It’s taken me a couple weeks to build up the courage to write this post. I was mulling over the many ways to articulate my season and the way it finished. I’ve been searching for a singular reason to peg why it just didn’t come together and the answer to that obvious question, what did I do wrong?
It took a by-chance conversation with an athlete friend of mine to put things in perspective and to become fully prepared to continue forward. It wasn’t even about wrestling, in any way. It wasn’t about anything in particular to be honest except a mish mash of conversation but what I took away from it was what was important and that was about winning. That desire to be the best.
Everyone is so obsessed with winning. I am. It feels great. Additionally, everyone around you is so supportive and happy and engaged. When you lose the only thing that is consistent is that post-tournament e-mail from the mom. Win or lose, I know she’s watching. I can imagine things are a little bit easier when only your mom cares about how you do. It was definitely a new experience having a network of support one that was much more greatly facilitated by today’s social media technology.
Now, this season has come with an unprecedented amount of support from many different echelons of my life and for the first time in my career, I was winning. A lot. And against the best in the world, consistently. I look back on this season and I am extremely proud of my success. I won every individual tournament I entered… Guelph Open, Dave Schultz Memorial in Colorado, Klippan Open in Sweden, Austrian Open, German Grand Prix, University World Championships, and the Commonwealth Games. I prided myself on consistency and pulling it off no matter how intense the pressure was. I won 36 straight matches and then… lost one.
Unfortunately that loss was at the big show, the World Championships against an athlete I had wrestled many times before and already beaten. As one of my coaches adeptly put it, this sport is cruel.
I went back to the drawing board and tried to identify where I went wrong. What happened in my preparations to have this loss. Everything was so perfect. I was so ready.
Of course there are little tweaks to adjust moving forward and there are too many technical areas that I need to improve in as a wrestler and I need to get stronger and the list goes on but I do believe I was ready to stand on top of that podium and it is pretty crushing to not have it happen.
But luckily, this is really only the beginning. I got back on the mats this week and it feels so so so good.
What’s up next for me you ask…. Well I am back to training. Easing into things and I will have the honour of wrestling with Hiroe Suzuki of Japan at the end of October as she will come and train in Calgary for about two weeks then at the end of November I will be heading to Brazil for the Rio Cup!
After that, continuing on a redefined, renewed path of World Domination!!
Personal Season Highlights
Winning Commonwealth Games Gold
Winning the team trophy at the FISU World Championships
Rooming with my best friend and 48kg World Team Member Jasmine Mian all summer
Staying in Touch!
Thank you to all of those who have supported through the wins and the losses. It is a blessing.
Thank-you as well to my sponsors who make this whole athlete lifestyle possible and support my needs as an elite athlete and person… The crew at the Main Dish, KPMG, GenEthix, and KSL Sport.
Where to Next!?
Nov 21-23 Brasil Cup, Rio de Janeiro Brazil
March 20-22, Canadian National Championships, Guelph, Ontario
July 10-16, Pan Am Games, Toronto, Canada
September 7-13, World Championships, Las Vegas, USA
December 4-6, Canadian Olympic Team Trials, Edmonton, Canada
2015 is going to be crazy…. That makes 2016…ridiculous!?
Erica Wiebe is a Canadian freestyle wrestler and Bachelor of Arts student at the University of Calgary. Her passion for wrestling and writing combine in the words of this blog, sprinkled with a strong opinion on certain matters and a hint of feminist thrown in for good measure.