March 1, 2017 7:00 am
Updated: March 1, 2017 9:33 am

Jill’s House: Losing in competitive sports and how to move through it

Jill Officer throwing a rock at the Manitoba Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

Connie Laliberte / Credit /File

Canadian Olympic gold medallist and Winnipeg mom Jill Officer gives us a twice-monthly look behind the scenes of her dual life in her blog, Jill’s House.

“Mum, did you win?”

“No, Camryn, we didn’t.”

She looked me straight in the eyes and saw my tears. Then she gave me the biggest hug.

This was my perspective moment after losing out of the Manitoba Scotties Tournament of Hearts. We were expected to win; we were the number one seed. And while we went through the round robin without a loss, we let it slip away on us in the playoffs, which is what is so disappointing.

READ MORE: Darcy Robertson upsets Jennifer Jones in Manitoba Scotties semifinal

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Two days after that loss, our team planned a trip down south for our families and us. If we couldn’t have our usual winter holiday at the Scotties, then we would go on a legit one to somewhere warmer.

We returned from the holiday just in time for the Scotties playoffs. And while I watched line scores from poolside, it didn’t really sink in until we got home about how weird it felt to be watching the women’s national championship from afar on my own couch.

When we landed in Winnipeg, I had at least two people ask me about the Scotties before I even left the airport. I had messages on Facebook asking if I was enjoying watching. And many more commenting to me about how well Team Manitoba was doing (they did more than well! They represented us wonderfully!).

Now, keep in mind that this was the first time in 10 years that we did not participate in the Canadian Scotties Tournament of Hearts (other than 2014 of course, when we went to the Olympics instead), so when I was asked if I was enjoying the Scotties, I am not sure if “enjoy” was really an appropriate word.

Did I hate watching it? No. But did I make my husband leave the television on the curling at all times so I didn’t miss a shot? No.

I watched bits and pieces, just to see what was going on. And while the only full game I actually watched was the championship final, anytime I did see the curling, I could feel and recall the atmosphere that is always in the building come playoffs at the Scotties.

I could feel the butterflies in my stomach that I have had so many times and that I am sure my competitors were feeling before and during the games they played. It made me want to have that feeling and experience again, to feel those moments of pressure, frustration and elation.

Truthfully, I also sat there feeling jealous. Jealous that we weren’t there playing and sad again that we lost.

But regardless of the ride of emotions I felt, I know there is a reason we didn’t win.We might not know and understand what that is yet, but for right now, I know I am ready to hit the ice again.

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