Sunday, 22 June 2014

Being an Athlete is Hard

I've recently started a new part-time job which means that I've been meeting a lot of new people and explaining to new people that I'm a speed skater and basically a full-time athlete.  A lot of people don't really think anything of it, some people think it's really cool and I think that most people don't really understand it.  Most people think that the fact that I speed skate is interesting, that it's unique and then "speed skater" becomes my identifier.  When I was younger I liked being different, I liked that speed skating was so ingrained with who I was and I liked the lifestyle I got to live because of it.  Lately however, I've become a little disillusioned with the whole thing.

These days skating is hard work.  I'm no longer skating just for fun like I did when I was younger I'm training with a purpose, to attain a certain result and a lot of the time it can be a lot of work with no reward.  The only time that people outside of the sport are aware of speed skating is during the Olympics so I often get asked "oh, you speed skate? Does that mean you're you going to the Olympics?" But the thing is only five girls get to go to the Olympics.  That means that there might be twenty other girls who also put in the work, who committed to training for the four years leading up to the Olympics, who put in all the work but ultimately it will be for nothing.

Don't get me wrong I like skating, I know that I can walk away at any time and I knew what I was getting into when I started taking training seriously.  I have good days and bad days; today just happens to be a bad one.  I just find it difficult to balance "real life" (school, work, social) with skating life and I feel stuck, and bored.  Normal people my age have an undergrad degree, they're figuring out what they want to do, they're getting their own apartments and moving out on their own and starting second degrees.  They're going out with friends and making new friends and trying to support themselves and moving around the world, traveling, and making mistakes.  Meanwhile I'll be continuing my third year of my English degree in my fifth year of university, I'll continue to depend on my parents to survive, the only traveling I'll be doing is to Quebec for other skating meets and I won't have time to make new friends because any time that I'm not skating, training or working I'll probably be sleeping.  I feel like everyone else my age is moving on and starting new chapters in their lives and I'm still stuck on the same page.  I'm just stagnant, putting the rest of my life on hold until I'm done skating and then I'll be able to deal with it.

I feel like I'm an athlete half the time and a student then other half.  I get OK grades and OK results but I can't help thinking that if I was just one thing I could be more successful and feel less stagnant.  I don't want to quit skating but if I'm being completely honest I've been doing the same thing day-in and day-out for three years and on my bad days I feel exceptionally bored with my whole life.

Basically my life is super hard and I'm having a bad mental day and I want to do something with my life and everyone should feel sorry for me.

annnnd a little motivation to keep me going because new training block starts tomorrow

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