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Tara's diary

May 31, 1999

Hi everyone, I guess you're all ready for summer, I know I am! Almost seventy-five cities since my last diary entry and I am TIRED! The Stars On Ice tour was so much fun, even though it was a lot of work. Physically I've come a long way since that first night touring with Stars On Ice. I am now doing all jumps without pain, including my Triple Loop/ Triple Loop. I still have to watch that jump, especially since I believe that my injury may have been caused in part by constantly working on it. The torque on that combination is pretty extreme. Now, I'm taking it easier when I practice it. Instead of doing a dozen Triple Loop combinations per day, I'm content to only do 3 or 4. It was really difficult being on tour injured. I had to work my way through all of the jumps, especially the flip and lutz, which hurt at first. It was also hard trying them in each show without my coach. The shows were basically my practice sessions! This tour was also a lot different than Champions On Ice. In Canada - I did 11 triples a night in my solos and the group numbers. I also did a duet with Kurt Browning. That's a lot of skating each night compared to the single solo I used to perform with COI. I really don't mind working this hard, though, because it's easier to stay in shape and keep my skating where I want it. Another big difference in this tour is that I was on my own without my mom for most the tour. Even though Mya, my tutor, was with me, I never thought I would miss her so much. My first day being back home was like heaven! I had breakfast in bed, drove my 'vette to the rink for 3 sessions and skated at the Galleria with Megan, who I really missed. Because of a growth spurt, I am almost 5"1'. I needed all new clothes when I got home, even shoes! (By the way, don't believe what they say about skaters always losing their jumps when they grow - I didn't and I was injured to boot.) I had very little time to shop since I was home only for two days before I had to fly to Los Angeles to attend the Kid's Choice Awards for Nickelodeon. Thanks to all the kids who voted me the female athlete of the year. The day after the awards show, I was on the set taping my first two episodes of The Young & The Restless. I really enjoy playing the part of Marnie. I also went to Santa Monica to do a photo shoot for People Magazine. The party after the awards show was awesome. 'N'Sync was there, plus a lot of TV stars. Hosting the party with Bill Bellamy and Robert Roshard was a lot of fun! We had do that live, so at first it was a little bit scary - no retakes. The guys made it so much fun that I soon forgot it was live and just had a great time. My friend and fellow skater, Angela Nikodinov, came to the party and we went out later that evening. The next day was the People magazine photo shoot. It was really neat to do the photo shoot out on a pier and at the beach. Angela drove down to visit with me at the shoot and afterwards we drove out to the Promenade, which was awesome. We went out to dinner, met up with some new friends from the Nick parties and went to Starbucks. The next day, Monday, May 3rd, I was up at 5:30 to be on the set by 6:30 for Young & Restless. I love working there and Megan (who plays Ashley) is so cool. She grew up in Sugar Land, Texas! After taping, I met up with Angela again and we went shopping at Fred Segal. By then, it was time to say goodbye to Angela. I was kind of sad. I always hate leaving my friends but I'll see her again in a few weeks when I am back in Los Angeles. Then it was off to the airport. My mom and I met up with my dad, who flew in from Houston and Lindsey Weber who came in from Detroit. We were all going to Maui for vacation. I stayed a total of 11 days in Hawaii! May 4th was my parent's 25th wedding anniversary: I am so happy for them! Lindsey and I had a beautiful suite facing the ocean - 1800 square feet - we could get lost in there! Thanks to all the wonderful people at the Westin Maui for making my stay so memorable. A special Aloha to Eileen, Nathan and Randy. When we arrived at the hotel, we were greeted with beautiful leis. The flowers in Hawaii are just gorgeous! Nothing to do but relax - Lindsey and I spent every day on the beach. On Tuesday, Mom and Dad went on a dinner cruise for their anniversary around the islands. Wednesday was pretty uneventful but relaxing. Thursday, we all went to a Luau. That was really cool except for the dead pig in a burning hole - I won't go into details! Friday, we hopped a plane to Honolulu, and Lindsey and I skated a two hour session at the Ice Palace. My jumps were fine and the time off didn't seem to effect my skating at all. Aloha to all the folks at the Ice Palance. Thanks for all your help and for just being so nice. On Saturday Lindsey had to go home - our five days together seemed to go so fast. She had to get home to get ready for a competition in two weeks. Lindsey left in the evening, but Erin Elbe arrived from San Francisco that morning! The three of enjoyed our day together, but I really felt sad when Lindsey had to leave. I knew I would hang out with Lindsey again at the Snapple clinic in Troy on Memorial Day weekend. Now a few days with Erin! Erin and I had an awesome time! We mostly stayed at the beach. The surf had a really strong undertow, so we had to be careful. We stayed in the water for what seemed like hours. I did have one little problem. My mom had warned me to be careful about the surf and I was - sort of.... except for the one little time I got tossed by a really powerful wave, came down on my head and then hit my knee really hard. The next day, my knee hurt pretty bad, front and