Injury, age, health concerns, over training, lack of motivation are culprits of declining athletic performance. One of the hardest things for an athlete to wrap their heads around is not performing at a level they think they should. I can assure you, nothing is more frustrating, maddening, and dare I say depressing than knowing your potential and not being able to reach it.
I’ve struggled in the past 2 years. Between business, personal commitments, a growing daughter, and some health related issues, the time that I have spent working out or ‘training’ has been less than desirable. As a result, competing has been HARD. I have done some challenging athletic events, but the events in the past two years have been HARD HARD. I’ve quit, retired, unretired, and DNFed more than I care to admit. After each event I walk away thinking the same thing.
I suck. Now what?
How do you get through the training and the lack luster performance blues?
Mental rehabilitation sometimes harder than the physical. Losing your ability as an athlete is tough, losing your athletic community is tougher. Finding a replacement to the dopamine high you got from your sport is critical to keeping your head in the game.
Feeling good outside your sport is a stepping stone to recovery. Try a new activity, exercise with no expectations, focus on what you can control, talk with friends, volunteer, and reassess your goals. Take a step back, turn off your watch and leave it at home. When, and if, you decide you want to come back to your sport reintegrate slowly and cautiously.
As athletes we are constantly move forward striving to grow and better ourselves. Sometimes sucking is just another stepping stone in our athletic journey.