The Transition Game: Week 8

Welcome back!

What have I been up to since I last wrote? I took some time to go back through all the work I have done and revisit some things while taking a couple of weeks off. I have been back training hard in my good buddy’s garage gym which has been a blessing. My shoulder is feeling great and I’m feeling stronger both mentally and physically every day. I need to be mindful of being sucked into only relying on training to regulate myself and ensure that I don’t let my newer habits slip as I dive back into an old favourite. I have completed the online portion of the “Who Are You?” course, surprise surprise, it was a real wake-up call just like every other lesson thus far.

The first thing that struck me was a clip from the movie “The Replacements” where one of the characters describes his fear of “quicksand” not actual quicksand, the kind of quicksand related to performance. The game starts, everything is going well, then you make a mistake, and then another, and another, you start to freeze, another mistake, another, next thing you know, you are sitting on the bench and your coach is ripping into you. Quicksand is something I struggled with my whole career because I have always been self-critical, the smallest mistakes eat away at me, I begin to focus on them, I start “gripping my stick too tight” and making decisions I usually wouldn’t make. The result is a terrible performance.

The times I knew exactly who I was and what my job was I thrived and stayed out of the quicksand quickly becoming known for my consistent performances. The times I didn’t, I became known for the exact opposite. Long have I struggled with self-doubt, the earliest times I can recall were at elementary school age with math and my messy handwriting and in my first year of Football. These doubts became my reality as I was focused on them, I struggled with math all through school, my writing is still terrible, and I barely played that year. The difference with Football being, I worked my ass off to gain confidence, skill, and knowledge of Football and became a key part of the defence and leader each season after. I created an identity for myself as a hardworking, fearless, and aggressive player regardless of sport. From age 12 – 20 this identity never wavered and my confidence was at all-time highs, it showed in my performance and I was rewarded as I climbed the ranks each year.

Where I struggle to form an identity now, is in my work career, relationships, and life after sport. All areas where I have been disappointed in my performance. On top of refining what I had written in my workbook the online section asked me to create a visual of who I am, I used the free version of Canva so some of the images aren’t the best for what I was going for but it gives me a much clearer image in my mind of who I am/who I want to be. Take a look at the bottom of the page!

To clarify these images represent to me the identity I have been working to solidify which is that “I am protective, willing, and animal lover, creative, sensitive, social, unique, disciplined, intense, compassionate, and mechanical.”

One part I love about this section is the “a little bit more” 4 words that can change your life. I only ever really practiced that concept in the gym, making sure I did more reps than anyone else, or an extra 5LBs. Branching out and applying it to the rest of my life has been challenging and will take some getting used to. When I do, I feel fantastic, a little more cleaning, a little more weight, a little more water, a little more time organizing, a little more time researching. It all adds up and I need to remember that applies to more than the weight room.

I can’t wait to move on to the “Goals” section of my workbook after another great session with my facilitator and find some more direction.

Write you next week,

Esty

The Transition Game – Week 7

Welcome back!

Since last week I have completed the workbook portion of “Who Are You?”, have kept up with my gratitude practice, completing 3 lifts a week plus lots of rollerblading and hiking with my pup, spent as much time in the sun as I can, and have been reaching out to lots of old friends. I am feeling great and have even been able to support a few friends going through hard times which has been very rewarding.

I loved this lesson in the workbook, it was fun to reflect on where I came from, what made me who I am and put pen to paper to lay it all out clearly. In the book it says most people draw a complete blank when you ask who they are, I immediately wrote a page about who I am with no hesitation. That felt great, I can’t wait to see what my facilitator has to say about that and what I wrote. It speaks to how much better I have been feeling, if you asked me that question a couple of months ago I probably would have said “I don’t know, who cares, why are you asking me that?!”

Here is what I wrote:

“I am a hard-nosed Calgary kid who built my own success out of the willingness to do what others would not and the refusal to be intimidated by anyone. I am an animal lover and crazy dog man. I love rap, rock, tattoos, guns, motorcycles, and violent sports but I am highly sensitive and soft on the inside just like the men in my family before me. I am intense but also the biggest goofball man child in the world once you gain my trust. I am an only child but was never lonely, I made my friends my siblings and my Dad always laughed and called me a social butterfly. I am unique, weird, quirky however you want to put it but I have always loved and embraced it with no fear of being judged.”

I’m not sure if I did that right, but either way, it felt good to write, it felt good to remind myself of all these things. After I meet with my facilitator I will likely rewrite it, there is another section at the back for a second draft. I look forward to that as well.

