the high cost of psyching yourself out.

i think i became afraid of hard work once i decided it wasn't worth it anymore.

the only real tradition we have in our house is that every four years, when the summer olympics come on, we make queso and buy a bunch of sweets and clear our calendars because we're going to watch it. 

i know what i'm supposed to write about, i just don't want to say it. 

when i was a year-round swimmer, our coach would give us goal sheets to fill out. they were grey and our team logo was a yellowish-goldish colour. that might've been on the printer. anyway, we had to put our short-term goals and our long-term goals on it. i don't remember if we had to put our names on it or not, or if we had to keep a copy for ourselves and give one to our coach. mine said "i want to be the first black woman to win gold and break the world record in the 50 free." i don't know the integrity of that goal, if i would've been the first black woman, i never did my research. but i wanted to be an olympian. i wanted to have my water slap of victory, i wanted everyone to say my name, i wanted to represent the people who looked like me, i wanted to stand on the podium and cry and go pro and get interviewed and be spoken highly of then i quit. and to be honest, i saw the goal, i wanted to see the end result, but i didn't see myself getting there. and that's all i have to say about it. 

here an anecdote that may or may not be useful: state championships, short course. we drove four hours, stayed in a nice hotel. on the 200 free relay, my goggles came off in the water and i DQ'd my team. missed the flip turn. i was mortified, and i didn't do well at the rest of the meet. i didn't want to. state championships, long course. same relay, i was terrified. dove in, goggles stayed on, i did really really well. my coach was proud of me, and i wasn't scared anymore. it was the starting point of a whole new level of training and i knew i would have to start picking it up. but i didn't see it. i wasn't feeling it. i hit the threshold, and i stepped back and let the others go downhill. 

i have dreams about swimming often. about going back to practice, about getting in the pool. and i always get anxious. i wake up scared, then i relax because i know it's not real. but when i'm stressed, when i have some bad energy i want to get out, i turn to the pool. so i don't know what that's about. is it in my blood? is not drowning part of my DNA now? it's been happening more often lately. dreams about sitting on the edge, of diving in, of going hard, of going back. 

and now the olympics are on, and we're watching them all together. and we know someone who made it in swimming. and she's doing the races i would've done. if i stayed on track and crossed the thresholds, i would've been in rio right now, i think. and knowing that, and being at home instead, is disappointing. because it was on me. anyway, the olympics is on tape delay. we're about to watch michael and ryan do the 200 im. everyone else knows how she did. one friend i know posted about it on facebook, sans spoilers, and it looks like she's done well. and let's be real. i'm f-ing terrified. i'm scared she's going to do what i wanted to do. seeing someone else achieve your goals pisses you off, it makes you cry a fever, lock yourself in your room and sit on your pile of clothes on the floor. i'm afraid she's going to do it. maybe not all of it, but enough of it. i should've been there. i should be there. i want to go there. but i don't. 

and i don't know if i will. 

1 comment :

  1. Oh, my gosh. I know this post is "old" now, but I relate to this so, so much. I am a writer (or I want to be), and I know I have great things in me, great stories. But I'm very busy and very lazy and I'm nowhere near writing the books my 14-year-old self imagined for 22-year-old me. And when I see my writer friends on Facebook, writing sequels and publishing ebooks, I feel more than a little bitter.

    I get it. Hopefully we can get ourselves on track :) <3



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