There are lots of big, challenging choices we have to make in life. Most people just have to work or go to school and have to make all kinds of choices: easy and hard ones. Mostly because they have to. Lately, mine have been where will I live, where will I get a job, who will be my new coach? Making those decisions, especially for an athletic career can be challenging but, why even make them? I mean, competing in sport is really a choice right?
It is. Why do us athletes chose to add one more stresser to our lives? Why do we put our bodies and our minds through hell? For what? Trophies, records, medals, or fame? Most of us don’t know why we are compelled to do what we do. I’m learning over time why it is I chose to do this. It is not an easy life. It’s not a bad life, it’s just not easy. When I worry about if I can buy groceries or make rent, it seems kind of silly looking from the outside. Uh… Sarah, why don’t you just work full-time or finally get your degree so you can just have a normal life?
Well, normal sucks. I also love doing the seemingly impossible. I love traveling the world. I love the confidence I have gotten from sports. Increasingly, I also feel that my career, what I have accomplished and learned along my journey, is supposed to use to help others. Sure, I could quit and do something else but, that’s not what I feel I am supposed to do with my life. At least not yet.
As you have probably gathered by learning about athletes, especially Olympic athletes, we are a disciplined group of individuals. We have to make really important decisions every day. We have to make these decisions and change our game plans based on what our goals are and what life presents to us. How do we make the big decisions like the ones I have mentioned that I make earlier? I think it has to do with small decisions we make daily. Good choices take a good amount of will power and sacrifice but, with practice, they become easier and almost instinctual. When they become this way, the harder choices are easier to make and the goals you have set (big or small) then become easier to attain.
Here are some examples of things we have to make decisions about on a regular basis:
- It’s Saturday. My friends are going to go hang out at the lake. They leave in the morning. Training starts in the morning. Sarah decides to stay home and train
- Activity night! Friends are playing “Capture the Freeze Tag” (yes, it’s a real game.) There’s running and jumping and tagging, and projectiles. Sarah sits on the sidelines and cheers on her friends.
- I really want pizza but, I know simple carbs at night make me weigh heavy in the morning. Sarah saves pizza eating for some other time (ok some times I cave into a $5 hot-n-ready)
- That dress is so cute! Oh yea. I forgot a couple of my sports bras are falling apart. Sarah gets sports bra instead.
- Should I go home for Christmas or stay here to train for Olympic Trials?
- Should I keep this stuff or sell it so I can afford to move for training?