When An Athlete Cries

Our lives revolve around our sport. We live our lives to the fullest, walking a fine line between sanity and insanity. Our breakdowns are few and far between but powerful and painful to witness. The fear we have of our lives being taken away isn’t obvious to on lookers because we don’t feel understood.

Last night, I got jarred pretty good in my beer league hockey game. Not sure what I did wrong, if I did anything at all to deserve a blocker to the back of the neck or to the face. As I walked into the locker room alone to remove my pounds of sweaty gear, I continued to hear the sounds of an out of control hockey game which resembled the intensity of raging testosterone adolescent males desperately trying to impress the cheer leaders.

I clasped my helmet in my hands, balling and gasping for a breath to ask “why?” again. What is the purpose behind these blows to the head, inducing a severe panic attack, followed by outrageous rage, leading to abnormally high fear. My life comes full circle in a matter minutes. Feeling death, confusion of birth, anger of confrontation and fear of loss.

All of these experiences are what make me a great coach. My mission is to support my athletes through stages of growth, maturation, elevation of sport and life skills. My friends inspire me to keep going, knowing that I’m good at what I do. I change lives as my friends, coaches, and parents have worked diligently and supportively to help me form my life.

I’ll continue to push the limits because the limits are where I feel uncomfortable and on the edge of the something great. It’s the feeling of discomfort where growth is possible. I know going over the edge is terrifying, painful, and potentially harmful, but I also know that not coming close to the edge leaves me unfulfilled and regretting the moments I’m alive.

I train smart so I can compete hard.