Thursday, March 20, 2008

Jurassic Classic

This past weekend was the University of Calgary Gymnastic Club's annual invitational called the "Jurassic Classic". It has become one of the biggest invitational competitions in all of Canada and this year marked it's 15th year! Wow! I competed at the very first Jurassic Classic...that makes me old!

Obviously, I didn't compete at this one, but I was there to support my teammates and of course, repeatedly answer questions about whether or not "I'm gonna make it".

I don't know if I should take offense to this question or if I should be flattered that people care enough to ask. Sometimes it's the tone. That hum haw, concerned and almost sympathetic tone. I wish that people would come up to me and say, "Holy smokes Kyle, you're looking good!" Not, "So, are you gonna make it?". Why does it matter so much? Is it because it's the Olympic year? What if this injury had occurred in 2006? Would people still be asking me the question, "Are you gonna make it?".

One thing that has become more and more apparent to me over the course of this process has been the emphasis that people put on the Olympics. It is HUGE! People have their vision focused on those rings and the spectacle of it all.

I have a question:

If I don't make it, then does that mean I failed?

I am feeling more and more like my chances of being there and being ready to challenge are getting better and better, but still, will I be a failure in everyones eyes if I don't make it?

I sure hope not. I hope that people are seeing the value in my attempt, regardless of the way it turns out.

I know that I do.



track_star said...

I can see how the questions might get to you and you know what? I personally could care less if you make it back for the Olympics or not. Of course I am pulling for your dreams to come true, but if you do not make it then it wasn't meant to be.

Your biggest accomplishment by far is how far you have come with regards to this injury. How many people might have never gotten back into it due to fear of it happening again? I imagine there are lots.

You have showed courage and you simply need to go at a pace that works for you. You decide how far you want to push yourself, not anyone else. Don't let these questions frustrate you, as hard as it might be and don't think that you need to prove yourself to anyone but yourself. I say stick to your dreams and personal goals and we will all be happy with whatever you decide to do. All the best Kyle.

Sarah said...

When you look back at the last 7 months of your life, you will have no "what ifs" .. those pesky little questions that when it is all over you tend to ask yourself.. from your writing I can see you leave nothing in the tank at any given time in your rehab and prep for China. The media often ask the same mind numbing questions and it can get bothersome and frustrating at times but for each question that is repetitive pretend it is someone asking you to explain those emotions and feelings you had in Athens and then just smile, because you know deep down inside why you are doing what you are doing and believe in the journey and the growth. I am guessing you have read the book the way of the peaceful warrior and the journey of the sacred warrior to classics by dan millman about himself and his life as a gymnast but also about finding himself.. your journey right now reminds me of my favorite books.
You can achieve what everyone else deems impossible. I did it a number of years ago with an ACL injury before our Olympic Qualifier for field hockey. I made it back in record time only to see our team miss out on the Olympics by one goal. Sure I was disappointed but keeping it perspective I learned so much about myself in those 6 months that the journey outweighed the result. I can say that because 13 years later I am still playing and training for our last shot at the Olympics in an April qualifying tournament.
Believe in your efforts and the strength that you are building within yourself each day because no one can take away the hours of sweat and perseverance you have invested in your future performances.
Keep up the good work,
Sarah Forbes
canada field hockey

Sony Keys Gawley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sony Keys Gawley said...

I have some sport psychological advice for you. Its kind of sappy so get a tissue. You pretty much fucking rock Kyle! In 2004 you were the best gymnast on this planet of 6 billon people. Do you have any idea what that means dude? It means you kick ass. It's just that simple. Kyle Shewfeld kicks ass and will alwasy kick ass. Look in the mirror and tell yourslef. It might make you smile and doubt the sanity for those who doubt you.

Happy Training Champ!!

Sony Keys
Ironman Triathlete

Maureen H said...

Kyle, to most Canadians (especially to the gymnastics families across Canada), there is no way you could ever be a failure. What you have accomplished in your career, but mostly what you have accomplished since last August, is an inspiration to Canadians everywhere. Your courage, commitment, and dedication to your sport is truly inspiring.
Don't forget though, that your own satisfaction, hopes and dreams are what truly matter. You, more than most, understand the beating your body takes from this level of competition and training. As I always tell my daughter, who is a provincial level gymnast, We want you to be able to walk when you're forty!
Do this for no-one but yourself. You are the one who lives in your body, and will have to deal with the repurcussions later in life.

In closing, we are all very proud of you and what you have accomplished....anything more is just icing on the cake.

Happy Easter and have fun training.

Heather said...

Eyes that would view your vast accomplishments and achievements as failure are blind.
When I look at you I see strength, kindness, passion, intelligence, a brilliant sense of humour, loyalty, dedication...
and a male model. Ha ha.
You manage to find a balance in your life that is beyond admirable. How can one person surpass all others at his craft while being the most wonderful friend, brother and son? How is it that you can literally be the best at what you do while never neglecting all other facets of your life?
Your support of others is incredible.
If you encounter those who would not support you, I am confident that your strength will allow you to ignore such behavior and focus on how amazing you are in the eyes of those who can really see.
xo buddy

Brian said...


Does it really matter if some people you don't know think you failed if you don't make it back to the Olympics this year?

The people that truly care about you only care that you get healthy. Try not to think about what the general public thinks.

Good luck in your recovery.

Janna said...


This is a silly question. A very silly question.

I have been reading this blog in it's entirety for a day or so now and of all the things you have said this one is... well... the most human but also the most down right silly.

How could you POSSIBLY be a failure?!?!?!?!?! (do you think I could say that more emphatically for dramatic effect?)

Do you feel like you are a failure?

This is YOUR career... Not OURS. While we (the public) feel some sense of ownership and pride over you because we live in the same country as you...are you going to think of me as a failure if I don't finish something I want to do in my career???

I suspect you won't.

I am sorry you ever felt anything less then valued for making an attempt.

Now this is beyond the point as you DID in fact make it.
And even though you didn't qualify to the floor finals... you competed your little heart out and supported Adam and Nathan like the brother to them I know you are.

I have to tell you something... I was on the C-Train the other day and overheard two ladies discussing you and your success...the success of you being in Beijing after your accident. The success of you trying. All they could do was talk in a manner of complete awe. They just thought you were the bomb. Moreover, I NEARLY interjected my own comments but refrained smiling to myself.

You are far more courageous then you believe you are. You didn't role over, lay down and die. You fought to get back your life. Then publicly blogged about it. Most people would have thrown in the towel... and I firmly believe you want Gold again. London better watch out. Cause the "SHEW" is gonna be back.

And just for the record....

"Holy smokes Kyle, did you ever look good out there!"