Injury, age, health concerns, over-training and lack of motivation are instigators of declining athletic performance. For athletes, few things are more frustrating, maddening and depressing than knowing their potential and failing to reach it.
The past two years have been a struggle for me. Between business, personal commitments, family health-related issues, my training has been less than desirable.
As a result, competing has been HARD. I’ve quit, retired, unretired, and DNF’ed more than I care to admit. After each event I walk away thinking the same thing:
I suck. Now what?
How do you get through the training and the lack-luster-performance blues? Mental rehabilitation is sometimes harder than physical.
Losing your ability as an athlete is tough; losing your athletic community is tougher. Finding a replacement to the dopamine high you got from your sport is critical to keeping your head in the game.
Feeling good outside your sport is a stepping stone to recovery. Try a new activity, exercise with no expectations, focus on what you can control, talk with friends, volunteer. Most importantly, reassess your goals. Take a step back, turn off your watch and leave it at home. When and if you decide to return to your sport, reintegrate slowly and cautiously.
As athletes, we are constantly striving to grow and better ourselves. Sometimes sucking is just another stepping stone in our athletic journey.
Inspiration provided by Joanne Cogle at theaggressivelyaverageathlete.com.