Skating with Izzy Brasseur.
Now that I have had time to reflect and recover from my figure skating experience and the agony of defeat I want to tell you...."YES it still hurts to lose 'bad', but I did not lose the lesson!!"

I am that walking example of a man who doesn't read directions or, in this case, the rules.  I should have looked at the competition's rules more carefully instead of glimpsing at them.

I will remember the whole experience from beginning to end for my entire life.  It was a life changing experience!
 
For one thing, I have a different outlook on what figure skaters go through.  My body still hurts from the falls I took, and those toe picks are killers.  The dedication to it is enormous.  I am talking 12-16 hours a day, 8-9 on-ice training in coordination of your hands and feet and to move to the beat of the music and try and make it look effortless as if you are skating as ONE.

I am so thankful that this particular routine didn't have any hiccups!!
All the while my partner, Isabelle Brasseur was the one who was beyond extraordinary, and dedicated herself to our quest and to teaching me.  I wanted to jump off a bridge with some of the stuff she was throwing at me...she had the confidence in me to do what I did not have in myself!  Without her trust in me there's no way I would have survived this journey.  I did stuff I never dreamed I could do and tried things that I thought only could be done in animation.
 
Thank you, Izzy, for being You.  It is because of your desire to go for it and not play it safe, that I was able to look deep inside myself and find a me that I didn't know existed.  As a hockey player, I broke the game down like this:  Shoot the puck, score the goal, win the game, or score more goals than the other team, win the game.
 
Pairs skating is so very different and I was so out of my element as a person, a competitor, and an athlete.  So I, cocky hockey player with an ego the size of Canada, sign on to do the Battle of the Blades.  I left my family to join a new one, only to be slapped down, beat up, find muscles I didn't know my body had, and endure new pains.
 
With all the weeks and weeks of training, nothing prepares you for the cameras, media, low lights on the ice while you're skating!!  You have to readjust to a grueling schedule with very little sleep...and I Love and need my rest (divo), and let's not forget the maintenance which some of us needed or cared about more than others...hair, make-up, wardrobe, nails, tan......
 
I took four steps back and was humbled to find true value in the simple things in my life that are even more important to me than before: family, friends and health.  I lost that path in my fast paced New York life, but found it again thanks to doing Battle of the Blades.
 
In the game of hockey we have a saying "Play the game of K I S S, keep it simple stupid."  It is a saying that holds true in life too.
 
The Monday Night Skate-off in Battle of the Blades was like nothing I ever felt before.  It didn't compare to the Olympics or any 7th game in a playoff series in the quest for the Stanley Cup.  I couldn't sleep the night before thinking about possibly winding up in the bottom two because of my toe pick stumble and I did the routine over and over in my mind at least a thousand times.  The anxiety throughout the competition is unimaginable.  I dare any couch potato that thinks they can do it  to just try!!!
 

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