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epoibim
March 30th, 2003, 08:01 PM
I will try to find the words to do this justice...to do her justice. It is well past midnight and I just arrived home from my trip of a lifetime.

I can't believe I was there.

It hit me on the way home. I knew it was coming. I had my warning in 2001, when I was at Nationals, that 19 year-old girl cried all day Sunday when it was all over, realizing out of sheer happiness and wonderment that she had seen Michelle. Now, that 21-year-old girl almost had to pull over on the Mass Pike because she couldn't see out of her teary eyes. "I saw her. It was so beautiful. Thank you God for letting me live to see that." I actually said that in my car over and over to absolutely no one. I walked in the door to a brother who thought I had been mugged because of my tears, and then, in all his 18-year-old glory, told me I was a wacko:rolleyes . Mom shared in my happiness but said "Don't get too worked up over this."

Too late. About 30 hours too late. I started crying during the footwork and was out of my seat (to Aggie-Kwansong999's) embarassment;) about 45 seconds before her program was over. I couldn't sit anymore. I was flying, and Michelle was too.

"I can't believe I'm here." The Worlds, Baby thing hit me when I saw, of all things, the silly Citizen's watch logo around the arena when I first arrived on Wednesday. "Oh my God, this is really it." Thats what has been at every worlds I ever remember watching. That meant I was here. Why it hadn't "hit me" before then, I will never know!

This is so jumbled, I am so sorry, but I have to get this down, somehow, somewhere. I will tell you about my friends for life a bit later, but for now, just stick with me. I felt it when I walked into the arena last night. I whispered to Aggie, "do you feel that? It's electric, you can really feel this thick excitement." The long program flew by much faster than the short did, don't ask me why. Before we knew it, it was time for the final flight. How appropriate. Has it been reported yet that there were birds galore at this thing? Every competition, every practice...flying birds. Little grey ones. Bless them, they never did poop on the ice, and we came to think of them as good luck.

Anyway, the camera did something very odd, it seemed to drop to the ice before the final ladies warmed up. "What's that?" Aggie and I wondered at the random picture of the newly Zambonied ice. "It's just waiting for Michelle; it's waiting to come alive with her." Those words just came out of my mouth. It really did look like the ice was holding it's breath in anticipation of the queen. We knew it was going to be something special. I had no idea it would be the most precious, wonderful, amazing I-can't-find-the-words experience of my life.

I apologize to those of you at home who couldn't hear the last minute or so of Miss Michelle's ethereal dance last night. We blew the roof off that place. If we could have, the entire crowd would have rushed the ice, gathered around Michelle and hugged her. THAT'S what it felt like. True love. She was why we were here that night. I think she got it. I just watched the tape, so I know that ABC cut to a commerical before she even stepped off the ice. Remember this, this thing was shown LIVE, and the scores still did not appear until 2 minutes later. They knew they could take a break then, this crowd wasn't shutting up. And we didn't. The crowd wanted her to stay on the ice forever, and it looked like she did too! It took a while for her to actually get off and even longer for us to stop cheering. We stood even as the marks were read. Some of us (ahem) had been up for a while by that point, had rushed out of their seats to the upper level barricade and had started yelling "SEVEN!" at the judges. It was the most amazing thing I have ever felt in my life. Granted, I'm only 21, but in all my experiences in life thus far, this is top 2 "amazing". If Michelle could have skated to applause, she would have. She came damn close. We started screaming and cheering and loving her the second she got out there, and it was the ENTIRE ARENA. I was clearly not the only one who had bought a ticket "just to see My Michelle".

That face, that FACE! At Nationals, I was cool as a cucumber as soon as I saw her face. It was relaxed, happy and seemed to say "Hi. I'm here, and I'm full of joy." THIS time around, the only time I looked at the jumbotron was to see her face. I saw it and shrieked. It was new. Not in one competition, one practice, one show have I EVER seen that look. It was "Ready for this? Watch me rock this thing. YEAH, baby!" I told Aggie this, and said, thats all I wanted. She'll be just fine. And when I read that Michelle said that she felt "YEEEEEEEEEEA" in the paper today, I playfully hit Aggie and said 'I TOLD you!'.:lol

Aranjuez itself took it's delicious time. It FELT like longer than four minutes, and I forgot to count triples again. Damn, I guess I have to watch beautiful stuff again.:rolleyes As soon as she nailed the loop, I could breathe and I knew it was okay. Thats what I saw her work the most on all week. I never saw her miss it, saw her double it once, but never miss. She only gave us peeks of Aranjuez, and us in the practice audience moved with her, like "Well if you're not gonna do it, let me!":lol She was saving it for us for a surprise. I had no idea it could get better since Nationals.

