I used to have a subscription to Maclean’s magazine and attempted to read as much of each issue as I could, you know to ‘stay informed’. I’ve been known to interject at least a few conversations with the words, “I read an article in Maclean’s about…” after which much eye-rolling ensues. Well anyways, last year I read an article in Maclean’s about hockey player Scott Niedermayer. It was one of a series on Canadian Olympians leading into the Vancouver Games.
Now, as you may have previously noted, I’m not much of an NHL fan, but learning about this guy at least made me a fan of him, if not his company. That is one classy athlete. One of his quotes in particular caught my eye, enough so that I cut it out and added it to a little pile of of other quotes that have caught my eye at one time or another. I liked this one because at the time I thought it was a good reminder for the months ahead. It is not particularly earth shattering or profound but rather so obviously simple and precise.
“It never goes exactly as you picture it. There are always ups and downs, a few challenges that come around that you didn’t account for.”
These words certainly held true for me throughout the Games and I imagine they would hold true for pretty much anybody anywhere at any time in their life.
Yesterday at the airport in Berlin I happened upon this quote again as it seems to have found its way into the plastic window of my travel passport holder. Certainly things were not going as I had pictured them, although to be fair I didn’t have much of a picture to begin with. And this time, I’m kind of on the ‘downs’ side of things and facing a different sort of challenge.
The first two World Cups were all over the place for me – physically and mentally. Mediocre results, difficulties with technique and rhythm, not to mention motivation, left me swinging around feeling bad to okay to good and back to bad. On Sunday in Berlin I felt I was coming around again, technically and mentally, if not quite yet able to lay down the races I want to have.
My last race of the weekend in Berlin was the Team Pursuit and we all felt good about the plan we had; the way we pictured it. And everything went according to plan, until my first pull where in the turn the ice just broke away from under my foot. Before I knew what was happening I was on my tush hurtling towards the mats. No time to think, I instinctively got my legs and blades out of the way, hitting the mats with my back first, then my head. Oops.
I got up without any problems, but knew right away that at the very least I was due for a pretty bad case of whiplash. At first my coach urged me to rejoin my teammates and finish the race but there was no way that was going to happen! I simply got off the ice annoyed that we had been on such a good race until that point.
As the hours went by I decided I didn’t feel too well and saw the US team doc. He suspected a concussion, which unfortunately has proven to be correct. I traveled to Hamar anyways, hopeful that it would pass in a couple of days. Looks like I will be heading home instead to rest and hopefully recover asap. I’ve never had a concussion before and it’s a little disconcerting, but the fact that I’m writing this and that it is mostly coherent means I have at least not completely lost my marbles.
This isn’t exactly how I pictured this trip ending, but like my pal Niedermayer says, it never really goes that way. Time to work on Plan B. I like to think things like this happen for a reason, and maybe the reason is that I need to go home and take a little break. Should help me get my mojo back and give me lots of time to catch up on all those Maclean’s.