Friday, November 27, 2009

The Little Things

Training for a sport that is difficult in so many different aspects can sometimes wear on your body, and not just physically. Biathlon is draining physically for sure, but it is also very draining on your emotions, and your mentality. There are many situations that are presented to an athlete on a daily basis that they have to be able to deal with in a proper manner. And there is one category of these situations that I like to call “the little things”. This category contains all the small aspects of the sport that shouldn’t really get you angry, but sometimes do. Kick wax not sticking while on a classic skiing is a good example. Having a bad shooting day, or even when your pole grip doesn’t feel right; those are all things that are so small, so miniscule, and yet I constantly am finding myself getting angry at these things. So I have decided one thing. If you let the little things get the better of you, it’s going to be a long, tiring career as a biathlete or as any athlete for that matter. Whether it be tough training days, lack of sleep, or issues within team members themselves even, these are all things that every athlete in every sport will go through at some point or another. The best athletes in the world are the ones that can take these issues, and “kick them through the goal posts of life”, as one of my teachers once said. Just chalk it all up to self-improvement. Obstacles are inevitable, in sports, in school, in work, in life. The best thing you can do is to work your way over them, not to stand at the base and wonder what to do next. Don’t dwell on the fact that there might be some rough road ahead. There is not always going to be someone to hold your hand through every trying experience you go through, even though we would like to think there will be. That may sound harsh, but it’s a harsh truth. You can’t go through life expecting someone to always be there to make a situation go away, or to have someone make every decision for you, because then, it’s not really your life anymore, is it? There will always be people who will support you, absolutely, (family members, coaches, friends, etc.), and they will help guide you, keeping your best interest in mind, but in the end, the decision is ultimately yours; the sole athlete. The job of an athlete is not only being good at a sport, it is so much more than that. Its being able to withstand many different types of situations, good or bad; being able to shrug off what people may say to bring you down, things like “you’ll never make it to the top”, or “you’re not that good”. Trust me, I’ve heard it. And sometimes it does bother me, for a minute. But then, what is it to me? If anything, statements like that just want to make me work harder to prove them wrong. Can you imagine? Someone saying “you’ll never make it to the top of that podium”, and then the day comes when you are? Standing up there, watching your flag being raised, singing the Star Spangled Banner, because you just won the Olympic gold medal, because that one little statement made you want it that much more? Talk about sweet, sweet victory.  So, I guess, I can sum up exactly what I have just said in one little statement. Do NOT let the little things get to you!