Every time I close my eyes, it plays over and over in my head. It was mine to loose, and I gave it away. It’s a very tough pill to swallow. But, at the same time, there are huge positives to take from this experience. Success or failure, all you can do is take the lessons to move forward, and come back stronger…
This past week, I was racing in the Laser US Nationals in Fort Lauderdale, which was the Canadian trials for the Pan Am Games. Whichever Canadian achieved the best result would get to represent Canada at the games in Peru this summer.
There’s no question that I was the underdog going into these trials. However, after all the progress that I had made on the mental, physical, and sailing aspects over the off season, I knew for myself that I had the skills to do it. I didn’t go in with an expectation that I would or wouldn’t win, I just went in feeling solid in my sailing, and accepting that all I could do was sail my way, and the outcome would be whatever it would be.
This proved to be an ideal headspace. I sailed clean and consistent right from the start, and I was leading the trials as the top Canadian from day 1 until day 3. Unfortunately, it was a four day regatta, and in the only race on this final day, I cracked under the pressure. Until this point, I had just been focused on the sailing, without an expectation of an outcome. However, on this final day, there was a shift in my mindset. I was just focused on the result. I wanted it so bad, that I stopped trusting myself. Although I started the race welI, I wouldn’t commit to my decisions in the race, and kept questioning them and changing my plan. It was mine to loose, and I gave it away.
After the regatta, as me and my coach were processing what had happened, one of us made a comment about how it would have been great if the wind had just been a couple of knots less on that final day of racing because that final race would have been canceled, and I would have gotten to take the win. This was an initial reaction, but with a little further thought, what I realized is that although that hypothetical outcome would have been fun, I’m actually better off the way that things played out. On that final day, I got to experience having the stress and pressure ratcheted up to the max, and I got to see that under those circumstances, I cracked. That’s an extremely valuable thing to know. I’ve already made huge progress on the mental side in the last year, but we have now clearly identified where my weakness is. That is really valuable information, because it will help me to get to the next level.
As someone reminded me, we cannot control outcomes, but we can ensure that we are always moving forward. This has been a big step forward.
Currently, I am in Miami preparing for the Sailing World Cup Miami. It’s a pretty intense month with two major peak competitions back to back. In addition to being a major international regatta, this upcoming event will serve as a Canadian trials to determine who will get to represent Canada at the Olympic Test Event this August at the Olympic venue in Japan. Should be another exciting week of racing!!
Thank you very much for reading and for your support.