When I get DEPRESSED is NOT in this picture.
I’m probably more alive than any other time in life. This picture is just moments before diving in the Chesapeake Bay for the beginning of the Ironman.
There is something special about the beginning of races and events that bring forth every emotion, almost simultaneously. Excitement, self-assuredness, focused, quiet, hopeful and grateful. And yes, it also opens up feelings and thoughts of anxiousness, self-doubt, vulnerable, and concerned.
All of the emotions we can feel and think come rushing in. That’s the best part of being “IN” life. If we remain on the sidelines, afraid to take risks and get in the game, then we’ll never experience LIFE. That’s the point of being IN the arena and not in the stands as a spectator. We can’t have all of the good feelings and thoughts without the bad, it doesn’t work that way.
You simply can’t grow a garden and not have any weeds.
When I get depressed is not in this photo. In fact, It’s the opposite. But after all of the training, the excitement, the rewards, and the afterglow of the successful events and accomplishments, I’ll go through withdrawal.
I want to live and stay on the mountaintop of feeling good ALL THE TIME. The only issue is that it’s not reality. Not much grows up on the mountaintop, we have to climb back down to the valley, where the green grass grows. That’s unfortunately when I get depressed.
My withdrawal does not result in paralysis, but more of an insatiable search for the “next one” and “now what.”
My ego and identity are so wrapped up in what I do, that it takes a major disconnect and reboot for my emotions to catch up. That’s the plague of determination and perseverance, you can’t completely shut it off. So, being left stuck inside of your own head and on a never-ending quest, it creates an endless loop of feelings. That’s why the process is more important than the product. It is just my hope that every experience and event can provide deeper insight into how to deal, cope, and handle the successes and mountaintop experiences.
Dr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. His company DRB & Associates is based in Indianapolis. Some clients have included: Indy Eleven, University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. Check out all the books.
Please check out the podcast 15 Minutes of Mental Toughness as we interview expert athletes and coaches about Mental Strength and their Hinge Moment.