I did my best to approach the Diamond League Final as I have all of the other Diamond League meets this year; with confidence in my technique and focused on what I could do to succeed in the competition. Somewhere along the way in preparing though, I started listening to hype about the fact that I could win! While externally I said that I needed to just focus on what I could control, fantasies started playing in my head a little bit.
It’s dangerous to think about what could be if you forget about what you’ll do to get there.
My distraction showed in my results, and I ended up 9th in the standings in Zurich with a throw of 59.50m on my third attempt. Ninth place means that I was the only one who only got three throws, as they took 8 to finals.
Not living up to my own expectations was really difficult, though. If you know me, you know that I’m a pretty emotional person. I’m a sore loser when Russ beats me in cards, but I do my very best to be gracious on the javelin runway. I hate that I can’t help crying when I’m upset with myself, but I let my competitors know how great I think they are despite my few tears! All I know is that I really care about what I’m doing, and when I don’t succeed, I’m disappointed.
Another thing about the competition is that I knew everyone would come to throw far. It is a final, after all! I also knew that I needed to throw far, but after the first round, I started getting worried instead of digging deep for my competitive energy. I watched others’ distances instead of thinking about my own and how I could improve them, when I already knew I shouldn’t fall into that trap.
Even though the results from Zurich are definitely not what I wanted, I’m trying to keep a little bit of perspective. I want to be tough on myself, as accepting less than my best is not what I’m about, but beating myself up too much isn’t smart or healthy! Some people have asked me if I’m injured, worried that that’s the reason I had my first meet of the season below 60 meters and didn’t get at least top 3.
I’m not injured; I just had a bad day.
One year ago, I would have been happy with 59.50m in any competition, as I was struggling terribly in Europe. I’m not happy with it now, but it’s my best distance by a long shot in a really high-pressure meet like this one was. I’m doing my best to learn everything I can from this season and am looking forward to applying all the new knowledge to competitions in the future.
I’m throwing in Berlin in the Olympic Stadium tomorrow! How great that I get an opportunity to throw again so quickly after a frustrating performance, especially because disappointments from last year in the same Olympic Stadium are now fresh in my mind. Can anyone say redemption? We’re even in the same hotel; I feel kind of like I get another chance.