In 2014, I went into my first non-tapered elite national championships. And I got my butt handed to me in the time trial events, and I was s-l-o-w. I had been named to the Pan Am team, the first 2016 Olympic qualifying event, which was to be held just a few weeks after, and we made the decision to use nationals as a training event and nothing more. But mentally, I wasn’t prepared for how that would feel.
The drive to win, the want to “show everyone up”, takes over, and no matter the goal, we become so short-minded that we forget about the goal down the road (in my case, olympic qualification). A few weeks later, when I did compete at the Pan Am Championships, I dropped seconds off my 500m PR, and went sub 11 seconds in my flying 200m. THEN I was happy. THEN I realized I was creating a fuss over a result that didn’t matter. THEN I realized how important it is to look towards the big picture.
The words “national championships” make us believe it is the “end-all-be-all” of the season. But let me tell you, IT’S NOT. Not when you’re training for a world championships, straight in your backyard. All of you (our BPC crew) we sent into the master’s national championships in a hole – at least you should have been if you’ve been doing your training – and we did that for a reason. In a few short months, you’ll be lining up for more than a stars and stripes jerseys, but a coveted rainbow jersey, on home soil.
We know it’s been a difficult week for many of you, missing out on a podium, or taking silver when you know you could have taken home gold. But with our eyes set on October, we’ve got bigger fish to fry, and a bigger peak to reach. Keep your eyes towards the prize, and start dreaming of rainbows.
– Coach Missy