Crissy Ahmann’s Silver Medal

Last night was the monthly Tucson Tri Girls meeting. Each month, they bring in an athlete, coach, product rep, or someone to do a little lecture and Q&A session.

This month, Crissy Ahmann was the speaker. She competed in the 1992 Olympics, where she received Gold medals in the 4x100m Medley Relay, 4x100m Freestyle Relay and a Silver in the 100 M butterfly. She passed around her medals, which was too cool.

She talked about how she got to the Olympics – the ups and downs of training and competition leading up to it. She actually qualified in the 100 free, which was NOT her primary event – she was a 100 butterflyer. She got to see her hard work pay off in ways she hadn’t imagined.

When she got to the Olympics, she was ranked #1 in the world in the 100 fly. She talked about how throughout the event, she could see another swimmer just ahead of her. She tried not to look, but she was aware of the other swimmer for the entire race. When she finished, she didn’t even need to look at the clock. She had lost to a swimmer from China. She did everything she was supposed to do, and in the end, the result was incredibly disappointing. She said it was just like the Seinfeld quote: “Congratulations, you almost won. Of all the losers, you came in first of that group. You’re the No. 1 loser.”

She said she spent months feeling bad about it – like she let her coaches, teammates, and family down. Eventually, she realized that it was just how life works sometimes. You can do everything exactly the way you are supposed to, and sometimes the results just aren’t the results you hoped for. You can let those moments define who you are.

This REALLY spoke to me.

For those of you that don’t know, I lost my job. I picked up and moved here at my own expense for this position. My boyfriend had already been in Tucson for a month with his new (and awesome) job. After 30 days of work, I got called into the HR office. I was told that my work was not up to my boss’ standards. I was given no prior warning, no reasoning as to WHY it wasn’t up to his standards, no further explanation in any way, and I was walked out of the building. I was crushed.

Sure, not everyone I’ve worked with professionally has liked me, but I’ve got a list of references as long as my arm. I work hard, I work correctly, I keep a positive attitude, and I’m always eager and willing to take on new projects. So why, all of a sudden, did my boss feel the need to have HR let me go during my probationary period while he was still on vacation? And without reason?

Crissy’s silver medal story spoke to me. Just because ONE single event doesn’t work out in my favor, I shouldn’t let that define me. Sure, I need to suffer the consequences – unemployment, restarting the job search – but that single event shouldn’t be a defining point in my life. It should remind me that things aren’t always fair, that disappointment is part of life, but it’s time to put it behind me.

I’m trying to embrace all of the things that come along with unemployment: a longer trip home for memorial day, time to workout mid-day, more time for coaching, having a clean house and enough groceries, getting paid to job search, time to read…

And on that note, I’m off to make some phone calls then ride my bike in the sunshine!

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3 responses to “Crissy Ahmann’s Silver Medal

  1. Tri Madness

    Awesome post, Elaine! Just as Crissy’s talk spoke to you, this really spoke to me. We clearly don’t control everything that happens in our lives – the key is rolling with the punches and having self-confidence. Fantastic post!

  2. Amazing experience and I really like the take-aways you got from her story. I’m sorry that things didn’t work out with the new job but keep your head up and I’m sure you’ll find an employer that deserves AWESOME you!!

  3. Great Story, great post and great takeaways. I do not know you, but can sympathize with the hardships you face and keeping your head up. With that attitude, I am positive everything will work out better for you in the long run.

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