I don’t want to bore you all with another tournament recap at this point, so I’ve decided to do something a little different with this post. I’ll give just some quick thoughts from SoCal Showdown, but since I am sure by now you are all sick and tired of how I “didn’t perform as well as I would have liked, but I am trying to focus on the positives,” the rest will be a little different in nature.
Looking at results, you would probably think I was disappointed with my results at SoCal. I didn’t shoot any stellar scores, and I finished in the same area of the pact I’ve been finishing all year. The difference is, I actually shot slightly better than I had been in practice, and with the exception of one end in eliminations, I was very happy with how I shot in my matches. Basically, this tournament re-iterated to me that I need to reevaluate things and take a fresh look at everything. I may be working my butt off, but I am not getting the results I’d like. However, I WAS reminded of a few things that I would like to share with all of you.
1)Your bad day is someone else’s best day.
Yes, I know, how cliche…but it’s true. I don’t care what level you are at with your shooting (or really anything in life), this still applies. There is ALWAYS someone who wishes they could be as good as you. Keep that in mind the next time you wish you shot better or are disappointed in your result. I know for me this is a tough one to remember. Obviously, I want to be back on top, winning things again. However, I’ve had numerous people in the last month or so remind me really how far I have come with recurve. I am beating archers that have been doing this far longer than I have, and I am shooting scores that are just below competitive in the US. Is it where I WANT to be, of course not, but there are those that would love to be shooting as well as I am. On the flip side of this, remember, even on your best day their is someone out there that can beat you. Use this as motivation to keep working hard and pushing yourself to get better.
2)Remember your why.
I always stress this with my students when we are goal setting. The very first thing I make them do is establish their why. Without that, everything else in meaningless. However, we sometimes get so caught up in the day to day and trying to hit our goals that we forget about the big picture and why we are doing this in the first place. I recently listened to a podcast that interviewed Des Linden (the first US woman to win Boston in 33 years). During the interview she said, “Remember your why. When things get hard, you have the decision to bail or you can tap into your why. And it can be a million different things, maybe its your family, maybe its the time spent trainign and you skipped out on a birthday or whatever, think about the things you’ve sacrificed to get there and remember why you signed up. And use that to fuel you.”
3)Just show up.
This is something I have unintentionally always done without realizing it, but something else Des mentions in her interview on the Finding Mastery Podcast. She said her mantra for the last few months has just been to keep showing up, no matter what. She goes on to say, “Every day I make the choice to show up and see what I’ve got, and to try and be better.” I know personally, I can relate to this. I put myself out there and give myself a chance to win, just by continuing to train hard and compete in events. Even when I first started in archery, I didn’t stay home waiting until I felt I was good enough to win. I shot the Lancaster Classic, less than a month after getting my first compound bow, against some of the best archers in the World. Nine months after getting a bow, I hoped on a plane and headed to Morocco for an indoor World Cup. Not because I expected to win, but because I wanted to challenge myself to get better. I hear this so many times, especially by other women when discussing “going pro” in NFAA or competing in a national level tournament. And for those of you that have ever said, “I’m not ready,” I challenge you to just show up. You may surprise yourself!
4)Love the process.
This one is probably one of my biggest struggles. Not because I don’t love shooting my bow, but because I get so caught up in reaching my next goal or crossing something off my to do list. I forget to take a step back and “smell the roses.” There are numerous studies out there that indicate we perform optimally when enjoy what doing. Don’t think of training as I HAVE to do x, y, or z. Think in terms of I GET to. Ultimately, if you are miserable and not enjoying what you are doing, chances are you aren’t going to get the results you want. If you need to, go back to #1 and remind yourself of your why. If that’s not enough, then it might be time for a break. Ultimately, the journey is just as important as the results. You can learn a lot about yourself if you take a minute to stop and focus on the process.
5)Be someone’s inspiration/do it for those that can’t.
I’m inspired and motivated by a lot of different people I’ve crossed paths with over the years. One person in particular is a good friend from college. She gained weight during her first few jobs and living away from home, but over the past year and a half she has taken back control of her life. She still struggles, but she pushes herself to be better. She not only is down 50lbs, but she is able to lift heavy weights and run (getting faster all the time), something she couldn’t say before this journey. I look at her as an inspiration. If she can tough out another hour long workout with a trainer, why can’t I shoot another 100 arrows. I’m also inspired by an internet friend who’s husband is literally fighting for his life right now. Both were very active individuals, and now their life is spent in hospitals, on phone calls, and trying to sort through medical nightmares. Neither of them has the capability right now to do the things they would love, so I feel like I owe it to them to get on that treadmill when I don’t feel like it, shoot in uncomfortable circumstances, or hold a plank for an extra :30 seconds.
6)Tell others what they mean to you.
In a world of social media and fewer REAL human interactions, I think this is a big one for all of society. I’m pretty sure we all know how great it feels to receive a compliment, but this is so much more. Are you inspired by someone’s story? Are you impressed by the way your competitor manages top grades in school and training? Do you love how the dad brings his kids with him to tournaments to share his love of the sport with them? Do you just like the color of their bow? Tell them! I speak from experience on how much this means. As I’ve mentioned, the past few months have not been the greatest in terms of my archery. However, I had a handful of people come up to me at SoCal and thank me for my blog posts, motivational quotes, and sharing my story. For me, those comments were the difference in leaving the tournament pretty down and bummed vs leaving with some positives. This doesn’t need to be a 20 minute conversation or a 10 page essay. Literally it takes 30 seconds to give someone a compliment, thank them or share a quick story on how they motivated you. You don’t even need to do this in person, send them a message or leave them a note.
So what is the point in all of this. For me it’s a reminder to enjoy the journey. I need to embrace the small victories, appreciate where I am today, and be thankful for those around me. I hope something in this post resonated with you, and if it did, I encourage you to share with others.