Keeping my Rides a secret is not my style. I train with my routines, and try to paddle my best. Today I did a “Prelims”, meaning I did two competition rides during training and counted both of them. Emily took video of this one with my iPad and I loaded the raw footage onto YouTube. It isn’t my best ride, but not my worst either. I am paddling my Competition Rock Star medium in solid orange. I am wearing my Kokatat Jackson Shorty Dry Top made into a DryDeck with my Pro Rand Seals Skirt. I have my Sperry Top Sider “Pong” lightweight shoes on, and my Casio Protrek watch. I also am wearing my WRSI Trident helmet. However, what you may not know is that I am wearing a coin around my neck from Uganda- 1964 10 cent piece, while Idi Amin was in power, but most importantly it was from my birth year, and is a memento from training on the Nile this Winter. I am also wearing my most prized possession which is a Norse Rune the Tyr for Victory in Competition. Kristine gave me my first one in 1998 and I won the next 10 competitions in a row. You may have seen the “arrow” or Tyr on my carbon Rock Star, my Slalom boat, and always around my neck. Sometimes, you’ll even see it written in pen on my hand. When I see the arrow, or Tyr, it reminds me that I am trying to overcome all obstacles to achieve victory. 90% of those obstacles are in my head, as I usually have the skill to win if I perform to my potential. In this competition there are many paddlers with the skill to win on the right day in the right moment. The Tyr is a reminder that leaving that moment to chance, instead of making it happen right then, right when the victory can be had is not good enough. Now and it is gone, now or it is too late. It is a good reminder to me that performance is fickle, if you let it be. Being your best can be done on command, but commanding your best and getting your best, isn’t something that many people can do on demand. The Tyr is a reminder to me, that I am not just going to “Try” to be my best, I am going to be my best, “victory in competition.” That is what Tyr means to me. Rising above the challenge and succeeding. Like everyone, I fail. In this game, however, I have learned how to win more than anyone else over a long period of time. That, however, doesn’t earn any points going into this World Championships. It only gives me the confidence to know that I can do this. I have done it before, I can do it again. Fear of the unknown doesn’t haunt me, like it does many.
If I win, I will be very happy, proud, and satisfied. If I don’t win, I will be very happy, proud, and satisfied, just not as proud or satisfied with my performance on that day for that particular objective.
Opening ceremonies are starting tomorrow, but Men’s Kayak prelims are not until Thursday…
Here is a practice rodeo ride from today of mine at about 1320 points and one of Dane’s at about the same!