I’m transitioning away from competitive figure skating. I’ve been skating since I was five and competing from a young age. The decision for Charlie [White, her skating partner] and I to move away from competition was the right decision for us and it was a decision we took a lot of time to make.
I want to challenge myself — find passion, motivation and interests that inspire me to take on new roles in different areas. I’ve known from a young age what passion feels like. I understand and believe deeply that there is an important connection between passion and the ability to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles and push past challenges. How do I find something I’m as passionate about? Something into which I can put that same level of energy and love moving forward?
I have spent a lot of time thinking about this in the past four years. A lot of athletes go through this transition — some talk about it, but a lot don’t talk about it especially if you had a successful career. It’s easy to feel that people don’t really want to hear what a hard time you’re having. It’s easy to feel as though those feelings are unfounded.
It’s not just competing and not competing — it’s a lifestyle shift. For me, life has so many beautiful options. I think when you’re faced with a decision, it can seem a little bit overwhelming. Choosing to move forward in a different capacity in terms of a career, in terms of an interest, in terms of choosing a lifestyle, it’s been a pretty fascinating transition so far.
I’ve dabbled a lot. I’m in school right now studying for a degree in anthropology at the University of Michigan. That’s something I’m really excited to complete and get under my belt and perhaps utilize professionally in the future. I’m also very interested in pursuing more of an entrepreneurial type of career — maybe going into business someday.
One of my courses at the University of Michigan is a mindfulness and meditation class — contemplative studies. It’s been really eye-opening and helpful.
Part of the challenge is finding something new and different. Recognizing that a new passion doesn’t have to feel exactly the same and that it’s ok, but it has to be something that genuinely excites you. Being successful in anything is hard. I believe it’s having a real interest and passion that allows a person’s hard work to turn into something special — something enjoyable and worth pursuing.
Meryl Davis is an American Ice Dancing champion. With partner Charlie White, she is a three-time Olympic medalist last winning a gold in 2014. Audiences also got to know her when she won season 18 of the hit ABC show “Dancing With The Stars.”