Good morning, Salt Lake City. Yesterday afternoon I arrived back home from Russia and promptly went to bed at 430pm. In four days I will get on an airplane to fly to Seoul, South Korea for what will be my final competition of the season, World Sprint Championships. I'm not really sure what time zone I should even try to be on right now. I'm fairly certain I will be cross-eyed by the time I step foot in Korea regardless, so I'm not too concerned about having slept from 430pm-3am just now.
World Single Distance Championships have come to an end. I placed 20th in the 1000m and 17th in the 500m. When asked how my races went, I have taken to responding with, "Totally fine." Personally, my weekend felt anti-climatic. World Single Distance Championships are our Olympics of non-Olympic years. It is the competition we work toward all season. It is where we plan to peak, where we plan on having our best performances of the year. I would be lying if I said I didn't think I was going to place higher than I did, particularly in the 500m. My races were by no means bad, but they weren't great. It wasn't my peak performance of the season. So it was fine, totally fine.
In times like this I have to remind myself of the big picture. I am skating technically better than I ever have and despite not placing as high as I believed was possible, I know I executed the best races I was capable of. We are two years out from the next Winter Olympic Games and I have made enormous progress this year. I didn't even qualify to race World Singles last year, so considering that I was on the sidelines a year ago, two top twenty finishes is a major improvement. And let's be real here- expectations, goals, hopes, and dreams aside- 17th in the world is nothing to shake a stick at. I know that.
I also know that while I spend inexhaustible amounts of energy working to be the best in the world at something, I have a lot to live for. These years will be beyond compare down the road and I know how fortunate I am to travel as much as I do, having made friends from across the globe and getting to experience a world bigger than my backyard. No matter the race result at the end of the line, I will always have that.
I don't know how I turned into such a sentimental blog writer. My mom used to get after me for not sharing more with all the people tagging along down this skating path with me. I guess it took me a while to realize how many of you decided you're in it for the long haul. And as long as you stick around, I suppose I'll keep letting the entire internet know how sappy that makes me feel.
But back to the ass-kicking and name-taking because we're not done yet.
February 27-28: Seoul, South Korea: World Sprint Championships. Let's do this, crew.