Be More

Life update: I have a day and a half left of my internship, start my new “real” job on Monday, and my tan is approximately at 7% of last years. Office life probs.

This summer has come with a lot of reflecting and looking ahead. I’ve struggled to find the “why” behind my discontent- why do I feel the need to constantly “be productive”? Not saying that this is a bad thing- I LIKE being productive and feeling busy. The issue I’m currently running into is…what am I training for? What do I have to be productive towards?

I read a blog post from one my favorites the other day, and she summed it up perfectly: “I am a do-er, not a perfectionist”. I am not one to nit pick on every single little detail, but am I am one that loves to look at the big picture. That involves creating training schedules that don’t account for stretching and foam rolling (or sleep), and always feeling AMAZING after a yoga class but never making the time to go.

My entire life I have been an athlete, and I have been fortunate enough to train hard and to travel the continent and excel in a high-performance setting. And as positive as I tried to be throughout the ordeal, breaking my foot scared the crap out of me. It’s been six months, and it still makes me angry and it still makes me sad that I didn’t get the opportunity to perform at my peak, as this season was by the far the best I have ever felt with my diving. I spent the rest of the winter doing rehab and competing on painkillers, spent all spring recovering and then training for Nationals. After a perfectly average, nothing outstanding Nationals performance, I’ve spent the whole summer working out to feel “back in shape”. I was/am convinced that my physical conditioning after the broken foot was the worst it’s been in years (which I completely understand comes with the territory of injury). I am not a dainty athlete- my strength in diving has always been my power over my technique or “rip” (entering the water without a splash). To have that taken away felt like a much bigger blow than it needed to be because that certain injury took away everything I was “good” at. I had to rely on the things I wasn’t as good at to get me through and I couldn’t stand it.

This summer, I have been getting up at 5:30am and working out before I had to go to the office, or would go straight to the gym from work if I didn’t make it before 8am. I don’t even have a meet to train for yet, as next years nationals haven’t been posted but I am assuming my next competition will be between December and February. And honestly? I am back “in-shape” at this point. I can squat, I can run, I’m doing just fine. And yet, the discontent remains. That burn is still there, lingering, from when I felt “out of shape”.

I am not training to be in shape anymore- I am training out of fear of feeling weak. It’s not always positive and it’s not always fun, and I’ve complained to my Dad about not wanting to become a cookie-cutter health blogger because I am not someone who goes to gym to do Pinterest workouts and writes running playlists (I will write about food however, 10/10 times). I want to be a force of nature. I want to be a hurricane of an athlete- strong and fierce, not weak and afraid.

I want to push myself, in every way possible. I want to surpass my standard of feeling “in shape”. I want to attempt harder dives, and lift heavier, and run further. I want to do more and be more and really see what I can do- what I’m capable of as an athlete. I am feeling that motivation to train harder, smarter, and to pay more attention to my nutrition and recovery.

Another quote from that same favorite blogger sealed the deal for me today: “You have to do decide who are to be, and just be it”. You cannot wait for Monday or next season or when you lose ten pounds to declare you are “starting”. This is life- you have already started. If you want to do something, train for something, be something, just go be it.

With that in mind, I’m on a mission. To do more and be morestay tuned.

What Would You Do With $37 Million?

The Canadian Olympic Committee announced earlier today that they would be pledging $37 million to Own the Podium over the next four years, an increase from the $25 million pledged between 2009 and 2012. This funding comes from the private sector, and amounts to nearly a 50% increase for the next quad. While no details have yet been released on how the money is going to delegated among sport science and research, and the various sport’s National Governing Organizations (you can find the amount that has been delegated to specific sports on the Own the Podium website), the amount of money is nonetheless an incredible advance in the support of Canada’s high performance athletes.

“We know it takes a village to raise a champion,” stated COC President Marcel Aubut this morning. Anne Merklinger, CEO of Own the Podium, said “Canadians love hearing our national anthem and see the Canadian flag raised above the Olympic and Paralympic podium.” National Team Ice Dancer Kaitlyn Weaver said that competing for Canada on the world stage is her greatest accomplishment.

