to take me back but I never took another lesson and I never competed again. I did get more into bmx and skateboarding but never good enough to do anything with it. I just liked when I could master things faster then my "boy cousins". However, I did sprain my wrist 3 more times and eventually broke it, haha. My mother and her boyfriend then decided maybe it would be best if I just watched instead.
The end of 7th grade I broke my foot in a dance class and thought maybe physical activity was bad for my body. I gave up anything remotely resembling a sport, except riding my bike occasionally. In 11th grade I eventually got bored of being unhealthy and tried out for cheerleading, dance team and even visited the skating rink a few times. I never committed to any of them truly and I kind of regret it.
Do not get me wrong, I know I was not talented enough for state or national competion in any of the events I mentioned. It was just amazing to feel really good at something when the rest of my world always felt screwed up... So with all that being said, I was always a Tonya fan!

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