Dear Self; Stop Holding Yourself Back.

cmalcolmJuly 23, 2012

April:  Please Make it End

Coming back to the national team this spring was not easy.  Getting renamed to the team was not a right, it was a privilege.  It seemed my coaches and our International Competition Committee looked at me and said, “Alright now don’t mess this up!”   …at least that’s how it felt.

They were giving me a second chance, not because I earned it, or met any criteria, but because they saw something in me I myself am still trying to find.

May:  Fighting It

I more or less careened into the first national team camp of the year, a constant mixture of scared and thankful.

You see I spent  so much of the past season blocking out all the negative things.  Dwelling on all the bad just didn’t seem productive and it appeared I wasn’t going to catch a break.  I thought that if I could ignore all the bad parts maybe then they wouldn’t exist.  …one of those “if I can’t see you, you can’t see me” clauses that only works when you are six years old.

I spent so much energy blocking out everything that I started to block out not only the bad but the good as well. I was numb.

It was easier to feel nothing.

No frustration.  No Anger.  No disappointment.
but also
No happiness.  No little triumphs.  Emptiness.

I was protecting myself and destroying myself all at the same time.  And I was tired.  A deep and empty tiredness that sleep couldn’t, wouldn’t fix.

I was overwhelmed.  Coaches. Team mates. I had spent the year hiding, tucked away.  And now everything was out in the open.  And I was fighting it.  I was holding myself back.

June:  Let it Hurt

After the initial shock wore off and I reopened myself to the frustration I could feel myself coming back.  I allowed myself to acknowledge the uncomfortable and get over myself in the process.

I was alive again.  I was hungry again.  I was thriving.

After a year of struggling in survival mode I was finally feeling ok. Better than ok, I was happy.

Sometimes you have to work for your happiness.  And that is exactly what I did.

I moved off complex into a shoebox of an apartment.  Seperating pieces of myself.  My sport and my space.  Balance and focus finally restored.  I was happy.   My internal dialouge was changing.  Hungry to ski, hungry to improve.

July:  Truth in the Moment

We just finished up our annual july camp in Jericho, Vermont.  Picturesque and complete with hot humid days, bugs, and time trials.

And although my time trials were not anything special the feeling I have racing has changed for the better!  When I was first starting to ski race Mr. Burger gave me the best advice a skier could ask for, “Racing hurts.  You can’t avoid it, so you better learn to be friends fast.”  

I lost a little bit of that last year.  One of the biggest things that makes me the athlete I am was gone.  I was afraid to hurt and instead chose to suffer.  But I’m learning again.  Embracing the uncomfortable, finding good in the bad days, and feeling a little be tougher every chance I get.

(If you look closely you can see the goosebumps!)

“Pain is a relatively objective, physical phenomenon; suffering is our psychological resistance to what happens.  Events may create physical pain, but they do not in themselves create suffering.  Resistance creates suffering.  Stress happens when your mind resists what is… The only problem in your life is your mind’s resistance to life as it unfolds.”  -Dan Millman 

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