Hi everyone, this is Josh and I’m writing this blog on behalf of both Jessica and myself. Although it may seem odd to compose a blog only a few weeks after our last blog, and with nothing happening in between, I have felt compelled to write this because of the effects that others’ actions have had on me.
I just wanted everyone to know just how much donations help us. This is my first semester going completely full time in school. As I work through the business core classes, all of the new information gets harder to digest and more important to learn. Thanks to a couple of scholarships, I was able to afford full time schooling, as opposed to the half-time I have been pulling for the last few years. This week of school has been especially difficult for me because I have had four times the normal course load, along with two finals (that consisted of two presentations and two papers, one of which was 27 pages long). I often hear about skaters who decide that they will start school full-time and I see how they have trouble maintaining success in skating. That is not me though, and I will not let that be me.
Skating is, and always will be, my utmost important focus. However, I also take pride in my high GPA and make every attempt to ace my classes. Still, leaving for Beijing (in twenty minutes actually, I’m writing this in the DFW airport) for Cup of China and being prepared is the most important thing for me. Normally, my problem in this situation would be, how do I juggle my full-time job along with my full-time skating and my full-time school. Something’s gotta give right? Luckily for us, something could give.
Jessica and I have made concentrated efforts (albeit, in small bouts) to raise funds for our skating. To this point, it has been very helpful in covering the ongoing costs of lessons, ice time, costumes, and travel. Interestingly enough, I never saw the way it would affect me this week. If I were to work my normal hours at work, put in my time on and off the ice, and do four times the normal course load with the additional finals, I don’t think I would get more than 2 hours of sleep a night; I already average as little as five hours and 40 minutes some weeks (thanks to my handy Fitbit sleep tracker, I know this) just due to my hectic schedule. So, faced with the choice of giving something up for the week, I remained loyal to my motivations of submitting schoolwork I could be proud of and training effectively for Cup of China by taking several shifts off of work this week.
In the past, this sort of move would be unthinkable for me; after all, if I’m going to go out of town for a week and a half, I’m going to need extra money to take care of that. But, for the first time in my life I am not scraping by. I have, in the past, gone to a competition and run out of money while I was there. I’m the guy who brings sandwich bags to the breakfast area at the hotel so that I can put bread in there for later (I’ll also take the jam and peanut butter packets, makes for a free lunch). This feeling of not being controlled by my work, feeling that I can dedicate myself to my skating completely in every fashion is new to me. What makes it so great is that it is all possible thanks to the donations people have been so kind to give to us. Jessica and I are incredibly grateful for the charity and caring attitudes that others have shown us. Not everyone donates to our Gofundme account; in fact, the majority of our donations have come from other places, like the account we have set up through the New England Amateur Skating Foundation. Even when people donate to the memorial fund, we eventually become a beneficiary of that. Thank you so much for everything you do, and the next time you have even five dollars sitting around, I implore you to please check out our Gofundme at www.gofundme.com/joshica.
Thank you so much for reading!
– Joshica 🙂