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Katie Tsuyuki-You just have to get above the clouds

Katie Tsuyuki is a freestyle snowboarder whose discipline is halfpipe. She is a member of the Canadian National Freestyle snowboard team

I'm in the sunny city of Calgary and I’ve just finished the selection competition for the world championships in Korea. Although I missed making the team by 0.1 of a point and am now the alternate, I still look for the positive aspects of my goal.

For instance, I’m happy I landed all of my qualifying and finals runs. In five years, I had never landed a single competition run on the Canada Olympic Park (COP) half pipe. I called it the Calgary curse. I also placed third in a tough field, so, even if I am not going to Korea, which my main goal was coming here, I still reached important feats that are significant to me.

I believe in life you have to look for all the lessons that can be learned, big and small.

Seeing the good in the bad not easy

Beating yourself up about something, especially the small stuff, is how you become miserable. It’s just not worth the energy expended. Even the worst that may happen to you could be the best and hold the most valuable lesson. It’s what we take from every experience that helps us grow as person and makes us happy in the end.

Realizing the worth in bad situations is not always an easy affair.

I find if I can’t see the good in something then I talk to a close friend about it. I know I’m lucky to have good coaches who help put things in to perspective for me when I feel lost or negative about something.

It is also some times good to talk to someone who is completely isolated from your circumstance or industry. It’s nice to get a fresh perspective and ideas from outside people - it will help to keep you fresh. They might see things you have overlooked because it is easier for them to see the forest; they are not in the trees. Just beware and remember their thoughts and feelings are their own and do not have to be yours. I find that the best judge is your heart, so take in what they have to say and then form your own stance and views.

Lessons learned shape future goals

Now I’m taking a positive step forward toward the next competition. The NorAms are in a week and I will use the lessons of the last competition to help set goals for my training and the next contest.

After the next contest, I will reflect to find the good features and reset my goals, as a continual process of learning and growing. But we have to be able to see the lessons before we set our goals.

This process contributes to making me a better person and athlete. It will help keep me in high spirits even when things seem dire. I know the sun is always shining above the clouds.

You just have to get above the clouds.

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