Tuesday, July 10, 2001 - Athlete Perspective
Phil's XC Journal #2

By: Phil Villeneuve

Hi Everyone,

Yesterday I swallowed a bug. This doesn't usually happen on a regular basis (this is definitely a good thing), but by spending the better part of my summers running or rollerskiing, the odds are that one of these days, a furry little winged critter is bound to fly straight into my mouth. Aside from my unplanned meal 'on wings', the first half of the workout flew by as I focused on the job at hand. As I turned around to head back towards Canmore, I realized that a strong tailwind had aided my first half of the ski and I was now confronted by a very strong headwind. As my speed suddenly slowed to a crawl, my mind started thinking back at past experiences that had haunted me during my time as a racer. Being 30km away from Canmore, the struggle to head back home had just begun...

It seems like I've encountered many obstacles in my career. Many of these obstacles would have ended a lot of athlete's careers but I didn't want it to be over. Although it sometimes took a bit of help from coaches and friends to remind me of my forgotten goals and dreams, I always came back stronger than ever and ready to fight the next battle. When I think back now, and realize that I could have stopped skiing because of an injury, a torn muscle, an over-trained body, a mono virus, or even being dropped from the National Team program, I start to laugh! Man, if all these obstacles didn't stop mewhat will? I'm not ready to give up because I still believe I can reach my goals. The day I lose my passion for racing, the day I realize that I've accomplished as much as I can and can't push myself anymore will be the day I hang up my boards. You learn from every mistake and you grow stronger with every obstacle you get by. I've finally realized this after 12 years of racing. Nobody ever told me it would be so hard to achieve success but if they did, chances are I still would have gone for it.

As for my rollerski, I put my head down and pushed on against the wind and made it back home in just over 3.5hrs with lots of juice left in the body (it must have been the extra calories I got from the bug!). Another good day at the office and a step closer to where I want to be at the top of the podium!

That's it for today.
Phil


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