At the start of the week, I would have written a very different blog from today…..
I didn’t feel like me! I was negative, I was doubting myself and I was getting more and more frustrated in every session. What was getting to me most, was that I knew feeling like this wasn’t helping me at all, but I didn’t seem to be able to give myself the kick up the bum that I needed – something that I’m normally very good at!
So my coach did it for me!!:-) We had a “chat” on Wednesday and it made me stop and take stock of things. We recognised that I’d got massively over tired during the previous 2 weeks and that it really isn’t possible to give training my all when I was trying to juggle so many balls. I got sent home and told to take a day off the next day…something that doesn’t come easy to me, but do you know what, it was the best thing I could’ve done! It’s so easy to try and blame everything on what’s going on around you…other people, the boat, your situation, the fact the sun didn’t shine when the weatherman said it would!! Sometimes we just have to take a look at ourselves….
So what have I learn’t from this week….I think the most important thing is that it’s ok to have a tough patch, after all, we’re only human! It’s getting you’re head down, working through it and trying to keep smiling that really shows how strong you are.
The other thing I learnt is how important the people around you are. Through the paddling I’ve met some incredible people, and I’ve got more support than I’ve ever had in my life before – and I truly, truly value that.
On Friday, I called in at Battle Back. I really wanted to see the coaches, I miss not being there, but more importantly I wanted to catch up with an amazing friend called Phillipa Arding, otherwise known as Pa. Pa was involved in a skiing accident several months ago and was left with a serious brain injury. Pa is the kindest, most inspirational woman you could ever meet and it was a complete tragedy when this happened….she’s been on a very long journey with her rehab, and there’s still a long way to go, but to see her so positive, still smiling with not even the slightest grumble, moan or hint of bitterness made me really stop and think about my behaviour at the start of the week…. talk about putting things in perspective!!
Pa, despite her situation, even had the consideration to have a card for me wishing me good luck with my paddling….the last thing she said in it was “Go for it”….so that’s exactly what I’m going to do.
And that helped so much when it came to racing Saturday morning when the wind was blowing like it’s life depending on it!! It really doesn’t make for an easy time on the water, but do you what, I thought of Pa and asked myself “What would she do”….I know she’d laugh, get her head down and take on the challenge!!
And I had 2 good races! There’s still lots of room for improvement, but my aim was to maintain my power, maintain my technique and stick to my processes….and in general that’s what I did. Despite the wind! I laid down 2 races that proved to me, that if I keep working hard, I can do this!
It has been a tough week, but I’ve come out of it in a much better place.
Yet again I’ve been blown away by the amazing people around me, the support from people this week has been incredible. From the guys on the squad, the coaches at Battle Back, some old friends and some new friends. I want to thank each and every one of you.
I know this is a long blog, but I wanted to share a little story that I think says it all….
One day a farmer’s donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn’t worth it to retrieve the donkey. He invited all his neighbours to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realised what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone’s amazement he quieted down. A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up. As the farmer’s neighbours continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off! MORAL : Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a steppingstone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up.