Breakfast With Gigi, Volume 2

around the World in 35 days

on January 15 i embarked on a tour of distant lands.
Switzerland , the land of Oz , to a fine world , the land of Scots And before its all over, Portland.

I set my sights on a World Tour. I am 3/4 of the way through it and have just a moment to breathe and pause to break it down…


I traveled with the Hockettes to visit this beautiful refined culture. Of course,we went to work. US figure Skating Awarded HOCKETTES two International Assignments this year. The first was Neuchatel Switzerland.

When we land for an International the name of the game is to stay up. We need our bodies on local time. U S Figure skating deems this the perfect time to do a little sightseeing. Everybody is beyond tired, open and slightly vulnerable. We visited Castle Chillon on Lake Geneva. It was an eye opening visit…mostly because one of The castles most frequent visitors was Lord Byron. I was so affected by walking the steps of, and looking out on, the view in which such an artistic genius paced and gazed.

The best part of traveling with these kids and this sport is the growth. Sometimes it’s me or the other coaches, sometimes it’s the kids,or the parents. Without exception it is the process that grows.

In Figure Skating best case scenario you are blessed with the opportunity to nurture the coach/athlete relationship for over 10 years. As a coach this is such a gift. I believe trust builds in varied ways. It is also the best case scenario for a young Athlete.

Of course the skaters skated, trained and competed over the next 5 days. As a bonus we get the opportunity to sample the local food and culture. I found Swiss Culture to be of such high mind. People were pleasant, prompt, and present. I do not recall losing someone’s attention to a telephone or electronic devise one time.

During this visit I was most affected by the testimony of Aly Raismen. How glorious she was while speaking to her abuser. I thought of the young girls I have mentored of whom some, no doubt, have experienced evils I do not know.

How disgusting this man was to break the trust of these young hearts of geniuses.
It humbles me to serve these families, and I continue to stand firm in my role. Non family adult influence in a child’s growth process.

the battle cry of #timesup echoed in the voice of these testimonies. WOMEN were being empowered while my girls skated onto the ice as Wonder Women. Getting the opportunity to face your demons on a World stage is an advantage, and a bit of a curse.

We came home with a bronze medal…I came home with a renewed sense of self and focus. This work is valuable. These girls become women and mothers. These women will join the work force. These girls will develop voices. Helping to develop those voices is an honorable vocation.

there is a lot of doubt when you choose the road less traveled . My trip to Switzerland began the ultimate silencing of that doubt Forever.

….On to Wichita

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