**Post update, 2016. Original post, 2011. 🙂
Here she blows, next in line for the Blue Skies Mag Melsinore columns… that’s me, by the way. Confusing perhaps to the newcomer, but put it this way, nicknames stick, and I’m cool with it.  So anyway, this column is about competition.. and is a quick and good read for the off-season and to possibly fuel the dormant fires in our guts when we get too far from 4-way. Wow alliteration.. clearly I’ve been writing too much, jumping too little. Heh..
Get after it… go huge…
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Blue Skies Magazine, December 2011
Life Coaching Column #19
Issue #26

“Gold or Gutter Balls”

By Melanie Curtis

So I’m sitting here, two days before Nationals, totally nervous.

Yeah, I am.  Not joking.
Every year the week before Nationals is this exercise in calming my anxiety, thinking positive thoughts, and letting go of any attachment to how I, or my teams, do.  Right now I’m listening to Christmas music because it always makes me happy, guaranteed.  Seriously, Bing Crosby, White Christmas in my ears right now as I type this.

See, the thing is, nobody wants to get beat by a team called Monkey Business, but Monkey Business still might get beat.

And just like every other competitor out there, I want to rock on the stage that all my peers are watching.
We work all year long, train hard, and spend boatloads of cash… we fix what we suck at, strengthen what we’re good at, and mentally prepare to be at our peak for two days and ten jumps.  Ten jumps, 350 seconds total, is what we work all year for.
Man, attachment-to-the-outcome, much?  No wonder this week is such a stressball.
When we first become competitors, we want to win and if we don’t, it means upset and angst for however long it takes to shake off our unacceptable rank.  As we grow in the sport and competitive arena, we still want to win, we still care about where we end up on the scoreboard, but we start to care for a shorter period of time after it’s over.  We focus more on the fun, friends, and overall awesomeness of the Nationals experience.  When we’re veterans, we still want to win, and we still care about the scoreboard.. we’re also experienced at using the big picture to calm our insides, and we finally know that no matter how much stress we carry, no matter where we end up in the ranks… it doesn’t matter.
At all.
Huh?  It doesn’t matter?
So what’s the point of competing?
Why put ourselves through the stress?
Why do it?
Why keep doing it?
Ultimately, we can never know what’s going to happen in a meet.  We might have the best performance of our lives, our competition might falter, the judges might give us the point at the buzzer exactly when we need it, another team’s cameraman might slip off the step, who knows.  Nobody knows who’s going to win or lose… and that’s the kicker.
Every year, we have the opportunity to achieve greatness.
Every year, we have a chance to stand above the rest.
Every year, we have a chance at glory.
The only people that have this chance are the people who compete.

Competitors are believers in greatness.

As such, we manage the stress, we stick out the ups and downs of team dynamics and personal growth, all so we can have this shot.  Sure, we may come out in the middle of the pack, and it’s all good.  We’re still happy.  Why?  Because we had the courage to step up and put ourselves on the line.  We had the courage to step up in front of everyone in the sport we love and risk sucking.  We had the courage to trust our community and teammates to lift us up if we lose.  We had the courage to believe we might win.

Truth is, last place, first place, everyone who participates earns their accolades. Every last competitor earns the glory they feel in completion.

Gold or gutter balls, everyone gets it.
And that’s why we all keep comin’ back.  Here goes.  Get some. Melsinore, out.

The graphics department of Blue Skies Mag most certainly can’t be beat. Monkey Business in sparkly gold.. like Cocktail’s & Dreams in pink neon.

Thank you as always for reading!
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