aka, the Third and Last Day of Testing.
Today felt different. I did wake up early because I had so much on my mind, so I was tired, but my day was nice and relaxing - it was sunny, warm, I was wearing my bootcamp tank top (for good luck, and because it's St. Patrick's Day), I was celebrating my friend's good news, and I was contemplating the full marathon vs. the half. (I decided I would do the full if I didn't pass bootcamp, and I would do the half if I did.)
I was nervous as it got closer to practice time, but I felt very positive. I wasn't scared, I wasn't shell-shocked - I was even smiling to myself as I was stuck in traffic. I'm going to do this, I thought. I can do this.
I was mentally prepared - I was going to get there, warm up, nail the remaining skills tests, and then go all-out on the 25 laps, and hopefully make the cut-off.
What I wasn't prepared for? We did the 25 laps RIGHT AFTER the warm-up.
And then I think I freaked out in my head. But I wasn't going to let it get to me. I was still going to try hard, really hard.
And, in hindsight, I think maybe I was actually trying TOO hard. Like, I was trying to go faster than I could reasonably control, so I was sloppy, and less than 10 laps in, the unthinkable happened. I FELL.
When you're skating for time, that's got to be the worst thing ever. You lose SO much time. I realized that I was going to fall as I was teetering, and I felt very out-of-body as I hit the ground. I heard voices yelling, "Quick up! Quick up!" and shaking off my shock - I was more stunned than I was upset - I scooted back on my way, hoping it wouldn't cost me too much time. The voice in my head said, "Keep pushing!!! What's the worst thing that could happen? Falling? You've already done that!"
So, I tried the best I could. I tried really hard not to get stuck behind people, I tried to cross over better, I tried to keep my legs constantly moving. In the end, it wasn't enough. I heard Aim calling out the numbers as I crossed the line, and they were not what I wanted to hear. I crossed the final line, skated off the track, dropped a knee, and eventually lay down on the floor to quiet the thudding of my heart.
Jamie, who was counting laps for me, came over to tell me my time. 5:09.
Well. So much for that. I'd say that's a pretty definitive not-passing. I didn't even make the 5-second mercy cut-off. I could've kicked myself for falling - maybe I would've saved a few seconds if I hadn't fallen.
But, lying on the floor, I really just had to thank the gods that it was over. I knew this would be the hardest part of practice, and it was done. And I had to be happy for small victories. The only other time I'd done this, I came in at 5:11. This time, I came in at 5:09 WITH falling. Maybe if I could've controlled my crazy flailing, I could've finished faster.
Oh well. I tried the best I could.
We finished up the rest of the drills (blocking, hitting, whips, lateral movement, etc), and I'm proud to say that I stuck through it ALL. I did not drop out of the pace lines (which, even though we divided into two lines, it was still excruciating for my back), and I think I did pretty well (at least passing) on all my skills. I'm happy about that, even if the timed skating didn't go so well.
We get our final verdicts on Tuesday. Tomorrow, Panda, Aim, and Denny will convene and go through each person's scores and decide who's passing and who isn't. I'm pretty sure that I'm not passing, but I'm not upset. My goal tonight was just to try, and try, and try, and not to give up, and I did that. I set out tonight just to give it my all, and I did that, and I've got no regrets, and I'm not sad. At least I KNOW that I did what I could. And I know that even though I'm not good enough right now, it's not going to be that way forever. Assuming I can keep up my skill level and stay (or get) in shape during this time off, I know that I can only get better from here. And by the end of the next bootcamp, I WILL be good enough.
So, this weekend, I will relax. I will go to SVRG's Band-O-Rama and have a good time and keep my foot in the door and my presence felt. And I will train for my first marathon :) And I will come back better than ever and ready to kick ass. How many people get a second chance to right their wrongs in life? I think this could be a blessing in disguise.
On Tuesday, I will gear up and skate with the girls for the last time (the last time with the group as it is, before people move on, and new faces come in), and I will accept my defeat with grace, and I will set forth with new goals and new aims to tackle, and I will come back in September, and I will be amazing. :)