I told you it was the gift season.

It was an honor. A priviledge, a blessing to be there. "I'm so happy I'm here!" I kept saying. With every move, I squeezed Aggie's hand and we shrieked like maniacs. The crowd roared with the smiral and did not stop clapping. It got louder and more LOVING with each jump and element (the stag jump:eek ) We anticipated the footwork like Christmas morning and we anxiuosly wondered if it was going to be "toe" or "treasure" at the end. I was expecting a triple toe, she had practiced it that afternoon. But alas, for the second straight time, delirium took over. We were on our feet by then, and I saw her combination spin from heaven...and that's all I remember until after she had finished. It was the weirdest feeling when I woke up this morning and I could not remember her ending pose! Aggie said "Thank GOD! You too? What happened to that?" I have no idea. I think we were too busy jumping up and down and screaming and crying, that it got lost somewhere in the moment. That's what I wanted to see when I got home tonight! So, for whatever reason, I have no memory of her ending pose "directing us to rise", we were already on Cloud Kwan, and so was she. I am positive they had to scrape her down from the ceiling. We saw her on the jumbtron, and erupted again. On your feet again, audience!:D "That's OUR GIRL!" that audience seemed to say. Not simply because she had done so well and she was from the USA, but out of pride that we were somehow connected to her. "WE LOVE YOU!" The crowd wrapped it's arms around it's daughter again as she got her scores. If there hadn't been any 6.0's, it would have been every judge for himself.:lol That crowd wanted 28 for it's girl.

She got her 37th.

I learned that I want to be there. For every possible moment. Michelle will not be available to see like this forever. College loans are there for a reason and they are for Michelle Kwan. If I ever say I don't think I can afford it" again, remind me of this post. I do not want to miss her. She is not a skater, it is not to watch skating, it is to watch the closest thing to true beauty and magic and awe I have ever seen in my life.

I had the chance to meet Michelle this week, for a brief moment...and for the very first time. She looks different than on TV, I almost poked her to make sure she was real. She is breathtakingly gorgeous and YES! someone as short as I am!:D We were exactly eye-to-eye. But I forgot to thank her. Damn. I swear half your brain goes to mush. I got maybe a sentence and a half out, I'm just glad it was in English.:lol I said something like "It's such a joy to watch you, you look so happy. Have a BLAST!" Shen looked me straight in the eye and said "Thank you!" I looked down at my now priceless copy of "Heart of a Champion". When Michelle left, all seven of us volunteers collapsed into an "aahhhhhhhhhhhhhh" sigh and giddy "Oh my God", it was too funny, someone said "Okay, we can all go home now!" The door hadn't quite closed and I think I heard Michelle laugh at that. As I blew on my page to let it dry, the cover flap lifted up and I caught something. "To Erin Love Mom, Christmas 1997." I started to cry and knew I had to call my mom right then, at something ridiculous like $3.00 a minute on my cell phone. "Mom" I said as I started to cry. 'I just met Michelle. Mom, she was right here! She signed my book. Thank you!' She got emotional with me and as I hung up, I looked once again at that date. Christmas 1997. I was 16. And I was a crazy Kwan girl who would deck out her high school locker several months later for Nagano. I remember that Erin, the one wishing for a tie in Nagano and convinced that the news was wrong:lol , the one who listened to Winter over and over and over again. The one who watched Worlds and Nationals with her very best friend as we tried axels in our socks in the kitchen. The one yet to see Michelle live. That was five years ago, and now here I was at Worlds having just met my hero. It was too much.

And as I sit here, realizing I have had the time of my life, and still not quite believing it, I am filled with intense gratefulness. To Michelle, to you, and to God. He has a very special plan for Michelle, that is what I learned this week. She is the one and only. She does not skate, she flies, and she gives you a piece of her heart. Thats why I feel so grateful.

I think I get it now.

