Well, it’s almost that time. I wanted to take a moment to put my thoughts to keyboard as my presence on social media will be fleeting these next 48 hours.
Not long from now I’ll be looking down the runway, cracking my knuckles, taking a deep breath, leaning back and then sprinting out towards the most important few jumps of my life. My chance on the world stage. My chance to represent Canada. An opportunity I have been dreaming about for years. An opportunity I have sweat for, cried for, bled for, braved the depths of despair for – an opportunity I have seemingly sacrificed it all for. It’s finally here.
I feel a combination of excitement and nerves. I’m excited because I know that I’m ready for the performance of my life, and the thought of doing that in front of my friends and family who helped get me here brings me so much joy. I can feel, both mentally and physically, that everything these past few weeks has been falling into place. I know I am prepared.
The nerves really only set in when I saw the performance list. Fifteen women. Eleven of whom have jumped further than 14 meters. One of whom is the current world leader, having jumped further than 15 meters. Compared to past years, this is an extremely competitive year for women's triple jump at Pan Ams. Needless to say, the calibre of the women caught me off guard. It's exhilarating, to have the opportunity to jump against the best of the best. That's something I have craved for years. But of course, it's daunting. Discouraging is definitely not the right word - but seeing the performance list did suck all the air out of me for a brief moment. It was one of those "holy sh*t" moments. I'm human. Seeing your name at the bottom of a rankings list isn't a great feeling.
But then I remembered something obvious - nothing has changed. My goal coming into the Games was simple - I want to have the performance of my life. If I can walk away from the competition having jumped further than I ever have, I will sleep soundly knowing I did all that I could - knowing that I controlled everything I could. I remember elementary school it always seemed so cliche when teachers encouraged us to simply do the best we could. Now, ironically on the world stage, that lucid advice rings so very true.
Me doing the best that I possibly can is completely independent of who I am competing against. My performance is up to me - no one else. It's a decision that I can make. Am I going to go for it? Am I going to risk it all? Am I going to accept feeling uncomfortable for the opportunity to do great things? Am I going to let my nerves only fuel me? Am I going to use any pressure as a shadow of great opportunity? Am I going to make the extremely vital decision to focus on me, and only me, and not be fazed by those around me? Am I going to go out there, and haul ass as far as I possibly can?
You bet, and I simply cannot wait!
Thank you to everyone for your words of support and encouragement over these past few days. Each one has provided me with extra motivation to do great things on Tuesday evening.
Canada on my chest, Espanola in my heart, my loved ones in the stands and my guardian angel watching from above. If that's not the perfect recipe for great things, I'm not sure what is.