Monday, October 29, 2007


Quick note: I broke my collar bone in the middle of summer (picture #1) and had a fancy little titanium plate put in soon thereafter (picture #2). Consequently, I was on an 8-week hiatus from skating. It took me out of two invitational competitions and an international assignment in Oberstdorf, Germany. What is generally some of the most valuable training time of the year was no longer that--it was a lot of time spent with my family amidst circular discussions regarding the meaning of life (my family's awesome). Nevertheless, come the beginning of September I was without a short program, without a trained long program, had boots and blades that weren't broken in/weren't working for me, and had no pre-season competitions under my belt and I had to compete at Southwesterns only a month later... AAHHHHHH.

Picture 1 (top), picture 2 (bottom)

I put together a short program, I trained my long and did everything else I could--or so I thought--to get myself back into competition-shape for regionals. At regionals however, I did not feel as prepared as I had hoped; [my coaches] and I did not receive the feedback we were looking for regarding my brand new short program--which was admittedly weak; I still felt like there was almost an insurmountable amount of work ahead of me and wasn't sure how to get there; I wasn't feeling my normal last-minute pressures either, which was concerning--sometimes that's what finally gets the internal fire going and forces you to kick your own @#$&*. So what was up?

Last week I had to completely redo my short program, from scratch; I had only three more weeks until sectionals and hadn't started training my triple axel again; my long program was still feeling weak; I didn't like what time I had lessons; my body hurt in seven different places in entirely unrelated ways but each of which was enough to make me want to go home for the day (at least). Where was my motivation?

I've had a lot to do in a small amount of time, and still have a lot to do, but so far haven't seen the results I've been looking for with all the work I've put in, trying to get myself back on the horse [from my injury this summer]. Woh is me, blah blah blah... get over yourself, Braden!!

If there is anything I've learned about life in the last two years, it's that I have the power to make my own experience. What does that mean exactly? ... well, there's a lot to it. In short, it's all about your attitude. If I want to make something a big deal, I can; if I want to fret, cry, whine, stew, dwell, or carry anything with me emotionally, I CAN!!! Guess what... it's gets me NOWHERE. If I can do that, than I have the power to not do that as well. The only things I need to do are look at what I want, tell myself how I'm going to get it and begin taking action.

I sat down this weekend and made myself reorganize my thoughts, my intentions and my goals. I wrote down a small list of short-term and a small list of long-term goals. What next? I actually had to redo my lists as I found them to be too idealistic instead of realistic; they had to be manageable. I also had to be honest with myself--if I'm setting a goal I think I "should" have, it's not real, it's not mine, and it's not going to work. Once I rewrote my list. I put it away and relaxed for the rest of the evening.

I reset my mind for the next two weeks, going into sectionals.

Today, I had the best day on the ice I've had in the last two months. I landed three triple axels, after working on them only twice last week; they're the first ones I've done since the middle of June, before I broke my collar bone. My programs were better, my jumps were better, my everything was better. Why? My attitude was better!!!

Closing thought on perspectives: when we as athletes tell ourselves something, be it good or bad, positive or negative, we are asserting a perspective and reinforcing that idea. Our next action is almost always something to try and prove ourselves right. Too tired? Too weak? Too hungry? Not enough sleep? Sad/upset/cold/distracted/scared/nervous/overwhelmed/etc...? Tell yourself whatever you want, but you'll find that your next move is most likely something that'll prove you right!!

I am in control of myself and I am in control of my experience!

... 'till next time.


Thursday, October 25, 2007


Making an attempt to get a picture posted.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Test run...

I've never done this whole blogging thing before and I'm still not sure I know what I'm doing, so before I write too much, I'm giving it a little test run.

To all the people taking interest in my thoughts--strange or random as they may be--thank you.

I look forward to telling you about.... mmmm, well, I don't really know yet, but I'll bet it'll be fun... or strange or random.