I had just completed the nasty chipper during my “mock” regional competition weekend and was driving to breakfast with my boyfriend.
With my Ipad on my lap in the passenger seat, I was watching the Atlantic region while simultaneously giving him a full debrief of the event that morning. Mind and mouth racing a hundred miles a minute, I told him about my split times, how I broke up the reps, my perceived heart rate, and my emotional state during the workout, as well as where I thought I needed to speed up, where I could make up time, how I should break up my SDHPs. In other words: Boring, tedious gibberish for any sane person to listen to.
Boring, tedious gibberish for any sane person to listen to.
I heard a deep breath—an unmistakable burnt-out-sounding sigh—in the driver’s seat next to me.
“Can we not talk about this right now?” he asked.
I proceeded to lose my shit.
“This is what I want to talk about. This is what’s on my mind. This is what I need to talk about. The fact that you’d even ask me to stop talking about Regionals makes me angry. Turn the car around and take me to my car, please. I’ll go for breakfast alone,” I requested.
I knew I was being unreasonable as I sat eating my omelette and smoked brisket—alone—but in that moment I was so tired of people telling to stop talking about and thinking about Regionals.
The night before, my sister took me to a U2 concert, and her goal was to stop me from thinking about Regionals. She must have felt like she failed when everyone in the crowd was standing, and I took a seat to check the leaderboard in the South region.
And on Sunday evening, my mom told me she thought it would be good for me to avoid turning on the Regionals coverage during the second weekend so I could be more “relaxed and focused” on my own competition.
I understand what they’re trying to do: They’re trying to help. Trying to keep me balanced so I stay relaxed and compete well. And I understand how annoying and overbearing it must be to hear me talk about how I’m going to break up a 250 ft. handstand walk. I don’t think I could do it if I were in their shoes.
But the truth is, though, as much as I promote balance in normal life, this month isn’t normal. This month isn’t balanced at all.
Someone once said, “You can’t control your thoughts, but you can control what you do with them.”
In this case, my thoughts these days—most of them—are about Regionals. I can either choose to see this as pathetic and unbalanced and guilt trip myself about it and try to pull myself away from thinking about it. Or I can embrace this.
I want to think about regionals right now. I want to watch the coverage from the other regions: It pumps me up. I’m so excited and passionate about this sport I feel like I could bubble over in anticipation. When I’m thinking about regionals, I feel alive, electric, absolutely high. I feel happy.
In just one week, I will have space in my life for other things. I'll be considerably less self-absorbed in my thoughts once it's over. But right now, I'm going to roll with this. And I don’t want to apologize for that.
What I will apologize for, though, is how annoying I must be to be around right now. To all of you in my life who are putting up with a one-week-away-from-regionals Emily, and everything that goes along with that, I’m do apologize and appreciate the support. More than you know.
Now it’s time to go back to thinking about exercise. One week!
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