After my spinal fusion surgery in 2013, I decided to stop competing in Crossfit competitions. I had been an athlete my entire life, and all of a sudden I felt like I didn’t know who I was. I had identified as an athlete for so long, and I no longer felt like an athlete.
So I threw myself into my career, into learning more about mental health, into a relationship with an amazing Canadian chick, and more. The past year I have learned more than ever in my life, but I have realized I was hiding out in a big area of my life.
I have an all-or-nothing personality, so when I stopped competing in Crossfit my personal physical health was pushed into a little corner of my mind and deemed about as important as learning to sew. Not at all.
Now I didn’t “let myself go” or anything, but I certainly wasn’t progressing physically or learning anything new or exciting.
I’ve been sad that I can’t compete anymore when I’m only 26. I’ve been insecure about people thinking less of me for not being an athlete. I’ve been afraid of trying to get fit again and failing. Whatever that means.
These thoughts and emotions have led to me hiding out in this very important aspect of myself. I have been reaching and growing in every aspect of my life, except for this one.
So after I had this same revelation for about the 5th time, I took action. I bought a bow and started doing Jiu Jitsu. Within the first week of doing both, I knew I had done something huge for myself. I came out of hiding.
I am having so much fun learning and playing. I go to Jiu Jitsu class and get my ass kicked by people half my size, and I love it. I am a student again in the physical sense, and it feels amazing.
Most, if not all, of us have at least one area that we hide out in. Could be intellect, relationships, career, physical health, mental health, social life, etc. Many of us crush it in one area, and we often rely on that one to fill our cup and keep us happy. When we hide out and neglect part of ourselves, we can’t be the best versions of ourselves and usually end up pretty unhappy, stressed, etc.
I encourage you to do some self-assessment today.
- What areas do you feel like you are pushing your boundaries in? How does that feel?
- What areas do you feel like you are hiding out or getting complacent? How does that feel?
I don’t ever have to be a World Champion Jiu Jitsu artist to find enjoyment and excitement in it. The simple act of learning and trying hard to grow in all areas is all that I’m after.