Sunday, May 24, 2009

Desenzano Photos

Post Desenzano

Where do I start today, other than to repeat myself – when you fall down, just get back up again!

My goal as your role model is to give you someone to look up to, an example of someone in pursuit of her own excellence. I want to show you my bravery and dedication; in hopes that you will become as courageous and focused to achieve your very own goals.

To tell my story, I cannot only talk to you about success - a large part is learning from personal struggle and hardship. One of the most simple and sound pieces of advice I have been handed in my years as an athlete and over achiever, is this: if it were easy, everyone would do it!

In Desenzano, I was caught up in my nerves and my nerves got the best of me. I let myself and my coach down and I am in the middle of picking myself up and learning that this is merely my new touchstone of when things get rough.

Here is the thing: It is easy to sit around and fantasize about what you want. The hard part is going after it. Interestingly enough, one of my fears (on a long list) might simply be a fear of success. I have a fear of results; I set a high standard for myself and while I think I am able, I do not always believe it. When I was in Desenzano, I was focused on my fear. I was focused on the consequences of failure. Let me tell you, this was overwhelming.

However, I have taken a step back. I have accepted my mistake, as if it truly were a mistake. But really, it was a moment I had a chance to learn about myself. I learnt that I need to look at the numbers before a competition and have a set goal for each event and overall. I know this now, and it does not feel overwhelming, nor out of reach.

A fun fact about fear is, once it is identified, it turns into something else and hopefully on it is way to becoming irrelevant. As for worrying about what I imagine “other” people to think of me, I am reminded of a story from a fellow old university teammate. He recently shared his story and it put this point into perspective:

One of the things that I remember about our former coach is that every once in a while, when I was sitting and stretching before or after practice, Coach would walk by and say, “Hey, guess who was asking about you today?” I would answer, “Who?” And then Coach would say, “No one.”

I chose this career as an athlete for myself. I work hard because I love this sport. I think that what is important to inspire others is sharing the fact that you falter and doubt your ability to carry on, but that you pick yourself up again stronger than before, doubly committed to your goal, and you press on to the end.

Being in pursuit of excellence means we set a goal, make a plan, and work toward it. However, every now and then we need to look around, drink it in, because this is it. I have taken a moment to think of my accomplishments to date and be proud of me; know that I have an inner strength that will bring me through this current struggle and get back to enjoying competition.

As of today, it is just under two weeks till Arles, France. I am using visualization exercises to prepare myself for what it will be like at the start of the events and find confidence to relax. I will find a way to tap into that strength that has gotten me this far and hopefully this will unlock all the training and preparation to be fearless out there!

Your Athlete,

p.s. My foot is on the mend. I have been to physiotherapy and the joint is in place and now it just needs time for the tendons to heal. I have started to run again, slowly for now, but by the end of this coming week we hope to start with some explosive work and sprints. I think there will be some pain, but overall, the foot will be ready for Arles!

Monday, May 11, 2009



Well, there is always a plan B for a reason. If you have seen the results, you know I did not finish the competition. During my long jump warm-up, I was doing some practice jumps on the track and landed one on the side of my foot and injured my ankle/foot.

Long sigh ... it was a difficult choice not to finish the competition. However, I had to think about long term and focus on the mental and physical recovery for the next competition in a months time.

The results of the first 5 events:
100mH - 13.90sec
HighJump - 1.69m
ShotPut - 13.37m
200m - 25.04sec
LongJump - 5.83m

Overall, I can say it was an average result for opening the season, but I was not pleased. I felt very tired and just never found my rhythm here in Italy. I think at this moment, that I put too much pressure on myself and expected too much from just one competition. I need to remember that sometimes we need to just keep taking small steps to move forward and trust that we'll get there.

Now, I will head back to Holland and I will start my recovery. I hope to be back to training in 1-2 weeks. From there I will most likely head to Arles, France 06-07 June.

Well this is all a part of sports. I just have to go through this and get myself ready for the next one!

Your Athlete,

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I Have Earned This Moment

Well, the seemingly endless training hours are at a momentary break. I have spent the last six months preparing for and building up to this weekend – the weekend of the 22nd Multistars Combined Events Competition. I am about embrace a moment I have spent the last four years chasing, four years of ups and down, tears and joy and everything in between ...

Tomorrow I will make my way to Northern Italy, to the city of Desenzano del Garda. I will compete in a field of 35 women from 16 countries, such as Russia, India, and Great Britain. I am starting ranked, 11th or 16th depending on which score you use – 5889 points is a wind-aided score, and 5797 points is from the Canadian Nationals in 2008.

Bart and I have spoken a handful of times in the last week and we are on the same page heading into this competition. We are both pleased with our preparations and feel very excited to see what the results will be in a few short days. We have a plan and we know what we are hoping for, but there is nothing left to do but relax and show off the skills we have been preparing.

I feel mentally grounded and focused on what I want and I believe in my potential. As for numbers and speculations going into this competition, I leave that to Bart. I am approaching the start line with a solid preparation. I am healthy, which has always been a major hurdle for us to overcome. I feel great. I am moving smoothly and I feel ready to get out there and get the ball rolling!

A great Steve Prefontaine quote: “you have to wonder at times what you’re doing out there. Over the years, I’ve given myself a thousand reasons to keep running, but it always comes back to where it started. It comes down to self satisfaction and sense of achievement.” This weekend I will step out there and know that this is the moment I have been preparing for and both embrace it and hold on tight – Bart reminded me today, after our last training session, that moments like this do not come along very often, so take hold and do not let go. I am ready and I am excited to show the world a new Susan!

You can follow the results at the following links:

Your Athlete,