If I could use the word "fun," to describe any part of trials, I would not be able to pick out one specific experience from the multitude of ridiculous “fun” that I had all weekend of racing.
Just kidding!! I’d use it for Day 3, when I raced the k2 1000m with Lauren Austin.
We were determined to have a good time (literally! ha ha!) and our attitude made the whole thing more enjoyable. To be honest, my shoulder was killing me. I had the trainer and the chiropractor work on me, and then I disappeared into the bathroom for a moment, came out, and announced to Lauren, "I just took 6 Advil and washed them down with a boost. I'm ready." She just looked at me and burst out laughing.
See what I mean? Lauren is all- smiles!
She was laughing even harder 20 minutes later, when I was heaving over the side of the boat halfway through the warm-up. (Just kidding. Lauren would never laugh at someone throwing up.) My troubles were quickly forgotten though, when the gun went off and we had a stellar start, an even more stellar middle, and a kickin' finish to our race! I wouldn't have changed anything. We finished second to Emily Mickle and Emily Vinson (Don't you wish your name was Emily?) and the four of us hugged it out.
I have always looked forward to an opportunity to use the phrase "hugged it out"
Blue boat: Maia Farrar-Wellman/ Kaitlyn McElroy; white boat: Emily Wright/ Lauren Austin; other boat (which is black and yellow but I wasn’t sure if I should say “black” or “yellow”): Emily Vinson/ Emily Mickle
All in all, Oklahoma was a beautiful success. I had my best k1 result ever (come to think of it, my best k2 result also), had fun, and most importantly, learned a whole heck of a lot.
Okay, I won't sugar-coat this too much. I’ll be honest: I just lost my chance to go to the 2008 Olympic Games. Even though I tried my hardest, second-place finishes are not good enough. I am disappointed, sad, and frustrated with myself. I wish I'd trained harder, hadn't torn my shoulder, had done better last year.... anything, everything. I wish I'd done it all. I wish I wasn't so darn mediocre when sometimes I feel like I put in a monumental effort.
But the truth is in the training. You'll see me in London in 2012, and it will not be the same story. In fact, I have 4 more years to create my story... and it’s going to be a page-turner.