Essay | World Championships 2018
Ready for some reflection now the dust has settled on what was a disappointing end to my season.
I think I'll start by saying how important it is to me to be much more than just my results. Nothing new, but I'm not sure if many people really understand what this looks like in practice. What are the feelings, what are the actions, and what is the response.
The feelings I get from racing is why I do it. Why, despite how low I felt after my semi-final run, I will continue to put myself out there on that stage. The final moments before I start. That is when I am most alive, most aware of my consciousness. It's hard to describe with words, but this is the infectious part. This is my proof that slalom 'matters' - it is more than just water and poles.
The actions are about being true to myself, prepare effectively, and be able to honestly say 'I have no regrets'. I have no regrets - I was so ready to perform on Friday. Mistake costly, but there is so much of my run that I am proud of. 'Projects' I've been working on out there on show and always stuck to my style and plan. The outcome - sometimes, that's just slalom. But I'm learning more about the things I can control and I'm confident we'll be turning 'sometimes' into 'rarely' in the not to distant future.
The response. Ultimately, win or lose, I am the same person. I refuse to be judged by a title I might win, but by the kind of person I am. A lesson I learned from my biggest wins. 'Now what?' is what I'm always asking after a good race. Usually that's to go for a paddle, drink coffee, read a book. - Nothing changes see, same person! The response then is to review effectively, learn anything we can, and move on. I gave myself an hour to hurt after that race before I decided it's time to reach perspective (for some it might be longer).
The other element of the response I'd like to close with is that from other people. Always humbled by the messages and support I receive win or lose. It suggests to me that the values and messages I support are having some influence outside of myself, and that's a privilege - thanks! We're 'good people' first, and whatever else we do comes next 😉
Wanted to put my thoughts out there before my travels really get underway. I'm already in Peru. Have two weeks off before training commences again. Keep up on insta for holiday spam pics that'll make you jealous!