31 March 2012 – Chicago, USA 

Two years down, two years to go [to Sochi 2014]. 

At the half-way point of no return, I find myself tired and unmotivated. After each competitive season, putting everything into every race, I should feel this way: Empty. 

Ready for a refill, I grab an even bigger cup, learning from my mistakes only to return to come back stronger than the times before. I see the true challenge now. 

What can we take away from a not-so-great situation? How can we apply it so we grow wiser or stronger? How can we evolve? Personally, I think we can do this by not quitting and not allowing whatever it may be against us to prevail. Or at least that’s how I respond to my situation with speed skating. 

I can’t say this [2011-12] season was a total bust or a complete success, since I am a believer that everything in life happens for a reason. I feel that my purpose in life, in any situation, is to find the reasons Why. 

Once all’s said and done the results are on paper, in the books. Can’t change them. But I can choose what will happen in the days, weeks, and months to come. For now, since my passion is skating – competing on the highest level – it is my responsibility to represent myself and what I stand for in the best way possible. Maybe something that happened this season will change the path that I will choose to follow for the better. Only time will tell! Until then I study and analyze so that the next time I am ready, better than before. 

Everyone in life is faced with challenging situations. We are in control of how we decide to respond or take action. I am not the first or the last person who has to choose his fate! 

I hope this finds the people that it needs to and helps aid them in the battles they face in life. 

Know that I am always attempting to grow, whether in triumph or in falling short. One step at a time, one race at a time, one day at a time: I will continue to strive, to be the greatest I can possibly be!!

-SD, 3/31/12