Lyden's Life Lessons: Getting Real with Ourselves (and Our Emotions)


Cue the sad violin music; hear the broken record play. I'm going to be quite honest with you right now: I feel awful writing sob stories week after week. 

While these articles have been filled with life lessons, I am sick of them. I want to write a success story, not a sob story. And what's ironic about this week is that my "sob" story is one without the sobs -- and that's the issue. 

You see, at the same time, same meet last year, I had an ovarian cyst that ruptured during the 1600m, which effectively ended my season, adding to an already hard struggle to regain my strength and confidence to compete at the highest level. 

This year, I finished the race. No pain. No issues. So, that's great, right? 

Should be, but I didn't feel that way. 

In fact, I didn't feel anything. I was completely numb emotionally, finishing 4th (for the 3rd week in a row) in the 3200m with a 12:23, knowing that I've been training much harder than my time shows. 

I wasn't mad, I wasn't excited. There were no tears, no sobs. Just numbness. 

Numbness from all the feelings that I should be experiencing -- happiness, joy, frustration, anger. I was just "okay."

And when I'm numb during a race, I lose the will to fight, to show heart, to lay everything out on the line.

Can't Have Mountains Without the Valleys

So, what's the lesson here? What can I learn? And what can I share with you?

I want to write a success story for you. I'm sick of that sad violin I play every week when I fall short on taking my own advice. And, it's precisely because I feel frustrated with myself right now that I know that I am going to overcome my numbness and achieve my goals.

I'm learning that in life -- in the pursuit of our dreams and goals -- we are going to have experiences where we want to suppress our emotions to the point that we are completely numb from feeling anything because the hurt of disappointment feels so bad. But, in order to overcome the numbness and feel the highs, we must also allow ourselves to feel all the lows -- sadness, anger, frustration -- and not be afraid of them.

After my race on Friday night, my mom said to me, "You can't have the mountains without the valleys." In other words, we cannot truly appreciate our successes if we don't work through our low points and be real with ourselves. Suppressing how we feel will get us nowhere, shutting us down, keeping us from chasing hard after our dreams. 

I know that by being completely upset with myself right now as I write this article is actually a good thing -- and will put me on the track to achieve my goals.

Sure, maybe I have been in "the valley" for a couple years now, but that means my mountain is going to be really high. I am learning to feel the valley, instead of fearing it, because those emotions will keep pushing me to work hard to climb "the mountain." 

So, if you're numb, ask yourself "What happened in my life to cause me to feel this way?" Then face it head on. Forgive whoever or whatever made you feel this way and let it go. Get yourself back in the game and start climbing the mountain only you can climb. 

Our mountain lies in front of us, waiting for us to see all the wonders that lie at the highest point. It will take frustration, anger, and disappointment to get there, but with those comes the joy of reaching the top. 

As always, create your own success story and keep climbing your mountain till you get to the top -- you have what it takes! - Adair


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