Monday, August 17, 2015

My wonderful life as a nobody :)

So it might sound like a negative. But this is not a negative post by any stretch. It is a fact. I have in the eyes of the world never achieved anything, because our world is built on the lie of winning. Only winning achieves anything and if you aren't a winner you are by default a loser. And not only have I heard this said by some of the great winners in the world, I have probably said it myself a time or two. But I suppose it really does take a closer look at what winning means. Is it a shiny hunk of metal to put on your shelf or is it to achieve your goals? Is it a win if you got a medal, but failed to achieve your goal? Is it a loss if you didn't win a medal, but achieved all your goals? If the tree falls in the forest and there's no one there to witness it....

So I'm writing this in reflection to my year as an archery bum which may come to an end when I complete Danish school and get a real job....What did my year achieve? I didn't win any international medals and I didn't break any records so far... so what have I done?

So in a year of shooting in Europe, I have so far achieved my goals. I fought for and won a coveted spot on the Danish archery team. In a series of 5 trials that included a minimum score requirement and performance in both ranking and matchplay, I earned that spot in black and white. I had, before hand, worried that perhaps it would end up being a place based on just attending, but the top 5 shooters in Denmark all pre-qualified and attended. Even the formidable Camilla Søemod commuted from Canada to make it a real fight down to the last day, for that much desired spot on the World Target team on home soil.

I got to shoot the European Indoor Championships, where I ranked 11th  (equal 7th) and finished 9th (top 16) with a competition PB in ranking. Possibly a first for an Australian shooting the European Champs?
Moi (Slovenia 2015)
Shanghai World Cup Stage 1 - I shot 669 and ranked 31st. Finished 33rd (out in the first match) in tricky wind for our first outdoor tournament of the year. I was disappointed, but took away a lot. And took 5th in mixed teams with Stephan Hansen with some solid shooting to make my week worth while.

Turkey World Cup Stage 2 - 675 and ranked 47th against some tough competition and finished 33rd again but on substantially better shooting (lost my second match). I was beaten by Andrea Marcos of Spain and I told her she had to win now because that's the rules. So she did. And I was very proud to be her agent on the day of her gold medal match. And we took away 4th place in teams. I shot some 8s in our last match, but then so did almost everyone who shot finals that day, including some very notable and famous archers. So for everyone who ever shot an 8 in finals...I hear you, but we're in awesome company. So would have loved a medal, but actually very proud of my team. We did great.

Our first team shoot and we made the medal matches :)
World Target Copenhagen - 648 and ranked 71st. And if all you ever saw was score, this result might make you bleed... but if you had been standing in the miserable weather that we shot in... well I'm okay with my score. I went out in my first match and finished 57th against a lady from Austria who somehow shot Xs when I could barely keep my feet and to compound the day (no pun intended), I discovered my fletches were cracking off. My disappointment continued with our team losing to the Ukraine and finishing 6th. But we shot well and it came down to a line call. I think we did great that day as well.
Biggest World Target ever in our own backyard :)
Poland World Cup Stage 3 - 676 and ranked 24th. I'm really happy with this shooting because it is basically the same score as in Turkey, but with brutal wind that changed constantly through the day. After 4 matches I finished 7th in the same evil wind. In every event I have learned a little more and adjusted accordingly and, in this event, it paid off. I know of a few who are disappointed with their lack of medals from this week, but I am enormously pleased with my 7th. My goal was to finish in the top 25% of the field.  So if achieving a goal and how you feel about your result is all that matters, I'm winning just fine.

Wrocław, Poland
So I've spent a year shooting arrows, learning a new language, travelling the world and representing my new home. Gosh how terrible my life must be....And so far my best is 7th. So my perspective to everyone in the world who didn't get a medal this year and the few who did....I'm really happy with 7th at a world cup and beating two of the toughest shooters in the world (Tonioli and Loginova) to get it. Taking home a medal would seriously add some shine to my year, but I'm going to celebrate my win such as it is. I earned it. It makes me smile. If you enjoy archery only when you win a gold medal, statistically you are going to be miserable a lot of the time. So one day (if all the hard work pays off) that gold medal will not be the be all and end all, it will just be the icing on an already awesome cake.
Support staff keeping the bed from running away.
Bring on Nationals and World Cup stage 4.