back. Thankfully, I didn't have to skate for a few days.. Sunday was Mother's Day and I bought Mom an ankle bracelet and earrings with a Plumera flower on them. We all took her out for brunch. We also went to mass in Hawaii and they actually did a Hula in the aisle after the service - that was different! On Tuesday Erin had to go home. It's her senior year and with exams, proms and graduation, it was hard for her to spend more time in Hawaii. She and I are planning to get away for a week or so sometime later this summer. On Wednesday my parents and I flew to Honolulu so I could skate again. This time, almost ten days into my vacation, I did feel awkward on the ice - my jumps felt off and my timing was WAY off, not to mention the throbbing in my knee. I do think the rest and relaxation away from the ice was good for me. I've learned from all the pros on tour that your body needs a break from skating now and then, but I wasn't looking forward to my first day back on the ice when we got home. I hate it when my body feels off and I wanted the knee totally healed before we got back. (Why does Mom always have to be right?) The weather was great when we got back to Houston. I was glad to be back in my own house. My mom has every minute of her days planned out, she is so organized. Me, I'm just happy to have a chance to chill out, skate, swim in my pool and spend time with my dogs. Brandy, my favorite, spends the most time with me. He follows me everywhere, and he loves the pool! Little Coco doesn't want much to do with me anymore. While I was gone on tour, my mom spoiled her rotten. All she wants is to be carried everywhere. Of course, mom picks her up every time she whines - which is every time she puts her down. I can't believe it! Coco can stay with Mom as I don't plan on carrying her everywhere. Brandy is just fine with me. As for the other dogs, they are all doing well. Mischief does get a little wired sometimes, though he really comes in handy on days when I'm wired. We chase each other around the house until Camelot starts snapping at him. Camelot is the old grouch, but I love him to pieces. As for Lancelot, he's just like a little lamb - very quiet and loving. I love the dogs but the really best, the very BEST, part of being home is driving my Corvette - I love it! The first day back to skating it was just as I thought it would be - timing way off, jumps felt horrible. I just stayed calm and stayed out there until the toe loop, salchow and loop all felt good. I didn't even attempt the flip or lutz the first day. After the second day, my flip felt good and by the end of the third day, I had my triple lutz back and feeling comfortable, although my knee still hurts on some of the landings. I can definitely say that one of my big fears has been vanquished for good. I can now take a vacation and even though it may take a few days to get all my elements back, I know I can do it. My knee was getting better every day. I tried not to talk about it too much around Mom and Dad, since I got those "What did we say would happen" looks of affectionate exasperation that only parents can give. Don't you hate when they're right and you know you have a few days of those "looks" to live through. After being home five days it was off to Washington to film a commercial for Women's World Cup Soccer that will air on ESPN. After Washington, Mom and I flew to New York! Yes!!! I LOVE New York! I filmed part of a Snapple commercial there and rehearsed for the Daytime Emmys. I had a blast at the Emmys. I presented the Game Show Award with Louie Anderson. He is so funny. Getting all done up and wearing that evening gown was really cool, too. Mom usually gives her ticket to one of my friends, just as she did at the Grammy's and Oscars, but this time because of school and competitions none of my friends could attend with me. Mom and I went to the show and had a great time together! On Saturday May 22nd, I went to the All Star Cafe to film a Nickelodeon spot with a whole bunch of kids. Nick is a great network to work with. We all had a good time at the caf?. My Olympic short program dress and a pair of skates are displayed there in glass case. A continuous running video also shows one of my performances. Mom and I were on our way back to Houston by 3pm that day. On the plane we experienced some bad turbulence. I'm sure most of you know how I feel about flying, and THIS DIDN'T HELP. I hate to fly! As a summer assignment, Mya gave me several books to read. They have to be read by September when I see Mya again. School was really difficult this past year. I kept up my school work with Mya while skating with the tour almost every day. Now you know why I'm looking forward to this summer and some time off. I skated for a few hours Sunday - knee still hurt a little while I was on the ice but it didn't hurt while walking at all. On Tuesday morning I traveled to Los Angeles for the Blockbuster Awards. It was so nice that they invited me and I really wanted to go but I needed to find something to wear. Mom helped me with last minute shopping and I was set. Angela went with me, while Mom stayed home with Dad. I really enjoy going to Los Angeles. It's a fun city, great people and lots of friends are there. I usually skate with Angela in the mornings, and we both help push each other! Wednesday and Thursday I shot the remainder of my Snapple commercial and then flew to Detroit for our first Snapple Clinic this summer. I'll write all of you again soon and tell you about the clinic and more. To everyone getting out of school - Have a fun, safe summer! As always, thanks to Brad & Sarah for the coolest web site ever - Thanks, you two!

Love, Tara

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