I am a 25 year old coach, retired athlete, and boyfriend who strives to make a difference in every way attainable. Having grown up in a small town in Central Massachusetts I was the youngest of 5 children in a middle class family, but had dreams of being so much more. I was that awkward boy on the baseball team who would run from the ball instead of catching it, would do cartwheels and pick flowers in the outfield instead of paying attention, and of course the one who.... well yes, liked to play with Barbie's instead of a GI Joe's.
Growing up sports didn't seem to be the proper place for me. As I look back now I could see myself maybe sitting in a basket weaving class, or a full time scrap booker but God bless my parents they kept me going. Baseball, Basketball, Soccer, Swimming I tried them all, and of course the one thing that I was actually good at, something that kept my attention, and made me happy..... Figure Skating. Now ok I know your initial thought is well yes from what you described above he would like that. He can wear really tight pants, and Swarovski crystals, and do twirly birds and whoop - dee - doo's around the ice but that was nothing close to the satisfaction I would get from achieving something so incredibly difficult on a centimeter of a piece of steel.
Figure skating became my niche and I went on to compete in 11 National Championships, claiming 4 National Medals, a National Title, and being named to a World Team. Having had so many experiences in the sport I learned many of my life's lessons through success, failure and even injuries but nothing would ever give me the preparation for the murder suicide of my parents in 2008.
Losing both my parents changed my outlook on life and instead of striving for what I wanted, I turned it around and started helping people achieve what they wanted. I became a full time figure skating coach in the Los Angeles area and started my own non - profit organization called the US Athletic Foundation (www.USAthleticfoundation.org) to help give back to athletes in need. I know I am still young at 25, but I have found there is nothing more rewarding then putting a smile on peoples faces, helping one achieve a long time goal, or even buying someone a simple cup of coffee which makes my daily routine something to look forward to day in or day out. Letting other's enjoy the "true you" is something my mom taught me no matter if I was gay or straight and I keep her proud as I carry on with her philosophy each day.
I met Nicholas through Sarah Brannen, a fellow Twitterer. She showed me this story by way of telling me about Nicholas. Wow. Hangin' with Adam Lambert, all "It ain't nothin' but a thang." Just a few minutes later, Nicholas contacted me. A few hours after that, he sent me what you see above*. The only thing more impressive than his accomplishments is his generosity.
Thank you, Nicholas.
*He also sent me this adorable picture of him and his boyfriend Eric. I only use head shots for the blog, but it pained me not to use it at all, and this gave me the idea to start a Picasa web album. That way I can link to all the shots that people send me that I don't use here!
Journal Week 21: Starting to Write
22 hours ago