Today is another travel day and I end up clearing my phone of junk whilst I’m waiting to board the plane. As I re-read the message I wrote to someone, I can’t help but feel it was also a letter to me. That wasn’t my intention but reading it back, out loud, I feel I’m reflecting on what happened and giving myself some comfort. Don’t worry I’m not sat in a busy place so shouldn’t get locked up!
I’m sat at the airport in Korea, waiting for the plane to take me home, feeling both happy and sad about the World Championships that I have just competed at. I want to pass on my experiences to a younger team member that is just about to go through the same process that I have, so I send her this message:
I’m sad we didn’t get chance to have a proper chat today. I want to say how incredibly proud I am to see you here shooting. Please enjoy every moment, as this is such an opportunity and you should enjoy being selected to represent GB at such a young age.
What will happen to you over the next few days will be weird, you will feel things you’ve never felt before, you’ll be more excited then ever before but, it’s only a fleeting moment and normality will come back again! Things may feel different because you are hot and clammy and maybe tired but it won’t be that different from home, it’s still you. Your senses will be heightened so you will notice things more, they are probably the same as before but you won’t have noticed. None of this matters as it won’t stop you Shooting as well as you have done, it just might feel a bit different then normal. If you feel nervous, don’t fight it, acknowledge the feeling, accept it but use one of your coping mechanisms to get through it. If all else fails concentrate on follow through (a grown up told me that, so it’s definitely true). Don’t be afraid to ask for help, all the people here are on your side and so experienced at this stuff.
You have earnt your place here, go and have some fun on the range, learn stuff about shooting and yourself and then come home with a massive sense of pride, ready for your next challenge. 😁
This was my first time representing GB at an event, it was the first World Champs I’ve been to and I had a massive roller coaster of a journey whilst I was there. A feeling of belonging, isolation, awesome, fun, not fun, I want to come home, I love it, it’s amazing, fuck this is scary, what am I doing here, shit I got to step up tomorrow, it’s ok, not ok, this is great, keep fighting till the end, OMG we won a medal! Whilst my own performance was way below average, my score was added to the other 2 female team members and we had just won the first medal at a Shooting World Championships for GB in 40 years and the first target rifle GB females ever.
It was hard to be happy when you hadn’t performed as well as you had hoped, but it was awesome to be part of a team that just won a bronze medal at the World Championships.
Yes it was a message to a young athlete, but it was also a message to me I just didn’t realise until after.