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15 Years Later

February 1, 2010

When I was kindergarten I seem to remember being lined up by our birth dates. I proudly stood next to C-Dev and found out his birthday was one day after mine, so I boldly told him, “I’m older than you.”  Side note here, I seriously think only kindergartners think it is cool to be older than someone else, then they realize that they want to be older than they really are and then at some point before turning thirty they revert to wanting to be young again. Back to the story, I was so excited to be older than him, well that was until he pointed out that he was all ready six and that shut me up real quick.

Chantal in 1995 Nationals, photo Jerry Search

So what does that have to do with my story? My coach Chantal Cermak and I share one thing that is pretty cool still in my eyes… the same birth date (separated by 15 years). While we have had different routes in our speedskating careers, she was  a figure skater turned speedskater and I was a Nordic skier turned speedskater, she was a mid-distance skater and I enjoy the distance events, and she went to the Olympics and I.. well, I haven’t made it that far. 🙂 But what little kids think is cool by sharing a birthday, I realized something that was a bit more cooler. As I began to mentally prepare myself for the races and turning my marathon mentality into a sprinters mentality, I realized that Chantal had stood at the same start line fifteen years earlier and now I wanted the same end result… the title of Senior Ladies National Champion.

Me accepting my medal

So I skated my heart out in each of the five distances (500, 800, 1000, 1500, and 3000) over Saturday and Sunday with the end result in mind- get the overall Senior Ladies title. I also had looming over my head two National outdoor records that Chantal had set during her run for the title and had been standing for 15 years (a 3000 in 4:54 outdoors is smokin’). So needless to say, I didn’t have a shot with her two records and they will stand into their sixteenth year (and hopefully longer).

But what I did get was what I set out for… I got to hear, “Senior Ladies National Champion from the Pioneer Speedskating Club…”

Chantal if you are curious… that smile hasn’t worn off.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. February 1, 2010 11:14 pm

    Wow, I don’t think I have ever been so happy to read such a thought. You know it really is neat. You were a little girl when I set those records. To think that you thought of it during your races? Well, sometimes I wonder, did I make a difference going around in circles and turning left? Does this all matter beyond my own goals? Will I ever touch anyone? Well, to read your post means a lot to me. To share our birthdays, even more. You get skating. You get it like the child who gets wonder. Go get ’em Champ. I’m really proud of you.

    • Lisa permalink*
      February 2, 2010 7:48 pm

      Chantal, you weren’t suppose to make me cry reading your comment.

  2. February 2, 2010 5:01 am

    Those are sweet words to hear! Congratulations!

    And to be presented this honor by Carol Moore, well is also an honor! From one great speedskater to another.

    Keep smilin’!!

  3. Dorothy permalink*
    February 2, 2010 10:33 am

    Great post! I love your thoughts.


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