Self-Love plus a Gold Medal

Today was another crazy experiment in self-love through the laboratory of pickleball.

I deal with Complex PTSD, which usually means that in stressful situations, or where there’s high expectations and high emotions, I can easily go into freeze mode and play way below my level. It happens to me even in recreational play. When this happens, it can be absolutely brutal in my head with my self-talk.

A year ago I played men’s singles 3.5 for the first time, and didn’t make it to the medal rounds. I was devastated and very harsh with myself. Then I tried again in November, and made it to the semifinal and bronze medal matches, but lost both after long battles.

Leading up to this tournament, I decided that the only thing I was going to try for was to be kind to myself and love myself through the entire day day. I had the normal nerves and jitters, but was committed to being nice to me. Between every rally and after every mistake, I reminded myself that I loved me, and I was proud of me for showing up and battling.

The first rally of the first game my body didn’t realize how short the court was and I ran into the back wall and hit the deck. It rattled me a bit, but I shook it off and kept focusing. I lost that first game, but kept it close, Then somehow managed to win each game after that. After the round Robin, I was in 2nd place to the guy I had lost to initially, and I ended up winning gold in best of two out of three games.

It’s quite surreal, especially because my commitment to myself was to love myself even if I lost every game. That carried me through every rally until the end. Winning gold was truly the cherry on top of having the best interpersonal experience at at tournament ever.

I am proud of myself.

I play again tomorrow in men’s doubles 4.0 with Raleigh, and mixed doubles on Sunday with Sheri. We’ll what the rest of the tournament looks like, but I will love myself and my partners through each moment.

#traumarecovery #healing #prokennex

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