Kelda’s News from Belo, Brazil-one week in!

Kelda‘s News from Belo, Brazil-one week in!

We’ve now been out in Belo, Brazil for just over week. It’s been a fantastic experience, but it hasn’t all gone according to plan! Firstly, it rained solidly for 3 days. None stop!! So much for getting to paddle in better conditions! On the plus side, it has still been warm…..but not quite what we expected!!

The Olympic and Paralympic Squad together in Brazil

Last Saturday we did our first time trials of the season. This is where we treat it as a race day and go through all our processes, both mentally and physically, and then deliver 2 x 200m’s under race conditions.

I’ve put a lot of things in place with both my coach and the team psych to help with this “race day” preparation, and I was really happy with what I delivered. It felt solid, focused and one of the best 200m I’ve done.

However, when I found out the time, I was incredibly disappointed! Both my runs had been 57 seconds – that’s 4 seconds slower than my PB!

Now water and weather conditions play a big part in the times we can hit, so I could cope with the slow time, but I was 5 seconds behind Anne Dickens, my rival for the slot for the Rio paralympics. I’ll be honest, I was gutted! After all the hard work over the winter and the gains that have been made, I expected to be much closer to her than I was.

I’ve always said I wanted this blog to be open and honest….so I’m not going to hide from admitting that I struggled for a couple of days. It really knocked me. 5 seconds is a huge amount of time over 200m and I really started to question whether I was capable of making up that amount of time over the next 5 months.

The trouble is, once you start to doubt yourself it then starts to impact on your sessions. The next day I had a bad session in the gym, followed by a couple of poor sessions on the water. It turns into a vicious circle, the more poor sessions I had the more it reinforced my thoughts that maybe I couldn’t do it.

I desperately wanted the feisty, determined, gritty Kelda back…..but it just wasn’t happening!!

I guess sometimes you just have to be kind to yourself and accept that you’re only human and can’t be smashing it 365 days a year!

Our team psych then said to me “Kelda, you have a choice, you either say 5 seconds is too much, and you give up and stop trying. Or you say to yourself, ok, 5 seconds is a lot, so I’m going to use every session I’ve got to try and close that gap.”

I didn’t like being dweeby….and I knew I definitely didn’t want to give up!!!!!!

I woke up the next morning with a new sense of purpose. 5 seconds in 5 months…..that’s 1 second a month….that’s 0.25 a week… that seems achievable!!

I went in and smashed the gym!! BOOM!!!

It just shows how much of what we’re capable of achieving is all in our heads and in our mind set! Our only limitation, is the limitations we place on ourselves

So, it’s time to give myself a kick up the bum and approach things with a similar attitude to when I missed out on selections for the World Championships. I know what I’ve got to do, so let’s push any doubts or negativity out of my mind and get out there and give it my all. Time to believe, time to work hard…..time to make it happen!!!!!


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