Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Let's get the tough part out of the way first:  I have had a setback.

I once had someone say that I don't write about failures, disappointments or setbacks.  I don't think that's true and I REALLY hope they are reading today...

I wasn't named to the World Cup Team for the races in March.

It isn't the end of the 2010 road, and I don't have to throw in the towel - but it hurts.  Not just my pride, but also my chances of making it to the Games.

I was really close - (0.4% off) to be precise.  And there were many arguments that could have been made (and were made for me).  Still Cross Country Canada left me off the team.  Rather than explaining in detail why the decision was stupid (which I have already wasted enough time dissecting), I am focusing on where to go from here.

I have never been short of ideas and I have some really cool options...  When I let myself think about them I have growing excitement about the new opportunities, but I need to make a key decision first.  

Follow me on this stream of consciousness...

Should I continue to focus on x-c skiing and 2010?

It is going to be very difficult to make it to the 2010 Paralympics now.  Of course I still think I can do it.... (but I always do....)

One thing I know for sure is that if I do make it, it will have been close, and once there I will not be challenging for medals.  This is me being realistic.

The alternative feels a lot like the "Q" word though, and I have never been a fan of that word.

Shifting perspectives:

The original goal was the Paralympics.  Not the 2010 Paralympics in Nordic Skiing.

There are other ways to get there and I would shift to one of them, "Hello cycling, nice to see you again!"  

London 2012 is a possibility that I feel has WAY more likelihood of success than skiing had.  I would have 4 clear years (not two).  I have a background in cycling (zero in x-c skiing)...

Feels a lot less like the "Q" word that rhymes with knitting....  more like a change of direction but eyes on the same goal.


Ski for enjoyment, relaxation, and training through the rest of this season.  Compete in cycling and triathlon in the spring, summer, fall.  Take a final run at ski qualification in December 2009.

Off the Paralympic pursuit:

I could also throw myself into some events that have long held my highest respect - Ironman (Kona perhaps), the Boston Marathon etc.

These have been dreams of mine for some time now and I would love sending the e-mail to my coach - "New Goal:  Kona"

Handling a setback:

Some great things can come from setbacks - I've lived that storyline.  

There is no right or wrong plan - I know that - as an athlete I need to decide what will fulfill me.

I know I want competition, and I want to push my limits.  Most of all I want to love it.

I'd appreciate any thoughts you have.... Seriously.

Tweet this!


Missy said...

Don't make me sit in front of the computer all day and watch Kona lookin' for ya!!! Hells yes! Obviously, you got what it takes...besides the drive and athleticism. The desire to NOT throw in the towel when the going gets tough. (See how I didn't use the Q word?)

Mike said...

MJ, It hasn't been long but I've learned several things from you. One is to have an incredibly positive attitude, especially when the going gets tough. Another one is goal setting. Your advice to me has always been educate yourself, have a plan, execute the plan, hold yourself accountable and persist. Setbacks suck but if anyone will find the way to turn this into an advantage, it's you my friend.

Mike said...

Paralympics aside, Kona! Why not be the first to aim for both?

"I want to feel satisfied and proud of my efforts, that has little to do with how many people I beat or how many beat me." -- Meyrick Jones

Eric said...

First, envision yourself three, five, ten years from now. Be totally honest with yourself and think about which route/goal will leave you the most satisfied and fulfilled. You never want to "what if?". Next, use this set back as fuel - as motivation to up the ante.

Linda Pendleton said...

Darn... well, 'follow your bliss,' wherever that takes you! In doing so, you know you will have a sense of accomplishment, pride, and satisfaction. Just a little bump in the road. :-)

Ryan Denner said...

Dude, it will come to you. Let it brew for a few days, and you will find it/it will find you.... without thinking much about it.

I do dig the hybrid option though.

Jen said...

I knew I was saving this quote for something:

"Everything always works out in the end. If it's not working out, it's not the end."

Ruth Voss said...

I guess this is the Adversity part in the Challenge, Adversity, Victory motto we all share.

Come up to Whistler and we will go 'ski' at Callaghan. We always talked about it - but those pesky races got in the way. Let's have some fun and see if the 'passion' is still there.

I think I agree with Eric - don't say in 5 years, or even 5 months... what if? You need to do some serious thinking - yes, it sucks, but at the end of the day what gets you up in the morning (besides Viggo)?

Look again at the Lululemon mantras. I think there will be a couple who will help you make a decision or at least come to some peace.

Whatever you decide, you know that we will all support you no matter what!

Mike said...

Is there a triathalon event at the Paralympics?

MJ said...

Hey Mike... alas there is currently no triathlon event at the paralympics. The ITU is putting an application together but it's a real process.... not an overnight thing. Maybe 2016.


DC said...

Over the past few years, we have had coffee together many many times. According to my crude calculations, somewhere around 408. During these times, we have had discussions ranging from the banal (“Plate of Eggs”) to the more serious (motivation, DC2daEC). So, I feel that I can make the following two statements with a fair amount of confidence. One – you are not a quitter. Two – I don’t EVER recall you using the words “good” and “enough” together.
Nobody can make this decision for you, and I know you know that. I also think you would agree that things won’t just “work themselves out” and nothing will happen unless YOU believe that you are making the right decision. Don’t waste your time doing what you THINK you should do. You said it yourself; the original goal was/is the Paralympics so switching focus is NOT quitting!
Yes, you have a decision to make here. You saw an opportunity in skiing and you went after it and gave it everything. It not working out RIGHT NOW had nothing to do with what you didn’t do. You still have an opportunity but if you don’t take it, it definitely won’t work out and you will never know if it might have. You took a risk with skiing that most people wouldn’t even dream of taking. If you don’t take that risk with cycling you will never know what might have been.
As for my humble advice? Ironman, Kona, Boston ... they’re not going anywhere. 2010 / 2012 ... happen once.

Kris said...

Sorry to hear about not making the team bro.

You are a champion in everything you do and have a massive following. I/we are here to help you pursue whatever you want in the future, whichever direction you choose.

PC Ironman said...

I know youre not a quitter and you should be a motivational speaker. Because of you, I have signed up for 4-5 events I never expected to do and now, I entered into the Kona lottery.... I really gotta stop reading your stuff, its costing me my rest time. Have fun in Vegas, I mean, I hope you get heaps accomplished for Tri Canada.

ri said...

Wow, people like you! Who knew? hehehe

I'm thinking that people here are on the right track and your choice should be aligned with your greater goals and values. Instead of looking solely at different sport options, ask yourself how these different activities contribute to the bigger picture.

I think one of your greatest gifts is the ability to inspire people. If you agree, then look at your choices from that angle. How do your options contribute to that goal? Are they all the same or are there differences? Is 2010 about a medal or reaching people?
Ultimately, no matter what you choose, you will win. love you.

Karen said...

Hey not one to read a blog but have to admit that your's is rather interesting.

All the best in your decisions - as the saying goes "Everything always works out in the end. If it's not working out, it's not the end."

You can look at what you have done up to this point and can only be proud of yourself. I remember when you first came swimming at the pool at West Van as you attempted Masters and look at how much you have improved. You have taken this same drive in all of the other sports that you do.

You are truly an inspiration as you show the challenges, the drive to pursue in what you want to do and the accountability for your actions.

Good luck!!

Karen H.