Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Big Question!!!

So how's my training going? 

Well the quick easy answer is great

But what's the truth. How much hard work, sweat, energy, air miles and tears has gone into getting me to where I am now, 5 days out from my 5th World Championship event. How am I actually feeling? How ready am I really? How has the build up gone to the big event next week?

One and a half years ago I realised, on the announcement of the Worlds being potentially held on the Ottawa river, that I had a lot of work to be done. Having grown up surfing holes and for the last 4 years focusing on training for hole worlds I had not spent much time surfing on waves. Now as many of you know I am competitive. It's in my nature to compete. In a fun way. I like to challenge myself to be as good as I possible can and try and beat my friends at everything and anything but all the while whilst enjoying it having fun and not being afraid to fail or lose or to be beaten. It's a funny way to be and it happens without me realising most of the time and has been part of me my whole life growing up. From being a kid playing football (soccer) every single week to battling with my friends and sister, to coaching and living every day life. I constantly want to be better and do well. It just the way I am. 

Carving out to set up for another big trick on Garb

The number of times me and Jez finish lunch with a first pump and a call of 'I beat you' or I find myself watching another paddler throw an epic trick and find myself saying ok 'I can do that, I want to be able to do that, I'm going to learn to do that' and then the days, weeks and months that are then spent crashing and flipping as I try to learn the skill or re challenging myself in that outcome is too many too count. So hearing that it was a wave worlds set me a massive challenge. It was an area of boating I was less familiar with and one that I wanted to try and excel in and be competitive at. I could see what the wave boating athletes could do and I wanted in. I wanted a bit of it. As a result I spent the last 18 months travelling the world surfing and training on waves. With an awesome crew of friends helping me out I have pushed my wave boating beyond what I even thought possible. Hitting on several stages every single move on the ICF score sheet. 

Throwing a massive flashback

With the help of course from the awesome Dennis Newton who travelled with me to train in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Uganda and Canada over the last 8 months alone. (Insane for a volunteer coach but perfect for me not only as my coach but also as my best friend) There has literally been a mix of sweat, blood and tears and massive smiles and adrenaline and emotional highs and lows as we have worked towards my goal and taken on this challenge of excelling in a new element of the sport. 

Den watches, cheers, critics and help me reach my goals

My progress has been huge. Ridiculous in fact and the journey to get here has been unreal, a dream and adventure that I would never take back. I have learnt so much about myself as a person and as a paddler. Some good some, bad and made so much progress on and off the water.

And now it's almost time to put it to the ultimate test. With all this hard work, training done and the ultimate drive still deep within its time to put it to the test out on the water. Next week I will have four 45 seconds rides in freestyle and three 1 minutes rides in squirt to shows case everything I've learnt and make the first cut!

Dropping for a mystery move

Will it work? Who knows? I hope it will but who knows for sure. Some challenges are perfect. Some challenges are sometimes just too big. Some competitions are for me to take home the gold. Some competitions are for me to experience but never win. Sometimes the goal timelines are perfect and sometimes so challenges will just take a little longer. Sometimes I will know I am ready sometimes I will need the fire up of a competition to bring me up that extra level and put me to the ultimate test. But regardless either way they are challenges. Challenges I want to be part of and I choose to accept.

Will I ever be able to beat Jez at a finishing a sandwich? I doubt it! Will I be able to open up this years worlds competition with an airscrew, airscrew opening combo? I doubt it. Will I be able to hit a 30 second mystery move at Smoothie during the worlds comp or break 2000 point ride with the perfect combination of all the moves I have working on? Maybe? But will I still try and build to it and give my 100% into seeing if I can do every and any of the challenges and go into it 100% fighting for the win. Yes, yes I will. I will I keep challenging myself to one day get to these life goals. Yes

Why? Because it's fun
Why? Because it makes me better
Why? Because why not I enjoy the process of learning

Throwing a massive helix 
and losing the grip on my paddle mid move.
When one things goes great another may not!

So I ask myself once more how's training going for worlds? Great I have done everything I possibly can this year to be in the best position possible to go out and give this my best shot. Would I like to win? Yes of course I would. Will I be opening my ride with aircrew / aircrew? Possibly not this year but some day in the future yes. Would I like to put down some epically massive rides containing all the moves I've been working on? Yes of course I do.

Will I win? Who knows? There are some awesome female paddlers out there who have also been training hard and are paddling super well who have every chance as much as me to do well and take home the top spot. But I sure will give it my best shot

Am I excited? Yes. Am I ready? I'm as ready as I've ever been for this a worlds wave event!

Bring on the 2015 ICF World Championships Let the games begin!