I’ve been madly packing things all weekend for Nationals, and the reality has hit that I actually leave tomorrow night after work to embark on my trip to Albury. I leave immediately after work tomorrow night, arriving around 10pm I imagine. I’ve got everything standing in the bedroom ready to load into the car tomorrow morning – Blankets, pillows, food, suitcases, my paddle, a lifejacket, and an iPod adaptor for my car incase I get bored of my Harry Potter Audiobooks. And tonight? Frantic last minute things, like going to the Dr, getting some meds, giving the boyfriend far too many instructions on how to look after my guinea pig for a week …
I’m starting to get really nervous – like, really nervous, and I don’t know why. I’ve been to Nationals plenty of times before, but it’s my first time racing with Melbourne Flames and the Victorian State crew, so I wonder if that’s part of the reason why I’m feeling sick and having chest constrictions a day out from departure (hoo boy, just wait until CHINA then hahah). I don’t even know why I’m nervous. My crews are great – the people are rad, we’ve trained hard and it’s finally our time to shine. Is it anxiety about seeing my former club there? Is it anxiety about the 4 hour drive immediately after work, seeing as I rarely drive in Melbourne? I’ll have Mama and Papa K there, and if having your folks close by you isn’t the best safety blanket then I don’t know what is.
Of course, it didn’t help that I was actually sick over the weekend too and have come down with a cold 2 days before racing, plus everyone in my office being sick as well. It’s like my body has just held up it’s little tiny hands and is demanding rest, since I trained Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday over Easter while not feeling 100% (Serge will not be impressed if he knew). Well, little body … You gotta suck it up for another week! I did manage to squeeze in some quality couch time on Easter Monday, and go for a light gentle walk with my boyfriend (stopping to go and play on the swings in the playground) as final preparation but I have no more training sessions, and right now I’m just trying to give my body some decent food (and hope it keeps the food inside of me – TMI!), and deal with the constant nausea I seem to be having. Bad stomach. If you are nerves, I’m doomed on the start line.
I don’t know what to expect from this Nationals. of course, a small part of me is hoping that I come home with just one medal – something to make my folks’ spectating trip to Albury worth their while. Plus, after the tumultuous season I’ve had, it’d be a nice little pat on the back. But it isn’t about winning. I’ve made that mistake before going into Nationals where all I could do is think about the medals and built myself up for disappointment. These Nationals are run a lot deeper than that. Our coach always says that it’s not about results, it’s about the race, and that’s basically what I want to focus on doing. I just want to run a clean race – get all my calls perfect, amp the team up and show them that I’m good at what I do. Because I am. When I’m not nervous and I have a bit of faith in myself.
We’re as prepared as we can be. Most of us have raced on this course before too, so we have that advantage over interstate teams. I would have liked some more time on the drum before Nationals, but I’ll have to rely on what I know, and lip reading the sweep to get me through the first couple of days. I know I can do it. So why the nerves, body?!
Nerves are good. I’ve heard people say that if you’re not nervous then you’re over confident. But the flip side of that is too much nerves hinders your performance. I’ll just have to take a step back, tune out to some Chvrches before I race, and remember to focus on the present. I can’t change the results – what will be, will be. And I can’t change the past – I’ve come along way mentally, physically and psychologically. The only thing I can do is put my faith in the 21 other people in the boat with me and hope for the best.
Until then, all I can do is focus on one thing at a time, and that’s getting through the next 30 hours before departure with all my running around, and work and so on.
Wish me luck guys.