Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Every Season Tries to be the Last

         The original introduction to this update was going to be much more introspective. There is a reason why I've held on this sport as long as I have. I opted not to go into detail because it would take a lot to do properly and it's almost Christmas.  The reason for considering such an intro is due to the fact that my biathlon career is at an all time low. At first, my insurrection back into the world cup points was delayed a month and now it's out of the question. Realistically, I unloaded a lot of dwindling resources last week in Canmore only to end my biathlon career.
         
          Did I not play my cards well? Putting the headlamp on at 5:30 in morning to train before school when you're in the eighth grade simply felt like the right thing to do. It wasn't always easy, but if I was going to make it to the top then I was going to have train before school even when my class schedule wasn't in favor of it. Taking the plunge and dodging an education after high school or finding a part time job always made me a little nervous, but if you're going to commit to something then you should really commit to it, right? It was an investment and a risk, but in the questionable chance that it paid off what an awesome story that would be, right? Now more than ever, I don't think we'll ever find out.
         For reasons uncertain, performance dropped off the deep end these past couple of weeks. Just in time for a last chance at a Euro race start in the 2015/16 season. I was fortunate to have what little support that did to make the trip happen at all. It was four races in five days at the Canmore Nordic Center in Alberta. Prone is historically my week point. While the prone shooting didn't improve last week my standing was the weaker of the two. Why? It's still unclear to me. Everything was unusually low. Preemptively checking the forecast, the temps looked to be manageable. Literally, as the first race started the air temperature plummeted. By the time I was gliding into the range my fingers might as well have been chopped off to save weight. The lack of sensation made for a dismal range time only to miss three of five targets. My best standing stage out of the four races had only two misses. To think, I almost forgot what my left leg feels like after turning right in the penalty loop four times in a row.

       Being sent home after the Olympics in 2014 instead of racing the last WC trimester was rough. The season after that started off with a good opportunity and proceeded to go downhill from there. I was burnt out and back in Stockholm before March. I wasn't named to the national team this training season. With MWSC's support being more limited than ever I remained loyal to my goals in the hope of climbing my way back up the ladder. Besides, at this point things could only go up right? Wrong. My success rate sank lower. Now more than ever, no team wants anything to do with me. In all fairness, it's justified. You can't argue with results and after 14 years the results suggest that I might have made the wrong career choice. There was point when my hard work and determination was coming to fruition. That made for some of the best days of my life. I so sorely want those days to occur more often than they are.
       At this point it only keeps going further down a road of self loathing. So on a more positive we have the rest of the season... Any suggestions?  I'm all ears. Should I go for the nordic half of biathlon? Should I pour everything into making the Birki happen? Should I simply drop everything and start a new life?  Technically, US Biathlon nationals are in Fort Kent this year and that does open up a nice opportunity, but for obvious reasons that's not high on my list right now. That being said, don't expect to see me around Presque Isle during the WC; might be the perfect weekend to live in a cave for me. Maybe what I should be asking is: what can I do to prevent my biography from turning into a dark humor?
   
       In the real world dreams can end on an awkward and bitter note. After watching so many films I assumed it would go out on a glorified hero's end. Nevertheless, this isn't an end by any official means. This is more of a half baked rant of frustration. It certainly wouldn't be the first time for those few of you who keep up with this blog. In an effort to resist divulging into a lot of detail, giving up on this sport would be as challenging to do as it is for me to achieve the results I want. So as the title implies, this season is trying harder than ever to put me into the retirement home and I'm still not convinced it's going to make it.

Sorry for another dismal one in the books folks,

Merry Christmas!

     
         

1 comment:

Scott Betournay said...

Russell: I appreciate the honesty and integrity that your posts reveal on your website. I recently discovered your blog and you strike me as the strong man about which was spoken:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

― Theodore Roosevelt