Sunday, January 24, 2016

Being A Head Case

Throughout my entire life I've been taught mental toughness, a skill vital to athletes, students, and life in general...but when is it okay to not be okay? Recently I've had terrible mental blocks in the one event I love most,  it turns my stomach knowing I can't contribute to the team, makes me overthink everything I do- and just like that I find my mental toughness leaving me. But has it left for good? Of course not, next week is a new training period, the bar will be put back on the standards and high jumping will resume, just as life goes on. But what is it exactly that causes us to fall to that mental block? Personal relationships? Stress? Lifestyle? It's different for everyone, and excludes no one-we can't all be okay all the time. Just as a friend reminds me many times over-it's okay to not be okay. I can't say that I know how to fix mental blocks or change my mindset as a self-defeating athlete, but I've found that so far- surrounding myself with supportive friends, great coaches, and people that refuse to make excuses for my poor performance has been my best bet. Taking time to identify what impacts my thoughts and actions is only helpful to a certain extent, there is a fine line between hyper focus and constructive self-criticism, a skill I will never quite master. I guess my main point here in what will be a fairly short and hypocritical post for the week is- don't be so hard on yourself if there's a bad day, class, week, meet/game's okay to not be okay every once in a while. While easier said that done (if I had a dollar for every time someone told me I was too hard on myself , or that I need to get out of my own head ... I wouldn't have student loans to pay off) , it's a valuable skill we could all use in a day that is so focused on being the best of the best for everything and anything we do. No one is invincible, so stop holding yourself to a destructive and unattainable standard- remember why you started whatever is throwing you for a loop, and reconnect with that passion as best as you can. Everyone slips, loses sight of what we're here for- but it does not mean we are useless as beings. 
So stay realistic and look to tomorrow, we all have a lot to offer, in different capacities, to this world (whether you see it or not) ! 
Let's see what we can do!
A Duck who forever be a head case 

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