I’ve written of rest here before.
A client has come back to work with me. Her results are just not there.
This ski racer does well in training but can’t pull it together on race day. The good news story is this is a common occurrence.
As I spoke to her, the true story came out. I attract clients who often mirror what is going on in my own life or past life.
Turns out this kid is tired.
Her story is very similar to mine. Lots of pressure to succeed and a ticking time bomb.
I’m not sure if I’ve ever spoken of my story here. Well here it is:
I grew up in the Gatineau hills near a ski resort. My dad was a ski instructor, so my mum would bring the kids to the hill to spend time together as a family.
My mum taught us how to ski. I remember falling over so many times with her on the t bar. Getting my tongue stuck on the chairlift going up the hill. So many happy memories.
Once we were big enough, my dad took over. I was enrolled in the Nancy Greene program and started racing. I was a sociable kid stopping to say hi to people who were cheering me on.
I have spoken of my father and his influence on my ski racing career on this blog before. I was coached by my dad. He was the technical delegate at most of my races as I got older. He was the force behind me. Analyzing results and coaching me into the space I needed to deliver top performances.
Dad would tell me to back off and finish my second run when I had a commanding lead. I was a consistent podium finisher with my talent, drive and his support.
My father worked for the public service and passed up promotions so he could move us to Quebec City to access better coaching and a bigger pool.
The first year I arrived, I was on fire. I had finished in the top three in my region and had won a conditioning camp and a ski camp because of my results. After those camps, I headed to another ski camp with my new team.
I had the best coach of my life that year. Thank you Michel Paquette for your unwavering support and understanding. Things started to shift for me that year. I asked my coach to tell my parents not to watch my training runs. The pressure was building.
I used to race and beat Melanie Turgeon who went on to make the National Ski team. That was the talent I had. I worked tirelessly. We built a start gate in the back yard so I could practice my starts because I was still in the gate when I kicked back and the timer started.
I would come home after school, put my ski gear on and practice my starts in the dark back light from the light coming from the house. Driven? Yes. Determined? Yes. Hungry? Yes.
I did very well that year, podium finishing again. Then I shifted age categories and ended up with a punitive coach I could not relate to.
Things began to unravel quickly. Negative reinforcement was used by my parents to get me to work out. The sport that was my whole life began to shift.
It unraveled further when one day in economics class I burst into tears. I was a pressure cooker. Fortunately, my school had a psychologist but she wasn’t me. There were two options: to keep racing or to quit.
I chose to quit. It was the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make. I packed up my trophies and medals on the shelf my father had built and stored them in the basement.
I do what I do today because of that story. Ski racing was my life. It was my passion but it became too much for one kid to handle.
Now I help amateur athletes like the ski racer I mentioned because I don’t want them to go through the pain, heartache and suffering I did.
My ski racer is at this choice point. All the resources money can buy. She is US Ski Team material the day she decides she wants it.
Coaches have said she is done. Her coach is very emotional and puts pressure on her. Her mom is advocating for her. It is HER talent.
She’s tired and needs a break from skiing while staying strong this summer with a conditioning plan.
I’ll be her vault, her safe space, a person to talk to who fully understands what she is going through.
I’ve got you kid.
It is YOUR talent. What you choose to do with it is up to you. Either way, I will support you.