I'm sure most who read this won't be aware, but my season closed out in a pretty painful way. I went into the last weekend of qualifying for USATF Outdoor Nationals sitting 19th on the submitted entries list, with 18 men competing in the eventual field. My teammate, Ryan Njegovan, and I had one last meet on our schedule to try to qualify. We traveled to Hightstown, NJ, feeling good technically and coming off of a good week of practice. Personally, I felt like I was set up very well to get the PR I needed to move myself into a definitive qualifying spot (I was 42cm out based on marks).
The meet began and went about as well as it could have without being perfect. I hit a 10cm PR on my first throw, but unfortunately, it wasn't enough to move me up the list, so at that point I was just waiting to see if one person would scratch. The rest of the weekend was pretty torturous, telling myself not to check the list every 5 minutes but then doing it anyway. By the time Monday afternoon rolled around, all of the competitors had formally declared their intent to compete, and I knew I was out. It only gets better from there, because not until the competition was finished a week later did I find out that one of the competitors had never intended to compete, but never scratched himself. This meant that the men's discus was competed with 17 instead of 18 people, and I would have been the 18th person accepted, had the scratches gone as they were supposed to.
As I mentioned above, this definitely hurt. For a number of reasons, I felt like this would be when I'd finally break through and qualify for a national meet for the first time in several years. I was very confident that if I got the chance to go to USA's, I would have thrown well and put myself in a position to make some waves (as it turned out, the competition featured a strong lefty wind, gifting a 3 meter PR to the winner, Reggie Jagers, a lefty thrower). Unfortunately, there was not much I could do about it at the time, or even now. After a few days off, I began off-season training again in earnest, motivated to not let this happen again next year.
I don't want to complain about this situation just for the sake of complaining. I'm well aware that in the throwing community, the year-in-review of, "man, my season sure didn't end the way I had hoped," is not exclusive to me. These moments are always hard but they are just another opportunity to remind yourself that sports don't often care about how much you want something to happen. It's just the nature of the game. All you can do is prepare as best you can, execute when you need to, and not worry about anyone or anything else. That's certainly my plan moving forward into next year, so hopefully by this time in 2019 I'll have some cheerier posts to write.