It’s been a while since my last post. I want to apologize for the delay, but I much rather explain to you what has been going on in my life over the past few weeks.
As I left Ottawa for this new big and exciting adventure I was to embark upon in Calgary, I was filled with a sense of unbound energy and excitement. The feeling lasted well into the first month of arriving in Calgary. The moment I landed I hit the ground running without much pause to reflect on what I was actually doing with my life. Everything seemed to be moving a mile a minute in a very positive direction, filling my days with training and running errands in order to settle into what I would be calling my home over the next few years. I was meeting new people, visiting new places and getting to know my surroundings a little better, piece by piece, what had been an idea in my mind for months had slowly begun to take shape without me realizing it.
I’ve been in Calgary for 8 weeks now and I’m very much feeling like reality has caught up to me. No longer am I imagining through a utopic idealism with images of podiums and opening ceremonies. Unfortunately those thoughts have been tainted with a hint of pragmatic realism that has settled into my life only recently. Training has been going very well over the past month. We have finished two training cycles focusing on stability and smaller muscles groups and we have now moved into our third training cycle of Hypertrophy (growing muscles). The training intensity has noticeably increased, echoed by the fact that our training group no longer plays “Jump 21″ (Our version of basketball’s “21″ game) as a substitute for warming up before, and cooling down after training. Also, the mood in the gym has changed slightly; it remains very positive and light, but there is a new competitive energy lingering about in the training centre. Although we are all teammates, everyone would like to make it onto the first team and hit sub 5.10 push times in the ice house come testing time in late summer, and I’ve noticed that there is a bit of sizing up going on between myself and my teammates. That being said, I believe it is a very positive energy, pushing everyone to better themselves daily.
I was recently hit with a big dose of reality last week when I started my new job as a restaurant server at Joey’s Crowfoot. I knew eventually I was going to have to start working, but I didn’t realize the impact it would have on my daily life. As it was without work, I was training roughly 4 hours a day and then I would go home and lounge about, relaxing for the better part of the afternoons and tending, albeit very casually, to blog writting, sponsorship applications, grocery shopping, etc. It was great, I had so much time to recover from training that I always felt fresh and ready to give a 100% the next day, I even had time to go out and make friends with the National Alpine Team, spending sundays playing beach volleyball and barbecuing. But, as we all know, money rules the world and my pockets are not lined with gold. So I picked up a job, and started training as a server last week. Luckily, last week had been a recovery week for training which provided a convenient time frame to be able to train for my new job as a server. This week however was a completely different story. Not only was I starting a difficult new training cycle for bobsleigh, I was starting a new job at which I had no prior experience. This week I spent 25 hours training, and another 35 hours working at a high paced, high stress job, and at night I was trying to learn what the hell was in the “Panang Prawn Curry Bowl”, one of the 40 or so dishes offered on Joey’s menu. I no longer had time to check emails, or even return my mom or father’s phone calls, simply cooking for myself had become diffuclt to manage. I would wake up early, get a ride to practice with my coach, train, then I would take a nap for an hour and half before I had to be at work for 5pm and I would work until 1030-11, and do it all over again this whole week. I know it might seem like your typical work day for most of you, but with the demands the training is placing on my body, the regular burn and aches in my muscles that I have grown accustomed to over the years, are really adding to this 60 hour work week.
Faced with stunned looks, and faces screwed incomprehensibly when bringing up the notion of a job with my teammates has me realizing that I am one of the very few who is attempting to work alongside this training regiment. I’ve been called crazy a few times, and wished “good luck” by my teammates which hasn’t really given me a great sense of confidence so far. After one short week I now understand why working during a training program like this can be seen as a little crazy. There words of empathetic encouragement probably stems from past experiences similar to mine, whether they were successful or not, it remains that my situation is less than ideal, I would even say it sucks haha. So for now it seems my life will consist of not much more than training, working, sleep and grocery shopping. As I left Ottawa this spring I was saying to myself “This is going to be the best summer of my life”, boy was I wrong. This will prove to be one of the most demanding and arduous summers I have yet to face.
However, after all has been said and done, if you were to ask me if I would do it all over again, I would tell you with absolute certainty “yes, this is exactly where I want to be”. The prospect of of becoming an olympian is to big a goal to give up simply because the road is difficult. Eventually I’m sure I’ll figure a way to manage training and work. The only thing that I’m constantly looking out for at the moment is diminishing returns in performance during my training. So far I haven’t seen any, but if I do, something will have to give and you can trust that it wont be training, sleep or groceries.