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Archive for November, 2010

13
Nov

Cutest Little Girl

Anna De La Motte, co-coach of F.A.C.E., sent me this picture of a little girl inspired to vault while watching my performance with Uffe at WEG. SHE inspires ME!

13
Nov

WEG Wrap-Up

My favorite picture from the whole thing.

A month and a bit delayed, here’s a little blog-a-roo to wrap up my summer (even though it’s almost Thanksgiving) and my WEG experience.  I may have missed my goal of a podium finish, but 5th place isn’t half-bad and I probably learned a lot more about myself by missing my mark than I would’ve by attaining it. Some lessons just happen to be a little more fun than others. Here are a few of the lessons I learned from the rollercoaster ride that was WEG 2010… I’ll try to stay positive.

Closure is overrated. Things end when they end, and sometimes, like in the case of my fifth place finish at this year’s WEG, they don’t always end how you’d like them to. I guess I had been hoping for a medal if only to put a capstone on my vaulting career, allowing me to make an easy transition from vaulting land to the “real world”. Since the geeks of the world still haven’t invented a time machine, the best closure you get is whatever you’re left with at the end of the day—unless you write a blog about it. Then you can make the blog a capstone and tell people your vaulting future is still open to whatever opportunities present themselves.

Bikes are faster than feet. So I learned when Lasse, Julie, and I, clad with $99 Target Schwinns, kicked everyone’s butt traveling from parking lot to stables, stables to dining hall, or anywhere else around the Horse Park. I hadn’t owned a bike since I was 7 and hadn’t ridden one since I was in Denmark in 2004, so I was not the most steady of cyclists. I had to keep the seat low so I could shuffle start it like a scooter (I got laughed at by all the pro-biker Europeans), and I refused to go off-roading for any reason. Despite my cautious slowness, the bikes allowed us to zip around the Horse Park with freedom. Thanks, mom, for making me get a bike to save my nagging foot injury from throbbing. Now I finally have a bike of my own again—even if it is a POS.

The best supporters are the ones that are still there for you when you have a sucky day. Not as fun as the bikes, but it was really eye-opening to get hugs and kisses from my boyfriend, to go up into the stands and sit with my mom, dad, grandma, and Kirsa (Lasse’s wife), to hear my brother cheering loudly with American flag in hand, and to see friends from all over the world still be proud of me for whatever it was that I did out in the arena, even though we all knew it wasn’t what I had expected of myself. The fact is, gold medal or not, the sun rises in the morning and sets in the evening and it’s the people that fill up those hours in between that make things worth it or not. Thanks to mom, dad, Lasse, Julie, Michael, Cody, grandma, Olivia, Katie, Lawrence, Kim, Mollie, Alma, Ben, Kirsa, Aunt Rita, Uncle Ron, Emma, Rosey, Devon, Blake, FACErs, and my vaulting friends for being there for me through bad performances and good ones.

You can only make the best decision with the information you have at the time. I chose to vault with Uffe over Leo because I felt that Uffe had proven his ability to perform in high-pressure situations. We competed together in 12 international rounds this season prior to WEG, and he was perfect for all 12 of them. He was sound, fit, and ready to go. On the other hand, Leo had no competition experience from 2010 and it was unclear whether he would be sound enough to carry me through four consecutive days of competition. Leo had my heart’s vote, but I decided that wasn’t good enough for a championship. I ended up chosing to vault with Uffe, who turned out to be sore and nervous in the competition arena. I made the best decision with the information I had at the time, and the outcome did not work in my favor. Sometimes life’s a bitch. In hindsight, I might’ve felt better about the whole thing if I had chosen with my heart instead of my mind, but I guess I would’ve felt really stupid if Leo turned up lame for the final round of freestyle while Uffe was sitting pretty in his stall. I’ll never know, and I’m okay with that. Decisions are arbitrary, and often it’s how you deal with the consequences that defines your character, not the decisions themselves.

5th place is good enough for free drinks. The bartenders at the Jumping Stadium seemed to think so at least. Let this be proof that Kentucky Bourbon Ales on the house make for a very entertaining Final Four.

When the $hit hits the fan, we must define the line between absurd hilarity and devastating sadness. After lots of horse trouble and an 11th place finish at the end of Round One, I couldn’t decide whether to laugh hysterically or cry—and I definitely did a lot of both. I cried about the missed opportunities; I laughed about the inflated importance of the whole thing, but it took me a while to find anything between hilarity and sadness. Eventually I found peace in the phrase “it will be what it will be and it is what it is” and went on to claw my way to fifth place with no more tears and a pretty good-sized smile.

When all else fails, hit up Cracker Barrel. The day after the final round of individual competition, I headed to Cracker Barrel for breakfast. Apple streusel french toast doused in maple syrup after eating like a health nut for three months in a row? Delicious for fifteen minutes, promptly followed by a 2-hour sugar coma and a full day of regretting breakfast.

Okay, that was hard to write. It’s imperfect, but now it’s finished. Thanks for listening.