The Girl That Could
February 18, 19, and 20th. 2014 Indoor Nationals. 528 shooters, 63,360 arrows shot. That’s 63,360 chances to mess something up. I only have 120 chances to get it right. But these 120 chances can be the difference between making the national team or not. It may not seem like a big deal, but in my world, it’s everything.
Weeks before nationals I would stress out and think of all the things I could do wrong. I practiced at least 18 hours a week if not more. 6 days a week, 3 hours a day at the range. 120 arrows each day. I had the same amount of chances to screw everything up in practice as I did in actual competition, but somehow it was different. It’s like practice didn’t matter to me, all I cared about was Nationals.
Every tournament I went to I would get better and better. But this scared me even more. I pressured myself because I thought it could end at any minute. I was thinking of all the ways I could screw up. I was thinking of all the ways I would screw up.
When I got to Indoor Nationals on Friday I was immediately scared and everything I had been thinking about the past couple of weeks came rushing into my head. There were so many archers. More than 75% of which had years more experience than I did. How could I possibly expect to shoot well or even place. Later on I would realize that it didn’t really matter that year how I placed it only mattered how I grew as an archer. And I did. I scored two personal bests at nationals and just continued to grow throughout the year. Now I find myself worrying about some of the same things I was last year. With Nationals just 1 day away I am so scared. I start questioning my abilities and second guessing everything I have worked on this whole year. I know in my heart that I should be ready for this and that I know this year I actually have a good chance of placing in the top 10 but something still has me worried. Like it just won’t be good enough.
The final results had come in and I didn’t shoot as well as I could have but I still came in first for Nationals and JOAD Nationals for the East Region. Beating my competition by more than 20 points which is amazing.
Now I realize that I may have some issues but I just need to keep working on them. I can’t let them get the best of me. I also realize that maybe I’m a little too hard on myself. Sometimes it pushes me to do great things because I only expect the best and nothing else is acceptable. But it can be a bad thing at the same time. I get too worked up about the small things that in the long run don’t matter as much.