After devoting 12 of her 17 years of life to ice skating as her sport of choice, Megan Fee has reached her goal of winning a national event -- and she's ready to get on with her senior year at Geneva High School and possibly pursue a career in broadcast journalism.
Fee earned a gold medal in international pattern dance and a pewter medal in the senior solo dance combined event earlier this month at the U.S. Figure Skating Association's 2017 National Solo Dance Series Final in Colorado Springs.
In short, she's an elite ice dancer in her age group. And she got that way by spending a lot of hours at the Fox Valley Ice Arena and other area rinks, competing in freestyle at age 8 and learning ice dance two years later.
"The last three nationals, I took home a silver medal, so coming home with a gold medal was really special," Fee said of her accomplishment. "It's really hard to bring home a No. 1 spot at nationals because there are so many competitors and so many levels."
Of her final performance, Fee said, "Just one tiny mistake can make you lose the medal."
She did not make that mistake.
It put a nice finishing touch on a major commitment, one that put Fee at a distance from her friends and those competing in high school sports.
It is hard to be practicing in an individual sport when all of your friends are winning the state basketball title or advancing in the state soccer tournament, Fee said.
"It's pretty crazy, but I am in my own little world and it can be hard sometimes going to practice every day by myself," Fee said. "I'm not doing it with my friends or at the high school."
In that regard, it is hard for others to fully understand or realize what it takes to reach national levels in a demanding sport like ice skating, Fee added.
"But all of my friends and the high school have been so supportive, and I've received so much love and thoughts," she said. "I am definitely not left out. It's just a different world being detached from regular IHSA sports."
It certainly doesn't take away the fun of being in high school, Fee added. She hopes to keep that sort of fun going as she pursues a college degree and hopefully a career in broadcast journalism.
And no one is ruling out the potential for her to be a skating coach in the future.
Overall, there must be something about Geneva kids and their proximity to Fox Valley Ice Arena.
Fee's performances occurred at the same time St. Francis High School sophomore Chloe Ryan double medaled at the same event for the third straight year.
Meanwhile, Derek Wagner, who graduated last year from Geneva High School, has fared well in national figure skating events. He's currently recovering from an injury, but many expect him to pursue his goal of being in the Olympics at some point.
Coming to life:
The Geneva Chamber of Commerce likes the idea of "live windows" during its annual Christmas Walk.
By that, we mean they are encouraging businesses to have people in their storefront windows on that Friday, Dec. 1, evening to catch the attention of the thousands of people visiting that night.
We've seen these windows "come to life" in the past with young women displaying bridal dresses, or some just greeting passers-by with a wave, and others trying different things to get laugh out of you.
Those wanting to participate just have to send the name of the business, the address and a description of the activity to Laura Rush at the chamber -- email@example.com -- by Nov. 1.
A strain on materials:
In our search for potentially getting new windows for our home, the remodelers are warning us about a new reality: It could be tricky to get needed materials right away.
There will be so much rebuilding taking place in the southern part of our country, Puerto Rico and in the Caribbean because of the hurricanes, that those of us thinking about some remodeling in these parts might find suppliers hard-pressed to deliver in a timely manner.
Poetry on tap:
Poetry lovers have an enjoyable afternoon in store at 3 p.m. Saturday at Calvary Episcopal Church in Batavia.
That's when Christopher Kuhl will appear at a launch event for his new book "Night Travels."
Kuhl, who has earned fiction author awards for his past works, will read some of his poems at the event.
The church, at 222 South Batavia Ave., will offer refreshments at the program that will last until 6 p.m.