Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The NLI This Weekend

Well. T minus 5 days until I am competing in my first CrossFit competition. It has been very interesting to look back and analyze my reactions. It may be the fact I just spent two years earning my Master's in clinical psychology or the fact I am unemployed and I have plenty of free time- but I have put a lot of thought into this competition and what it means for me. I have come to some very interesting and scary conclusions. But in order for them to be fully understood- let me give you a little background info on myself. I started playing soccer when I was 5 years old and I fell in love. I played my entire life- I was a soccer player. Whenever it was the beginning of the school year and you had to go around the room and say something interesting about yourself I would say- "I'm a soccer player". Even in graduate school when we did this activity I remember saying- "I played soccer in college". Playing soccer was more than an activity for me- it was my identity. Almost all of my bridesmaids in my wedding were former teammates. All my greatest memories from my childhood revolve around soccer. I literally lived and breathed soccer my entire life- and then it stopped. I decided not to play my senior season of college. I had already played spring ball that year, I wasn't getting along with the coach and I decided I needed to get into graduate school- which meant my grades needed to be A LOT better. It was a very hard semester for me. All my friends were still on the team. I didn't go to the banquet. I didn't get my senior frame with my picture in it. Even though I had put all the blood, sweat and tears into that team for 3 1/2 years I was left out- by choice. It sucked. I regretted the decision almost every day. BUT I got into graduate school at my first choice and that made that miserable semester worth it. So fast forward past that summer (when I married the love of my life) and it brings me to where I am sitting right now. In Pasadena, California, on my couch, in my pajamas. This is where I found myself 2 years ago. Matt and I made the move so I could go to grad school. It was the first time in my life that I was in school and not a part of a team. It was very hard for me. I was not a part of a CrossFit for that first year. I went to the gym, ran around the block and tried the Insanity DVD as workouts. I found myself struggling a lot with my purpose. I knew I wanted to be a therapist. I knew I was talented in this area- and I loved school. But still, something was missing. It took me a long time to figure it out- but after some reflection and a group therapy class- it all came out. I do not know how to function without a sport. My self esteem has always been derived from being athletic- from winning games- from performing well physically. Sure, I am good at other things. But with me- someone saying "Wow Aubs, great job getting that A on your paper" doesn't sound half as good as, "Nice game Aubrey! You kicked ass!" Why is this the case? I am still figuring that out- but I know this is true for me. So a year ago I found myself sad, with low self-esteem, and enough wound up competitiveness that could be seen when I would secretly race people on other Treadmills at 24 hour. Then I started to CrossFit again. It lit that fire back in me that I was missing. I finally found my place again in this world. Something I could be good at. So what does all of this have to do with NLI? This past week- I have been an annoying negative person. People at the box say, "Aubs- heard you are competing!" And my answer is one of 3 things: "Ya..I am nervous" "Ya...I am really scared about it!" Or "Ya..but I haven't had a lot of time to prepare so who knows how I will do" Finally- after being anxious and scared shitless all week I asked myself- "What the hell is wrong with me?" Well think about it. For someone who stakes all of their self worth in their ability to perform and compete- there is a lot of subconscious pressure I have been putting on myself. If I suck this weekend that means I suck at life. Crazy, I know. If my new identity I have taken on is "Aubrey a CrossFitter" and I come in last place- then that means I have failed and I am no good. No wonder I have been scared out of my mind! Can you imagine the struggle this has caused without me even realizing what I was doing? Thank god I have figured this out before the weekend- because this is something I need to be aware of in order to change this. So how do I change this? Well I can start by reminding myself there is a lot more to me than soccer or CrossFit. I am a good wife. I am a loyal friend. I am a good therapist. I have more than one egg in my basket. Even if I come in last place that doesn't make me a worthless person. I have decided that this week I am taking 4 words out of my vocabulary- 1. Anxious, 2. Scared 3. Not Ready (i know its 2 words) and 4. Nervous. I am exchanging those with 1. Excited, 2. Pumped, 3. Ready and 4. Prepared. So everytime I say one of the words on the negative list I give my friends and family permission to slap me and make me change it with one of the good words. I am my own worst critic, and my own worst enemy. I need to get out of my head. I am happy I understand these things about myself because I really need to work through them- no more basing ALL of my self-esteem and self-worth on athletic ability. I have to go to my noon class and hopefully today I have turned a new page and remember I do CrossFit because I love it and because I have a blast. 

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