Gavin, Eva, Linnea, Ed, and myself compete for Carleton University as well as XC Ottawa, and on January 21st and 22nd, we headed to Haliburton for the first Ontario University qualifyer race. It was a great weekend of racing!
Reflecting on that weekend, I find that we, as athletes, coming out of a successful weekend or finishing a race that you know felt good, never usually stop to wonder WHY! Why was it so great? What did I do differently than last time? Why do I love this sport so much?? As athletes we are too quick to judge what went wrong, or dwell on bad results, get mad at our coach for having bad wax, find excuses and get way too emotionally involved in poor performance.
If there is one thing that I’ve learned from being a part of XC Ottawa, an extremely experienced team, is not to dwell on the bad things but to focus on what you did right. So the question is, What went so right this weekend that Carleton had such awesome results?? I think number one was that we came together and have matured as a team, finally! Up until this weekend we’ve all had our own individual training plans, came to sporadic practices and trained mostly with the same individuals every week. I really got to know some members on the team this weekend and it sparked a new desire to race well and race hard. Just listening to what everyone’s goals are, where everyone came from and what they have achieved is a reminder of your own goals, your own past and your own achievements. I was having a rough start to this year but this race, and the people in it really put into perspective on what I want to achieve this year. The team also had a reluctant start to the year with all the politics from last year and the loss of some of our top skiers over the past two years to Lakehead.
Carleton finished strongly. In the classic race, Ed and Gavin were first and second for the men, and Eva was second behind another Carleton Skier Kate Scallion . . . Carleton placed seven women in the top ten! In the skate race, Gavin dominated with a first place finish, and Eva led the Carleton women with a strong third place finish. Gavin earned Carleton's athete of the week award for his performance.
Despite Lakehead University's absence from the race, I believe that we have a good chance of placing well at the Ontario University Championships, not just because we are smoking fast, but because we’ve all matured. Winning OUA’s isn’t just handed to us on a silver platter anymore like it used to be two years ago, its something we have to work that much harder for, something to aspire to as a team. If we can look past those blah races, regain focus, train effectively and put that intimidating spark back in our eyes its oh so very possible! See you in a few weeks Lakehead!!!
Oh and by the way the weekend was awesome, perfect snow, fun course and fast conditions. Every individual picked their own classic wax for the race and each of us had the best great grip and glide out of all the schools! Situations like that don’t happen very often. Just having awesome snow and getting out on the trails after an icy week defiantly lifted everyone spirits.
You can check out the results here:
Day 1 - classic:
Day 2 - skating:
Gavin kept his Haliburton form this past weekend, leading Tom and Wayne up the climb in the Coupe Skinouk race (photo by Jo-Ann Holden).