The season is over! It's been a long one... and honestly it has been really difficult to reflect on everything that has happened.
So, let's see what I can get on paper -
I think I am fortunate to look back at my time in China in a positive light. The Games are packed with such high emotion... working your whole life for 45 seconds of opportunity is pretty wild. It can be easy to fall into a negative space... especially when COVID intensified the unpredictable nature of sport.
How did I manage it?
Hard work, dedication, endless training... nothing can guarantee a good result. Not making the Olympics in 2018 gave me the space to reflect on why I compete, what makes me happy. I was able to enter the 2022 Games with peace of mind. Whatever happens, I cannot control the result, but I can control the experience. How I view situations, and what I choose I learn from them.
I unofficially qualified for the Games in December. Then I was a LOT stressed.
Kind of funny when you think about it... the most stressful time for me were the months between qualifying and leaving for Beijing.
I could not accept working so hard for so long... after missing out on 2018... and then not being able to compete in Beijing because I contracted COVID. Making the Games is one thing... imagining it slip away is another. On top of that, I felt huge amounts of guilt. I had my health, I had my family's health. What did I have to complain about?
So how did I push forward ?
It's not about being perfect. It's about where you decide to direct your focus. We all only have a certain amount of energy to use throughout the day... might as well use it to be your best self. As things got more difficult, I got simpler. Back to the basics - one foot in front of the other. January was still competition season - we had 5 World Cups within the first two weeks of the new year. I was living moment to moment, entirely in my own world, solely focused on snowboarding. I couldn't let myself think about what was happening around me because I just didn't have the energy to do so.
The key, is recognizing the situation. Take it in. Move forward.
It is important to recognize how you feel going into each day to make a proper game plan. I can't expect my body/mind to be at it's peak performance every race, so I developed a range of warm-ups (both mind/body) to choose how I wanted to enter a competition depending on how I am feeling.
Whatever you are doing, do it well and with presence.
After a heavy month, I was so relieved to travel to Beijing and get my first taste of the Olympic experience.
A morning in the Zhangijakou Olympic Village: VIDEO
I had been to China once before in 2019 for a World Cup, but I had no idea what to experience when entering the Olympic Village.
Pretty awesome! The atmosphere in the Village was filled with so much excitement, nervous energy, hope... to share that with the top athletes across the World. It was uniting in a way I have never experienced before.
Click here to watch my full run in finals: www.youtube.com/
So what was going on in my head...
A whole lot of everything. I was stressed, overwhelmed, anxious... while at the same time... excited, determined, and energized.
Standing at the top of the race hill waiting for the event to begin was one of the most exhilarating moments of my life. This is what it's all about. The sacrifices I've made throughout my life. Living on the road, missing family and friends, life events, education, career...
It was important to me to enjoy every moment. Races are stressful. The Olympics are extremely stressful. The anxiety and stress before the race is part of the experience and something to enjoy.
My goal of the day was not to avoid the stress, but use it. Stay in the present moment and take on the challenges that come my way. "Not running into an obstacle doesn't make you amazing. It only means your goal wasn't challenging enough"
This was my motto leading up to the Games, I tried my best to not only embrace challenges, but seek them out. The more we train and the more challenges we take on, the more seamless our reaction becomes.
Remember it's not about perfection - it's about adaptation.
Qualified 10th, finished 12th. Not first, but my goal was to stay in the present moment and LEARN something from my experience to get better for the next one. I still had 12 races left in the season...
After the Olympics, I was tired. Very tired. I was also very excited to hug my family. I competed at Canadian Nationals - the first time my family has seen me compete since March 2020.
Luckily, I had mild symptoms and was able to travel back to Europe for the last 10 races throughout March...
In my second race back, I won my first ever Europa-Cup.
I came in 5th at the following World Cup in Italy.
After that, I won my second Europa-Cup in Slovenia.
Next up - I came in 2nd in Germany, my first World Cup podium
The best part of being in finals was hearing my teammates cheering for me and Canada at the bottom. We compete as individuals, but we win as a team.
Find what you're passionate about. Recognize what you are willing to sacrifice - is it enough?
If it is, work hard. Get up. Work harder.
It's not about finding some key to success. It's about getting up time and time again when you "fall". If you love the sport, falling won't stop you, it will ignite you.
I am where I am because I got up. The years spent "falling" didn't yield the results people are so excited about, but they gave me the tools I needed to reach my goals.
No experience is negative if you learn and grow. Embrace the bad, go for Gold!
Huge thanks goes to all of my family and friends, and Bothwell-Accurate for keeping me competitive.
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Youtube: Megan Farrell