Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Creating a True Champion

In the world of sports many lessons are learned that can be paralleled to many phases in ones life.  Some of these lessons are ones that you may not care to learn at the time, but when reflecting back you can see the huge affects they've had.

As a teen I had to make many choices and each would change the way my athletic path turned as I forged ahead.  I was faced with having to decide if I wanted to move forward and commit myself to competitive gymnastics or if I wanted to continue on with other sports and hobbies.  I remember being terrified. I enjoyed everything about training for gymnastics, but the thought of competing in front of a judge and a crowd was something that did not interest me. My coach told me I would have to compete in meets if I wanted to learn new skills and move up levels. I faced the same problem when I briefly joined the swim team.  I worked hard at every practice and did every workout I was suppose to, yet never had a desire to compete in a meet.  Once I was able to harness my fears I truly enjoyed the competitions.  I was always a head case before competing.  I questioned every piece of my routines and was worried about how I would perform, but the thrill of competing and the desire to win kept me coming back for more.

As I reflect back I see how I have grown as an athlete and I often see how at 29 years old I still have some qualities of that scared teenager. As far as I have come as an athlete and a person there are still many things I need to learn and to improve to be the absolute best I can be physically and mentally. The choices I have made in my life have led me to be an Olympian.   I have worked very hard to earn everything in my bobsled career, but it can often be hard to take a step back and appreciate those accomplishments during the disappointments. 

I have to learn to go back to basics and tap into all the things I love about competing and continue to search for ways to continue to fight to be the best I can possibly be.  My will to win can often overshadow the goals I have achieved.  As I move forward and face other challenges I am able to use the experiences I have had winning and losing to create my new path.  No one enjoys defeat, but I am convinced some of the most valuable lessons can be learned during those times.  In my opinion a true champion is shown not when they are on the podium, but how they pick themselves up and continue to fight to win after they’ve been beat.  I hope that as I move forward in athletics and in life I can dig deep and show that I portray the qualities of a true champion.