Although a national title and recognition hang in the balance this week for local ice-skater Ashley Frankenfield, she says she isn't nervous.
The reason: "If it wasn't meant to be, I wouldn't be here," said Ashley. She is one of several participants competing this week in the Junior National Showcase Championships near Cape Cod, Mass. "I'm not nervous about it, because I love skating."
This week's events are being covered by The Ice Network.
She believes in her heart that all of the success she has experienced on the ice thus far as well as what she might reap in the future is as a result of God's plan for her life.
"I really, truly believe that," said Ashley. She departed her home near Dearing last Saturday with her mother, Joyce and two of her close friends, Megan Bales and Alexis Romero, in order to compete in the Junior National Showcase Championships that began today (Thursday) and run through Saturday.
She goes into the competition with as much confidence as she's ever had for an upcoming event.
"I'm hoping to see her skate on Thursday and a whole lot in the finals on Saturday," said Joyce Frankenfield.
She's hoping her daughter will do well in this week's national competition. Her daughter feels the same way.
"This is what I've been looking forward to for a long time," said Ashley. "I'm really excited. I'm ready for it."
Ashley just turned 17 a few days ago and is a rising senior at Thomson High School.
"It sure would look good on my resume' if I was to win a national title," said Ashley during an interview with The McDuffie Mirror last week. "I hope to come back as a Junior National Showcase Champion. I would love to have that title."
She hopes to work with Disney on Ice someday. And maybe in three years, possibly try to make the U.S. Olympic Ice Skating Team.
Her performances began Thursday with different events: Dramatic Entertainment; Light Entertainment; and Interpretive Entertainment.
Ashley, who has been ice-skating since she was 9, prefers performing the dramatic style, "because it's a pretty flowing program."
In her Dramatic Entertainment performance, Ashley will be skating to the music of the 2010 Olympics, I Believe . It's a routine that lasts two minutes and 10 seconds.
"This is a theatrical competition where you take a piece and act it out to the best of your ability," explained Ashley.
Throughout her skating career, her faith has been a solid foundation.
"Without God, none of this would be possible," said Ashley. "I thank God first. He's been there for me through it all."
She's also appreciative to her mother. "My mom has been there for me a lot, too. And I love her for it."
Regardless of the outcome in this week's national ice-skating championships, Ashley says she will give God the glory for it.
"God opened the doors for me to get this far," said Ashley, a member of the Figure Skating Club of Augusta. "He had a reason."