This is inline world champ Jessica Smith, flying through the morning sunlight, during an easy race prep workout….

In the background is one of the oval staff, messing with the electronic timing system.

Tomorrow, and for the rest of the weekend, that system will see a lot of use, as the world cup qualifier & America’s cup I begins.

I often talk about “doing your best, & being at peace with it”, and even though that is absolutely true; in the coming races, there will be definite winners & losers. And for those who spend the majority of their waking hours trying to become the best, it’s an awful feeling to be on the losing side.

Although Jessica Smith is a skating rockstar, and should have no problem making the team, there are an unusually large number of skaters this year who are truly in contention for only a few slots.

Last year I missed the team by .1 of a second, and it’s something I will take to my grave as a failure (after great starts, my turns were awful, failure is the right word).

This year, I’m not in realistic contention. In fact I will only be able to race on Friday, then am driving right from the rink to the airport & going to a wedding in NYC.

Although much will be made of those who make the team, the strength of any team is often directly proportional to the depth of the competition required to make it. That implies there will be many who are phenomenal, dedicated, try hard, and don’t make it.

Many skate fans remember Dan Jansen & what he went through. I think an equally interesting story is his brother, whom from what I understand, trained every step that Dan did for 12 years on the national team, and although he was a world cup quality skater, he never made the Olympic games.

So here’s to Mike, and everyone who steps to that start line, and throws down their best, even if it’s not “good” enough.

7 Responses to “Tomorrow…”

  1. Hi Andrew! Good luck (or break a leg) on your 500m.
    Have you received my emails about my need for a writer at the World Cup?

    Hope to hear from you,

  2. To use the words of a self-described “Bad Man”;

    “It doesn’t happen, so who cares? There’s always next year. It’s not like it’s the end of the world.”

  3. Andrew one bad race is not a failure..

    One cannot always have the ‘perfect’ race, and you’ve achieved more at your (our) age than most will ever dream of…

    You and Rodney Kopish are my heroes…

    keep living the dream


  4. Cheers to Mike. I know all about it.

  5. I saw John Loquai fall today right at the end of the first lap on the 1km. He just fell on the straight almost at the halfway point and slid on his knees to the corner. Now that had to suck!

  6. One year later, and you still look an it as failiure, huh? I guess that’s the attitude it took, in part, for you to get as good as you’ve gotten.

    Is it possible that the mistake on your final turn was *because* you had already skated 1000 faster than you ever had, and your body simply wasn’t used to that level of speed or pain? If so you “failed” on;y because you’d suceeded too well on the 1st 1K.

    But at another level, I guess I see how it’s a failiure. Ideally, you could have trained enough that your body would have been ready for that last 500 and mistakes wouldn’t have happened.

    And to echo flyingAfrican’s comment, there *is* no perfect race. In his book, Micheal Johnson (the track & field sprinter) talks about his world record 200m run. He stumbled slightly on his second or third step, and went on to be perfect for the rest of the race. In his case it was good enough. But still not perfect.

  7. sorry got the distances mixed up between the 1500, and the 500 that you missed the cut on. But you get my point… your 300 surpassed what you body was used to so much that the mistake on the final turn became more likely than not. Perhaps you “failed” only because you suceeded too fast and too soon for you body to catch up with that level of performance improvement.

    Beh. It’s done. Keep skating, that’s all that matters right?

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