Monday, 30 September 2013

Get Pumped!

There's only two training days left until we start racing National Qualifier so this post is just about getting all pumped up to race.

Starting off with my favourite motivational video of the moment.  I'd seen it before but my dad e-mailed it to me last week and I watched it right before bed and was so amped up to train after watching it I had to calm myself down before I could sleep.

"Luck is the last dying wish of those who believe that winning can happen by accident" 

Next up is my race day playlist which is really just a list of songs that make me happy and want to dance that will hopefully put me in a good mood so I won't be anxious or stressed out.

Or alternatively Roar by Katy Perry on repeat
Short and sweet post for today, skating went really good today so feeling more ready to race than nervous but I still think I'll go listen to happy music until I feel completely calm.  See you on the other side.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

"Be Miserable ... Or Motivate Yourself"

I saw this picture on tumblr and for some reason I thought it was so important that I saved it to my phone. 

I think that sometimes it can be so easy to wallow in our own misery, to sit at home, to feel sorry for ourselves, to listen to every sad song we know on repeat.  When you feel down the last thing you want to do is listen to a whole bunch of upbeat, happy music because it's the opposite of how you feel, because the upbeat nature of the music almost feels like it's mocking your sadness.

It's obviously not easy to perform in sport if you're feeling sick and that's also true if you're not feeling mentally good. I feel like mental health is often overlooked when it comes to overall health.  People perform better when they're in a good mood (whether it be in sport, scholastically or at work) and I didn't realize until last season that by listening to one of my endless playlists of sad songs I could be affecting my performance. 

So if in order to skate well I have to listen to Best Song Ever by One Direction before every race to put me in a good mood that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

September/Student Athlete

We're pretty far into September now (and I don't know how that happened because I swear it was July like yesterday) and that means two things: 1. It's my birthday month and 2. It's back to school.

Now compared to most people I have a pretty light work load since I only take two classes a semester but when you factor in training twice a day, my excellent procrastination skills and my moderate dislike of schooling of any kind it's just another stress that I would rather not deal with.  These days I show up to class (sometimes late depending on skating) sit there, take my notes and then as soon as it's done I pack up and book it out of there either to go get something to eat or to go warm up for training.  I don't talk to anyone, I don't make friends.  I have spent many nights having various meltdowns over school (mostly over not wanting to go) but having no plans for the future and not doing post-secondary just doesn't make sense (and there is no way to make a living off speed skating ... why couldn't I be a male hockey player instead?)

I got a little off topic there but what I'm trying to get at is that most elite athletes have to juggle the stress of putting everything they have into their sport but also trying to get an education because when you stop competing the funding stops and you have to get on with your normal life.  Some athletes even have to juggle training, school and work because sport can be very expensive (I'm lucky enough that my parents are able to support me because it costs me more than I could ever make working part time to skate right now).

This PSA from CAN Fund explains it a lot better than I ever could:

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Race Day + Finishing the Build

So I've been trying to write this blog post for weeks now but I've been putting it off (like everything else in my life) so I have finally sat myself down and am not going to let myself open a new tab until it is done.

On the 24th and 25th of August we had our first real competition of the season.  The meet was on home ice with us Oval program skaters being the top of the group.  The competition wasn't super difficult and we were training right through it but I was still nervous and unsure of what would happen since I was coming out of a two month 'rough patch' of being exhausted and sick and couldn't actually remember the last time I finished a program on ice.
But I wore my lucky shirt to bed the night before so what could go wrong?
(I'm not even kidding this is an actual thing that I do)
All in all the competition went better than I expected. I'll admit that I started off a little hesitant but I finished second in almost every final (behind my training partner) and even managed to pull off a first in the last 1500.  The meet didn't mean anything but it did give me a little bit of a confidence boost which I carried into the final week of our training build.

Now I'm finally on recovery week (and sick again, ugh) but actually starting to look forward to training and racing which is a big turn around from how a felt just a few weeks ago.