I’ve been wanting to write a blog for a few weeks now but I could not quite face it, plus I have been doing all sorts of stuff that has been keeping me busy. Firstly I wanted to blog to talk about the back end of December, and also to share my thoughts on the up and coming year. I had a nice Christmas. Time spent with family eating food, playing games and ‘doing nothing’ which was essentially watching TV and bumming around with mild / failed attempts at sorting things out (my room). I think it’s fair to say that my Christmas was tarnished though, unfortunately, because of the news from British Skeleton. I was unsuccessful in making the final cut. I spent the vast majority of my returning weekend thinking about selection and considering it all. It affected me a lot and once I found out there was obviously sadness, huge deepening sadness. But, simultaneously there was a weight lifted off of my shoulders, I no longer had this worry in the back of my mind and I knew I could eventually look towards my antics in 2015. I spoke with some other friends who also did not make the cut and the best way to describe the feeling of not being selected is comparable to the feeling of a break up, and I reacted in exactly that way. I shut off my emotions and avoided thinking about it. It was interesting to see how people around me responded too, particularly as I don’t think many people necessarily understood the scale of this process, how much I wanted this to happen and how important it was for me. So to see who said what, who text, who rang, who didn’t do anything, was interesting. Generally I had the same responses from most, the classic “unlucky, but what an experience”, “eventually you’ll look back on this and know it was for the best”, “everything happens for a reason” type messages. All of which are probably correct yet swiftly went in one ear and out of the other, but I’ll wait for hindsight to prove that one. In the mean time it means very very little. I have now accepted that I will never wear GB kit for my own personal achievements, that I will never represent my country at sport — of which has been a life’s ambition — I will never get an opportunity to do a sport under a full support set up of sport science staff and coaches, nor will I ever get to slide on ice again to show that I could have done it and that I am physically and mentally capable of such sporting feats. It’s an apple in the throat situation, and for me I will forever look back on this and think “what if”, even after the positives have been realised.
I received feedback about what didn’t go as well for me and essentially it boiled down to consistency. I ticked all other boxes but wasn’t quite there on this. And based on the information given to me, my consistency was a bit sporadic. It wasn’t even that bad, but I imagine in such a battle for these elusive GB spots, the tiniest of errors are blown up into big margins. There were reportedly heated discussions amongst the 9 selectors, and who knows how close I actually was to being selected. It was, however, nice to receive comments from staff and athletes alike about my positive attributes, ie positive personality, team player, mature, honest, and the fact that I asked intelligent questions. These are transferable traits I believe I can take into my potential career path, when I eventually get there. The Skele chapter in my life is now closed, and whilst I’m still on the topic, I wish the very best to the athletes that were selected. Our small Power2Podium legacy resides in their hands and I genuinely hope they make a name for themselves.
So enough about Skeleton. What does 2015 hold? Well, I still have my current jobs but I am also still on the pursuit for a full-time paid role as a Performance Analyst within elite sport. This year is the first time I’ve ever started a new year without being in education, and that is quite daunting. I have no excuses to not get an actual full time job. But it is what I want. I’ve been ready for months, just things haven’t quite been playing ball. I am being stubborn though, there are plenty of jobs I could probably go for and apply my skill set to, but I am adamant and stubborn in what role I want and what environment it must be in. I am not willing, yet, to give up my hard work and just settle for something I don’t really want to do. Otherwise what a waste of a Masters degree.
Aside from work and employment I have some cool things coming my way that were confirmed this week, including some paid work with canoe slalom that includes a trip to the European Junior/U23 Champs in Poland, and the World Junior/U23 Champs in Brazil. BRAZIL!!! I also have the Netball Superleague just around the corner. And the analysis for that is heating up this year. The structure is much better and I’m looking to explore some interesting areas with analytical data and visualisation tools. Winning. In the general side of things I’m looking to get back to discovering fitness (yes, I am unfit) and hopefully the motivation to get back on the track at some point. A New Years resolution is for me to take better care of myself, continuously and regularly. Physically through exercise and also nutritionally with how/what I am eating and drinking. I’ve been rather inconsistent with it since moving back from Birmingham, I don’t eat poorly, just not as well or varied as I want to. It will be a good opportunity to cook more and explore new foods and meals, hopefully. This year also brings four weddings and stag dos into sight, all close friends. Very much looking forward to that, and if I remain single, the bottles of alcohol I will be consuming to deal with the fact that I have no-one to dance with. But I will scout my single friends and I am sure they will love me partnering up with them on the dance floor, so it’s fine.
I’ve enjoyed blogging across December and writing pieces to explore my thoughts. I will look to continue doing so, but with different focuses on things I am sure. You will have to tell me if it is still entertaining in some capacity. Anyway, started the New Year hanging (classic) and a couple of days later I was on a speed boat down the Thames at 40mph. Pretty fun to say the least. Twenty fifteen has kicked off quite nicely as yet. For now though it’s time to get back to “normality”, whatever that is.