There is the preparation, the build up, the actual test/round/class, the wait for results and the aftermath – competing is physically demanding but also mentally and emotionally quite a workout too. After competing on Sunday, I found the aftermath a very intriguing place but also the mental noise needed some unpacking and I wanted to share that journey.
Those that have followed my story for some time will know it has been a complicated, long and difficult road to competing for Jack and I. But on Sunday something went really right. Jack loaded well, travelled well, warmed up well, jumped well, dealt with the show environment well, listened to me, was forward but not strong…. generally an absolute dude. I felt prepared, was keen to get in the ring (which is a new feeling), remained calm in the warm up, kept a level head and focused on what we had been working on and put in a decent performance. Despite this, we had one “unlucky” fence down, lost 10 marks and finished 5th and I felt totally flat.
I decided to share this feeling as I like to be honest and try to be authentic. But I also knew that some people may not understand it or may not even like it. I did receive some lovely supportive/encouraging messages, which meant a huge deal and definitely lifted me up when I needed it. I also received this:
“I don’t understand how you can possibly feel down about that I wouldn’t even have the confidence to go into an arena to jump in a competition so you should be incredibly proud…”
However, I never said I didn’t feel proud. I absolutely did. I felt proud before, during and after the competition and still do now. I felt proud, grateful, delighted, excited, determined, motivated…. AND also disappointed and a bit low.
Having taken some time to feel all of that (a new thing I am working on!), get a good night of sleep and regroup, I actually see the disappointment as a truly amazing thing. Do you know why?
Because someone who has no self belief, feels like an imposter, isn’t good enough, doesn’t deserve to win, will never be good enough, just isn’t destined to succeed, is delusional ……. they don’t feel disappointed with one fence down and 5th place. That is how I have felt for a long time but just maybe a little splattering of self belief and a little bit of determination has started to reappear…… That feels rather good.
Jack also scored brilliantly (19/20 for his style whist jumping, 18/20 for his show and 18/20 conformation). And yes again, it hurts to have scored so well and have even more of a could have won/so close feeling. However, it also shows me that he is absolutely capable of scoring top marks. (Although believing in Jack is something I find far easier to do than believing in myself.) That’s exciting…..
It is totally normal to feel a cocktail of emotions:
Feel them, embrace them and then work out your next step from there. The aftermath can be a complicated place but so worth embracing and analysing.
I have rewatched my round, about a million times, and have things to work on before our next outing. I rode too tentatively around the turn to fence 9 and didn’t squeeze on take off, I can work on that to lessen the chance of it happening again. Maybe next time it comes together that little bit more and goodness how good will that win feel when it finally arrives and I am starting to believe it just might…
Last competition you went to – how did you feel?