The whole team is now in Cardiff training this week
in preparation for World Cup #1. I’ve been in the UK for about a month and a half now, it has been a really great trip from both a training and recreation perspective. Time well spent for sure. As I finished watching video the other day my coach mentioned, “you’ve been here before”. That statement might seem obvious but it had not really dawned on me that I have been here before.
I am the only current women’s team athlete to have been in Augsburg four years ago. Does this matter for me at all for this qualification? Not directly. No points carry over, but emotional maturity learned from that experience certainly does. Going into the 2008 Augsburg World Cup, I was on a bit of a Cinderella run. I was not expected to make the team in either 2007 or 2008, but I did both times. After the Beijing Test Event in August of 2007, slalom never left my thoughts. Such investment made missing the Olympics crushing. The keenness of my focus did help me push myself in the boat and I am glad to have had the experience, but when I no longer had that outlet that mindset quickly proved unsustainable.
Thanks to field hockey, school, family, friends, and a torn ACL, I readjusted during 2009. Since then I’ve tried to maintain better balance in life. It’s mostly those same things since 2009 minus the torn ACL, which was masterfully repaired and is now fully functional thanks to Drs. Guterman and Mendoza at Greater Washington Orthopedic Group. I’ve taken the time this morning to sketch out my recent past because no matter what happens this coming week, I will not experience the same devastation. If I make the team, of course I will be happy and honored to represent the United States. If I don’t, I’m sure I’ll be at least a little disappointed. But I’ve been here before. With the support of my coaches, friends, my incredible family, and lessons learned in the past years, I am much better prepared to manage any situation and take the best of this experience.