As previously reported, it's starting over season.
I've spent the last two months now filling in the blanks of my training. While challenging, it has really changed my perspective on training, competing and this sport. For so long, it was strictly about achievement at any cost. Now, I actually enjoy training, I don't feel immense stress every day going in, and there is a certain freedom in addressing the problems that have plagued me for years.
Up until last week, I had even done a double flip. To me, that's insane. I can't remember the last time I went months without one.
I had been working strictly on Bed Tricks - which are Trampoline basics landing to or from your stomach, back and seat, and Single Flips - which are different skills that involve only 360 degrees of flip.
I've never been a person to love Bed Tricks, because I simply dislike landing on my stomach or back - even when planned. Growing up in Grande Prairie, with a foam pit, and no coach to watch me every day, there are definitely some holes (blanks!) in my progressions, even though I can do most of the end goal/higher level skills.
I was on auto-pilot on these singles skills for so long that when things broke down, I never knew how to fix them. I had nothing to fall back on.
So, the last few weeks and months have been numbers, and numbers, and more numbers of basics. I do love making things better (perfect?) and I find tremendous value in basics, but even for me, it's been boring.
The thing I have learned the most about my way of being/training/living is both my ability to adjust and adapt and make a new plan, but the fallout from that is not always giving something it's fair shot or time. For example, if I was struggling with a Back Full (a back flip with a straight body and a full/360 degree twist) - which I have off and on - I would move on if it didn't work immediately.
For a long time, if it didn't work immediately, there was no chance of me getting out of my own way. It would only get worse, I would only get more frustrated, and the hole to dig myself out of would be even bigger the next day.
I started out with this strategy this time too, but then there would days and days of skills that I had tried once, didn't work and I would be "done" in 20 minutes. Then I started to re-visit the skills. How could I change my perspective? How could I get over and move past an initial failure? What mentality could I use on this skill, but then apply to other challenging skills? And thus, things started to move.
Some days are not all winners, and some turns are going to be total dog shit - there's no avoiding either of those. For years, it truly was in my best interest to just move on from those and not address it. But now, the only way I can succeed is by dealing with them head on, working through it, and challenging the mental game of this sport - how much can I handle, how much adversity can I take?
So, to summarize, it's been boring. For many of these weeks, I have felt like there hasn't been much progress. To me, progress mean't new skills, better skills, higher skills - you know, the usual. Now, progress means that I have worked through something tough, or did something I was nervous to do, or did something more consistently. I have changed my metric of success.
Only in the last few weeks (last week and this week) have I added some more high level skills back in. And it really feels great. The old adage of building on a weak foundation is unbelievably apparent in this sport, especially when the foundation is your confidence and self-belief.
Am I where I want to be ultimately? Of course not. But the belief that I can get there only grows stronger and stronger every day.
So I ask of you - what is your metric of success? What challenges have you been avoiding? What great things could happen if you took a step back and faced them head on?