This past year has been an interesting one for me. I have many flaws. They include being a control freak who has trouble accepting that she might not know everything. I have historically had trouble trusting my coaches. I like to do things “my way.” I don’t like asking for help. I could make excuses for this bad behavior, but they would be hollow.
Sometime last year, I had to face the music. Doing things “my way” didn’t work. Eating my way didn’t work – I was overweight. Doing forms my way didn’t work – I was getting my ass handed to me on a regular basis. Doing gymnastics my way didn’t work – I couldn’t muscle my way through a trick by sheer determination alone. Albert Einstein is often attributed to the saying that insanity is doing the same thing over and over, while expecting different results. My behavior fit the definition pretty well.
This was a hard lesson. It was, like such lessons are wont to be, a good one. I reached a turning point as it finally began to dawn on me that, if I wanted things to change, I was going to need to listen to my coaches. This might seem like an obvious solution, but it took me quite awhile to reach it. I did start listening. And trusting. And doing what they told me.
It was scary. It was hard. I had to relearn skills. I had to perform drills to learn what I needed to learn instead of rushing head first into what I wanted to do. I spent hours and hours and hours in various gyms, practicing what my coaches told me to practice. There were times when I cried with frustration, and times where I took several steps back before taking several steps forward. There were even times when I was embarrassed to go to class because I was working through something and it didn’t look great yet. I had to trust my coaches that they had reasons for having me do these things and that the process would work.
This past weekend was the first major competition in about six months. My first event was breaking, and I included a hard gymnastics trick – one I’ve spent two years trying to do. While technically it could have been better, I landed it and completed my set. I could not have done this six months ago. In forms, I was assigned what I consider the hardest form to do for my age division. I scored substantially higher than I ever scored before – for any form. The difference in scores is night and day to where I was six months ago.
I’ll let you do the math on when the whole trust thing started.
I am so fortunate to have amazing coaches who support me and who were willing to deal with me through all this. I’m so thankful I trusted them. I’m determined to be a better athlete going forward – especially with the trust thing.