Yes, it has been an absurd amount of time since my last blog. I apologize. My body’s reaction began going awry the beginning of April. With everything that was at stake, I just didn’t find the desire to write. As my title states, I encountered this ‘emotional adversity’ shortly after I competed in the Final in London. I asked myself if this is what other athletes feel when they are contemplating retirement or life/career changes. I then realized that if I never took another throw again, I’d be content. Not because I’m completely happy with what I’ve accomplished thus far (I’m not), but because I am now complete. There was a fog when I thought about hammer. I felt eager to begin life: post hammer career.
First and foremost, Crystal and I have begun our family. And with that, I felt the need to be more of a provider, or that I should have a “real job”. I love that kid so dearly, I don’t know what to do with myself. It’s the greatest feeling ever. I’ve heard people say, “you just don’t understand until you have your own kid.” And it’s so bloody true. She comes from me, and she is from Crystal. Hopefully the best of both of us. Crystal and I now have the responsibility to raise her to be a caring, thoughtful individual. All that being said, the hammer seemed rather insignificant to where I thought my life was heading. I gave everything I had into the last four years with the goal of medaling. And in the most important season of my life, my system comes unhinged in response to her birth. Last October 26, I threw 79.63m (261′ 3″) for a new championship record (not yet to my peak condition, ran out of time…) at PanAmerican Games. That result would have been silver in London. So no, I don’t think it’s crazy when I considered myself a major medal contender going into the Olympic year. Especially considering what my training was predicting through February.
A friend of mine recently shared a story with me. He was just recently at a wake, where someone mentioned something meaningful. He said that a man is not measured by his legacy, but instead his legacy is defined by his children. This was exactly my sentiment for a few weeks after London. In fact, I said almost those exact words to Crystal. Throwing my hammer paled in importance to being the kind of father I plan to be.
Adversity no longer
My point is, I believe everything happens for a reason. In no way am I disappointed, or wish another result had occurred instead. I am very proud of being the first American to make the Olympic Hammer Final in almost two decades…
I have indeed found a way to reconcile these different paths with renewed vigor. It took a few weeks, but I went from being indifferent about throwing hammer, to aspirations of ruling the world. So to speak.. The hammer landscape is ripe for change with two medallists in their late 30′s. Bondarchuk is going at least until Rio 2016. Which means so am I. I have different expectations as an athlete now. Essentially, there are no more bad days. It’s strangely freeing. I’m unplugged! Work, play, and fatherhood are all possible with the right mindset. After very poor throws all season since March, my training has progressed to almost where I was 8 months ago. I look forward to hopefully improving from #3 all-time in US history. (Jud is next at 81.88m) As of today, I’ve got over 80 sessions in for the 2013 season. Striving for improvement is the name of the game. I’ve got 4, 5, maybe 8 years to leave my mark on the sport I’ve loved for so long. And I appreciate all those who choose to go along for the ride!
Source: Kibwé Johnson