With less than 100 days until the opening ceremonies for the London 2012 Games, Karen, Jason and I have gotten into a serious groove with training and I am loving it! My excitement is building but it is in everyone around me also. As with most sports, trampoline has its ups and downs (hahaha) but there is no wavering in my passion or my commitment to my goals and this is what fuels the 3-8 hours of daily training.
At the beginning of the month, an athlete mentor sent out a message to athletes on the road to London as she does about once a month. The message was about going beyond your comfort zone, which I found really interesting but also very true. If you train within that comfortable bubble, never pushing those boundaries, you will never find where your limits are or how good you can really be. Going outside of that bubble in trampoline is what makes you add that extra flip or twist, jump that extra foot and kick out your skills at the top of your bounce, even if it means falling a couple times before you get it.
I started thinking about what fuels that urge to go beyond where you are comfortable and reach “where magic happens.” Many sport psychologists attribute this to mental toughness; the ability to handle the pressure, face and overcome obstacles and keeps you motivated. There is a lot of truth behind this but where does mental toughness come from? I believe that a lot of it comes down to “the want”. How badly do you really want to reach your goal? How strong is that urge to do whatever it takes to get there?
A lot of people talk about wanting to do something. What I am talking about is the level of want. As an athlete, when we reach the point where our muscles ache and we feel like we cannot push anymore, we have to dig deep and find something within to keep us going. In this situation, I have started to literally repeat my goals in my head reminding myself what I am working towards. Our brains can give you that extra strength and resilience.
This level of “want” is something that Canadian athletes have, this kind of “want” makes magic happen.