I haven’t written in a little while, even though it’s something I’ve been trying to maintain. Maybe I needed more time after Nationals to actually decompress (hasn’t happened yet—won’t happen for a while longer, either). Maybe I just needed a break. I’ve been trying to fully come to terms with our trip to Reno. A spectacular adventure: a road trip; the West; the mountains; the biggest, bluest sky I’ve seen; new and old friends; tears and laughs (it was a very full 5 days). We hit highest highs and lowest lows on the same day. It was an exhausting, exhilarating whirlwind. It was one of the best experiences of my life. It pushed me out of my comfort zone. It took me travelling further than I ever have before, and it taught me more than I could have expected.
The goal going in to the weekend was the same as it’s been (the same as every run we have as a team): one jump at a time, one obstacle at a time, connection, commitment, criteria, run out the last line. After round 1 I felt that a small weight had been lifted—the lines hadn’t been the cleanest in the middle of the course, but it was a clear round with a respectable time. Round two was a different story. The 16 inch division has been growing for many years at NAC, and I felt it in standard. There was more than 4 hours of downtime after we walked—twelve hours into the day, only one run under our belt. I did my best to try to keep Bolt focused, but his three-year old brain had melted and it showed (always beware when your dogs’ pupils are full, dark black). Hard lesson, but lesson learned. Losing sucks. Not living up to what you expected from yourself is worse.
Every now and again you have to allow yourself to acknowledge the pain, the embarrassment, the anger (at yourself), and the disappointment. We don’t travel 3,000 miles to compete and not feel disappointment when things don’t go the way we hoped—we’re human, it’s allowed. I felt that sting for a long time after. I’m lucky to be surrounded by some amazing people, though. Thankful for the words I heard. I let it eat at me for some time, shook it off, and got mad. (Not at my dog, never at my dog.)
Mad, mad, mad. It’s allowed. Get mad sometimes. Remind yourself what you’ve worked for, what you’ve come for, and go out and fight for it. I didn’t travel to California, drive through half the state, cross mountains just to get to Reno and lose it over a bad front cross and a less than sticky a-frame contact. I refused to let it end there. I got mad. Not angry, not pissed, not something dangerous like that– mad. Finding your mad is all about finding your passion, your drive, your willingness to succeed in whatever capacity you’re looking for. Mad is all about digging deep and refusing to give in. Fighting through hybrid, laying down a fast, clean run was the best moment of the weekend. We held on to second place for quite a while in a competitive class. When the “C” popped up next to his name on the board and I knew we were heading to challengers it was just icing on the cake. Whatever happened in there happened. It didn’t matter as much as knowing that sometimes we will be knocked down, but if we decide to fight back we’ll never really be out. I’ll be taking that reminder forward with me in all ventures, but especially in a few weeks when we make our way back to Hopkins, Minnesota.
So, get mad.
Get what you came for.