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Aspen nordic skier experiences racing’s ups, downs

Simi Hamilton
Special to The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colo
2012-13 U.S. Cross Country Ski Team
ALL |

VAL DI FIEMME, Italy – I’ve never been fond of using a cliche to make a point, but in this case, one might have to do.

Over the years, as an athlete, a student, a son, a brother, a boyfriend, a human being, I’ve been reminded time and time again that the only way we overcome obstacles and learn lessons making us better at the things we pursue is from getting up after we fall down.

Over used and a bit corny?

Absolutely.

Relevant? Absolutely.

It was tough to sit down and write this week”s update, I won’t lie. And it wasn’t because I couldn’t find a free minute in my day, it was because this is World Championships week, and I’ve had too many free minutes in all of my days here in Val di Fiemme.

I’ve struggled this season with illness, but to fall victim to a chest cold two days before the classic technique sprint at World Championships was like a dagger in my heart, especially coming off a respectable 13th place in a World Cup Classic Sprint in Davos just two days earlier.

It was made more devastating by the fact that I qualified fifth in the Davos prelims amongst a very elite field. That was a sign that my fitness and speed were finally back to normal, and I was in a great place heading into championships week.

The feeling that I’ve had lingering in my head for the last six days is like the one you get when you know you’ve aced a test but simply forgot to write your name on the first page.

So much preparation, so much investment, so many days of pushing my body and mind to their absolute limits; but seemingly all for nothing.

I’ll stop myself there, however, because I know that’s not true. The things that I am learning from this experience will be worth their value tenfold down the road.

It’s just a matter of if I choose to accept them and carry them with me or not.

And so I will.

If you want to be good at something, to be the best at anything, it takes trying and failing and more trying and more failing until you’ve tried and waited long enough to emerge successful in meeting your goals.

So I continue down this road. Learning and living and loving even the parts that I hate until I’m proud of what I’ve done, and the people that know me are proud of what I’ve done.

Thanks to all that have supported and continue to support this journey.


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