What’s left

Maybe I’m going all wrong about this. Maybe I had too many expectations. Maybe my enthusiasm blinded me for a while. I know my strengths and weaknesses. My main weakness is my mind. 

I can train as hard as I want, if my mind isn’t in the game, I’m toast. I can deflate like a balloon in less time than it takes me to take a deep breath. 

I can try to blame the skating conditions, the level of game play, my lacking skills, I can try to blame anything and everything under the sun but I can’t stall forever. My mind isn’t in the game right now. 

And the sad part is that my mind hasn’t been in the game for a while. Even when I thought I was in the game, my mind had already checked me off. 

I’m always trying to recreate the feelings I felt during my very first scrimmage. I had no expectations then. I just went out there and gave them hell. I felt so powerful. I felt like I could do anything. Then came more scrimmages and my feelings were never the same as that first one. Like the addict that I am, I’ve been desperately trying to reexperience that high ever since. And I can’t. Scrimmages always feel different. Some are good, some are not. But these feelings just can’t be recreated again. 

Many reasons: my skills have improved despite my silent low self esteem protest that they didn’t. The players I go against have also improved. 

I’m chasing something that is long gone. I don’t know how to overcome that. I haven’t felt that same level of high since. Not during scrimmage at least. I felt that high while skating outdoors. I felt that sense of “I can do anything” many times outdoors. Even when my skating session didn’t feel like I had accomplished much, I never left defeated. I never left thinking I didn’t really want to come back for more. I never left feeling there wasn’t a new challenge I wouldn’t master, even if it took me years to tame it. 

I don’t know how to beat my mind. Not this time. I beat my mind out of feeling bored, out of feeling angry, sad, depressed. I beat my mind all the time. This time though, it also feels like my heart doesn’t want to fight. All the love I feel for this sport makes my heart ache so much thinking I don’t feel like being a part of it anymore. 

I have to face that reality though. I love skating. I don’t think I will ever give that up, just like running or writing. I can take a break, but I can never quit. 

Derby is not just skating. Derby is the game I love to watch late at night on my iPad before going to sleep. Derby is full of strategy, and power. Derby makes me jump in my seat… as a spectator. 

Derby also pulls me out of my comfort zone. Derby makes me anxious. Derby makes me feel so sad, sometimes too. 

I don’t feel anxious when I’m skating on my own and practice new tricks. I don’t even feel scared either. I’m not afraid of hitting and getting hit. I overcame that fear a long time ago. I feel anxious when it’s me and other people though. I feel watched, assessed, judged. I feel like I’m giving it my all and it’s still not good enough. I feel like I’m hitting this wall and I can never break it. 

My mind is telling me all those things, and I believe them. I’m awake yet I’m so tired. I’m writing, crying, feeling like I must make a decision… at 6 am. 

I feel like I’ve lost my fire. I feel like I’ve grown bored. I feel unmotivated. 

So what’s left? 

I honestly couldn’t tell you right now. 


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