Monday, January 25, 2010

A Day Down - In More Ways Than One...

Today I took a day off skiing because this stupid cold is getting worse, not better, so I spent the whole day in bed. Yup, I’m here in beautiful France spending the day in bed. Over the last couple of days I have really tried to rest up, taken lots of vitamin C and drank lots of water. I’m even filling up my 1 litre water bottle just before going to bed and by morning, I’ve drunk it all, sometimes even after refilling it sometime during the night. Staying hydrated while at elevation is always a challenge and getting even a little dehydrated can have a negative effect on an athlete’s performance so I continue to drink water like crazy. I think yesterday alone I had about 6 litres – the equivalent of 24 cups. Despite my best efforts to kick this cold to the curb, it persists. Only two days before I race and I can’t say I’m feeling ready to go, which is frustrating because there is a lot riding on these races. There are 14 athletes vying for 12 spots on Team Canada and now is not the time to be off my game. Not feeling 100% right now is not helping my mental state so I am just doing all I can to start feeling better.

To complicate things, the senior team showed up last night and along with that comes some interesting team dynamic issues. Our development squad philosophy is to work together for the betterment of all. Our philosophy isn’t necessarily shared by all of the senior team members – for some of them, individualism, not teamwork, seems to be preferred. These two very different perspectives don’t really work well together, which increases stress levels for everyone. To complicate things even more, it seems there was a mix-up with the room reservations. One of the senior team staff made a comment insinuating we had stolen their rooms, but now it's believed that somewhere along the line, the host organizing committee lost reservations for half of the Canadian athletes so now the senior team athletes are bunking in with us. I was supposed to move in with Mary and George so Collette can stay with Margarita and Andrea because the bathroom in Mary and George’s room isn’t wheelchair accessible, but we've decided that four girls to a room isn't so bad with only one bathroom. If need be, I'll go shower at Mary's. I don’t mind accommodating Collette, but it is annoying because I honestly believe that if the situation were reversed and our development squad had showed up after the senior team and the reservations were missing, we’d be building igloos out by the race course.

Anyway, I am trying to find the mental space to accept what is happening and focus on getting healthy so I can race to the best of my ability. As Confucius once said, “Sometimes in order to gain, you must be willing to let go.” He taught this to his pupils by putting an apple in a vase and asking them to get it out. Most of his pupils would reach into the vase, grab the apple and try and pull it out, only to discover the opening to the vase wasn’t big enough to accommodate a hand grasping an apple. Only when they were willing to let go of the apple and turn the vase upside-down would they be able to get it out. So my objective today is to get my apple of health and happiness out of the vase of disappointment and frustration. Wish me luck!

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