Have you ever been sitting there and all of a sudden realized that one day you will actually die?
I don't get this feeling often, but sometimes it comes along and freaks the shit out of me. It puts me into a panic and I feel like I am on a heroine trip (I, of course, have never done heroine and never will, but I have watched the movie 'Trainspotting' a few times and I am just assuming that is what it would be like - babies on the roof are scary!). You get a little dizzy, your stomach sinks to the deepest depths and your neck starts sweating. When it all comes down to it, our days on Earth on numbered...and so are my days until Olympic competition. 5 more sleeps in fact. Wowzers.
The reason I mentioned the "death" feeling is because that is the only feeling I have ever experienced that feels slightly the same as knowing competition day is coming.
I have been getting these pangs of nervousness in the last couple of days. They come and they hit hard. I feel a knot in my stomach, a lump in my throat and my hands start to sweat profusely. I can't control these attacks, but luckily they come and go quickly. It's almost like I'm going into labour and these are my contractions! Breathe. It's a constant reminder that this is real. I am not in a dream. Competition day is coming fast and I only have a certain amount of exact hours and minutes until I compete.
Deadlines are stressful. They eat you alive. I feel like a caged lion and I know I have to roam around and go through the motions for a few more days until I am set into the wild and I can show the world what I've got. Waiting is the hardest part. It's so friggin' cruel. I don't want to wait anymore. It's killing me.
On the other end of the spectrum, sometimes I just want to run and hide. I'm not gonna lie, I am afraid. I'm afraid because I care. It's scary when you put everything on the line and you only have a moment to prove how hard you've worked. It's also extremely exhilarating and as much as I like to pretend that I HATE these feelings, I know that they are what bring me to be my best. I am a warrior preparing for battle and my body is just getting ready to do it's thing. I am going to feel like I can lift a car on competition day!
It's crazy how you subconsciously prepare for imminent deadlines. I notice that I start to talk a little funny. I get a weird energy and buzz in my voice. My hands become a little shaky. I spend more time writing. I become very reflective. My ability to plan ahead goes out the window. I get a little quiet. My answers to questions seems lazy and lame (sorry media friends, I am not interesting right now). All of my energy is going into gymnastics and I'm saving everything I can for Saturday.
Training the past couple of days has been going well. I am always a little sore after a day off (weird, I know, but I think it's because my body starts to go back to the way it's supposed to be and having a normal body hurts as a gymnast!) and we got the day off on Saturday. Sunday was a little bit of a struggle in the morning. My body was achy and I didn't feel as fast as I did on Friday. I tried not to let that rent too much space in my head and I just did some conditioning, warmed up and saved my events for the afternoon.
Much to my surprise, everything was ultra easy on Sunday night. Phew. It didn't feel like it should have been, but it was. This is how I know I am ready. Even when I feel a little off I can still be great.
Today, Monday, we had one routine. I breezed through it. I don't want to train anymore. Let me compete!!!!
Here's some "Olympic" life news...The village is getting more and more packed which is exciting on one page, but a pain in the ass on another. It's so funny how some countries weren't brought up with the same manners system that we have in Canada. A line? What is a line? In the mornings I need a coffee. It's my only addiction and it is widely accepted through out the world so I don't feel that bad about it. Anyway, the only place to get good coffee in the village is at the McCafe. Yes, McDonald's is just like Starbucks...soon McCafe's will be on every corner as well! As more people come to the village, the crazier it gets in the morning with all of the other java abusers. So the system is: you line up forever, order and then stand in another never ending line to get your coffee. Well, I have learned that you don't order a "general" coffee drink. You have to add something crazy like a vanilla shot or mocha-choca-latte-yeahyeah...whatever. If you order a cappuccino then good luck! Let's just say that someone who was at the end of your 'ordering' line will go right to the front of the 'pick up' line and grab the first cappuccino that is delivered by one of the cute little Chinese barista girls. Excuse me! How rude. I always smile and push through everyone when my "special" order is up. Get outta my way and let me have my coffee god damn it!
How about the weather?! It has been an inferno here. Yesterday it was 35C and with the humidex it was 45C. I love the heat, but that was just messy hot. You would walk outside and be sweating, train and sweat and then even sweat after a shower. There was no escaping it. I can't even imagine being an "outdoor" athlete. I would pass out and die. There was some good news to the incredibly hot days - the sun was shining and the sky was blue...except for today when it was smoggy and hot. That's not a nice combo.
We are in a training group with China and they have been MIA until today. We saw them at morning training and they looked awesome. I don't envy the pressure they are under though. In China, Gold is the only colour that matters. If I was to make a prediction, I would say that they will win. They are so strong, well prepared and deep. I am a sucker for Japanese gymnastics (they are so calm and they just seem to love what they do), but I think China will be the victor here...I at least hope they are. Their futures will be much brighter if they pull off the win!
My teammates, Nathan and Adam have passed the "Easy" level of Dance Dance Revolution. Congratulations. They're shooting for "Hard" by the end of the games. I have faith that their practice will pay off!
I also wanted to quickly mention that I have been getting all of the kind and thoughtful emails through my website http://www.kyleshewfelt.com/. I really appreciate everyone writing and inspiring me. I wanted to share a few thoughts that came my way...
"Some times things have to be taken away from us before we truly understand their value and what true hunger really is."
"It's about the scariness of lining up when you have a chance"
"Breath, love, live - every moment"
I am trying.
I am feeling great and ready for the next bout of nervousness that should hit in about 2 minutes time!