I was talking to a friend this past weekend about my athletic career and about things that were bothering me, he came up with something very interesting. He told me that I give people an optical illusion. On the cover, I seem to be self-confident and sure of myself, but on the inside I really don't believe in myself, and almost seem scared. Of course, I wanted to argue with his statement, tell him he doesn't know what he is talking about. But for the past few days it has been bothering me. Am I really not confident in myself? I kept telling myself over and over again, No Hannah, you are confident, you are an elite athlete! Blah blah blah... yea I actually had to talk myself into being confident.. Now that isn't a good sign.
I have met many people that say they have done "X" in their life, some people try to impress me and say they were a ballet dancer, a track and field runner, or something crazy, and then they tell me that something absolutely tragic happened in their life and they were unable to continue training and continuing on to reach their potential goals. Not meaning to sound like a bitch here, but, when people tell me that there was a "tragic" event I usually stop taking them seriously.
I have been doing the same sport for 15 years, I have grown up in this sport and had to face many hardships in my life. There were times when I took a long break, or told my coach that I was quitting because I just didn't want to do it anymore. Or I have gotten severely injured and had to take a few months off. For the past 2 years I have put off knee surgery because I was shooting for the 2012 Olympic Team. I feel like some people use a certain event that has happened in their life hype it up,exaggerate a little bit, so they can feel reassured that they did the right thing, when they decided to give up. Maybe it just got to hard for them, or maybe the tragic event really did hold them back, but I feel like if you want it bad enough ABSOLUTELY nothing should hold you back! I think about quitting all the time, but you know what I don't. I could have quit after the 2008 Olympic Trials and said I was happy with the "Olympic Alternate" title, but I feel like I couldn't live with myself if I just gave up- not knowing what my true potential was, not knowing how far I actually could push myself.
I wish I could say I was still that same girl, I wish I was the same girl in 2008 at the Olympic Trials that gave it her all, that had her heart set on one thing. I remember being focused and determined to win, and you know what I almost did it. I almost won it all.
4 years is a long time, and a lot of distractions always seem to fall in your way. School, boyfriends, financial issues.... Life seems to pull you in all different directions, and even though you still have your goals, sometimes reaching your goal might be a little farther way than you like.
I feel like someone is dangling a cookie right above my head, and I keep jumping, I am jumping as high as I possibly can, but no matter how hard or high I jump I still can't reach the cookie. I am just not tall enough.
I have taken my shots and risks, I have been given opportunities to get there, but that still didn't cut it. There are going to be people out there that are better than me, there are going to be girls out there that are stronger than me. But I have to be willing to accept that, and know deep inside, that I am the Best that I can be. I am lying awake right now, I can't sleep because I feel like I let myself down. I feel like I should be better than this, I am not the best that I can be, because I never allowed myself to be. I, me, Myself, Hannah Martin is holding me back. It is all mental for me, I could dedicate my life to training, people can tell me I am strong, that I am good, that I am going to win it, but if I do not actually believe it, it will never happen.
I was driving in the car today on my way to Crossfit, thinking about that same conversation that I had over the weekend. I kept telling myself I am confident, I believe in myself, I am not scared. But I found myself thinking about the Workout that I was about to do, and talking myself out of it. I kept saying to myself, "this workout is going to be so hard", "I hate front squats.", "What if I don't beat my time from the last time I did this?" I kept second guessing myself, and on my way to crossfit I was actually talking myself out of doing the workout. And Why? Because I am not confident that I can do this. So I gave myself a personal challenge today. I told myself that no matter how tired I got during the workout, that I was going to finish it strong and beat my time no matter what, even if it was by two seconds, it still would be better than last time.
The Workout was tough today, I remember the first time I did this crossfit workout, I was absolutely shot, it killed me. I also remember this workout being a turning point for me because it was the first time I did the workout "Rxed"- a prescribed workout is doing the workout exactly as it is supposed to be, without scaling down the barbell weights or changing the movements. The workout I did today was called "Recently" basically, it is a timed workout, where you do a rep scheme of 21-18-15-12-9 of deadlifts, hang power cleans, front squats and push jerk at 65lbs. (95lbs for men) So- you go through each movement, and you are timed.... I remember at different parts of the workout where it got hard, I would start bargaining with myself, telling myself, "You could skip a few reps, nobody would notice," or "just stop now and say that you are tired and have to go judo," But instead I pushed through it. The time I wanted to beat was 20:53 and I finished at 17:33. I shaved off 3 mins and 20 seconds!!
Today was a personal win for me, I felt like I proved to myself that I can do it. I am better, stronger, and faster than I think I am, and I don't give myself enough credit. and I AM the only one that is stopping myself from not just being good, but being Great. I am getting in the way of myself.
I am stopping myself from being the Best!
My new focus is not the 2012 or 2016 Olympics but it is on conquering my inner demons. Mainly, my self-confidence. It has been a rough few months- especially in the competing/judo world. Yes, I have been able to compete at the highest level possible, but I also was not able to pull through it, and come out on top at this level. Why? Because I, Myself, did not believe that I was good enough to do it. But I am. I am good enough, or better. Next year, I am going to look back at this post, and probably laugh at myself. Probably be embarrassed that I even posted this on my website blog for everyone to see- but you know what I am going to "Kill" these competitions next year, the same way I killed this WOD today.
And that is because I KNOW I CAN!