January 10, 2022
Hometown: Audubon, Pennsylvania, USA
Spirit Animal: Narwhal – “What is better than a magical half unicorn, half mermaid?”
Beginning her skating career at the age of eight, Meredith competed in singles, pairs, and retired in the discipline of ice dance.
“My mom used to ice skate growing up as a hobby, so she took me when I was 8 years old to a public skate near our house in Pennsylvania and I just took off and loved it.”
Soon after, Meredith began taking lessons and performed at her first competition that same year.
“I trained at Wissahickon FSC, the Skating club of Wilmington, Iceworks FSC, and finally University of Delaware FSC."
Today, Meredith lives in North Carolina where she is studying to become a nurse.
Q: Who was your skating role-model when you were younger?
“When I was really young, I adored Michelle Kwan. I mean who didn’t? What I loved about her was that when you took away the jumps and the technical elements, she was really just so graceful and enjoyable to watch.”
Q: Who is someone in your life that inspires or motivates you?
“My Dad has always been one of my biggest inspirations. No matter what, he always finds the positive or bright side in any situation and would always try to help me see that as well. He also always reminded me that there was a world out there beyond just ice skating.”
Q: What is your favourite element in skating?
“My favourite element in pairs was always death spirals. I also loved all lifts in pairs and dance.”
“My least favourite element in pairs was throw twists, because when I was younger I got my first concussion from this element and was scared of it for a little. I motivated myself to do it by trying to really just turn off my brain going into it, because I found the more I held back out of fear, the more likely I was going to get hurt.”
“In ice dance, I suppose twizzles would be my least favourite. I don’t hate twizzles, but they gave me anxiety during competitions out of fear I would mess up. I always tried to use the same theory of turning off my brain like I did with twists and just let my body do what it was trained to do.”
Q: What is your favourite type of off-ice training?
“I always liked dance classes because they were always fun. I also enjoyed yoga, although this was more of a training I did myself, as opposed to at the rink, as well as running. Yoga and running kind of helped me turn my mind off for a bit.”
Q: Did you have any pre-competition rituals or superstitions?
“I would always have to re-tie my skates after warm-up. I don’t know why; it was just a ritual that I had. So, if we were first to skate after the warm-up this always caused me a bit of anxiety!”
Q: Do you do any type of visualization or meditation?
“I do both. I do meditation daily now. I wish I had been more into meditation when I was competitively skating. I use it all the time now for anxiety and daily well-being, up to twice a day. It’s made a huge difference in my life, especially for anxiety.”
Q: How did you remain composed when competing in high pressure situations?
“I always told myself to just have fun and breathe. At that point, all of the hard work has already been done.”
Q: What was your ultimate goal with skating?
“I think every little girl’s dream in skating is to go to the Olympics. But in terms of [smaller] goals, I started off with wanting to make it to sectionals and then to nationals. Once I made it through my first sectionals, then it was nationals, and then I finally achieved nationals before I decided to move on from the sport. I definitely evolved physically, mentally, and emotionally throughout my skating career.”
Q: Did you ever endure some type of adversity in your career?
“At my first sectionals for Novice Ice Dance in San Diego, California, I had to get emergency surgery for a twisted intestine. Basically, the day we were supposed to compete I was in an operating room and woke up with 25 staples down my abdomen. It was very emotional and challenging for me, especially being my first sectionals. I was off of the ice for months, and getting back to it, I felt the weakest I had ever been.”
“It was a very, very long process. However, we made it to sectionals the next year and got to compete.”
“Other than that, balancing being a full-time athlete training for nationals and a full-time college student, while also working part-time on the side was extremely challenging. I had my fair share of break-downs.”
“A little bit before our last nationals, before Kyle (Herring) and I were going to retire, I also got Achilles tendonitis, which was not only super painful, but kept me off the ice for about a month. I wasn’t even sure if we were going to be able to be ready in time for the season. Often the worst part is the feeling of letting your partner down. We made it though!”
“The only way to get through these times, I’ve found, was to always find the things you can do and be grateful for them. Also, to keep that positive attitude and take it one step at a time. I think most importantly though, is to laugh. Kyle and I were always laughing, and honestly, I find it to be the best medicine.”
Q: What was one major life lesson you’ve learned from skating?
“Skating definitely taught me time management and that hard-work mentality. It’s carried over into school and in work. I always try to push myself to be better.”
Q: What is your favourite skating memory?
“[My] first senior nationals in Greensboro, North Carolina for senior ice dance with my partner Kyle Herring. I feel like I remember every second on the ice.”
“It was my first Nationals and also one of our best skates, as well as just an incredible and fun experience. All of my coaches were memorable. However, our coaches at the University of Delaware were amazing and really pushed us to be our best: Sasha Kirsanov, Christie Moxley, and Karen Ludington. We also always had so much fun while training; which wasn’t always easy being a full-time college student at the same time.”
Q: What is it that you love most about skating?
“I love the freedom and the artistry the most, becomes a way to express yourself.”
Q: If skating didn’t exist and you did anything else in the world what would it be?
“If I didn’t skate, I think I would have gotten into running or dance. Those were two of my passions. Also, gymnastics!”
Q: What is something funny that most people do not know about you?
“One of my greatest irrational fears is of tornadoes, but I’ve never actually experienced one.”
Q: Do you have any hobbies outside of skating?
“I have a lot of hobbies now; surfing, hiking, mountain biking, snowboarding, yoga, running, and art.”
Q: What are your aspirations and career goals outside of skating?
“I graduated from the University of Delaware with a Political Science major, which I did nothing with. After that, I got my yoga teacher certification in Philadelphia at Yoga on Main and started teaching yoga. I moved to the Outer Banks and started my own yoga business, Soul and Sea Yoga, which is mainly stand-up paddleboard yoga. I still live at the beach and teach yoga but am now currently finishing up my last year of nursing school at the College of the Albemarle.
“I’m hoping to keep working towards becoming a nurse practitioner. I also would like to keep teaching yoga and find a way to perhaps coordinate nursing and yoga together in a sense, for a form of therapy for healthcare workers and patients.”
Q: Where is one place you’ve never been but hope to visit?
“This may sound silly, but Antarctica. I would like to go on one of those expeditions. I think because it is one of the least explored places on Earth, and not many people have been there. It has this like magical quality to it in my mind, especially now with the polar ice caps slowly melting.”
Lastly, what does it mean to you to have a #ChampionshipMindset?
“I would say it is never giving up on yourself, and on others. Keeping that positive attitude and allowing that to push you forward, while also keeping your mental health in check. Like I said, laughter is key, not taking yourself so seriously all of the time, and not only lifting yourself up, but also the people around you.”