Of course it isn’t as simple as just deciding what you want to do and having it happen exactly that way. I suppose for some it is, the Usain Bolt’s of the world have no problem getting into exactly the meets they want, with the specifications that are ideal for them. But for the rest of us it ain’t that easy. I look at the calendar and decide what meets I would want to do. After that, I have my manager try and work his magic. It’s not always as simple as who has the best time or mark. It can be subjective. Your personal and seasonal best, what country you’re from, how many people from your country are already competing, who your agent is, if the meet director likes your agent, if the meet director owes favors to anybody, if he thinks your attractive…the list goes on and on.
I usually start my season with some early meets that don’t really count for anything and allow me to get the jitters out without anything on the line. (money, points, etc.) For the past umpteen years my first meet has usually been in southern California at Mt. Sac Relays. I’ve been competing at this meet ever since I’ve been running track; that’s 15 years! It’s been the biggest meet of my season (high school), homecoming (college), and the site of a few personal bests (professional). Beyond that, now that I travel the world to compete it usually is the only place my friends and family see me compete and the fact that it usually lands on my birthday weekend is a chance for me to add a little celebration into the mix.
So the plan was to be the same this year. Go to Mt. Sac, compete on my birthday, celebrate with friends and family afterwards. But then I was given another choice to compete somewhere else instead, for points AND money. It involves getting on a plane though…to AFRICA. Not quite the low key meet up the road like I was expecting. Although the decision might be cut and dry for some, I’ve been struggling a bit. Not only do I feel comfortable starting my season off at Mt. Sac which is right up the road and involves no traveling, it gives my coach a chance to see me in competition and it’s low pressure. But…this is my job. And when you have a job I suppose a key component to that should be to make money so if I’m given that opportunity, especially with the state of my finances, I really need to consider it. I just have to make sure I don’t overdo myself. That will make three long trips already this year, with more to follow come May. And like I said before, my goal is to peak in June. Now that you’ve heard my pros and cons, what are your thoughts? (keeping in mind of course that I won’t really take them into consideration all that much unless they end up agreeing with mine.)