The last few months have been somewhat of a rollercoaster for me. I suppose in reality, life is always a rollercoaster- emotionally, physically, financially, spiritually. It seems to be part of human nature to experience extremes. In fact, it is these extremes that give us balance and sanity day to day. Without their existence we wouldn't know what "good" feels like. We wouldn't know what it means to "relax," to "have fun." Season-ending injuries are common place in the world of professional athletes. (Especially those of us who have selected to pursue extreme sports.) When my season ended in mid-March I did my best to take it in stride. In retrospect, I was so overwhelmed by emotions from the entire season that another setback just couldn't draw blood. I barely flinched. I barely processed that I was done for the year. I quickly just moved on. I went home to Connecticut to see my mom and dad, saw my grandfather for his 90th birthday (little did I know it would be the last time I'd see him), I went to the gym, cleaned my house, did some yard work, and slept in- a lot.
During this down time that I've had, it dawned on me that perhaps I should have taken a break earlier in the season. Tried to "relax" more. Tried to ski for "fun." But in season I was just focused on my next goal- performing my best and winning whatever contest was next in line. And strangely, my mind set hasn't changed much from mid-winter. I still seem to be focused on healing as quickly as possible, being ready to ski during the summer, setting goals for my training (in the gym, at the water ramps and on snow), wanting to push myself, not wanting to take a break, not welcoming the rest, not inviting the down time. On several occasions people ask what I like to do for fun, to relax. I like to mountain bike. I like to go to the gym, I like to hike, to climb, to swim, to camp, to play soccer, lacrosse... on and on. But to sit still? Is that relaxing? For me relaxation is more about a mental space than a physical one. My brain needs to feel satisfied and happy and all of those physical activities bring me just that. But am I getting the proper physical rest and recovery that I need? Or am I feeding this vicious cylce of over training that I have found myself in, time and again.
I suppose I don't know. On this one, I need to follow my gut. Being happy is as rejuvenating as anything can be. So if there is a smile on my face throughout the day then I think I'm doing okay. I need to stay focused on what is here in front of me. On what I am doing today, right now, and fully welcome it. These are the steps that are necessary in getting me where I am ultimately trying to go. If I look too far ahead right now, I can make mistakes. I can re-injure my shoulder or hurt another part of my body. That is not what I want...
We are all on a journey of our own. Trying to make sense of all of this stuff that we call "life." To find purpose and meaning in every day. I think the answer lies in happiness. Happiness for yourself and happiness shared with others. So as the roller coaster ride drops down at a sickening pace, just have faith that eventually things will rise and ultimately level out on even ground. I don't have answers, just experiences. Thanks for reading.