Sunday, October 18, 2015

When I first started playing rugby there were a couple things that I wanted to accomplish.  First, I wanted to make friends and get to know people in the bay area.  Second I wanted to have an enjoyable experience.  In the back of my mind I had hoped that I would be able to catch on to the sport quick enough to be given an opportunity to compete at a higher level, but that was not at the top of my goals.  Now that I am training full time for rugby at the Olympic Training Center it is easy to lose sight as to what I set out to accomplish and succumb to the pressures of being in a highly competitive environment. 

When I am looked back as a rugby player, whether I am released tomorrow or I make a team I want to be remembered as someone who was always kind, helpful and someone who was always able to keep perspective on the important things in life.  The reality is I have already accomplished what I have set out to.  I have made some amazing lifelong friends and I have been living an experience that I did not think I would ever have.  As long as I am able to remember those things I can get out on the field and just enjoy playing because I have nothing to lose.  As exciting as it would be to make another Olympic Team I am honored to be considered and even more honored that I was given a second chance to enjoy the experience.  Every day I work to keep myself accountable and wake up enjoying the opportunity I have been given to train and compete for Team USA. 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

Throughout the past couple years of my life I have experienced a significant amount of change.  It is still strange when September rolls around and I am not packing my bags for a 6 month bobsled tour.  Every winter I was fully immersed into a cold climate and grew accustom to digging vehicles out of the snow each morning.  The things I miss the most about bobsled tours are a lot of the things that at the time I thought were tedious and frustrating.  I was faced with many uncomfortable moments and was forced to adapt on a daily basis.  I learned how to put snow chains on the tires of our oversized truck and grew accustomed to maneuvering and driving it through difficult terrain.  I was forced to adjust my competition warmups based on the weather and available warm up surface.  I became very familiar with being uncomfortable. 

When I retired from bobsled and moved on, I was surprised to find that what was considered to be ‘normal’ life was significantly more uncomfortable than I had ever thought it to be.  I once again had to adapt and learn how to provide myself with things that previously were given to me.  I had to earn money in a more conventional way and I had to cook and clean for myself again.  Many things that people considered simple were very difficult to adapt to.  I had spent close to a decade of my life living in a sports bubble and became very comfortable living that alternative lifestyle. 

Now, every day I tie up my cleats and push my limits on the rugby pitch.  I have many days were I still feel incredibly out of place and uncomfortable, but just like everything else in my life slowly I am beginning to feel better.  I think I am learning that putting yourself outside of your comfort zone is truly the only way to grow and challenge yourself.  I will be a better and more adaptable person because of the situations I have had to adjust in.