The Transition Game: Week 8

Welcome back!

What have I been up to since I last wrote? I took some time to go back through all the work I have done and revisit some things while taking a couple of weeks off. I have been back training hard in my good buddy’s garage gym which has been a blessing. My shoulder is feeling great and I’m feeling stronger both mentally and physically every day. I need to be mindful of being sucked into only relying on training to regulate myself and ensure that I don’t let my newer habits slip as I dive back into an old favourite. I have completed the online portion of the “Who Are You?” course, surprise surprise, it was a real wake-up call just like every other lesson thus far.

The first thing that struck me was a clip from the movie “The Replacements” where one of the characters describes his fear of “quicksand” not actual quicksand, the kind of quicksand related to performance. The game starts, everything is going well, then you make a mistake, and then another, and another, you start to freeze, another mistake, another, next thing you know, you are sitting on the bench and your coach is ripping into you. Quicksand is something I struggled with my whole career because I have always been self-critical, the smallest mistakes eat away at me, I begin to focus on them, I start “gripping my stick too tight” and making decisions I usually wouldn’t make. The result is a terrible performance.

The times I knew exactly who I was and what my job was I thrived and stayed out of the quicksand quickly becoming known for my consistent performances. The times I didn’t, I became known for the exact opposite. Long have I struggled with self-doubt, the earliest times I can recall were at elementary school age with math and my messy handwriting and in my first year of Football. These doubts became my reality as I was focused on them, I struggled with math all through school, my writing is still terrible, and I barely played that year. The difference with Football being, I worked my ass off to gain confidence, skill, and knowledge of Football and became a key part of the defence and leader each season after. I created an identity for myself as a hardworking, fearless, and aggressive player regardless of sport. From age 12 – 20 this identity never wavered and my confidence was at all-time highs, it showed in my performance and I was rewarded as I climbed the ranks each year.

Where I struggle to form an identity now, is in my work career, relationships, and life after sport. All areas where I have been disappointed in my performance. On top of refining what I had written in my workbook the online section asked me to create a visual of who I am, I used the free version of Canva so some of the images aren’t the best for what I was going for but it gives me a much clearer image in my mind of who I am/who I want to be. Take a look at the bottom of the page!

To clarify these images represent to me the identity I have been working to solidify which is that “I am protective, willing, and animal lover, creative, sensitive, social, unique, disciplined, intense, compassionate, and mechanical.”

One part I love about this section is the “a little bit more” 4 words that can change your life. I only ever really practiced that concept in the gym, making sure I did more reps than anyone else, or an extra 5LBs. Branching out and applying it to the rest of my life has been challenging and will take some getting used to. When I do, I feel fantastic, a little more cleaning, a little more weight, a little more water, a little more time organizing, a little more time researching. It all adds up and I need to remember that applies to more than the weight room.

I can’t wait to move on to the “Goals” section of my workbook after another great session with my facilitator and find some more direction.

Write you next week,

Esty

The Transition Game – Week 7

Welcome back!

Since last week I have completed the workbook portion of “Who Are You?”, have kept up with my gratitude practice, completing 3 lifts a week plus lots of rollerblading and hiking with my pup, spent as much time in the sun as I can, and have been reaching out to lots of old friends. I am feeling great and have even been able to support a few friends going through hard times which has been very rewarding.

I loved this lesson in the workbook, it was fun to reflect on where I came from, what made me who I am and put pen to paper to lay it all out clearly. In the book it says most people draw a complete blank when you ask who they are, I immediately wrote a page about who I am with no hesitation. That felt great, I can’t wait to see what my facilitator has to say about that and what I wrote. It speaks to how much better I have been feeling, if you asked me that question a couple of months ago I probably would have said “I don’t know, who cares, why are you asking me that?!”

Here is what I wrote:

“I am a hard-nosed Calgary kid who built my own success out of the willingness to do what others would not and the refusal to be intimidated by anyone. I am an animal lover and crazy dog man. I love rap, rock, tattoos, guns, motorcycles, and violent sports but I am highly sensitive and soft on the inside just like the men in my family before me. I am intense but also the biggest goofball man child in the world once you gain my trust. I am an only child but was never lonely, I made my friends my siblings and my Dad always laughed and called me a social butterfly. I am unique, weird, quirky however you want to put it but I have always loved and embraced it with no fear of being judged.”

I’m not sure if I did that right, but either way, it felt good to write, it felt good to remind myself of all these things. After I meet with my facilitator I will likely rewrite it, there is another section at the back for a second draft. I look forward to that as well.

Another task in my homework that had a big impact on me was after some readings I wrote notes about all the ups and downs in my life. Then I had to ask myself “why am I doubting myself, why would I do that”. Which I was already asking myself before getting halfway done with my notes. For starters, my ups list is three times as long as my downs list. Looking at the ups, the times I defied the odds, the way I impacted people around me. When I had a clear picture of who I was and believed in myself, I reached every single goal I set for myself. Yet, here I am after spending 20 years that way, doubting myself every day in every way. Insane. That’s the only way to describe it, it makes no sense. This work has been so eye-opening, it all seems so simple yet I was completely stumped and lost. I guess I just wasn’t asking the right questions or any at all.

The quote at the start of the lesson sums it up best. “Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one’s own sunshine.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thanks for all the support, I hope through sharing my reflections you have been able to do some of your own!

Write you next week,

Esty