Wednesday, May 20, 2009

2009 U.S. Senior National Team Trials

The water was roaring and frigid in Durango, Colorado, last week. 5,600 Cubic Feet per Second (CFS) pumped through the course as slalom kayakers and canoeists struggled to dance across the waves to the gates...needless to say, as soon as I was into my first practice, I knew that it was going to be a very challenging trials race.
Women from all over the country came to compete for slots on the women's canoe senior national team...making this team means getting a chance to compete in the 2009 World Championships, in La Seu De Urgel, Spain.
I had three days to acclimatize and get used to the big pushy water before race day. When Friday rolled around, I felt ready...and then I got on the course.
Friday was possibly the worst race day of my entire life. I didn't make the moves that I thought I was going to ace. I felt sluggish and frustrated. I left the race Friday afternoon, knowing that if I wanted to make team, I was going to have to turn my race around. And so that is precisely what I did.
Coming into the race Saturday, I had a completely different mindset. I focused on having fun, because I knew that the course of Saturday was even bigger and more challenging that the previous days.
I laid down two solid runs, and brought my position from a not-so-satisfying 4th on Friday, right up to a 1st on Saturday! This hugely helped me boost my race plan, and on Sunday, I landed a 2nd place also, enough to get me on the team!
This race was hugely intense, and slightly melancholy, because I'm very sad about my fellow paddlers who were out there, giving it their all, and didn't quite make it this year. It most certainly was not for lack of trying.
And so, my 2009 season has truly taken off. I'm thrilled to be given the opportunity of competing at such a prestigious event as the World Championships, and eternally grateful to my parents, coaches, friends, and sponsors.

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