AVSvictoria said “If the government was really interested in supporting sports and athletics, they would invest money in elementary and high school physical education programs. This is what will give us a healthier population, more Olympic quality athletes in the future, and more Olympic medals.” Spondytoo said “Where exactly would we find out the compensation packages and expenses of the COC and OTP crowd?” Phritz stated” Screw the olympics! …unnecessary and boring! Give it to the food banks to feed the mentally ill and hungry youth/parents and create some affordable housing for the homeless! No one would miss the olympics anyways!”

AVSvictoria apparently thinks Olympic championships are made in high school gym classes. I sincerely hope Spondytoo is protesting a lot of norms in our society, considering that the NHL salary cap for the 2013-2014 season was $64.3 million dollars, and the combined salary of the top five players in the NHL far exceeded $37 million. And I would like inform Phritz, that since 2001, Canada has invested $305 million in fighting homelessness across the country.

Call me an activist, or call me a super-fan. I believe that our Canadian athletes have EVERY right to fight for gold, not only in Sochi but in Rio, Peyeong Chang, and Tokyo. I would challenge any Canadian to watch Sidney Crosby’s “Golden Gold” from Vancouver in 2010 and not feel a hint a pride. These athletes do not belong to major professional leagues, whose earnings easily go into the double digits of millions. These athletes don’t get the same media attention, the Hollywood treatment wherever they go, and ESPN analysts debating your every move for points (yup, I’m making fun of you, Fantasy Football). These athletes function under a system of where their successes and failures are reminiscent of a gopher- they pop up, then they vanish. Every two years, we celebrate their accomplishments and cry when they reach the podium and sing along when they get gold (Adam Kreek in 2008 anyone?). How can we cheer them on and shout “Go Canada Go” from our living room couches without supporting their struggle and their process leading up to the Games? This $37 million might not make a massive difference in Sochi, but I hope Canadians are intelligent enough to understand the difference those funds will make in 2016, and 2018.

With glowing hearts, we see thee rise, the true North strong and free. And on top of the podium, with tears in our eyes and gold on their necks.

I do not own the photos or quotes associated with this post

Hawks Continued

To finish these rambling excited thoughts from my last post, I’m now sitting on the couch in my apartment playing PENN STATE in THEIR Big Ten semi-final game! AND THEY ARE WINNING with eight minutes to go!!

To put this in perspectives, our soccer team this year recorded their first post season win EVER against Michigan a few days ago, and set a school record of 14 wins in the process.

I’ll keep the world posted while I freak out. GO HAWKS

Hawkeyes!

I am completely geeking out on Hawkeye Athletics right now. There’s not one, but TWO, Big Ten Championship Tournaments going on right now. Field hockey ay Ohio State and soccer at Illinois. At practice this morning we turned on the tv for us to watch TiVo, like we normally would for practice, and for some reason instead of our TiVo channel the Big Ten Network was on. And thank goodness it was!

Field hockey was playing Penn State in the semi-final, with 25 minutes left, and they were down 2-0. And the next half hour was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen.

We get a goal with 19 minutes left, get ANOTHER goal on a penalty something (sorry I don’t know field hockey). Penn State, the number one team in the Big Ten, fights back setting the score at 3-2. And I kid you not with ZEROS on the clock (I guess you can do that in field hockey) we get possession in front of their goal, AND TIE THE FREAKING GAME! THIS is having the heart of a champion! THAT is fighting till the very bitter end! Unlike my last post about the NYC marathon, this is so close to home. These are my classmates, and my friends.

I’m sure you can predict the story from here. Sudden death overtime, with five minutes left of diving practice we just gave up and watched, and the Iowa Field Hockey team gets the first goal in the net to advance to the Big Ten Championship game. I may have teared up a little bit when the team rushed the field,  throwing their sticks in the air.

Massive congratulations to our Field Hockey girls. You are inspiring, and Hawkeyes everywhere are cheering you on!