If you have passion for something, you’ll do anything for it. For me, it’s bobsledding and the para-sliding sports. I will go to any length to get it added to the Paralympics and I will keep pushing the envelope on what’s possible with bobsleigh and skeleton for the adaptive athlete.
I have been actively recruiting my competition for the upcoming sliding season, that’s how passionate I am about this sport. I want the best adaptive athletes out there to know that this sport exists and that they can and should get involved.
I know I’m taking my chances. I could easily be outperformed in a qualifying race and be out of the running, replaced by one the guys I recruited. But I want the adaptive sliding sports to thrive so much; I am willing to take that chance. But of course, it’s not ALL for the sport – it’s for me too.
Competitive anxiety is a sports psychology term where the mind or psyche works against the athlete. It manifests in multiple forms and cause reactions both physically and mentally. A positive response is the awareness of the fear of failure, stare it down and make it your bitch. A negative response causes you to shy away from competition altogether. I don’t just respond positively to competitive anxiety, I thrive on it.
In Igls, I only had one run from the top. That made me nervous. I didn’t know if I could have 2 good runs on race day. In St. Moritz, I was afraid that what I did in Igls was a fluke, that I wouldn’t be able to do it again. I faced both of those things head-on, did everything my coaches asked me to do and got the exact result I wanted.
So, recruiting a guy from Canada that could kick my ass sounds kind of crazy, but it really isn’t. I need legit athletes to show up next season, guys that are going to make me anxious, make me step it up a notch. I want that anxiety in the back of my mind, gnawing at me: What happens if I don’t make the cut? I’ve just recruited the guy that’s replaced me.
That’s why I have the hashtag #somethingtoprove. It’s nothing I have to prove to anybody else, it’s to prove it to myself.
What I did last year was amazing, and it is weighing on me now. Can I do it again? Would I be happy with 2nd or 3rd place? No.
In Igls, I came in 2nd behind my good friend, Corey, and he totally deserved 1st, but I didn’t get the recognition for getting 2nd I thought I would get. I wasn’t jealous, it just added fuel to my fire. I want Corey to succeed, but I don’t want 2nd or 3rd again. I want 1st. Really fuckin’ bad.
Eric Thomas said, “If you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful.” That’s how bad I want it. That’s my passion.