“Yes, terrible things happen, but sometimes those terrible things– they save you.” –Chuck Palahniuk
These words have been reverberating in my mind over the past couple of weeks. Bouncing off the emptiness. Writing about coming up short, although truthful and meaningful, is still hard heavy material. …but as I find my own light in the tunnel I think this is as fitting a stage as any to bring closure to the past month.
Despite finding out my coach would no longer be working with me or USBA and a snowless week at home that I spent running, mountain biking, and puking my guts out I went into the trials races in Minnesota feeling calm and confident. I even managed to win the first race of the series despite taking my dear time on the range… However, that one glimmer of hope wouldn’t be enough. I floundered on the range in the next two races, despite skiing well, and putting together some of the best standing shooting of my (rather short) career… I couldn’t pull it together.
I seem to have a chronic problem of under-performing when it matters most. It’s as if I’m playing a little game called “How Badly Can Corrine Mess This Up?” *hint: I’m winning
It’s cringe inducing.
Needless to say, it was also devastating. There were factors beyond my control, and yet when I look back on it all I can think is, “You just weren’t good enough.” Unfortunately, close doesn’t count for much in these settings.
So what do you do with an athlete like me? An athlete in the development gap. A gap we don’t have a plan for. Heck, I don’t even know what to do with me. I’m no longer a junior (although my experience level suggests other wise) and yet I seem to be a constant step behind my older senior team mates… Honestly I’m spent. I’ve spent the past 8 months banging my head against a wall. Pushing to keep up. To get better …and I am better. My good just hasn’t been good enough to completely bridge the gap. After all it’s only a six year leap right? Of course right.
While no one is sure what to do with me I’ve decided to take matters into my own hands with the hope of avoiding an utterly disastrous (definitely looming) total burn out.
If there is one thing I’ve learned over the last year and a half it is that you have got to be happy. Happy with what you’re doing, happy with what you’re aspiring to do, and most importantly happy with yourself.
Over the past few weeks I have had many a hard conversation and sent numerous heart wrenching emails. I’ve been faced with some tough decisions and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t scared. My fear is real and tangible. Yet with every positive step I take forward for myself I feel myself breathe a little easier, sleep a little better, and smile a little more.
One thought on “Walls That Mean Well, Still Hurt.”
We briefly met in Mammoth, where you were kind enough to introduce yourself. I didn’t see your name in the results (I wanted to see how the elite biathletes from last year did this year) at nationals so I googled you to see what you have been up to. Reading your accounts, I think you are on the right track. Happiness training and avoiding burn out are important. You obviously have a lot of talent, so please continue to compete. I once had a similarly hard time (different sport) and at least ended my athletic career with good experiences. Lots of thoughts, but you seem to be recovering. Hope to see your name at the top of the standings again!