Coming Face to Face with a Big Goal

It’s so comforting knowing you have time. Whether its you’re training for a marathon, nationals, or you’re applying for a job. Really any time you leave your comfort zone and go after a big goal. You will eventually be looking the moment between you and achieving your goal in the eye. How do you stay calm? For me it’s national team trials. In the sport of canoe you train 6 days a week all year round for a racing season that last two months and maybe consists of 10 big races if you’re lucky. I say if you’re lucky because if you miss a stroke it can be the end of your season. How do you stay calm and steady your hands in order to give yourself the best chance to succeed? Confidence in everything you’ve done to prepare.

The moment before a race or the moment before you get the call that you got the job or made the team or the band is like christmas morning. Anything can happen, the box you’re opening could contain anything. You could be world champion or you could fall and come dead last. The key for me after racing at a world class level for 4 years is doing everything for myself. If I line up knowing I did everything in my power to be the best I can be then I can enjoy a calm moment of clarity before I race. I know that no matter what happens this is my best. Even if my best isn’t good enough there is always something to learn.

If there is one piece of advice I can give whether you’re just starting to compete or you’re struggling with defeat it’s this, there is always something to learn. It’s never going to sting as much as it does in the moments after a “failure”. Think back to the moments before the start horn, think of how proud you are of the work you put in, make a plan and get ready to attack the next competition. You know more now than you did before you started.

I hope you found this helpful whatever obstacles you may be facing! Please excuse the lack of posts in the coming weeks as I will be racing at Olympic trials!



Humbled by my First Half Marathon

My first half marathon was an interesting experience. While I am a full time athlete and in great shape, I had not run 20km. The farthest I had run was 10km prior to signing up for my first race. I was determined to finish. However, I am on a strict training schedule and spent a large chuck of my summer travelling. On top of this, mid summer I was suffering from shin tears in both legs. By october I was back to normal but not ready to run a half marathon.

My main motivation for this race was my mother. She had signed up for her first 10km and I had provided her with an eight week training program. In the face of my injury I wasn’t about to leave my mom alone on race day. I was not willing to pull out of the race. I was also determined to finish the race no matter how long it took.

As an athlete I’m used to being above average at physical activity. This made my race a different and difficult experience. I had women over twice my age passing me and finishing long before I crossed the line. It was extremely humbling. I wouldn’t change this experience because it took a lot of mental toughness to finish that race.

I will absolutely be doing the same race again next year. I’m not going to train any differently but I’m hoping with a healthy body and a new mindset I’ll be able to shave some time.

Only time will tell.