If you have nothing in life but a good friend, you're rich.
Sometimes my body is aching, but I always think, 'Why am I in this? Why do I love it so much?' That's what makes me persevere, that's what makes me keep on going.
Looking back, I feel very fortunate to have had such a long career. Many skaters end their careers in their early 20s. I had the opportunity to go to two Olympic Games - almost three after being the alternate in 1994 and then in 2006 being injured.
Maybe I didn't get new skates, but I got used skates. I made it to the national championships in used skates that were custom-made for another girl. I still have those skates. Underneath the arch, there was a name crossed out and my dad had 'Michelle Kwan' written in. Granted, they were a little big, but it worked.
The biggest lessons I learned were probably the times where I had the biggest setbacks and the biggest challenges - when I had the biggest jumps forward and lessons learned.
I was improving in the sport at age 10, 11, when I was getting my triple jumps - and it was suddenly very isolating. I was doing really well in competitions, and it felt strange because people that were my friends became almost jealous.
A few years after I finished skating, someone asked where my medals were. I'm like, 'In a suitcase somewhere.' Now they're nicely displayed in an ice rink, but medals don't really mean that much. It's the experience, the story of the skating, the love.
I tell aspiring young skaters to dream big, work hard, have fun, and follow their passion. It's simple to say never give up, but learn from your mistakes to keep growing.
I'm a big eater.
I look back at 1993 or 1994 when I made it to the National Championships, and I was on used skates and handmade or borrowed costumes. But my mom was there every step of the way for me: she was the one traveling with me all over the world at age 13.
When I was younger, I always dreamed of being a legend, to be remembered in figure skating.
I would just love to be able to give back to figure skating.
In figure skating, you have four minutes to do your best. It's your time; you do your best.
I got a call this morning, and it was from Nancy Kerrigan, wishing me luck. She wished me luck and sent me all her good wishes.
To represent your country is an honor and a great experience.
Sports provides that tool kit to be successful in life. Because it's not always going to be smooth sailing.
As an athlete, that's something I always take with me. You fall every day, whether it's in a job, or you miss something else, but you learn how to do it better next time. You learn it in sports. That's a life lesson.
What I love the most is getting on the ice and just popping in a fabulous CD and skating - all by myself, the rink completely empty, just me and the music.
Skating has given me so much that it's priceless.
I would encourage people to participate in sports. You don't have to dream of being an Olympic or a professional athlete.