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When your (almost) best is not enough

  • September 18, 2015

Today is a new day – and I should be focusing on my new goals, as yesterday concluded my biggest goal of this year – the World Championships in London. But I am feeling a little bit confused.

Finishing 52nd was a huge dissapointment. Looking up at the scoring board after my second run, and seeing my time, I wasn´t really sure what to think except from “I really was that slow?” Almost kind of funny.

Looking at the video I see clearly that many small misstakes were adding up, and that the gates 6-7 and 16-17-18 were really slow. I must have been so focused that I did not realise that I was taking all the time in the world to get out of that upstream. In the last upstream I also do not have power to get out of it well – I pull on my paddle but my boat doesn´t really move. Sigh… . More training!

 

 

I can only control my own performance, and I can not control anything else. In Pau I was included in the semis with being  9.1 seconds behind the leader in round two. Yesterday I was 14 seconds behind the leader in the second run, and you had to be within five seconds to make the cut. So… Way out of league! I am not entirely sure what went wrong except that perhaps I focused to much on a clean run instead of getting closer to the upstreams and pushing out quicker.

However, a certain sense of confusion comes from the fact that I also feel content. I am not good enough technically to pull off good runs all the time, but I am mentally a lot stronger in the slalom game than 5 months ago. My first run yesterday included two touches and a roll. In the break in between the runs I focused on all the good things I did in the run – and visualised what to do differntly. I decided that my misstakes were just misstakes – and there was no reason for me to repeat them. I felt strong in my boat, confident at the start line. I improved more than seven seconds from run 1 till 2.

 

slalommariann

And when I watch the video of my runs yesterday I realise another important thing: overall improvement. Even if I am a bit down, it is sobering to realise that all that hard work was not for notthing, even if it did not show on yesterday´s result.

The hardest thing to swallow in slalom is that my (almost) best performances are by far not good enough. It is a reality that stings a bit. From the whitewater world I am quite used to the fact that when I am at my best, physically and mentally, I also run the cleanest lines, the biggest waterfalls and win competitions. In the slalom world, my best is still far away from good. It is interesting why I still find this discipline fun..

As it is – heck yeah it is fun to paddle slalom! But also, it is time to set some new short-term goals and for the first time EVER I get to go and race Sickline in Austria. Can not wait!

 

See you all there!

 

Mariann