I had an absolutely dreadful competition in Stockholm, my last competition before World Championships. I’m not sure how many of you actually follow and keep track of such things, but I figured it was worth mentioning nonetheless. I’ve actually had some people wonder if I even competed as I wasn’t present in the competition that was shown. That actually sounded just fine to me. Yes…that’s it…I wasn’t even there! But unfortunately that isn’t the case. And in case you did see the results… no, I did not jump blindfolded, with ankle weights strapped on, or headfirst into a tornado. I simply had a bad day that consisted of one ridiculous jump, two fouls, and a front row seat to watch the rest of the competition unfold.
But I’m not here to focus on the negative and all the things that I simply can’t change. I don’t all the sudden not know how to jump far. I realize the timing of this snafu is a bit bothersome as it might not be the best way to build confidence heading into the biggest meet of my life. There is no fun to be had in working and not getting paid, but what’s done is done. I had my moment of worry and concern… wondering why all of the sudden I seem to be heading in the wrong direction, and how come I couldn’t pull it together when I felt so good physically and mentally, and could this possibly mean that I didn’t know how to prepare mentally… but then I listened to a wise friend of mine who was patiently sitting there listening to my drama. He said to me, “You know what Bri, sometimes you have to remind yourself that you’re just out there jumping in sand.”
And for me, a wiser piece of advice could not have been given. It is in my nature to freak out when I don’t have things go according to the plan I’ve made in my head. My preparation for Berlin included two standout performances in London and Stockholm, which obviously did not materialize. It is up to me to figure out why and make the proper adjustments. But I also just need to chill out, so to speak. I. Jump. In. Sand. Yes, it is my career, one that is extremely important to me and to which I have sacrificed and struggled a great deal for. But it’s still just a sport. At the end of the year is anyone but me going to remember the awful performance I had in Stockholm? Probably not. And me giving it too much energy is most certainly not going to help me jump far in Berlin. So now I have three weeks to prepare and my goal is simple: Jump further in sand.