Monday, January 23, 2012

Don't Ask...

I've come a long way since college in how I deal with disappointing performances. There was a time back in my younger years where my friends and family would tremble in fear if they had to be around me after I had performed poorly. I was the type of person that took competition seriously and always expected the most out of myself, so when I didn't live up to my expectations it made me angry. I then thought it was my responsibility to make everyone around me suffer through my emotions until an appropriate amount of time had passed and I had thoroughly milked the disappointment for all it was worth.

Well, luckily, I've grown up. To an extent. I do have such a better perspective on how to view competitions and I have come to realize that living in the past does absolutely nothing for your future. Sometimes you simply have a bad day. It's a fact of life. Other times you screw up and the best you can do is learn from it in order for it to make you better in the future. But when you sulk, throw a fit, and make yourself a living hell to be around, all you do is make yourself and those around you miserable for no reason.

Like I said, I've grown up a lot. What used to be two days of sulking, is now down to about 20 minutes. I accept that it wasn't my day, I try to objectively analyzed what happened to the best of my ability, and then I put it behind me. But what I have not grown out of is my dislike of chatting about disappointing performances. I hate it. To this day, if someone asks "How'd it go?" , when it didn't go well, they will get a rolling of the eyes, a mumbling under my breath, and a quick change of subject. I expect those close to me to learn that cue and quickly move on. If you'd like to avoid that awkwardness, my suggestion is to investigate beforehand whether or not I would be pleased with my performance and decide after that to ask how it went at your own risk. The only reason I want to discuss it at all is if it's with someone who can actually help me figure out some things. But just to sit and chit chat about why I sucked that day? Not my thing.

So if you were planning on asking me how my opening weekend went, don't bother. I am giving you the proverbial eye roll and muttering under my breath. I'm not mad about it, I'm no longer obsessing about it, but one thing is for sure--I don't want to talk about it. :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Undercover Supporters

The following comments were left by a fan of mine on three separate posts yesterday. Someone who thinks I'm awful and will never accomplish any of my goals spent a good amount of time reading my blog (the posts were from different times of the year) and then wanted to share what they thought of me. To him(or her), I say thank you.

-No, you're not THAT important as you are only known because you've gotten a link to T&FN. I follow the sport and can't think of anything that you've done that was significant, for if you did I would know about it.

-You are not going to make it to London, that is certain. Many try and after all these years, it's clear that you don't have it. Nothing personal, just a fact. Anyone who wastes as much time as you do on a silly meaningless blog is not putting her energy into the right places. Having confidence is one thing, but you've gone overboard and unfortunately your friends aren't real friends because they would tell you. How sad. Fabulous life?

-I am not Tobias, but you really make too much out of yourself and bring it on yourself. It's not THAT hard but you want people to think so. I know many top athletes who work WAY harder than you and complain less. I live in Michigan btw, come and visit if you want a REAL workout. Btw, you are not that important but you surely want to believe it to justify your actions.

Any time someone leaves a comment on my blog, I read it. If I wasn't willing to accept the feedback then I may as well have a diary stashed under my bed. I am always grateful for the people who acknowledge my random thoughts, who give me words of encouragement, and who provide different forms of motivation, sometimes in the most unknowing ways. The only thing that took some time getting used to, is the motivation that came in the form of negative comments. At first it used to ruffle my feathers something fierce and I would be appalled at the audacity of some folks to take time out of their lives to write rude and unjustifiable comments anonymously. The anonymous part is what got me most of all. Sure, you don't have to think I'm the best thing since sliced bread, but if you want to tell me how UN-awesome I am, the least you can do is sign your name to it. Own it. But more often than not, haters on the web don't work that way. They come up with their own reasons why you will fail or why you shouldn't try, and they feel it's their duty to share it with you. But now I've learned to be grateful for my anonymous' commenters. I read their comments and I don't bat an eyelash. I love the fact that I remain unaffected by people who don't believe in me, because it shows me how much I've grown to believe in myself and how that belief has deepened over the years, regardless of what I have or have not accomplished, and regardless of what anyone else may think--good or bad. I don't gain my confidence from anyone else so it would certainly make no sense for me to lose it over anyone either.

I learned a long time ago that you only need two people to believe in you in order to accomplish something. You and God. Anybody else is icing on the cake…and in my world, anyone who doesn't is the cherry.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Forms of Torture

Yesterday I was proud of myself for doing something I hardly ever do. I quit. A workout, that is. I just stopped midway through, walked back to my bag and took off my spikes, then marched myself right into the training room. You would think this would be an easy decision to make, but i assure you it's not. Not for me, at least. For most athletes there is a fine line between being smart and being dumb. I have strained my hamstring plenty of times and if I really was being honest, I always knew before it happened that it was going to happen. You feel something and you ignore it. (Oh that's nothing, just a little tightness…) Then you feel it again and you convince yourself that you can manage it. (I just won't push it too hard…) Then your body goes ahead and forces you to do what it tried asking you nicely to do in the first place. Stop. (Oops. There goes my hamstring….)

This time I chose to listen to my body willingly and I stopped before it made me. So instead of running 150's, I got poked and prodded, I got cupped, and then I got electrocuted. I am not making this up. If the training room is starting to sound like some sort of torture chamber, you aren't far from the truth. A lot of times we spend time putting ourselves through pain purposefully so we don't have to suffer pain that is going to set us back. Ice baths….deep tissue massage…foam rolling…needles…graston…electric stim…and my new favorite: cupping.

Does that look at all pleasant to you? Seriously, who came up with this crazy idea anyway?! But the point is, I choose to have this done and many other unpleasant things, so that I don't have to sit around for a week or two not doing anything. I do all of the above mentioned things so that I can use as many days as possible for putting my body through type of torture I enjoy. Training.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

2012 is HERE!

I wish I had more things I needed to write the date on. I remember being in school and always screwing up the date for the first two months of the year change until it finally stuck. Of course I don't want to go back to writing essays, but you get the point. I also have no idea where my checkbook even is so that wouldn't be a date writing option either. But regardless of my inability to practice writing the date, if there is one thing my brain knows, its that 2012 is here. And there is no way I'm forgetting it.

The crazy thing about 2012 is that it's ALREADY here and it's FINALLY here, both at the same time. I remember how I felt four years ago, thinking to myself how far away this year seemed and how I wasn't sure I had four more years in me to try again to accomplish my goal. Now that it's actually here, it's crazy that I'm not waiting for it to get here anymore.

I think one of the hardest things about having the goal of "being an Olympian" is that in my sport you only get that opportunity one day every four years to try. That's it. In essence you are working for 1,459 days straight so that you can have the opportunity to do your best on day 1,460. And while you may do a lot of other great things with the four years in between and accomplish a whole bunch of amazing feats, you're still keenly aware of that ultimate goal you hope to accomplish.

I know everyone has goals…dreams…aspirations…desires…hopes…what have you. Some people get day after day to try again to accomplish theirs, and others may never really have that chance. For myself and for this particular goal I have been waiting since 2008 for it to be 2012 so that I can put everything I have to give on day 1,460. That day is now just around the corner.

2012 is here. I'm excited.