No crying, no cheering. No misery, no joy. When I was done with my competition at the German Open Poomsae yesterday, I couldn’t really distinguish what emotion I felt. The only thing I could do was to make soccer-player-like comments on my performance and listen to what the experts had to say about it. “Are you satisfied with what you did today?” Yes, I was. But it was not the ‘fulfilling’ type of satisfaction, but a sheer ‘OK’-feeling. I needed another day to figure out what to be happy or sad about.
Of course I imagined myself with a medal around my neck, that’s what keeps an athlete going. I would have ran two blocks around the arena screaming of pure joy if I won one yesterday. And of course I remembered the turn of events last year. I would have cried twice as long if such a defeat had happened again. But neither of these two situations occurred. I found myself somewhere in between, placed 14th out of 35.
I had to zoom out and look at this competition as part of the bigger picture to see that I made a huge progress. All the feedback I got from my mother, my coach and fellow athletes was in the same line. I’m at least 4 years younger that everybody else who made it into the finals. Imagine how much I can improve in 4 years! The fact that I did a way better job that last year is enough for me to keep believing that hard work can get you anywhere. I’m still on my way up and it’s only in films that this way takes less than 2 hours (mostly 90min). That’s why now, the day after, a happy feeling does thrive over emotionlessness.