Forget Yesterday, Today is a NEW Beginning

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"As an athlete my greatest fear is failure. I sometimes feel like I put myself into a panic because I think of all the time, money, effort, blood, sweat, tears, etc that I have put into this sport and if I come out unsuccessful I feel like I will not be able to live with myself. On top of that, I would feel like I let everyone around me down, my coach, boyfriend, friends and family.

One of my biggest weaknesses as a athlete is my MIND. I overthink everything, and I let the mental part of the game get into my head. I want to live up to not only other peoples' expectations but my very own expectations. I know I am able to do anything that I set my mind to, I have already proven that-" (written May 2012)

....but somewhere along the line I lost myself. I lost my confidence and belief in my own abilities.

Yes, my goal was to represent the USA in Rio at the Olympic Games. Every elite athlete wants to get to the highest stage. Everyone wants to be Olympic Champion. I am super bummed that I did not make it. I think I went through the seven stages of grief. After the Pan Am Championships, when I placed fifth, I guess you could call that the denial part. I knew that I did not do enough to get the points I needed to qualify, but I wanted to believe that it was still possible for me. Then the PAIN and GUILT came along, I flew to Baku a week after the Pan Ams to compete in a Grand Slam. I fought horribly and after I fought that night I sat in my hotel room alone and just cried my eyes out. I was ashamed, and embarrassed- I felt like I lost my self-worth as a human at that point. Then I became ANGRY - I was mad at my coaches, mad at my boyfriend and teammates, I was angry that I had to get surgery twice in a 18 month span. But at the end of the night, I was just mad that I did not try hard enough. I did not do enough. Of course I was Depressed for a few days, I couldn't sleep at night because all I could feel was regret.I would cry in the shower, so nobody could see me. I just felt completely disgusted with myself. I was trying to figure out where it all went wrong, and how I let my dream, my goal, and everything I worked for slip right through my fingers. It's a horrible feeling to fall. But I know it is going to be an even better feeling to get back up and fight again.

This is why I love the title of my blog post, Forget Yesterday, Today is a New Beginning. If I keep living in the past I will never allow myself to grow. I need to take the last 4 years and use it to fuel me. This sport has giving me so much more than victories and defeats. It has taken me all around the world (41 countries to be exact). It has given me friendships and independence. I love being an athlete, it is a life that is hard to explain in words. I guess you can say, being an athlete is very self-gratifying. You push your mind and body past the physical limitations, and the end result is always worth it. That is why you see so many athletes crying on the podium. There is so much grit, and tough obstacles you have to face, and when you come out on top. It is an emotional and amazing feeling.

So this is my new beginning. I am going to start fresh, and I am really excited to do so. Which is why I decided to start this blog. I almost find it therapeutic to take the time to "blog." I'm not sure if anyone actually reads my thoughts, or even cares what I put down here. But I personally find that it helps when you write down what is going on, so you can sit back and reflect- and maybe I can help or motivate the few that are taking the time to read my babbles.

It has been a really long time since I haven't had to "train" for anything. The last few months have been extremely stressful. I tore my meniscus in Paris in February, got immediate surgery- worked my ass off to get back into fighting shape in 4 weeks. Competed in Georgia and Turkey. Then I had to start preparing for the biggest competition of my judo career, basically the PanAms were going to either "make me or break me"- and we all know the end result there. I flew to Baku and then competed in Almaty- then spent a week in Denmark with my boyfriend. Now I am back in NY- and all I have to do is train. Train with no pressure. I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders because now there is nothing to lose. When I go to the gym, I am training for me. I am training because I want to be stronger, I want to be fitter. (and I also want to look good in a bikini) HELLO! Its summertime!

I've hit the reset button and have set new goals for myself.

This is going to be fun!!!!

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