August 29, 2013

Appreciate the Journey - by Curt Tomasevicz

Sometimes we get so caught up in chasing our goals that we can forget to stop and enjoy the journey. The end result is not always the most important part of going for a goal. Sometimes we need to stop, take a moment, and remind ourselves what it is for which we are striving.

This, of course, can be applied to any long term goal that we may have. Taking a break can be the best thing for us. When is the last time you forced yourself to take a break? Some of the hardest working people I know are Nebraskan farmers that work from sun up to sun down and sometimes longer. I can relate to their feeling of putting in long hours to reach a goal. But I don’t think many of those farmers take enough periodic breaks to pat themselves on the back and enjoy the moment. But that may be just what they need to refocus and re-energize.

For the past four years, I’ve been working hard in the weight room and on the track in order to get stronger and faster so I can push a bobsled faster than ever and make it back on top of the Olympic podium. I haven’t lost focus for one day or even for one workout. I consider how every meal and snack will affect my training. I contemplate the number of hours of sleep I get every night knowing I need adequate rest and recovery after every day of training.

But that moment on top of the podium isn’t as fulfilling if you don’t have fun along the way. It is important to appreciate the journey.

So this past week, the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation hosted their annual team camp and gala in Lake Placid, New York. It is a chance for the athletes to celebrate last season’s successes and also refocus and re-energize for the long haul of training and competing leading up to the Olympics next February. During the gala, the coaches and staff hand out awards for Athlete of the Year and Athletes’ Choice Award. (I was honored to be awarded the Athletes’ Choice Award). There are video clips compiled together to recap the 2012-2013 season. There were also some inductions into the National Bobsled Hall of Fame. Without a doubt, the purpose of the night is to remind the athletes of the fun our journey should be.
The award winners from the 2012-2013 Bobsled Season

The rest of the camp is geared toward preparing for the 2013-2014 season, ending with the 2014 Olympics in Russia. We reviewed the selection criteria, learned about nutrition and recovery, practiced media training including social media rules, and even worked with sports psychologists. In addition to the educational seminars, various team-building activities helped prepare us to form the best possible teams for the upcoming season.

So whether you’re in the middle of irrigation season, spraying, or even harvesting, take a minute to look around and appreciate the moment. Sometimes it may be difficult, but that extra second may be just the thing to help put a positive perspective on the situation and help you appreciate the journey.

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