By: Rachel Dawson
I'm back, back in Cali, Cali.
I doubted that I’d ever utter those words again. But alas, here we are, basking in the sunshine of the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California, miles upon miles from the blistering east coast cold of our new home in Lancaster, Pa - preparing for the incredible year ahead. The highlight of which is June’s 2014 World Cup in The Hague, Netherlands.
Change. It’s the one constant in the unpredictable world of sport. Over the years (I’m nearing my 10th on the National Team), I’ve learned that the thing about playing field hockey - for a living – is that success follows the laws of Darwin; survival, the ultimate form of success, is a function of adaptability.
In sport, especially team sport, there’s always an unforeseen change in plans – a last minute trek across country because of prolonged inclement weather; or a less than ideal circumstance – like sharing a house with 25 of your teammates for six weeks. These blips in the plan alter the course we envision for ourselves distracting us with new difficulties, and challenging us with harder terrains to navigate than previously known, or imagined.
The winners, the survivors, are not necessarily the more physically talented or naturally gifted. Unsurprisingly, they are the individuals and teams who approach their task with a resilient mindset; the ones who prepare for adversity, and come to expect it, understanding that a change in circumstance is not the same thing as a change in mission.
As I look forward to the exciting year ahead, and the difficult year behind us, I realize that I want to be the type of person who takes adversity in stride, solves unexpected problems, and thrives with challenge. Because at the days end, the mission is unchanging. Regardless of what you’ve endured, or what you are bound to endure, the task must be won.