As I am writing this post I am eating chocolate icing out of the can so needless to say, I am happy as a clam right now. I am a couple days into my 4 week break from training and I think I am already sending my body into shock with all the junk food and complete absence of physical activity (and boy, do I ever mean complete absence). I’m sure I will smarten up in a few days and start to eat more than Pizza Pops and Pepsi, but for now I am loving every second of going against everything I have ever learned in my classes (as someone who is working towards a degree in health promotion. Oh the irony!).
I wanted to do a recap of my 2013 athletic season, but I’m going to start where it ended. A couple days ago I returned home from the Canada Summer Games in Sherbrooke, which was hands down one of the best experiences of my life thus far. I really don’t think I have ever had as much fun competing as I did that week – and for that reason I am so incredibly grateful because what I needed was some good quality FUN. This season I became so consumed with distances on the measuring tape and making teams and winning golds that I lost sight why I do this in the first place. I do this because I love it because it is fun – it’s that simple! I went into the Games with 0 expectations – it had been a long season and my mind and body were starting go on me. I’m a realistic person. I knew I couldn’t expect astronomical distances so I decided to just have some fun because that was what I deserved.
I walked away with a gold medal and some wonderful memories. It was a very competitive meet as I was jumping against my Ontario teammate Julia Wallace, who finished third at this years National Championships and whose furthest jump this year is very close to mine. Between jumps, we sang and danced and did obnoxious handshakes and cheered loudly for the other competitors. We conversed in British accents and did chin-ups off of things. Basically, we were complete idiots, and after an entire season of being incredibly uptight in competition and not truly enjoying myself, it felt fantastic.
So that is where this season ended, a happy note indeed. From a competition standpoint, I had a wonderful year as I won every national championship that I competed in – CIS (Canadian university championships), the Canadian national championships, and the Canada Summer Games. Three national meets, three gold medals. I am very happy about this, as I proved that I am someone who can perform when it matters. I have that killer competitive instinct, and the pressure and stress of national level meets brings out the best in me.
Unfortunately when I look at my season from a distance/improvement standpoint (which is much more important to me than how I placed in any competition), I am displeased. My furthest jump this season was 13.07m, only 13cm further than my furthest jump last year. Yes, it could always be worse – 13cm is better than nothing. However, I had big expectations for this year. I am way faster than ever, way stronger than ever, way more technically sound than ever. With how amazing my practices consistently were all season long, I thought to myself, “damn, 13.50m is really going to happen this year!”.
So what happened? I’m going to figure this out, but I am trying to defer this investigation for another few weeks until I’m back at it. I need a complete break from track and field – physically AND mentally. I don’t want to dwell on why things didn’t go as planned – I just want to stuff my face, sit on my butt, and recharge for a much better 2014 season!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart everyone for all of your support throughout this season. It really does mean the world to me and it keeps me going with I think everything sucks (yes, I can be a little cynical at times!). I really did learn a lot this year – about myself, this sport, and the way life works. Nothing is ever a waste, and just because I am disappointed with the way the season went doesn’t mean I am not better because of it. I promise that I will post all my lessons from this year in the near future, but for now, I just want to eat my potato chips and watch some terrible reality television.