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  • Emily Ashton

The process shapes you as an athlete.

For many of you, competition is on indefinite hiatus.

Practices are cancelled.

Olympic trials are postponed.

By now, you’ve likely had a pep talk from your coach. They told you that the work you did was the win. The victory. That the investment of time and energy wasn’t in vain. That the things you learned about yourself during your training can never fully be explained in a single competition, whether you get the time, place or achievement, you were hoping for.

It’s the process that matters.

The process, ultimately, is what shapes you as a person and as an athlete.

The early mornings, when you didn’t want to get up out of bed, your brain was telling you to hit snooze button, but you didn’t.

The training sessions, that push you to levels of pain and fatigue that you didn’t even know was possible, and yet you pushed through and didn’t give up.

The focus. The attention to deal. The extra things you did when the coach wasn’t looking.

That’s TRUE grit, and that’s what makes you an athlete, that’s what makes you a champion.

But yes, you will feel frustrated, you will grieve, as all the time, energy and hard work you have done feels as though is hasn’t been resolved.

These feelings are normal and to be expected, as your competition season came to an abrupt end.

I hope you can find solace in the fact that you did things during your process that the vast majority of the population couldn’t and wouldn’t do. You turned your back on what’s comfortable, what’s safe, what’s easy.

You didn’t let your fears, doubts or insecurities win.

That’s what it means to be a champion.

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