Another task in my homework that had a big impact on me was after some readings I wrote notes about all the ups and downs in my life. Then I had to ask myself “why am I doubting myself, why would I do that”. Which I was already asking myself before getting halfway done with my notes. For starters, my ups list is three times as long as my downs list. Looking at the ups, the times I defied the odds, the way I impacted people around me. When I had a clear picture of who I was and believed in myself, I reached every single goal I set for myself. Yet, here I am after spending 20 years that way, doubting myself every day in every way. Insane. That’s the only way to describe it, it makes no sense. This work has been so eye-opening, it all seems so simple yet I was completely stumped and lost. I guess I just wasn’t asking the right questions or any at all.

The quote at the start of the lesson sums it up best. “Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one’s own sunshine.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thanks for all the support, I hope through sharing my reflections you have been able to do some of your own!

Write you next week,

Esty

The Transition Game: Week 5

Welcome back!

Since I last wrote I have had another facilitator meeting, finished “Attitude Determines your Altitude” in my workbook and began some of the homework that comes with the lesson. I have been procrastinating less but still have a long way to go, I’m working out more consistently and have worked my gratitude practice into my warm-ups which puts me in an even better headspace than training alone already did. Using my scheduler remains to be a huge challenge, I always have a plan in my mind and I need to just prioritize putting it down on paper when I first sit down to start my workday. I know it will benefit me and I have to remind myself of that each morning to get it done.

As always, this most recent lesson has been an opportunity to look myself in the mirror, analyze my past, and help shape my future. In my workbook, the first thing that struck me was I was asked to indicate whether my thoughts were positive or negative when it came to school, my sport, myself, and home life. It was hard to have to circle negative on each, but a needed wake-up call. Especially once realizing that the results I am getting or have gotten in those areas are not the results I want. Immediately I flashback to my hockey career and remember the years I had the most success, I would have circled positive for all but school (I don’t think there has ever been a time in my life where I would circle positive for school). I was very fortunate to have some great coaches when I first entered the elite levels of hockey, one coach made it mandatory for us to send him positive self-talk emails on game days, if you didn’t, you did not play. Many guys thought this was just plain stupid, they refused and were punished, or they didn’t commit and never saw the full benefits. With a nudge from my parents backed by the fact that the coach had a very successful professional hockey career himself, I committed to it. The impact it had on my on-ice performance and overall confidence blew my 13-year-old mind.

I tried to find the old emails but had no luck. From what I remember they went something like this:

“I am a physically dominant shut down defenseman, I am a solid skater and excellent positional player. I am a leader and will not allow my teammates to be intimated or taken advantage of.” We then would set goals for that specific game, mine were usually something like this. “I will have 20 hits with impact, 5 hard shots on net with potential for tips or rebounds, 5 blocked shots, and will be a +2 with 1 assist”. I was amazed to see that when I consistently did this, I not only truly began to believe it, but I reached those goals more times than not and it took me from barely making the team to being a sought after defenseman every year that routinely wore a letter on my jersey.

Somewhere along the line, I forgot about all of this, and by the time I achieved my dream of earning a hockey scholarship I had allowed it to be completely washed away thanks to my ego. I did not have the success in college I had dreamt of for the previous 8 years and thanks to my hindsight 20-20 vision I realize that was largely due to an unchecked negative shift in my attitude.

For my homework, I have to journal my daily changes in attitude for 1 week. Thus far I have gone from “I’m too tired to train today, I don’t have time” to “I will make time, working out will increase my overall energy and help improve my sleep”. Today I added “chores are stupid, annoying, never-ending, I have better things to do” and changed it to “Put on some music, have some fun with it, get it done and reduce my overall stress in the process”.

Thanks to everyone who has been keeping up with this blog, I’m truly enjoying writing it and It’s helping me more than you know!

Write you next week,

Esty

I Got Mind Inc – Best Sport & Lifestyle Mental Health Programming Specialist – Canada

We are honoured to have been presented with this award from the prestigious LUX Global Excellence Awards from LuxLife Magazine for the second consecutive year! We want to thank our clients, sponsors, supporters, teammates and LuxLife magazine. We wouldn’t be here without any of you.

What a year it was, filled with ups and downs, growth and change. We came out the other side better than before despite any challenges we faced. We found opportunity in the chaos; the best kind of opportunity, the kind where you get to help others.

We are grateful for the ways 2020 pushed us, it has helped us be better for you. We discovered new ways to support our clients, ways to touch more lives, and new issues that need to be addressed. We have seen reduced stigma and more courage, but the job isn’t done yet and we will continue to fight for mental wellness for all.

2021 is off to a great start and we have no plans to slow down, keep your eyes peeled for more events, revamped programs and courses, new tribe members and more! See you all this time next year when we complete the threepeat!