When you watch the Olympics on TV and you see an athlete win that elusive gold medal the commentators always say how hard it is, how hard that athlete had to work, what hardships they had to overcome to stand on top of that podium. When you join an elite sport and go to training camps you hear that talk from coaches, the one where they tell you how hard it is to be the best and that it's not easy, that the best become the best in the world because they put in the work. What they don't tell you is how hard it is to lose. What you can't see while the cameras are focused on the winner is the numerous other athletes behind them who on a different day, under different circumstances could have been on the podium or the athlete sitting at home who didn't even make the Olympic team because of one mistake during the Olympic trials. There are so many athletes who do the same training and work just as hard as the medalists but at the end of the day they don't win, they lose.
I've been training in Calgary for about four years. After a year and a half I started doing well enough that I got moved from group 2 into group 1; the same group that the National Team athletes train in. I also went from being one of the fastest in my group to the slowest. It was a lot easier to be one of the fastest than the slowest both mentally and physically. Obviously I want to be in the top group and I need to be in that group to improve to where I want to be but some days it's hard to always be at the back of the pack especially when I can see exactly where I want to be. I've recently realized there are more athletes who don't achieve their ultimate goal than there are who do even if they work their absolute hardest.