WOC 2013 – All that glitters… (Eng. version)

20 07 2013

[Evening the 14th of July]

Lying with my legs crossed in a hotel room at Arlanda airport, waiting for my flight back home to Gotheburg. Beside me is Helena taking a power nap and Fredrik is watching the GPS-tracking… My legs hurt. The thoughts flow. The emptiness arrives. The after effects from a World Championship.

All that glitters isn’t gold.

The Swedish Team brought a lot of glittering medals back home. Not me, but 7 of my team mates. That is a sign of a strong team. There are also other good achievements. Right behind the metal. I didn’t brought anything that could glitter from my races. The sprint and the middle distance. Two finals where I underperformed.  Far under my level. Far away from what I hoped for. Fought for. Dreamt of.

I have already written about the sprint. I had big hopes for the middle distance. I was standing in front of the most funny middle distance this year. The qualification went stable. Really tricky beginning of the course which I handled really good. Got a good feeling that I could bring to the final. Perfect! What happened then during the final, I don’t know… I’m not really done with it yet. I did an okay start of the race with some smaller mistakes. Attacked the control before arena passing really bad. One more mistake and a negative feeling sneaked on. I was caught by the one who started behind me at arena passing and when the speaker didn’t mention her, who had 90 seconds better time than me, I felt really bad and then it was hard to do exactly the thing I had planned and trained for. I listned to wrong things in my mind and passed really close to the 12th control without seeing in and lost almost 2 minutes. This is where the race really slipped away from me. I finished with a hanging head and for the first time in quite a long while I couldn’t hold the tears back. All the feelings inside just wanted to come out. It became  a tough evening…

An evening filled with thoughts about not succeed when I want it the most. Thoughts about that it doesn’t matter to do race after race with good results at competitions as Silva League and Nordic Tour. Always perform in a very high level. Always solid races. Without the real peak. Yet. But never any plunges. But. What does all of that matter when I fall during one race? THAT race. The middle distance at the World Championships. 27th. It’s barely I want to taste it… And this was of course a contributing factor why I wasn’t the one who stood at the starting line on the WOC relay.

To run the middle distance at the World Champs was of course a bonus for me (Helenas injury) and so the chance to run a leg on the relay. The Swedish selection for the WOC relay is so tough as we are so many with a really high capacity. This is of course a big tension the evening before the race. But what we all know is that it’s okay to be happy to be one of the three. It’s also okay to be angry, sad and disappointed to not get the opportunity. This time. But what we also know, buck for, is to feel that we all are a part. A part of the women team. A part of the men team. A part of everyone.

Last year in Switzerland I succeeded to feel completely involved with the team who ran. This year it was a little bit tougher to reach the same feeling, but when I woke up at Saturday morning my thoughts was on the right things again. I was, I am, still disappointed in myself. Me and just myself. But I know that I will get the opportunity in the future. When I’m much better than I am now. At Saturday morning I decided that I should do the best I can today even if I’m not among those who run. I decided to do all my best to help the other girls to perform and to get  a memorable relay.

As I was the reserve for the team I followed to the quarantine area. I didn’t see anything from the mens relay. Instead I, we, sat by the tent at a field, 100 metres from the arena where everything happened (and the boys got a silver medal!). I tried to make laughs. Smile. Give a sense of calmness. Whatever was needed. We put colours on our nails, played with water balloons, drank coffee (yes, even me – coaches do that in the quarantine, I’ve heard!). I’m proud of myself that I accepted the challenge – to first be put out from the team, to then be “just” the reserve, and then to be a coach. And for me it was obvious.

It is quite amazing how a group can share so much feelings. Last year of happiness. This year of disappointment. The Swedish girls will come back, even stronger!

The night ended in the best way. The WOC banquet. Up dressed Swedes from top til toe. Finally a chance to meet orienteers of the world when all the tensions are gone. All the medals are divided. No more to fight about. There was a dinner, socializing, dance and a lot of fun. Dressed which became shorter and shorter as the night went by. The light went to dark and the night became morning. To walk home together with amazing team mates an early morning in a ski village which truly hasn’t been asleep this summer. To eat the rest of a homemade pizza and to see Tove as full of enery and focused as always regardless to the time of the day. The evening, the night, the morning finished in the best way – Tove and I finally succeeded with a water-attack after ambushing at a playground. It can’t be much better than that.

The World Champs was far away from what I hoped for about the races. The results. The number of controls I hit and legs I did well. Dreams were crushed and tears came.

On the other hand the World Champs have been just as good as I barely hoped to dream about. Everything around has been very, very good.

Of course I’m going to a World Championships to perform by best orienteering races for the year. I did my best, there and then, but it wasn’t enough for making myself satisfied. I have accepted it now and I will keep on fighting. I have learnt a lot and I think that this will make me a better orienteer. I have learnt what it takes and I have some things I need to do before I get there. It’s just to keep on training.

But except from that I’ve reached my goals with the week in Vuokatti which I am satisfied about. All that glitters isn’t made by gold.

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