We read, we talk and sometimes we write about the memories of the races we’ve been in: we describe our success stories, our fears, the events and the unexpected circumstances that distinguished them. What we rarely mention, are the races that we didn’t compete in.
It might seem absurd but have you ever happened to prepare yourself for an event for a long time, invest all your available resources only to find yourself unable to attend?
A few days ago I was at the beach in the city in which I would have participated in my first 3 km open water race. There’s no point in me describing the emotion, the expectations and the will to compete in that wild but inviting waters. I got everything ready, I was wearing my cap and goggles while pretending to not notice the waves getting wilder although obvious to the confused organizers. Rumors started going around about the race first being delayed and then finally cancelled just like the dream of swimming those much desired kilometers.
At the time, after the initial relief of not having to affront the fatigue, came anger and disappointment of what that day was supposed to represent. With sadness you think about the stories you could’ve shared with our friends and training companions or about the experience you could’ve acquired and knowing that we’d finally reached another goal.
Flashing before our eyes was the possibility for us to improve ourselves, even by just a little bit, showing ourselves that we could do it. At the same time, with sadness, we thought about the effort put into getting up early every morning to practice, in eating a balanced diet and going to bed early in order to recuperate all the energy that we’d need the following day.
There isn’t much else to add when describing these types of days. The anger and sadness remains but also the will to compete again, finding the next race to enroll in, in order to add it to our list of sports achievements and finally knowing that our efforts have been rewarded.
The enthusiasm remains, because improving yourself gives the most immense satisfaction.