This message is really simple – and at the same time it is what makes everything so hard. No matter what your role is within your sport – your rank in Canada, or in the World, my guess is that in this next year you want to do more than you’ve ever done before. To do that you’ll have to be outside of your comfort zone way more than you’re in it. That is where magic often happens.
The above image has been around for a while, I first saw it when an adventurer, Bruce Kirkby, encouraged an audience to alter their routine, get out of their comfort zone and find their own adventure. It’s not just about what we physically do, it is also about exploring the boundaries that we set when we dream; set directions, intentions and goals. We can’t expect to be comfortable while trying to do something hard, aka new, special, or magical (Yes, this is the whole ‘be comfortable being uncomfortable’ speech). We have to let that comfort go.
Trust in your preparation plan—all of it – for qualification, selection and competitions. Let your experiences (and those of your team mates, your coaches) give you confidence – your (collective) “done list” is massive! Trust that you are experienced; trust that you are really good and that you’re doing everything in your power to be better. And then, with all that trust in your back pocket…. let yourself stretch; reach physically, mentally and emotionally.
Your job every day is to shift and grow your comfort zone by getting out of it.
Marnie McBean OC OLY
Chef de Mission Team Canada Tokyo 2020
p.s. Think of this as a talking point; you may agree with me, maybe disagree… I welcome replies and questions. Let it serve as a conversation starter, a heads up or reminder to the ups and downs that are a natural point of believing that you can do more than just go, more than just compete, but compete at your very BEST at your Olympics. My goal will never be to add to your stress, but to help you wear it well.