Cole50
March 30th, 2003, 08:12 PM
AHHHHHH Erin!!! Thanks SO MUCH!!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you.......I wish I could say "I am so glad I was there", but alas it wasn't meant to be (told you she would go and win her fifth when I wasn't there, but that is ALRIGHT). And you brought it to me.........thanks so much! Your words are wonderful and full of meaning........it's got to be an experience of a lifetime. Heck, it WAS and I only watched from a small tv that doesn't even fill up the entertainment center..........however, her magic filled America (and the world) last night........no doubt in my mind.

I am glad you made it home safely and I hope to hear more from you soon!!! THANKS AGAIN!

MKtimmyfan
March 30th, 2003, 08:13 PM
Thank you so much for sharing your amazing experiences with us. I had tears in my eyes while reading your post.

epoibim
March 30th, 2003, 08:20 PM
Cole- my pleasure:)

Aslan's Girl
March 30th, 2003, 08:36 PM
Thanks, Erin. Michelle has eloquent fans. I had to wipe away tears a few times during your post. :)

GoldenMichelle
March 30th, 2003, 09:17 PM
Aww...you had me crying. I only wish Michelle could read this, perhaps then she would realize what her skating truly brings to her fans.

Kandyin
March 30th, 2003, 09:34 PM
Thank you Erin, for sharing this heartfelt journey with us. You express so much of what many of us feel, but can't expressed as eloquently as you did.

Kandy

liza
March 31st, 2003, 02:13 AM
Thank Erin for sharing your experience.You made me cry too.Don't we just love Michelle.

jvanal
March 31st, 2003, 02:23 AM
Erin: I love this post. Saturday night was amazing and very special!! It was great to meet you and everyone else. Michelle was just superior. I returned home around 10:30 pm last night and the first thing I did was replay the tape and once again the tears were flowing!!! I don't know if you read the Washington Post Sunday morning but they had your sign quoted in it! It was neat!

GetTheSet06
March 31st, 2003, 02:42 AM
Wow, your post was simply amazing and I am so happy that you and others in the forum got to witness Michelle in competition, absolutely shining!! I was watching while babysitting and I remember thinking to myself, thank you God for Michelle, what wonderful gifts all those in the arena will be receiving in the short and long. She is more than words could describe. I hope one day to see her skate in a competition. I maybe will see her in New York in October, but for now am counting down to COI in Boston. I can't believe I'll actually be seeing her live!! It's going to be amazing.

Pati
March 31st, 2003, 02:43 AM
Beautiful post :)

lavender
March 31st, 2003, 03:38 AM
You are the cutest.

kwan glass
March 31st, 2003, 03:59 AM
You have me in tears. I'm almost speechless, not knowing what to say. But if I could type everything I was thinking as I read your beautiful post, I would respond to every single line you wrote. But all I can think right now is: Wow. There can't be anyone else in the world right now who can captivate her fans like Michelle does. And there certainly can't be anyone else who is truly loved, admired, and respected as much as Michelle is.

Welcome back, and thank you for posting. I think I can feel your emotions because they were so well-described. Wow. Michelle. Live. What a feeling that must be. Honestly, I hope to accomplish what you and so many other MKFers have done to experience that majestic feeling of meeting and seeing Michelle skate like that. College loans. I'll remember that. :) Thank you again, Erin.

~Christel

MikeNYC
March 31st, 2003, 07:19 AM
Erin: That was the best!

It was nice to meet you. We'll do it again soon.

M.

Terri
March 31st, 2003, 07:32 AM
Erin, that was so wonderful, you have quite a way with words. Mike, it was nice to meet you, you're such a handsome gentleman. ;)

Sheekah1
March 31st, 2003, 07:48 AM
Thank you Erin for posting. By laying your heart open you brought tears to my eyes. Every sentiment that you feel is shared by so many.
Sheekah (another Kwan Krazed Fan)

Michelle4Gold
March 31st, 2003, 07:54 AM
Your post is so amazing. Thank you so much for sharing your feelings with us. I wish Hersh and Brennan could read your post so they can understand Michelle's emotional impact on her fans. It's not about Triple-Triples, it not about perfect music, it's about touching an audience.

Erin, you should be a writer or a journalist. Your post was brought tears to this 40 year old man's eyes.

I was at nationals last year, and I thought it was a dream come true too. After her long program, I was out of breath as if I had skated for 4 minutes. I Kept saying, I can't believe I'm here. Thank you God.

Erin, enjoy this moment. When life gets you down, remember
the gifts that Michelle has given you and the rest of your fans!

