Team Toyota U.S. Figure Skating champion, Nathan Chen, winner of four consecutive national titles, leaps into action every day, so who better to help us mark the 2020 Leap Year?
Chen started his impossible and made history by landing six clean quads (four airborne rotations) over two programs in competition at PyeongChang 2018. It takes strength and skill to jump, spin and land on a sliver of skate edge, and the chances are excellent that most of us will never know what that’s like. So, we asked Nathan to tell us about the thrill of leaping and the importance of reaching for your highest goals.
What does it feel like to you when you jump?
Jumping is the most exhilarating aspect of my sport. It truly feels as though I am soaring through the air, and when all goes well there is a sense of weightlessness even during the landing portion of the jump. The setup of the jump is a bit frightening, and I enjoy the satisfaction of overcoming this fear.
What keeps you motivated?
Every day comes with new challenges. These challenges can actually be a source of motivation if you approach them with the right frame of mind. Specifically, my overarching motivation comes from my dreams of competing in the Olympic Games. By remembering the initial passion that ignited this dream, I can find a powerful source of motivation.
How do you “start your impossible?”
I curate a vision of the best possible me that I can be. Then, I try to formulate a definitive plan to approach that goal which allows me to take the initial step. No matter what ends up happening, l will be content that I tried everything that I could to reach that goal.
Originally published February 28, 2020