The saying goes hind sight is 20/20 and it couldn't read more true for myself over the week past. I would have done many things differently given a second chance but regardless I am thankful for the life lessons learnt, however EXPENSIVE they might have been. Sitting down after all the chaos and trying to figure out just where things went wrong is tricky... Just how far do you go back? Is it as easy as identifying one bad decision which led to the seemingly endless string of problems? How do I avoid similar mistakes in the future? What is the road map moving forward?
Often times when things start going wrong in life there is a very brief window of opportunity where taking a stand of strength can correct your current trajectory and keep damages to a minimal. I would like to believe this past week has helped me to more easily identify this brief window and given me the courage to make that tough decision with more confidence in my own abilities. If that is all I took from this experience I would consider it a success and a necessary chapter of my journey. But I have taken away so much more!
Disappointment can motivate the body and focus the mind like few other things in this life. I am accustomed to success, it drives me and fuels me when times get tough, it's my framework of reference. Failure however I am less familiar with, I am often driven by the fear of failure but seldom do I come face to face with its bitterness. Looking back on the week it seems failure was inevitable, mostly due to self inflicted circumstances but regardless failure is important, the late Teddy Roosevelt said: "Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though chequered with failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much because they live in the grey twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat" I am content referring to this past week as a failure, a defeat but that being said I know it has equipped me well for the future and my inevitable victory.
For those who missed it I was in Zittua, Germany this past weekend racing the ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships and as I am sure you have gathered by now it wasn't my finest performance. The list of mistakes is long and I have never been one to stand hat in hand full of excuses as to why the world has once again conspired against me leading to such a dismal performance so I will spare you the dreary details of each but here are the 'highlights':
Sadly I could keep going but let's leave it there at the risk of anyone feeling pity for me, this is no pity party and the last thing I want are sympathetic eyes staring tearfully back at me. It is important to understand that each of the mistakes listed above were perfectly avoidable. With just a little more attention to detail, planning and less ignorance on my side I could very easily have stood on that podium alongside athletes I have battled toe to toe with all season but now found myself many minutes down feeling somewhat forgotten and embarrassed. After all you are only as good as your last race right? Debatable, but sadly it seems to be the current yardstick for an athlete's abilities.
There is now only a little more than 9 weeks remaining until the Xterra World Championships in Maui, Hawaii and it will be my debut. I have been a distant spectator of this race for much too long now and it is time I joined the battle. I have a very clear vision and plan of what needs to be done over the coming weeks in order to arrive on the island in a position to put together the best race of my life, it will take perfection if I wish to play any part in the race up front. Whatever the outcome I refuse to simply make up the numbers as I did in Germany!
Between then and now I have one more race in Ogden, Utah being the grand final of the Xterra USA series where I am currently ranked second and will need to produce a good performance to maintain this position. It will serve as a great test just 5 weeks out from Hawaii and highlight any flaws which may have been over looked in training. I will once again be based in Boulder, Colorado taking advantage of the high altitude and perfect training environment alongside familiar training partners.
The plan is near perfect but the devil is in the detail and the execution will determine the final outcome.
I shall be striving for daily perfection...