Peace!
Roger

snowbird
March 31st, 2003, 08:34 AM
Erin, like I told you when I met you at the dinner, I have always enjoyed the enthusiasm in your posts. This great post is just another example. You and Aggie were quite the duo - lovely young women. Splits too (although she doesn't look at all like her picture ).;)

Sybilman
March 31st, 2003, 08:47 AM
Great post Epoibim!

I am yet to see Michelle skate live. In 7 months, I will! Campbells Figure Skating Challenge in Madison Square Garden here in NYC!

I am glad you enjoyed last weekend!

Sybilman

skatesindreams
March 31st, 2003, 10:39 AM
This was my second time through your glorious post and I'm wiping my tears away, again. Dearest Erin, it was just as wonderful as Michelle's skate!

I'm looking forward to hearing more of your "excellent adventure" when you get your thoughts together.

Until then, thank you!

alleycat
March 31st, 2003, 01:33 PM
Oh Erin, that was a wonderful report. Again I was crying (seems I have been doing that all day from reading all the great posts). I find it very hard to express it all in writing and WOW, you did a great, great job. And, it was wonderful to meet you and Aggie. You guys seem to be having the best time together. Like I said when we met, you have such great energy, just like all your posts which are great fun to read. Hope to see you again. (PS - you have great luck picking hotels include me next time please!!!!).

Alice

lasaslav
March 31st, 2003, 01:46 PM
Great report. I am really getting tears in my eyes reading these!

DonKwan
March 31st, 2003, 02:28 PM
I have to add my thanks as well for your post. It confirms that everything I was feeling last week makes sense. I also wanted you to know that, while I am twice your age (literally), I count my experiences at last week's competition among the best. I have been blessed in my life with the opportunity to travel. I have visited many beautiful places in this world. At this moment, if I could choose just one of those experiences to repeat, it would be this past week. Like you, I couldn't believe I was actually there and seeing Michelle on the street, at Starbucks, in the practice arena and during her amazing performances. All throughout the week I would turn to my husband and say - "I'm going to see Michelle today!!! I simply did not want the magic to end. The icing on the cake was the opportunity to meet so many of the wonderful forum members. It was such an added joy to experience it all with kindred spirits.

So, thank you for your beautiful post which captures my own feelings as if you were experiencing the world through my eyes last week. And, of course, thanks to our beautiful Michelle for once again bringing such joy.

gotspeedyfingers
March 31st, 2003, 03:37 PM
wrong thread!! sorry!!

pblueyes
March 31st, 2003, 03:44 PM
WOW!! As everyone else has said, thanks for your wonderful post and for sharing such heartfelt emotions with us. I was so excited watching on tv, hearing the crowd and knowing so many MKFers were there and having a blast. :)

Hey, I loved your signs that made it onto the internet and the one mentioned in a couple of articles.

Googoo
March 31st, 2003, 03:45 PM
I hope that one gets archived.
I had the pleasure of seeing Michelle skate. I screamed and laughed and cried and jumped up and down like a maniac. It was AWESOME and awe-inspiring! She's just such an incredible artist and athelete! :)
(BTW is it just me or is that the most amazing footwork sequence ever?????)

kwansong99
March 31st, 2003, 05:04 PM
Erin, you are simply amazing. I think I beat everyone: I started to cry when I saw that you had posted, even w/o clicking on the link. I dont know how you were able to put up with me this week!!

Im telling you someone was looking out for us with those lp seats.

Im never ever ever going to forget the run to the lower level and then back again during Kostner's lp. Only for Michelle...

Aggie

Charmed One
March 31st, 2003, 05:23 PM
Hi Erin,

Your post is really great. :D
World's was pretty amazing, wasn't it ? :)
The parking there was truely a nightmare (>: ),
but seeing Michelle skate was all worth it. :D

When I saw she was in first (after her LP and
she received a 6.0) I clapped so hard I thought
my hands would swell to the size of melons. :lol
If you were around the 115 section, you could
probably hear me yelling something like "MKF
loves you" or "Good luck Michelle", during practice.
(I'm surprised my voice isn't hoarse from it. :b )

Btw, it was great meeting you and Kwansong.
I can't wait for the next time we MKFer's meet up
again.

