G-ROW(th)

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Breathe. Look around you. Realize how lucky you are, to just be in the moment you are, doing what you’re doing, on the path that you are, and embracing the unknown that is coming. How exciting.

Sitting here at YVR airport (on way to (supposedly) race Canadian National Track Championships in Toronto), killing time in transition, and just taking a moment to breathe and look around and reflect on the last few months. Routine can be so great, yet so detrimental at the same time. Sometimes the only way to get out of it is to have a disruptive interference that takes you out of your lane. The interference of two waves of equal frequency results in their cancellation where the negative displacement of one always coincides with the positive displacement of the other. Those are best when they occur when you least expect it, then the bigger the impact.

Set goals and go after them, but give yourself space. Space to be. Be in the moment, be present, do other things than your normal routine. I coach young adults in speed skating and some young professionals in life mentoring, and I can’t stress enough the importance of not getting completely submerged in only one thing. You’re young; be well rounded. Get out and explore, have a plan B, C, D…explore the other talents you may possess. Don’t settle. Anything can change on ANY given day.

After a recent turn of events, I was forced to take a break from my daily training routine, to heal my body as it’s been going for 16 years without a solid break. Yeah, in skating we never take more than 2-3 weeks completely off after the season has concluded. It’s been 40 days (and 40 nights, lol) and now that I am completely removed from the situation (training routine, work, schedule and planning like a robot), I can see how this is SO healthy to do. Of course not at this length of time but it should be done often. Removal of oneself from anything that doesn’t serve you, DOESN’T really work the way you think it does. Because more than likely, you aren’t aware that you need a break or to step away from spiraling down. It’s like a bad relationship; You stay because you don’t know the grass is greener on the other side. Well, sometimes you need to just water your own damn lawn then! Ha.

I mentioned earlier that routine can be good or bad; such a fine line. Plugging away at something daily can make you a master of your craft, but it can also burn you out. Far too often, athletes especially burn out, but they don’t take precautionary measures or are not aware of the signs their bodies give..to finally take a break. In the professional environment, you can’t really tell your boss you need a couple of days off even though you’d come back more productive. I get that. All I am saying in this pointless, no direction of a blog entry today, is that you should embrace anything that comes your way in ‘break form’. It may open more doors for you, and have a fresh set of eyes on whatever that may be. Always remember, that just because doors close and others open…you don’t necessarily have to enter them.

So then you’re in the dark and you feel your whole world is falling apart and nothing is working well and that you can’t possibly take a break because you’re so close to achieving something you want, that you need to just continue on that path, to get close and ‘achieve’, and then you tell yourself you’re going to back off. Yup, can you tell I’m speaking from experience? Not the fun kind either. In the middle of my prime, and I get a phone call saying I need to stop, and stop it ALL in this moment. Yeah, how do you talk to a professional athlete and them to press pause? Well…you just do. Because what else are you going to do? You keep going and then completely break and then play some serious damage control for a longer time.

Trying something new often requires courage. Having the skill to summon courage or to practice it, is also a skill, and a benefit at the same time. Once the anger and sadness are all removed, it will swallow everything in it’s path. Then the wonderful road of the unknown is in front of you, and oh how you will ride the waves to destinations of unexpected benefit.

Taking the time for yourself often opens up the possibility for you to try something new; travel or new career path, while you indulge in things that suddenly will allow yourself to discover a love for something you never thought was there before. Yet it’s always been there but you were blindfolded by your daily routine.

Even myself, the most routine-loving person I know, becomes bored if I’m not continually challenged in some way. Comes with having an ENTP personality type. Always staying busy, but enjoying down time pretty hard as well. It’s not always the new challenges that you should be eager to take on. Remember that the thing you always detest, or do not enjoy, is what you actually need to work on. In those moments, you grow, HARD. So take the time, if you do ever have a break in your routine, and grow.

xo.
Alex

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