Since July, I've camped, road-tripped, backpacked, fished, photographed, played card games, seen old friends, made new friends, and slept to my heart's content. I started bodybuilding (higher volume lifting with specific recovery times and such) in mid-September, coupled with whatever cardio I wanted (hikes and interval runs). After five weeks of that, I started my first block of training, which is now over! I'm currently in the beginning of my first week of block 2, and loving what my future looks like.
Have you ever experienced a major injury? I've had a few, and the seasons following those years are always so fun to train for. Grateful doesn't begin to describe how I feel for the fire and attentiveness I experience at practice every day, and I've never lived my life more purposefully. I felt this way in the year leading up to 2008, after a stress fracture in my back in 2007 left me on the sidelines for a year. If I made the Beijing Olympic team the year after that injury, what could happen now? I'm excited.
This year won't happen without its own challenges. I'm already experiencing some of my old SI joint pain, but since I know what helped me with that before, I can attack it head-on instead of wasting months trying to figure it out like the first time around. You really do live and learn! I still get to work on being confident in my block leg, but after yesterday's first practice on the runway, I'm feeling really good about it.
Kibwe asked me how my approach to this season might be different from seasons of the past. The reason for that question is that 2014, like 2010, is an "off" year. A non-championship year. A year without a major medal up for grabs. The Continental Cup lurks at the end of the summer, and would be a fabulous place to go back to and redeem myself, but there is no Olympic or World Championship for outdoor track and field athletes to compete in (meaning Kib and I are in the same boat).
I definitely want to use this year to get back out on the international circuit. I need that experience for the future, and I've been removed from those meets for two years now, so getting my feet wet again will be good. However, I would moreso love to use this season to compete a lot domestically and bring the javelin to the people! In Chicago in July, I absolutely loved having friends come watch and meeting up-and-coming javelin throwers who were both spectating and competing alongside me. In the same way, I had a total blast teaching my campers at Iron Wood last summer, and would love to help instill a passion for javelin in even more kids around the country. I plan on posting my competition schedule completely and as early as possible, inviting anyone and everyone I know (and probably people I don't know) in the areas I'll be competing in to come watch, and actually spending time with those that do. There are hardly any opportunities for young people to be exposed to javelin throwing, and I'd like to do my best to fix that. Keep your eyes peeled for competitions in your area. :)
Here's to 2014!