“A clay pot sitting in the sun will always be a clay pot. It has to go through the white heat of the furnace to become porcelain.

Mildred Witte Stouven

Here I am again.

Well, sort of.

I started writing this when I was literally five miles above the far reaches of the Pacific Ocean, nothing but darkness outside the plane and a seemingly infinite expanse of black water below, 2,200 miles from the coast of Australia. 

Now I’m sitting at a hotel in Gold Coast, south of Brisbane.

I’ve never been HERE before. 

But I’ve been here before.

I’m two days out from a major competition and, depending on when you catch me, I’m feeling wildly powerful, ridiculously incompetent, excited, completely unprepared, totally ready, and anxious. 

When I unrack that bar and there’s more weight on it than I’ve ever moved before, will I be up to the challenge?