This summer has been a bit of a crazy one for me, in particular the past six weeks. From big volume weeks of training, to work, to a super condensed chemistry class, it seemed I was rushing from one thing to the next but constantly falling short. In a sense my summer was a bit of a rollercoaster. . but a broken one that was only going downhill. Each day seemed to push me to the edge of my psychological and/or physiological limit.
The interesting thing about being on the edge of my limit is that many things I’d worked on and fixed started falling apart causing the return of insecurities and problems. The resurfacing of past issues made me feel like I had taken a step back in the psychological side of skiing and life. Constantly comparing myself to others, lacking confidence in my own plan, struggling to find the motivation to dig that extra bit deeper in hard intensities, these were issues that 16 to 20 year old Zoë had dealt with and overcome. . . why was I having to go back over it all again, why was I taking that “step back”?
It really sucks to feel like you’re moving backwards but I think sometimes you need to take a step back; it not only lets you see the big picture, but also gives you the chance to look forward and decide if you want to make a change in the direction you’re heading: sometimes you need to take a step back to be able to continue moving forward. And yes, if you’d told me that a few weeks ago, I probably would’ve rolled my eyes or pushed the thought aside– looking inside oneself and seeing areas one wants to improve is for sure the first step, but it takes guts to look long enough to not only acknowledge and accept those things but to also start working on ways to be able to deal with them.
The resurfacing of past issues may initially seem quite negative. But being forced to re-evaluate what one’s doing, taking some time to look inside oneself, and continuing to grow as person? Those all sound pretty good!!
In particular. . .
- Constant Comparison: I think it’s pretty natural in sport to compare oneself to others (that’s competition!). However, you get to decide what you take away from it. Are you going to get discouraged, get complacent, or get motivated and inspired to improve?
- Confidence in your plan/yourself: It’s important to question and revaluate one’s training throughout the year to make sure you’re on the right track. But, some of that evaluation can only be done at the end of the season. So instead of questioning, now’s the time when you’ve got to embrace the plan and get confident! The mind is a powerful thing; if you believe you can ski fast it’s going to be a lot easier to convince your body of that fact on the race course! (awesome blog post about dealing with negativity)
- Finding the next gear: with the summer volume over, fall is the time to work on those top end gears! It’s the time of the year to reconnect with old strategies and discover new ways to move one’s chair a little further back in the pain cave.
Yes, I took a bit of a step back this summer but I’m really looking forward to the direction I’ll be heading in this fall!