I lost my cool for a second up on the hill the other day. No, I wasn’t shot-putting skis or cracking poles over my leg, but I did get bummed out over some crappy turns that I should have known better than to make. If I am skiing like an idiot and I know it I should be able to change it, right? Sometimes it’s just not so simple.
Thanks to my many talks with Barbara as well as having the privilege to guest coach the extremely talented youth from the Killington Mountain School in Austria these past two weeks, I have come to realize something more than ever before. Bad runs suck. Terrible days are rough. Weeks of struggling are straight demoralizing.
My trip to Austria was sweet; I say these things purely as observation so bare with me.
In a career there are extreme amounts of hours/days/weeks/years that are devoted to your work.
People consistently say that when you blow a race, a year down the road you wont even remember it. I am sorry, but I am going to call bullshit on that one. If you blow a sweet race, there will still be a sting to it when you think back on it down the road, even if you have surpassed that particular day result wise by miles in the time since. Don’t get me wrong, there is a difference between still feeling a sting and dwelling on it, but that’s a whole different beast. For now lets focus on the sentiment at hand.
Sure, a crappy race is a bummer, but a tough day of training? My god, those are going to crop up more days than you could ever remember. I mean that. You might recall a missed result, but you will NEVER recall a bad turn or a run in training where you leaned in and fell. And those things certainly do not do well to dwell on in the moment.
I have personally been at this for a while and I know what it is to work at something for years and then some. The fact of the matter is that you will ALWAYS be working on something. The only moment in an athletic career where you stop working towards the unattainable thing that we call perfection is the day you quit.
I know what it is to be cussing as I slide past a gate in training, berating myself for a week inside half and a lost outside ski. I understand the way a bad run can turn into a terrible day that can turn into nearly unbearable weeks. I get that sometimes things just don’t go your way no matter how hard you deem them to be otherwise.
I lost my cool for a second up on the hill the other day. I cussed and I may have clicked out of my skis and dropped my poles more aggressively than absolutely necessary as I strode away from the group to go stand solitary near the edge of the piste on the glacier.
But in that moment it is important to look from without instead of from within. Bad turns are inevitable. Bad days are a choice of perspective. You will never have the power to change what is past but next run is something fully in your control. Remember that, and use that tool to stave off days or even weeks of unnecessary frustration.