Saturday, March 12, 2016

25 Life Lessons that I've Learned from Biathlon

1.  I thrive on challenges and working towards goals.  

2.  Hard work usually pays off, but not always when or in the way that I was expecting.

3.  To be truly your best at something, it has to be all-consuming.  There will be little time for anything else. 

4.  To be truly great at something, you not only have to be at your very best but also your best has to be great.  This takes luck.  

5.  Sometimes you just get lucky.

6.  Sometimes you just get unlucky.

7.  Sometimes trying harder isn't the solution.  You have to try in the right way.  One of the hardest things to do is to try not to try too hard.  

8.  Believing in yourself is a very powerful positive force.  Don't underestimate it. 

9.  Be confident but not cocky.  

10.  Set reasonable expectations, but don't be afraid to dream big.  Both are important.  

11.  Sometimes you have to do things that aren't fun in order to have even more fun later.

11.  Being serious and having fun are not mutually exclusive.  In fact, in my experience life is best when they are combined.  

13.  Everything is better with teammates and friends.  Don't isolate yourself or take your friends for granted.    

14.  Everyone is different, and that is wonderful.  My teammates, like my siblings, can sometimes be annoying and weird and do things that I wouldn't...but when you know people well enough you love them anyways.  Small grudges and annoyances are not worth holding onto.  

15.  There is always something else that you're missing out on.  But it doesn't matter.  Don't think about it.  Be here now.  

16.  Playing the "what if" and "if only" games are not productive for either biathlon or life. There is always something that you could have done better. 

17.  I am a competitive person.  This can be good and bad.  I will have to get better turning it off after this.  

18.   I am happiest when my life is simple but busy.

19.  I am happiest in beautiful places.

20.  I am also quite capable of being miserable in beautiful places, and happy in dull little hotel rooms.  I have the power to make myself either miserable or happy.  

21.  I am not consistently happy when my life is out of balance and being consumed by only one thing.     

22.  If you have a great shooting position, a great hold, a perfect zero, there's no wind, and your trigger squeeze is perfect but you still miss, it might be because you weren't aiming at the center of the target.  Sometimes the answer is right in plain sight.  

23.  In this world, some people have higher VO2max's than yours, some people are better at focusing, some people have faster skis than you and way bigger waxing budgets, and some people get paid way more than you to do the same thing.  Some of them also cheat.  But in the end, all you can affect is yourself.   

24.  Almost anything can seem all-important when you take it seriously and surround yourself in it.  Even a sport that combines two other random sports and is virtually unknown in much of the world.  But like so many of the other silly things we take to be all-important, its only as important as you make it.  

25.  That said, biathlon is an AWESOME sport...the best in fact.  It combines a physical and a mental challenge to make for an entertaining and exciting competition that is dramatic and inspirational and heartbreaking all at the same time.  You can be winning a race but miss your last shot and just miss the podium.  You can miss your first shot but then not give up and hit the rest and win.  You might not be the fastest skier, but there is always hope for a good race if you shoot well.  And you can be the fastest skier in the world but lose your cool every time on the shooting range and never win a race.  I may be moving on from my own biathlon career but I will always be a biathlon fan.  

And last but not least, !'m sure I will say this again, but I can't say it enough times: 
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU to everyone who has helped me along the way in my biathlon adventures. Vielen Dank, Kiitos, Děkuji, Tack, Grazie, Merci, Благодаря,  Спасибо, Ďakujem!!!  This was a hard decision to make and I will miss you all.