Last Saturday's national championship reinforced one of the things I love most about hammer throwing; one throw is all it takes! That simply means, you could be having the best or worst throws of your life, and it only takes one throw to completely change the outcome. In my case, my very last throw took me from 5th place and NOT making the world team, to 2nd place and making my third World Championship team!!! Now with that said, not making the world team was never even an option in my head. Having known the pain of failure in 2004, when I fouled out of the NCAA championships then turned around and didn't make the Olympic team that same year, and missed the world team in 2007, I was not about to endure that again! But up until that last throw, from the outside looking in, it was a completely different story. I fouled my first attempt, and thats never a good way to start a high level comp. I followed that up with a "safe" 67 and knew I made the final. That should have been the green light in my head to loosen up and let it fly, but that didn't quite happen. My last throw of prelims was a not so flattering 64. So going into finals I was in 4th place. I wasn't worried about it because the finals become a whole new comp so to speak. My fourth round throw I put a bit more "umph" on it and it only comes up a 66. At this point I know I'm running out of opportunities to seal my spot on the team, and I start really thinking about my technique and making sure its going to feel perfect. Well my next throw does feel really good, but as Dave said "you don't get style points" and I went waaaay too slow and dropped it at a meager 63. Dave at this point is not happy with how I'm not stepping up like we know I can and reminded me of some really important things. 1. I've worked too hard and done it the right way. 2. When situations are tough, champions thrive under pressure. 3. And its not going to take a miracle to make the team, just do what I know how to do! With the encouragement of him, my family, and the crowd I stepped into the circle for my final throw and clenched my spot with a throw of 70.07 for 2nd place. Of course I would have loved to win, but that might have been the sweetest feeling 70m throw of my life! Needless to say I definatly had to thank God for giving me the fortitude to dig deep and go for that one. What a day!!!!!
Now I'm sitting in Cork, Ireland preparing for my next adventure in throwing. On Saturday I'll be competing in the Cork City Sports International Athletics Meeting. I'm not sure who is going to be here, but whomever it is, I hope they're ready for a battle. I have some unspent anger I need to unleash. :-) Until next time!
Love and Blessings,