Every since I heard the Achtung Baby Album from U2 , with the one line in the song Zoo Station- “Time is a Train… Makes the Future the Past…” I like to imagine myself on a one way train with no exit that is barreling forwards through time arriving at a new destination each day, and no matter what you do you can’t stop it from arriving each day at a place. The feeling I get is that I either get to each station and look up realizing that I didn’t do anything and the station came and left, and then again and again, or I am preparing myself for what lies at each station and trying to enjoy and take advantage of what each station offers. For some that way of looking at things might seem stressful or want to suggest to me “hey, relax”, for me it is the adrenaline rush I get just thinking about it and as I type here on my computer my arms are already primed to do something high energy just from the shot of adrenaline I get thinking about it. On June 20th, the train stops in Plattling, Germany and the preliminary rounds for the World Championships start. Whether I get off the train or not, my name will be on the roster and the judges and timers ready for when my bib number is called to do my two rides. Since I will show up and be in the eddy at that time, ready, the train will still not stop on June 22nd, when the Quarter Finals begin, whether I make the cut or not. It just keeps trucking, faster than any normal day, and like a train bringing soldiers to the front lines of an epic historic battle, the feeling around each day arriving is stronger, with more forethought having gone into these 5 days, 5 stops, than just about any other. So much energy, effort, training, and planning has gone into what we hope will transpire from June 20-26th, 2011. Not just for me, but for the athletes of what will likely be more than 40 countries this year. The excitement of just thinking about it immediately brings up many internal discussions about “am I ready?, How will I do?, What will the water level be like? Will I want to paddle Carbon or Plastic? How will the training be? Will there be lights for night training? How well is Pringle, Peter, etc. etc.. paddling? What will it take to win this year? What moves should I practice today? How do I get bigger air on X, Y, or Z?” But thinking about it only does me any good or makes me happy if I put myself in a place where I can do something about these things. Making “Backstage Hole this fall was a good first step. My training trip to Africa this winter was another good example. Paddling in Super Hole was a key component for me to be ready this winter. However, when I returned to Rock Island, the super high water washed out our hand made “Backstage Hole”, so the training was running along the tracks and I wasn’t getting more prepared, but less prepared each week that went by. The worlds isn’t the only thing I am excited about, luckily for me, as I enjoyed some great day trips to local creeks, some big water Rock Island, a Summit Series trip to the Bahamas, and plenty of excitement surrounding Jackson Kayak and our goals and challenges there. However, looking at the imminent front approaching, I decided to come to Reno over going to the Grand Prix in Canada. Reno is an incredible event that I have attended since 2004 each year. Grand Prix is a new event, and although unproven as to how it will go off, I am sure it will be awesome and the event locations will be epic. Reno has a great hole/holes that put me back in the saddle and allow me to practice and train for the world championships. If this was 2007, I would have gone to the Grand Prix to get ready for the Buseater worlds on a big wave (like we did in africa). However this year’s world championships is in a medium sized hole. It will require incredible technical skill, lightning fast reactions, and alot of risk in throwing the hardest combos in the middle of a short, intense ride. It is most like a short street skating competition for skateboarding. One fall, one missed combo, or manual out of a move and somebody else will take it. anything short of doing more than anyone has ever seen in a competition before will not produce a gold medal. Cool- that means train hard, train risky, and plan your impossible routine!
So the imminent front is coming. After Quarter-finals, it is Semi-finals, at night under the lights and screaming crowds, and if all goes well, it is finals on June 26th, the final stop on the World Championships trail. Finals are crazy exciting, and I hope to make that stop!
Today…. I am going to train two times here in Reno, with Stephen Wright, Clay Wright, and others…. I can’t wait! My arms are feeling adrenalized again! Time to eat the eggs and english muffin Kristine just cooked me and get my gear together.
I love this train ride towards the imminent front we call the World Championships!