Select Page

Mission:In my mind, your host.Billy Harris

I am in the first heat tomorrow.5th paddler.200 people to go.Wow.Guess its real now, no more training, no more gym no more talk.Its go time.
It’s a strange feeling sitting alone in my room wondering if I can win this thing.I feel that if I want it too badly I might fall short.Then I feel like I really gotta want it as well to win it too.With the wave changing all the time it could be luck too….But its not. …Its all in the mind.……I once felt that I was the best freestyle paddler, I knew it in my bones.A burning desire to prove to the world I was the best but wanting it didn’t work.……Two worlds passed me by and left me with a set of silver metals I can only now look at.One might be happy with that and today I am.I wouldn’t be the person I am for winning.Placing second dragged me to a dark place in my life.One plagued with doubt, self-deception and pain and anger.I wanted to be a big man about it.“Live and Die In Character,” My friend said to me once.But I didn’t, I sucked my thumb about it.……Replayed it over and over. …Video review bymyself counting and counting again and again… …Twice the same guy crushed me by less than a point combined but I felt didn’t I felt.To be honest I hated him for it too sucked my thumb sulking and angry.I felt like I was robbed.Kristine Jackson once said to me, “Remember that you are more than a kayaker, you’re a coach, a son, a brother a friend.You are many things more than a paddler.Paddling does not define you.”It’s taken me many years to get that sorted and today I understand.
I have been often asked “why” the soul is just not in freestyle.I always get a kick out of that, never have I looked so deep into a soul as I have my own and its freestyle that helps me do that.My playboat the vehicle that helps me search these depths and find a better person for the process.
Today and for the event the best paddler is not me anymore.I wish it was, the best paddlers in the world right now are Nick Troutman and a little kid by the name of Jason Craig.Technically the best paddlers I have ever seen.Both well rounded in both wave and hole.Well versed in competitions and well adjusted with a burning desire.A work ethic like very few I know and both work hard.REALLY HARD. But in the end its not always the best paddler who wins events in my mind I have proven that.It’s the person who keeps the demons at bay and understands what it takes to do so.Don’t think don’t try just do.Trust in your training.
So here I sit, wondering.Will this be the one?Can I beat this unbeatable kid named Nick?Nervous, scared, happy and ready. …So far so good, the kid posted up 2400 a hell of a score. …I was that guy once. …I posted horrible rides in prelims too. …Monsters. …But I have learned that pace, is set by someone who has a solid mind a will to win and a good plan. …I will be better….
Billy Harris.

Read the original here
Mission: In my mind, your host. Billy Harris