Racing in Olympic Class regattas tells you a lot about the health of your training and the direction you are headed. I must evaluate changes as I continue to look towards the Rio 2016 Games!
Over the past several weeks I have been focused on developing my program with a focus on the Sailing World Cup regatta in Miami as the opportunity to sail against the top athletes in the world and evaluate where I was at so I could structure my training program and the focus of the entire campaign to give me the best opportunity to perform at the US Olympic Trials and qualify for the Games in Rio 2016. My performance at the regatta this past week showed me exactly where I am at and has given a clear picture as to what needs to be done to win the trials next year.
First and most important is that our training program recently has suffered in both the time we spent on the water and in our training partners. To be able to beat the best of the best it is critical to spend several hours on the water every day to practice maneuvers in a variety of conditions and to constantly push our bodies and minds so that we are prepared for anything and everything we will see at a regatta. This was made clear on the first day of the regatta when we raced in 25+knots with large and steep waves (like we see on Lake Erie). The racing was frantic and frankly the entire fleet was in survival mode. There were 6 broken masts (in one race), many boats capsized and injuries left and right. Jess and I were able to squeak out with a couple blown out blocks and a cunningham. It ended our day early but in the long run we didn’t have to replace an $8,000 mast.
The week proved to show huge wind shifts and a dramatic variation in pressure. All in all we sailed in every kind of pressure possible and had a lot of great moments on the racecourse. In the end, we simply were not able to put all the pieces together in a single race and our results showed us that training, time on the water and sailing with coaches and training partners who have experience and opportunity will give us a much better shot looking through the next year.
To be able to sail with great training partners and the top coaches, our campaign budget is going to be squeezed tighter and the requirement for fundraising will increase but it is obvious that without the ability to sail with the top instruction and partners our ability to grow rapidly and develop into the top athletes we need to be will be lacking and so we simply need to do this to be able to become the best of the best in the next 51 weeks until the US Olympic Trials begin at the 2016 Sailing World Cup Miami.
My goal is to win. Pure and simple, I want to be an Olympic Champion. To do this, I am willing to do whatever it takes to raise the necessary money, to train when, where and however top coaches tell me I need and to put my life on hold so that I have the time, focus and strength necessary to make it happen. Tough decisions will need to be made in the coming weeks and I will need to strive to put my goals ahead of my feelings and be able to know that no matter what the outcome that I am giving it 100% all of the time and doing everything possible to win the US Trials in 2016 and to come home from Rio 2016 with a Gold Medal.
Thank you for your support, for your encouraging words and for continually showing me that I can overcome struggles and persevere when times get tough. I will push through, I will accomplish my goal and I will love every moment of this experience. After all, if you can’t love learning life’s tough lessons then there won’t be a bright future ahead!
Will you donate $5.00 to help my campaign for Rio 2016 today?