| Sep 14, 2016
By: Lauren Paquette
From September 8 through September 18, the ACSM Sports Performance Blog is featuring a special content series in celebration of the achievements of elite athletes participating in this month’s international competition. Be sure to follow the blog as well as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (acsm1954) and share using #ScienceofSport.
My name is Lauren Paquette, and I am NOT an Olympian. And that is okay- NOW.
It didn’t seem to be okay in the weeks following the recent trials, when it looked like my competitors (and friends) had achieved their goals and were moving forward, while I felt as if I were stuck, stagnant. I had to shake myself off a bit to get out of the funk that comes after having a chance to make a national team and falling short. Those close to me had the patience and compassion to remind me of how much I had accomplished this year, and assure me that my running career is far from over. There will be more opportunities and more goals to chase.
As hard as it can be, there is beauty and lessons learned in disappointment. You get a chance to improve. I had to remind myself of something I always tell the athletes that I coach after they have a bad race, “Take the time to be upset, figure out what you could have done better and move on. You can never move forward in life if you are constantly looking in the rear-view mirror.”
When falling short of a goal, competitors pick themselves up and make new ones. Whatever your goals are, don’t be afraid to realistically adapt them or establish new ones when things don’t go perfectly in athletics or in life. Watch out for the “greenies;” jealousy is a friend of disappointment. Be happy for those (yes, even your competitors) who achieved their goals and may have even gotten what YOU wanted; next time around, it could be your time to shine. Lastly, don’t forget to be proud of yourself – you’re as good as your best performance.
Lauren Paquette is a professional distance runner sponsored by Brooks Running and Breakaway Running who competed in the 5000 meters at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials. She has an undergraduate degree in Exercise Physiology and Masters in Science in Sport Psychology & Motor Behavior.