The personal battle!
Through watching sports, we think that athletes don’t seem to struggle. They’re in the spotlight and so we think that they have it easy. They have all the resources, all the networks, publicity, wages and a support system that not to be many are blessed to be a part of.
Here’s the dialect and perceptions that seem to circulate when looking at an athlete and personal lives: “Ahhh they’re athletes so they’ll be fine…” or “They’re tough and can withstand anything that comes their way because that’s what their sport does for them…” or “They should learn resilience through their sport because of the experiences that they’re being put through…” And although this all seems well and sounds nice in the limelight, we often times as an audience and society forget that these performing athletes are also human beings. See, nobody truly knows what goes on behind the scenes and what some of the personalised journeys and battles they may consist of.
Each one of us maybe going through one of three things: Going into a battle, going through one or may just be coming out of one. Just because someone seems to be doing well in the spotlight doesn’t mean that they maybe doing well behind the scenes.
One of my toughest battles came when I was at in university and because I perceived things to not be going so well, it began the process of negative thinking. I was entering my last year of university and with all the hopes in the world to have a better year than the one before, the positivity was shot out of the window as the season started to progress. To make a long story short, experiencing the realisation that my year was going to be the same (if not worse) than the year before left me stuck or left me at a blank page.
It was a tough pill to swallow and it took a lot away from me. It was such a tough pill that it became difficult within staying positive and trying to have a positive mood but it’s like everytime I tried to be positive regardless of what was going on, I still found myself in the negative frame of thinking even by the end of it. Unfortunately, I didn’t know what to do with my experience so it’s almost as though my experience had been taking me for a loop that was out of my control. And given the fact that I was on a scholarship to play collegiate basketball, I wasn’t able to just get up and move somewhere else so from the early part of the season all the way to the end, this energy got me to a point where I felt like a lost soul on this earth. But there is hope…
How did overcoming this come about?
There was a psychologist that I had met towards the end of my senior year and I decided to have a meeting with him to discuss what was on my mind. I had started to talk and before I knew it, all my emotions poured out of me like an endless river. However… He had given me some words that really was stated at the perfect time for everything that I was feeling. He said, “Dan… You’ve came along way and for what you have accomplished thus far, not too many people would’ve overcame that. And for where you are now, I am proud of you!…”
Guessing at the time, that inner child was just seeking words that his father could’ve given to him. Moral of the story… For all fathers out there, be proud for yourself and also for those around you especially family and kids because it does make a difference to the child’s wellbeing and self-esteem which then may lead to positive thinking. Be out there engaged in your child’s life and let them know that you are supportive of their life because you never know when they’re going to need your presence.
Think well to live well… 🙂