It feels a little crazy these days, doesn’t it? With most of the world closed down, it seems like there’s not much to do besides self-isolate and wait out the storm. No worries though, this has given me some quality time to write another blog post! Let’s take a look at what’s happening these days, or more accurately, what’s not happening these days.
If you read the update on my last post, you’ll know that unfortunately, the season finished on a sad note when our National Championships were cancelled. The decision was made a few days before to prevent further spreading of the Covid-19 virus.
Soon after we heard this news, our training centre decided to finish the year early to get a head start on our next season. We’re currently in our recovery phase and the focus is on staying healthy, resting, and enjoying a bit (lots) of downtime! Pandemic-permitting, we should be back in training by April 15th!
Now, since we’re basically on quarantine, I’ve been putting considerable time into creating a plan for next season. Mainly, I’m focused on going back to basics in pretty much everything. Physically, mentally, habitually, everything is back on the drawing board. As much as I can, I’m trying to break everything apart to put it back together in a more goal-oriented and research-backed way.
What does that mean? Well, this season was unlike any before it, and with it came lots of insight. But, because our season came to such an unsatisfying conclusion, I can’t help feeling that my racing this winter didn’t quite live up to my expectations. Having so much extra time on my hands now, I’ve been reflecting on one important question: Why?
That answer is far too complicated to be covered in one blog post, so I’ll save it for future explorations. Today, I’ll focus on the implications of this self-reflection, I’ll delve into how I’m going to hit this next season harder, faster, and better prepared than ever before. Without further ado, here’s the plan.
Personally, it all starts with mentality. Gone are the days of guessing what should work, my goal is to approach everything from an objective and research-based standpoint. Everything I do has to have a purpose, whether it’s a change in reps in the gym or new intensity on skis, it has to hold up scientifically.
Next up, I’m looking at everything that brought me down this season. Upon identifying these factors, I’m asking myself why it impacted me, and what must I do to improve it. Every negative has a mountain of information attached to it, for this reason, this is probably the most important area worth assessing.
On top of this, with each question answered, another will pop up, I’m counting on it. Though it might seem counter-intuitive to expect more questions to arise, it’s from this personal challenge that I’ll learn even more about what I need to change. Repeat this cycle a few times, and I’ll probably find myself in a completely different position than when I first started. That’s what I’m after, that’s called growth.
One thing’s for sure, I want to shake things up! Overall, I see myself faced with two choices. I can continue to do the same things I’ve always done, and take the small improvements as they come. Or, I can make a break for it. Try something new, fail a few times along the way, and maybe, just maybe, get a shot at something big.
I’ve never been a fan of the status quo, so I’m going to make a break for it.
A lot of this self-reflection might appear to have come out of nowhere, but it’s been in my mind for a while. My winter was very busy, so I never had a chance to sit down and apply new ideas to my biathlon career. Now that things have settled down, it feels like a new beginning!
Cancelling our nationals was devastating for the Canadian Biathlon community, but fate is something we can’t control. In times like this, I feel it is most important to look forward and work towards something great, rather than stay stuck in an unchangeable past. It’s true, we didn’t get that season finale that we all craved, but this should just add more fuel to the motivational fire!
That unsatisfying feeling of an unfinished season is the same feeling that drives us towards success! I’m a firm believer that the best athletes are not necessarily the strongest, but the ones who can adapt to any situation. If done right, this setback could be that one step back, which leads to the two steps forward. At least, that’s what I believe.
The passion I feel to make something great happen is indescribable with words! While there are lots of details to iron out, and many questions to reflect on, I can’t wait to get started with this next challenge. After all, who knows where it will lead?
Take care everybody, stay healthy! In my next post we’ll try and get into some real ideas I’ll be working on this summer. Get ready to change the game!
Seeking new Horizons,