It wasn’t until I found a balance that I started to find me.
I used to be all about school. A 92 wasn’t good enough if someone else got a 93. My head would be on a constant swivel of trying to see what grades other people got to be able to compare my grade, almost in an effort of comparing my worth.
I moved on to controlling my food and being obsessive about my workouts. I worried about each piece of food that passed my lips, was miserable if I didn’t get to workout one day at the time I wanted to, and even focused on what others were eating all for a certain “look” and “feel” that realistically was never necessarily going to be achieved.
It was then that I found crossfit, a sport that changed my world in more ways than one. I ate, breathed, lived that sport for a few years, until I got burnt out of that too. So much competition, ideal athletic physiques, and pounding on my apparently, not so symmetrical build.
I am naturally a competitive person, loving the challenge and the adrenaline of competing and trying to be my best but sometimes these innocent habits were my ways of defining myself, my worth, and my life and it was becoming mentally unhealthy. It took a long time to realize that in order to be my strongest self, (mentally, physically, spiritually), I needed more of a balance. I needed to work on the core of me, the fear of never being good enough and looking for external things to define me before I could move forward in life.
These times were exemplary of my anxious tendency to have a bit of an “all in or all out, black and white” personality; I became more aware of patterns of burn out and “what’s next” the farther away I got from anxiety. Once my mental health became so much stronger, I was able to challenge these patterns more openly without fear that I wasn’t doing enough or fear that without distraction I would revert back to old ways of thinking. I slowly started to see myself forming a healthier life with all my values, now including balance, intact. I was more open to things, more fun to be around, and could experience a lot more in life. In time, the balance came and the enjoyment and openness to other things in life were close behind.