● ● ● ● ● ● Click here to join SCNY or renew your membership for the 2019-20 season! ● ● ● Register now for the 2020 USFS Qualifying Season. ● ● ● Congratulations US Pairs champions Ashley Cain (SCNY) and Timothy LeDuc (LAFSC, assoc. SCNY) and their fellow Team USA members on winning the 2019 ISU World Team Trophy in Fukuoka, Japan! ● ● ● Skyliners Senior placed eighth at the 2019 ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships in Helsinki, Finland. Congratulations, Skyliners! ● ● ● Congratulations Stephanie Hao - 2019 US Adult Silver Dramatic Entertainment AND Bronze Solo Free Dance Champion! Congratulations Mayumi Yamamoto - 2019 US Adult Gold Ladies IV pewter medalist! ● ● ● US Senior Pairs Champions Ashley Cain (SCNY) and Timothy LeDuc (LAFSC, assoc. SCNY) placed ninth at the 2019 ISU World Figure Skating Championships in Saitama City, Japan, securing two pairs spots for Team USA at the 2020 World Championships. Congratulations, Ashley and Tim! ● ● ● Congratulations Skyliners -- 2019 ISU World Junior Synchronized Skating Bronze Medalists! ● ● ● Congratulations Skyliners Senior -- 2019 and 2018 US Synchronized Skating Senior Silver Medalists! Good luck at Worlds! ● ● ● Congratulations Skyliners Juvenile -- 2019, 2017, 2016, 2014 and 2011 US Synchronized Skating Juvenile Champions! ● ● ● Congratulations Skyliners Junior -- 2019, 2018, 2017, 2015 and 2011 US Synchronized Skating Junior Champions! ● ● ● Congratulations Skyliners Novice -- 2019, 2018 and 2017 US Synchronized Skating Novice Champions! ● ● ● Congratulations Skyliners Intermediate -- 2019 US Synchronized Skating bronze medalists. ● ● ● Congratulations Ashley Cain (SCNY) and Timothy LeDuc (LAFSC, assoc. SCNY) -- 2019 US Figure Skating Senior Pairs Champions! ● ● ● Congratulations Haven Denney (SCNY) and Brandon Frazier (All Year FSC) -- 2019 US Figure Skating Senior Pairs' Silver medalists! ● ● ● Congratulations Oona and Gage Brown -- 2019 US Figure Skating Junior Dance Pewter medalists! ● ● ● Congratulations SCNY members Alexia Paganini and Nicole Rajicova on placing sixth and ninth at the 2019 European Figure Skating Championships in Minsk, Belarus. Alexia represents Switzerland and Nicole represents Slovakia. ● ● ● SCNY member Rena Ikenishi placed thirteenth in Senior Ladies at the 2019 US Figure Skating Championships. Congratulations, Rena! ● ● ● Congratulations Audrey Shin -- 2019 US Figure Skating Junior Ladies' Silver medalist! Associate SCNY member Emilia Murdock won bronze. ● ● ● Congratulations Laura Jacobson -- 2019 US Figure Skating Novice Ladies' Pewter medalist! Fellow SCNY member Emily Zhang placed nintht. Ariana LoPinto (SCNY) and Joshua Levitt (SC Northern VA) placed tenth in Novice Pairs. ● ● ● Congratulations Lilly Mills and Ava Ziegler -- 2019 US Figure Skating Juvenile Girls' Bronze and Pewter medalists! We are so proud of you! ● ● ● Congratulations Dalila DeLaura (SCNY) and Ryan Xie (SC Morris) -- 2019 US Figure Skating Juvenile Pairs' Pewter medalists! Emily Renzi (SC Southern NJ) and Zachary LoPinto (SCNY) placed eighth. ● ● ● javascript:__jQuery__('#z-cpice-oj a:eq(4)').boxplusDialog();">Open Juvenile lines placed ninth and sixth. ● ● ● Congratulations SCNY board member Timothy Goebel - 2002 Olympic bronze medalist and member, US Figure Skating Hall of Fame! ● ● ● ● ● ●

[…]this story does not end with her winning any championship medals. It doesn’t have to. In fact, this story does not end at all. Because Susan is still figure skating several mornings a week – simply because skating is still the best way for her to unfold a certain beauty and transcendence within her life that she cannot seem to access in any other manner.

– Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear (Riverhead Books 2016)

My Yahoo Story: Susan Kittenplan

By Susan Kittenplan, Editorial VP, Yahoo! Inc. and President, The Skating Club of New York

A friend of mine, the writer Elizabeth Gilbert, called me a few years ago to ask if I would participate in a chapter of a new book. “Do you want me to edit a specific chapter?” I asked, since I worked closely with her as an editor at both GQ and Allure, and had assigned her essay that led to her book Eat, Pray, Love. “No,” she said. “I am writing a book about people changing their lives and taking risks, and I want to write about you and figure skating.”

Getting back on the ice after 20+ years didn’t feel like a big hurdle. It’s not exactly like climbing K2 or overcoming a stutter. It’s not even in the realm of risk Liz took when she left everything and traveled the world for a year to write her bestseller. Actually, I was a little embarrassed that people might laugh at this so-called challenge.

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I started skating when I was five years old and competed until I was 16. I loved it, but was tired of the early-morning practices, hated doing patch (figure eights), and knew that I was not headed to Nationals, let alone any Olympics. So I gave it up and thought I was done with the sport. However, returning to the ice has been cathartic and life-changing in ways I couldn’t have expected – both personally and professionally.

If you ever see me walking into the New York office on a Tuesday or Friday morning with a huge smile on my face, it’s because I have just come from the rink. I love the feeling of gliding and flying that I get from skating. As soon as my blades touch the ice, I instantly feel better. I also love the camaraderie of skaters with whom I share the ice – from ages 9 to 90. Seriously, there is a judge who is 90 years old who skates regularly, as well as a Nobel Prize winner in physics. Figure skating can seem effortless and elegant, but it takes tremendous strength, agility, and frankly, some acting ability to be a skater. And being a media executive takes some of those same skills as well.

I spent most of my media career at Condé Nast working at Vanity Fair, GQ, Glamour and Allure. But during my time as an editor at Harper’s Bazaar, I remembered that the Hearst offices were located near a skating shop in midtown Manhattan where I bought my ice skates as a little girl. One day, I stopped in after work and bought a far-too-expensive pair. Still, I couldn’t get myself to the rink. It seemed daunting. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to skate at all. It may sound clichéd, but after 9/11 happened, I thought I needed to do something I loved, something that would get me out of my head, something that would get me moving. Those sentiments finally got me to Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers, where I met my coach and my ice dance partner a few weeks later, and started to skate regularly.

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Getting back on the ice has made me less afraid of facing challenges. My return to skating as an adult, especially as an ice dancer, emphasizes strategy and teamwork. It’s impossible for me to think about work or anything else when I skate. Ice dancing requires a great deal of focus; I have to be in the moment and be aware of the space around me. There is no room for my mind to wander because I could trip, fall, and hurt myself and my partner or coach.

Skating also helped with goal setting. Just like those we set at Yahoo, I want to pass different test levels in ice dancing. I have been working on my pre-silver ice dances for a while; I keep failing the test for a dance called the European Waltz. I’m determined to pass – even if I have to wear down those judges and test every month until they get sick of me.

It is important to find your passion, something that makes you get up too early, stay up too late, search online for any story on the topic and feel giddy when you find kindred spirits who are also obsessed with your passion. Passion can be used as a form of what I call “Positive Procrastination.” You know how sometimes it helps to put one story or project aside and work on another? That is Positive Procrastination – distraction in a good way. Skating also brings me stress relief. It feels as if my brain completely switches to another frequency.

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I believe my passion makes me better at my job. When I skate before work, I come to the office with a clear head. Skating has pushed me to face certain fears, such as stage fright or speaking in public – something I have to do more at Yahoo than I have ever done before. Also, it has allowed me to become more flexible and understanding. Working with a partner requires that you do your best to not let the other person down, but it also helps you to understand that mistakes can happen no matter how much you have prepared (all good lessons that can be applied to any job). Ultimately, my passion for skating has taught me to bring grace and resilience to both the ice and the office. And there’s that whole “You fall, then you get back up” metaphor. Trite but true.

Ultimately, I said yes to Liz, and she did include me in her book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, writing about my skating as only she can:

“[…]this story does not end with her winning any championship medals. It doesn’t have to. In fact, this story does not end at all. Because Susan is still figure skating several mornings a week – simply because skating is still the best way for her to unfold a certain beauty and transcendence within her life that she cannot seem to access in any other manner.

And she would like to spend as much time as possible in such a state of transcendence while she is still here on earth. That’s all. That’s what I call creative living.”

It is creative living that I have also found at Yahoo. I hope you find your passion and that it inspires you both in your work and, most importantly, in your life.

This article is republished with the permission of Yahoo! Inc.

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