WATCH OUT WORLD !!! THE MKFER'S ARE COMING !!
:rollin :rollin :rollin :rollin

take care,
~nice angel~

mzheng
March 31st, 2003, 05:31 PM
Great post. Thanks.

epoibim
March 31st, 2003, 05:38 PM
Kwansong, I'm still breathless!:eek

That run was hysterical "Nope, won't work, back up! GO!GO!GO!":rollin

We were quite the team. Scared the hell out of karen, but quite the team.:lol I adore your review and am printing it out.

Skwilla
March 31st, 2003, 05:54 PM
Thankyou for that beautiful post!!
Worlds was amazing.

SuzyKwan
March 31st, 2003, 06:14 PM
Erin, you have me crying too! But not for joy, for sadness because I didn't go! I had the money when my tax refund came, but I was also on my way to being homeless, still am, but now I have no money left (used it to live on while I am out of work sick)

I should have spent the money to see Michelle! Maybe it's good I didn't go, my tears of joy would certainly have caused a flood added to all you guys tears.

Before Nationals, I was driving home from work, and I was listening to one of my Christian CD's, I started to cry. At first it was for my family, one of my sons is having a tough time. The song was " God will make a way, when there seems to be no way."

As I sobbed thanking God, and believeing that he would make a way for my son, I added, in tears to God, "And please bless Michelle so she will skate her heart out." More tears as I tell God that I know in the grand scheme of things, that Michelle winning the Nationals isn't all that important, but God, it would really make me happy and feel good, even if for a few minutes."

I didn't ask God to make Michelle win, but that she would skate from her heart. Of course when she does, she wins anyway LOL.

And I thank God for her win now, of all times. I prayed everytime I thought of her, and especially while she was skating. Every jump was a prayer for God's angels to carry her all the way around and land her safely. ( I got that from her good friend, Brian Boitano, who said when he was skating his long at the Olympics, it felt like angels were picking him up under the arms and setting him down after his jumps.)

I have to move this Saturday, and I have no where to live and no money. But I was able to have a home and be able to tape this years worlds and I have Michelle's exhibition to look forward to the last day I'll be here.

Michelle Kwan is Golden!
www.angelfire.com/ma/michelleangel (http://www.angelfire.com/ma/michelleangel)

Sharon
March 31st, 2003, 09:38 PM
Absolutely beautiful post Erin :) ! Thank you so much for sharing yourself with us. Had me crying too *sniff*sniff*. Thanks for you thoughts too DonKwan. I am so glad ya'll got to be there :D :D :D :D :D !

Susan, I am so sorry for your troubles. I hope things change for the better for you very soon. I'm glad that Michelle can give you some happiness in this difficult time. Take care and {{{HUGS}}}.

nymkfan51
April 1st, 2003, 04:19 AM
Erin ... what an extraordinary post! You are a beautiful young lady. I am so happy to know you.
I think for me the most overwhelming feeling was something you mentioned ... a most sincere thankyou to God for allowing me to be there and share in the most incredible experience of my life. I am crying even now as I try to type this. The tears came often for me this past week ... I started crying when she took the ice on Saturday and didn't stop until long after that. It is something so hard to explain to those unfortunate people who are not on "Cloud Kwan". But we know, don't we?

As heartbreaking as her Olympics were ... I do believe that God has had this special plan for her all along ... and it is not over yet! How lucky are we all to be a part of it!
I can't even begin to explain what it has meant to me to share this with all of you. Thankyou Heather for this amazing forum and all the wonderful "Kwanophiles."

Beach Springer
April 1st, 2003, 06:32 AM
Oh Erin, you described it exactly! Like Nymkfan51, I especially relate to the feeling of gratitude that such beauty and grace exists and that I was there to experience it. I had the same feeling after 98 Nationals. What a blessing to have that feeling again! It just fills a person with hope.

I was so thrilled to meet you and all the other MK fans. It's great to be with people who understand. Don Kwan, Teddy, Teacher1 and sister, and Garden Kitty, (who did I forget?) it was great sharing a table with you all at the dinner. Everyone I met at Worlds was wonderful - Michelle must bring out the best in all of us.

kwansong99
April 1st, 2003, 05:02 PM
Erin, im sorry, but i will never ever forget that little run. It was so perfectly timed in order not to miss the warmup and then time to get back to see MK if the other seats werent good enough.

If someone wants to lose weight, I say become a Kwan fan. But the weight comes right back with the Junior Mints. :lol