I always said my greatest fear was being mediocre and that I want to live an exciting life. Well I can assure you I got my wish. I have done some amazing things during my short life but what I feel I have gained the most is the emotional maturity I have reached.
These past two weeks in which I have not written were some of the most demanding and challenging ones I have ever experienced. And I now refer to the emotional roller coaster I have been through and not one of those exciting weeks of visiting 5 countries and trying out living to the full.
And the reason why I have not written is because I do enjoy having clarity in my posts. I want to know what I want to say and how to do it and even in my diary when writing through states of sadness or being angry or extremely happy I usually find that balance between my emotions and the peace of mind I need in order to be coherent.
In my last post I wrote about a decision I had to make and a choice that was laid in front of me. I knew the time was coming to face that question and I still felt unprepared. I had successfully avoided it for the past 10 years of my existence, it was impossible for me to sit down and solve my problem in a few days. Now, I can contently say I know the answer.
I am a tennis player. The fact that I am no longer a junior or that I have no idea when I will be able to play my next tournament does not affect this. I am an athlete and tennis is my life. I had previously seen I could not possible give it up. Those weeks without holding a racquet were devastating to me to a physical degree. I knew that but still I could not find a solution. My demands from life, my parents and teachers expectations and my friends cluelessness about the situation were too difficult to deal with. And I almost crumbled. But I made every possible arrangement for me not to lose it. I did cut one tennis training on the court and had to hide my physical training by doing them on my own without my trainer in the middle of the night at home. I slept an average of 3 hours a night for the last 4 months and maintained my grades and finished my college applications. It was grueling but I had no choice. I knew I wouldn’t have been able to do half of that without tennis in my life.
So I endured. But how long could I maintain that schedule? And was I satisfied? I had still not found an answer but kept prolonging the moment I dreaded the most.
And finally, through some more sleepless night, through some fights but also reasonable talk with my parents, through an emotional discussion with a teacher, through encouragement and support from my coach and through meeting a very special person I have decided I would not apply to Med School anymore, thus freeing three afternoons and returning to the training schedule I had before.
I still have some doubts, especially since now it is more important than ever to be accepted by a good university in the states, and I still have to organise my timetable to fit the physical trainings I used to do as well and decide when to start and where to start playing a tournament again, but I am calm now. I have made my decision and true to my lifestyle and convictions I will go through with this plan. I have offered tennis another chance and I return to it stronger than before. Obviously not physically, because I have so much catching up to do, but mentally.
My convictions are stronger than before and I have gotten rid of the pressure. My future does not depend on me getting up the ranks anymore. The admission decisions will come in late March and there is nothing more I can do to influence them. And for the past few weeks while playing so much less than before I can to make adjustments to my mentality on court. Perfection has ceased to be the norm. I learned not to be disappointed by a bad shot but happy for a good one. I have learned to enjoy my time on the court again and not lose a moment of it with being frustrated or mad. I have learned to value my time even more than before and I can honestly say I have learned some thing son the court by being in this way that I had previously struggled with for years. Only by becoming more serene and not so tense anymore have I achieved the parts of the game that I missed before.
And I am now confident I can try and bring this new attitude in my future matches. I desperately hope this will provide the change I needed in my game and help me overcome the wall I always hit before. And this has become my goal for this part of my career. If I will be able to overcome that moment when everything falls apart and after only a few missed shots I lose control of the game, I will consider my return to the game a success. I will not measure my success in number of won matches or points gained in the ranking anymore. I will not submit myself to that trap again. I will enjoy competition as I learned to enjoy training. And I now look forward to test myself again.
And now that the decision has been made there is only work left for me. And this is the state I enjoy being in the most. Having work ahead of me, and diving in to do it. No more questions, no more doubts, no more insecurities.
Target set, plan devised and work started.