Saturday, 17 August 2013

And We're Back!

Over the last few months I've been having some problems on ice.  I kept thinking I was just tired and I would get some rest and I would come out the other side and feel better, I kept thinking I was getting sick but then would never actually get a full on illness.  I felt like I was skating through a fog.  I would wake up and feel tired, go to ice and feel tired, go to bed exhausted and repeat.  Instead of enjoying training I was just trying to get through it, just trying to survive it.  I wasn't enjoying myself and was emotional on ice and couldn't figure out why.

It wasn't until the last two days when I started feeling like myself on ice again that I realized I hadn't  felt like myself for a long time.  I hadn't been pulling off passes for fun in practice, I hadn't been challenging myself, I was just trying to survive and counting down the days until the next rest week.  I don't know who that person on ice was but she wasn't the same me from last season and she wasn't someone that I liked very much.  I don't think she was someone that my teammates found easy to deal with either and I often felt isolated and lonely at practice.

I don't know if it was being on ice with my old coach that reminded me of my "I can do anything" attitude from last season or coming to the realization that I have to base my successes off my own talents instead of comparing them to others but the past two practices I felt like I woke back up.  I skated all my laps and more in the last on-ice program of the week, I can't even remember the last time I did that!  My training partner even said she thought to herself "she's back."  I was almost giddy on my bike ride home because practice had been hard but it had been fun, something that it hadn't been in a very long time and I was finally able to feel proud of how I had handled a practice again.  Fingers crossed I can keep this feeling going as we head towards our first competition of the season next weekend.

Here have a picture of me and my sister racing last season (I won)

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Cycling, Camping, and Positivity

If you ask any of my past or present teammates or coaches they will probably tell you that I am a nightmare to road bike with.  If I'm not shaking and crying I'm biking by myself at the back with a never ending stream of curse words running through my head while I constantly imagine the worst case scenario.  For example:
That car on the side of the road is probably just waiting for us to bike by to kidnap us or run us over
If the wind blew me off the side of that cliff I'd probably break my legs and drown
So you can imagine that I was less than thrilled when I found out that we would be going camping for altitude training and that our sole physical activity would be cycling.  When the travel day came around I sucked it up, loaded my bike into the truck and vowed not to cry.  I also told myself I was going to try my hardest to be more positive which for me meant saying things like "At least it's not that windy today" and "Looks like there isn't much traffic" while I was really thinking "Don't panic, don't panic, don't panic" and "Oh my God that camper van is totally going to hit us, this is the end."  I think that by being (slightly, I still complained more than I should have) more positive I was able to almost trick myself into believing that everything was going to be OK and eliminate any panic attacks (although I was wearing a heart rate monitor and my heart was racing before starting the first bike).

Cycling may not be my favourite thing in the world but I have to admit that some of the sights we saw in Jasper while biking were almost as pretty as I was terrified.
Pretty mountains and glaciers and stuff

It was also refreshing to spend some time with teammates outside of the oval and to change up the training a bit.  It was less nice that it rained and that I came home with a cold (in continuation of the most unhealthy summer of my life) but all in all it was a good team bonding experience and I managed to make it through five and a half hours of cycling without shedding a single tear which is probably a personal record.  I'm going to try to take some of my newfound positivity and apply it to the slight rough patch I seem to be going through on ice because no one likes to be around the grumpy girl who might burst into tears at any moment.
My poor biking partner who had to put up with my craziness, thanks Jordan!