Senior Nationals Recap!

So about two three weeks ago I had the opportunity to finish out my season in Victoria, BC, at the Canadian Summer Senior National Championships! I was competing in both the 1m and 3m springboard events, having retired from Platform diving with the end of my collegiate career, but not ready to be done with the sport completely.

This meet was a new experience for me. My training cycle in the weeks leading up the meet, quite honestly, sucked. We weren’t having Saturday practices, I was working a lot (i.e. missing practice times) and we had quite a few cancelled practices for a variety of reasons! After Spring Break I had my final set of x-rays and while I had permission to jump and run, and wasn’t even diving with any more tape on my foot, I felt out of shape, and sluggish, and slow. I didn’t feel like I could jump high or spin fast or be prepared for a Senior National meet. I was borderline panicking- in a constant state of anxiety about this impending competition. Frankly, I didn’t want to embarrass myself.

And while we’re being honest here: I wasn’t wrong. I was NOT prepared for a Senior National meet, and things finally came to head about a week before I left. I sat down with my coach and we talked it through- every cold hard fact and every bit of pressure I had been beating myself up about. We ended up clarifying three goals to focus on in order to end my season on a positive note:

  1. Celebrate the fact that I am healthy- that I am no longer injured, that I can dive on two feet, and that I’m not in pain anymore.
  2. Celebrate my family being there, and the city of Victoria. Victoria is so pretty, and my mother and sister being able to come out for the weekend was so great for Mother’s Day.
  3. Enjoy the atmosphere. Take it all in. Say hi to your friends and enjoy the facility and have FUN during the competition.

My final practices in Iowa were MUCH more enjoyable and I jumped on over to Victoria (where I was 13 HOURS late- rants about my horrible flight karma in the works). After the disastrous travel day however, two days of competitions came and went and I ended up having a great time. Nerves got to me a little during the 3m event and I ended 18th, missing my marks a little more than I had hoped. Despite being somewhat “off” during the event I actually ENJOYED the competitive experience, which is always a bonus! The 1m event the next day was just as fun, where I finished 14th with only one miss compared to the day before.

This meet itself was a testament not to my preparedness or my ability as an athlete, but showed a shift in my outcome expectations. I’m a competitive person- I always want to do well regardless of the circumstances! What I’ve learned over the past year though, is sometimes the circumstances win. Sometimes all you can do is make the best of it, and I surprised even myself getting through the whole week with a smile on my face.

Now my summer plans include taking some much needed time off, getting into work and my internship, and getting to build up my fitness levels again! I can’t wait to be lifting weights and going for runs and finally getting to be SORE!

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“Results Not Indicative of Performance”

I did promise a nationals update! The 2014 Canadian Winter Senior Nationals were held March 7th-9th in Saskatoon, just this past weekend. To be honest, I’m not quite sure how to summarize it. There were highs and lows, some great dives and let downs. Gdklnblnkjzfs. This is hard. It’s like I’m completely split down the middle of those good days and bad, and one emotion can’t out-weigh the other.

The Good- It was awesome to see some old friends, and have the opportunity to train and compete at the facility where I attended my first Senior Nationals in 2009. My mother and sister got to come which was words-can’t-describe awesome, as well as my NCAA coach and my team-mate/future roomie/3-time US National Champ. I felt confident, prepared, relaxed, with a healthy dose of nerves. I knew I was there to do great work, show off my training. Even the Diving Canada official who Talent ID’d me as a 15 year old told me my diving was “on a whole other level” this year. That compliment made the trip worth it.

The Bad- In practice, our coach will sometimes tell us that dive was a “good miss.” A good miss means that you achieved what you wanted to achieve. even if the dive itself didn’t end pretty. I feel like my entire event can be classified as a “good miss.” I accomplished probably one of the most stable mind-sets I ever have in a competition, and didn’t “hit the panic button” on any of my dives. My tops and starts, taking off the board and getting into the dive, were everything I wanted them to be. In all honesty I couldn’t have asked for better take-offs. Unfortunately that day that equaled dives where I couldn’t find the bottom, resulting in low scores. I accomplished what I meant to, but not all the way through the dive.

I asked my friend to text our coach after the event helping to explain myself as I was mortified at the results and what the scoreboard said. At the end of her text, she wrote “Results were not indicative of performance.”

There’s still some reflection to be done, without a doubt. I don’t need to dwell on it, but want to draw out all the positives. I can’t thank my fam, Hawkeye fam, and support system enough for cheering me on!

This is not the end of the road, but a bump in it. I’ve got more in me. That is not the result I will be remembered by, and that is not the event that defines me. Moving on. There are some great things to come this spring (and with this weather I can ACTUALLY say spring!)

But seriously, you guys are da best.