Saturday, October 25, 2008
477: 'becoming an apostle of the now'
“477” read the title of the letter my coach sent me. “You are as talented as anyone in the world. You are as well trained as anyone in the world. Against quite a few obstacles we have done great work this summer and in all the years previous.
“But we are not the only ones training hard. We are not the only talented ones. And we never cheat. We never dope or use any illegal methods or means to win. And we never, ever will.
“So what will separate us and put us in front of all the rest? The way is in daily psychological and physical preparation. This must be very specific. You must be able to answer this question specifically:
“What did you do today that will put you on the podium in 2010?”
This question gets me out training twice a day, most every day. In a year it’s questionable what accrues more miles, my rollerskis and skis, or my truck. As the title of my coach’s letter suggests I have 477 more days to improve my physiology - to build the pumping capacity of my heart, improve the economy of my ski stride, and boost my top-end speed. I have 477 days to go beyond believing that I am someone that can handle whatever the future throws my way. It doesn’t get more specific than this: I have 477 days to become the toughest athlete - both in the mental and physical arenas in the world - then showcase this in Whistler in 2010.
To get myself into a place where I’m in the start gate of the Olympic A-Final and know with every fiber of my body I am ready to fulfill my dream, my destiny, my potential – that is my goal.
I can see the crowd. I can hear the cowbells clanging. I can feel my classic skis underfoot, gripping, then gliding over the snow. It’s snowing. It’s snowing hard. I love it. And the energy’s rising. I can feel it. The crowd feels it, too. The starter makes his final commands.
“Racers to the line.
Fade to the now.