I’m not gonna lie… this last week has been tough. I know the protocol was to get up, dust myself off, and get back on the horse, but that’s not what I felt like doing. I felt like curling up in a ball with a stash of bon bons and an endless supply of wine. Yes, I was telling myself that there was no way to change what happened, and now all that was left to do was go out there and jump reaaaaallly far, because I’m still an amazing, awesome, fabulous– and every other positive adjective you could possibly think of– athlete, but those little pep-talks were not really making much of a difference. On the outside I felt better, and by the time I got to Europe I had stopped wearing sunglasses inside and could even manage a laugh or two if the joke was funny enough. So, I went to my first competition physically feeling fine and thinking I could overcome this disappointment by hurrying up and piling good competitions on top of the memory of my last not-so-good one.
But emotionally, I just wasn’t in it. My first meet was awful. All I ended up really doing was pouring salt in an open wound. The sunglasses went back on.
If I’m being honest, what happened last weekend shook me up a bit, confidence wise. I hate to admit that, knowing that confidence is such a huge component of doing well in this sport and allowing yourself to succeed, but it’s the truth. And so when the questions start coming… and when you have a mind like mine they come fast and furious much like a firing squad… I didn’t really have an answer for all of them and I started to panic. I know as well as anyone that being successful is as much a mind game as anything else, and basically I just failed that test after working so hard to try and be where I needed to be.
I know I might seem like quite the drama queen for those of you who don’t live this life or have a hard time grasping where my over the top emotions are coming from. But I felt like I gave everything I have, and I failed. And because the idea of that hurts so much, it’s really hard to turn right around and give 100% of yourself right away again. Maybe it’s like the time you got your heart broken by a guy you were totally in love with and you told yourself that being in love again wasn’t worth it if heartbreak felt that awful. Hopefully more people can relate to that one. Or maybe I am just a drama queen.
But of course I’m still waiting for my prince charming. And hopefully I’m also ready to compete to the best of my ability as well. Slowly but surely my self pep-talks are taking hold a little more and at my last meet I felt slightly more like myself. I jumped 6.70 in Russia, and while it wasn’t an awesome competition, it was a little more enjoyable than the last time I suited up. (read: I didn’t dash home from the meet, snatch up a McDonalds happy meal so I didn’t have to go to the meet dinner, and cry myself into a shriveled raisin in the bathtub.) I pray I’m taking steps in the right direction, otherwise this month will be hell.
By the end of this summer maybe I’ll find the amazing, awesome, fabulous,–and every other positive adjective you could possibly think of,– athlete I’m supposed to be. The truth of the matter is, I got to my fork in the road when I was supposed to go right, and ended up going left instead. So this is my new journey and I’ve got to make the best of it. No matter what, not making the World Championship Team is going to be a huge source of disappointment for me as it was always my main goal for the season, and nothing is really going to replace that, but I’d prefer the last few meets help that wound heal and make me stronger and wiser, instead of continuing to pour salt. Shoot, and maybe I’ll fall in love too. Let’s dream big…