Today I didn’t crush it. I did not destroy. Slay. Or triumph victoriously.
Today I managed. I clung. I fought it out, and it wasn’t all that pretty. (and I’m not talking about the slobber and snot that manifested all over my face)
Despite the fact that I openly acknowledged that I was here for the sake of experience and fun. I was undeniably nervous this morning. I’ve raced a whopping FIVE times this season (a long ways away from the 20+ starts I should be racking up)… I haven’t raced in four weeks and finished up a mean round of antibiotics on monday. I was feeling rusty. And I thought I was totally prepared for that… my bad.
Anxious panic gnawed at my gut. My eyes glazed over. I desperately needed someone to make me laugh. To crack into the horrible no good very bad mood that was settling in. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to puke, cry, or laugh… but I was well on my way to some serious multitasking of uncontrollable emotion. “Quick someone give that poor girl a hug!”
It all started with ski testing. I detest ski testing. Honestly, I would be perfectly content if they just handed me skis on my way to the start pen. Last year was my first season ever having more than one pair of race skis… Sometimes the best option is not having any options. (Yep, you are granted to hate me, here I am complaining about having too many pairs of skis, hah!) I just can’t tell the subtle differences yet between my skis. They are either fast, slow, or the same. Luckily I have a very patient waxing crew and coaching staff. That can read the slight difference between my “meh” and “Mmmm” and shoulder shrug.
Next I botched my warm up. Meaning all of a sudden I was heading to zero after handing my race skis off to Bjorn and Brandon only to find we were approaching 20minutes to start. AHHHHHHHHH! Panic ensued… despite my best efforts to stick my tongue out and just roll with it.
From there I rushed into the start pen to join the highly anticipated pre-race dance off. Yep. I rock the intimidation factor hard.
I put my headband on upside down. One minute before my start the IBU officials decided I needed an event sponsor sticker on both sides of my rifle (oh the convenience of being a lefty). More frantic movements. Suddenly I was at the starting wand reminding myself to settle the flippity frack down. Too late.
Shooting was more or less a disaster. I missed about 5 too many targets… Is it just me or was that penalty loop really long? Maybe that’s just what happens when you find yourself skiing your third… or fourth… or fifth one of the day? My coaches assured me I was justing saving those targets for tomorrow, and boy I sure hope so!
Skiing was decent. Hovering around fair. My lungs burned, and my legs ached in a way that seem entirely too foreign. But apparently it looked alot better than it felt… man I can’t wait for skiing to feel good again. At one point when I was stubbornly V2ing up one of the many hills I found myself thinking, “Don’t fall off the treadmill… don’t fall off! don’t fall off!” (Taking self talk to a whole new level) I can’t wait until I feel like myself again. When I can charge instead of settling for hanging on. But I know that might be a while. One race at a time.
At one point I even managed to choke on air. Yep… forgot how to breathe…
On the plus side there is always a next race, AND I did get to watch a French girl totally panic about a squirrel!
Oh and have I mentioned that Canmore might be my favorite nordic ski venue in North America? Not a bad place to suffer, eh?