Sometimes I wish that one could pull 2020 completely out of the calendar - discarded everything it entailed. But yes, the year has had some niceties, but strictly athletically and career wise it has been hopeless, and almost hard to smile about - but one has to find a way to the goal, even during these Corona-times.
Let me say it as it is: 2020 has been a hopeless year as an athlete. I had my last race one year ago in November 2019, and since then, I haven’t felt the fire. I needed a break after I had secured my ticket to the World Championships on Hawaii in Mexico one year ago - I had never, in my wildest dreams imagined that the year would be this long (and hopeless).
When Corona came, I was in Lanzarote. I went to La Santa to train - I felt ready again. Now it was time to get back in the game! Claus was with me; Markus was with me - everything was good. The foundation was perfect. And then Mette Frederiksen ( our minister) went to the podium and asked everyone to come home.
With a punch my whole world flipped - and I’m sure yours did too, but it made sense to stay at home. We didn’t know what exactly what Corona meant. We were to take care of each other. A respect which I had and still have. And I did as I always do, found another and in many ways a more creative way to the goal. I bought a swimming pool for the backyard, so I could continue to train. I planed a marathon in July, even though it is the running distance I hate the most, but it meant having another less distant goal to keep in mind. It helped me, and it was important, but even still, the thoughts raced in my mind. Since, how can one be a triathlete without any competitions? How does one, as an athlete, get a paycheck when you can’t compete in any Ironman’s? Was it the end of it all - and was I to never stand on that podium in Hawaii?
The thing with the paycheck I took care of - No, it has not been a dance on roses this year. But I don´t think it has been for many businesses. But one thing is certain: I would never had made it if hadn’t had such loyal sponsors. They believed in me and knew, that it wasn’t my fault that I couldn’t compete and thus advertise for them.
But when I crossed the finish line in my marathon back in July, which was actually my best one to date, I was tired. There weren’t many smiles to have - since now, what did I have to do? Corona was still widespread, and there were no signs of any more competitions soon. Everything was cancelled. My career was on standby, and I found it hard to find motivation - or seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. I always say that one should always choose to smile and see the bright side of things, but I must admit that it all seems so hopelessly difficult.
Therefore, it is very important to me, now more than ever, that ChallengeDaytona actually happens, and that I can stand ready in the USA in three short weeks. It is my lifework to do triathlon, and I train more than ever to get ready for the fire I am about to be thrown into. I am training with all I’ve got, but I crave competition. To feel that I can still go toe to toe with my competitors. To feel the pulse, the excitement, the rush when you jump into the water and the starting gun is fired. What I need is simply to feel that I am living Triathlon again. ChallengeDaytona is currently the next goal, that is giving me courage and motivation - And that is how it is supposed to stay for the next 325 days, until I stand on the podium on Hawaii.
I imagine, that this is the same for all of you. That it can feel difficult to work from home, to work differently and with different tasks than one is used to. To find motivation in a new Corona-everyday life. Am I right? What are you doing to keep up the courage and motivation?