Enjoying the Journey, No matter the Destination...

Last we talked (see here), I discussed my own physical literacy journey and how I somehow ended up in the sport of skeleton. I thought I would provide an update on how my physical literacy journey is progressing.  

The 2015/16 season was probably my worst yet, I’m going to start with addressing that. Dealing with the stress of completing the last year of my undergraduate degree, a few injuries – one of which required hand surgery, and trying to find my groove again after a successful season in 2014/15. I ended up holding myself to such a high standard after my breakout year and I struggled mentally trying to live up to that.

I hate to say it, but my injuries actually gave me time to focus on school, instead of competing in places all around the world. It was a tough pill to swallow to turn down some European Races early in the season, but then I decided to cut my hand and a tendon in the kitchen anyways, so I ended up not doing any sort of sliding at all. Rest assured, I finally made it to Europe in January for the Junior World Championships. It was a comeback of sorts after a few months off of sliding and a less than stellar start to the season.

By the end of the season, in Park City Utah, I finally rediscovered my groove and motivation. It was the end of a long season, that had many ups and downs, but I was finally back injury free and eager to start my off-season programming.

After doing a season debrief, my coach and I identified my strengths and weaknesses and where our focuses lie for the summer. After a couple of weeks off, I got back in to my gym to start my mobility and base for the summer. For the first time ever, I actually enjoy being in the gym. I’ve had many athletes tell me that they hate every second of training, but it was often worth it for the moments of glory in their sport. I used to be the same, but something has switched.

I look forward to being at Revolution every day, I look forward to training and seeing where I can improve and push myself further in order to reach the National team standards. I actually enjoy just being active, it is my safe space where I can escape all other stresses of life and just be me and lift weights.

I actually said out loud in a training session “Is this what being physically literate feels like?” (I may have also had the biggest smile on my face – training has that effect on me now)

I now know that if sport were to end, I would have the adequate skills and environment to keep me active for life.

For someone who has already gone through burnout from one sport, I can rest much easy knowing I have set future Grace up for success, regardless of whether that includes skeleton or not.

Reflecting on the season, balancing my senior year of my undergraduate degree and trying to take on the world in skeleton on a self-funded budget, was incredibly stressful, but I wouldn’t give up any of those experiences as they have brought me to who I am today.

Now, as I move in to the working athlete world, I know I have the skills to balance sport with other priorities and am confident that I can make my athletic and work careers successful.

Enjoy the journey, no matter the destination.

Grace Dafoe