Changes

I have postponed the writing of this blog as long as I could. It seemed that I always had something more important to do: lots of trainings, exams, university work… Or maybe I was just too lazy to take the time to reflect on the changes I made last autumn.

To me, variety is perhaps what made me love so much orienteering, and also what enables me not to give up everything after each important competition, what makes me want to go on for countless trainings. You know tomorrow will always be different. Still, one needs routine too. In training and life. To do things well, to master them, to feel confident. The key for me staying motivated is to find this balance between good routine and changes.

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Last year, I started to feel I had been living and training the same way for a long time, 6 years. 6 years ago, I went back living in my home town, Lyon, and started civil engineering studies. Those years have been maybe the funniest, happiest and most enjoyable years in my life. I had also never trained so long in the same place before. And as I still have 1.5 years of studies ahead of me, this was not likely to change. Lyon is going to remain my training base for at least 1.5 years.

But I definitely started to need some changes in my life. That was something I felt deep in me, that I needed to explore new places, meet new people, or maybe just find a new challenge. As this change couldn’t come from the “French dimension” of my career, it had to come from somewhere else. I therefore took the hard decision to leave the first and only Scandinavian club I had had, OK Denseln, with whom I had developed such a good relationship and shared so many nice memories.

Destination: Uppsala and OK Linné. Tough decision, but if felt right. And still does.

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Scandinavian clubs are very important for French orienteers. Not so much to prepare WOC, get daily training opportunities or find a training group, as we already have a good training environment and resources back home. But to get as close as possible to one’s best abilities, only Scandinavian clubs and competitions can provide the last bit we don’t have at home:  the pressure and nervousness of running a big relay. And team preparation as well.

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It may seem not much. But it’s huge. It’s only 2 or 3 races a year. But it has so much impact on one’s development. And, as far as I am concerned, on my motivation to train and pursue my dreams and goals. Maybe I could do without OK Linné and perform well at WOC or World Cup or whatever. But I would miss the magic. Running Tiomila in a strong team, knowing I am not allowed to miss or fail, for the team. And try to win it.

That’s the kind of challenge I needed, to keep on training hard. And until now, still in the middle of winter, but closer than ever to the beginning of the season, I can say the training has been good.

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