Posts Tagged ‘life’

Better together than apart? Maybe not for long...

I did some really great work today with a sport psychologist named Erin (www.navigo.ca).  She actually does a lot of corporate work as well and I think that the parallels of sport and business are uncanny.  There is a team, there is individual work, there are leaders and coaches, performance expectations, financial rewards, and relationships.  There is what you expect of yourself vs. what is expected of you; who you think you are vs. how others perceive you; what others around you view as success vs how you personally experience success .  

After thinking about it a lot today, I believe that a  job, a family and a team are all driven by the same fundamental truth.  Our success, or perception of success is directly relational to how fulfilled we are.  If we are not happy, free and complete, it doesn’t matter what we accomplish- we will taint it with our incompleteness, if that makes sense…maybe we will fear that it will go away, or that it comes with an expectation we may struggle to fulfill. Perhaps we don’t feel we deserve it, and we do these self-sabotaging things to affirm that belief.  I have a good friend, “Stacy”, who is one of the funniest, brightest, most interesting people that I know.  Almost every guy she comes in contact with loves her and is drawn to her.  At first it is her beauty, without a doubt, but she backs it up with so much more!  So she starts dating one of them, it’s fun, playful, things are going well…UNTIL.  Until what, you may ask?  Until anything.  Until he says the wrong thing or doesn’t text at the right time, or is too much like her ex, or not enough like her ex.  If he doesn’t like her enough, OR likes her too much…Our group of friends calls these things “dealbreakers” and I’m not lying when I tell you that we have compiled a list that is probably 100 bullet points long of our dealbreakers.  It ranges from the obvious (smoker) to the obscure (wears spandex shorts at the gym)! Yes it’s funny, but the problem is that we have fallen for it as a means of determining if he is a yes or a no, and I think it’s actually a defense mechanism to keep these guys at an arms length. The question is, if she wanted to be in a relationship, then why sabotage it?

The thing is that Stacy is no different than pretty much every one of my friends.  And I wonder, if we were all complete and genuinely happy with who we were, never looking to another person to fill a void or complete a fantasy we have of the perfect life which (of course)would include the perfect husband, then would we actually be able to develop meaningful and powerful relationships?  I think the answer is YES.  If we had nothing to prove, nothing to gain or lose, nothing to change in ourselves then how would we be? It’s like in volleyball when I play just for the love of the game – when I don’t care what the result is, I play full on with power and passion, never caring about what a fan in the stands thinks or what would happen IF _______ (fill in the blank).  And I do well.  Always.  The result takes care of itself somehow because it truly is all about the process.

One thing I know for sure is that if we lived as fully complete and fulfilled people we would be free of games because there isn’t a game.  There is no end result, there is no winning.  And the irony is that we probably would win.  And it flows into sport, into life, into relationships and into family.  If we simply were okay with who we are and what life is right now then we would probably approach our life and the people in it much differently.  I think I’m onto something 😉


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Today was a long day.  It’s Wednesday and the 3rd day of my new job, which, along with training, has somewhat kicked my ass 😉  I need to figure out how to… a.  get up at 5:30am so I can train in the morning or b.  be able to unwind enough after training at night to fall asleep at a reasonable time… any suggestions?!

I think that in the past in times where I have felt stretched to my max, I’ve sometimes found reasons to give something up – to stop doing some of the things I know I need to do to feel great.  Reasons why I should be feeling stressed and why it is justified.  I think we often do that when we take on big projects or multiple projects- we want people to understand why we are a little moodier, a little more tired, a little more flaky, a little uncommitted to the “extra” things like eating well, working out, returning calls, and making time for the people we love.  And then we get into this spiral of feeling crappier, and doing more of the things that are making us feel crappier, and feeling more and more justified in feeling crappier each day as we are working so hard!

So I was swimming today for a workout -it was supposed to be 45 mins and 60 minutes later I realized I had been completely lost in thought the whole time – I could barely even remember the past 10 lengths!  In my life, this has been the signal that I am distracted and that my priorities are geting mixed up.  It usually is followed with giving up something that is important for me to be successful.  I was “thinking” about what I did today, what I needed to do tomorrow, who I needed to talk to etc. etc. etc. and it masked the mindlessness that my workout was.  I needed to be thinking about my strokes, my times, my rest and my program for that one hour, which would have refreshed and revived me, getting me ready to tackle whatever problem would come my way in the future.  Instead I spent the hour consumed in the “what ifs” of the future. 

I know that to be successful, both in beach volleyball and in my job, I will need to be able to create balance, to focus in on exactly what I need to focus on in that moment.  Forget what happened, and what is coming.  Do what I need to do right now.

I saw this really cool quote that I am going to stay true to…

“Most successful men have not achieved their distinction by having some new talent or opportunity presented to them. They have developed the opportunity that was at hand.”
Bruce Barton

When things are busy, or difficult, or trying, we have to remember that there is an opportunity to be great.  It’s an opportunity to be great in everything we want to be great in, no matter what the circumstances, and these long days of work and training and designing with www.vivvos.com are a perfect way for me to develp the opportunity at hand 🙂

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So I went out tonight to the Festival of Lights, which is a light show at Van Deusen gardens.  It was just as beautiful as I remember, and though the person I was with changed, the atmosphere was repeated- people smiling, couples holding hands, children sipping hot chocolate- the magic of Christmas at its best.  A very special Vancouver moment that I feel really fortunate to have been a part of.

The date ended at Cactus Club, where we continued our nonstop talk over green beans and fish tacos and I have offically determined one thing.  He is a Jacob 🙂   (https://leahallinger.wordpress.com/2010/01/03/twilight-the-metaphor-for-the-modern-day-relationship/)  How do I know?  I guess there are a multitude of small reasons but there was one thing that confirmed it for me –  I dropped one of my chopsticks on the floor and he didn’t hesitate for a second, handing me one of his.  Yep, he was willing to stab at his green beans with only one chopstick so that I had two.  Small thing, I know, but it reminded me of that Adam Sandler movie “The Wedding Singer” when Drew Barrymore’s character realizes that her douchebag fiance won’t give her the window seat because he wants to see the view.  Remember that part?  It’s small, but significant… no?

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Edward and Bella in love

Today I had a bit of an unexpected skype conversation with a friend of mine, someone I used to date who I almost always have the most interesting, hilarious conversations with.  We started to talk about Twilight, which for some reason comes up for me more often than I’d like to admit, and he made a joke about which character we were.  I, of course, was Bella… mostly because that’s the only significant female character in the book, and he (in his infinate wisdom which comes from having NEVER read the book) was Edward… pretty much because it was the only character he knew – he actually called himself Rob Pattinson… as he knew the actor more than the character.

So I told him the story – keep in mind I’ve only read the first two books so it’s the story as I know it! 

Edward is in love with Bella, but he knows he is dangerous to her.  He loves her madly and passionately, then disappears.  To her it appears that he has deserted her, but in reality (and much to the relief of teenage hearts everywhere) he left to protect her, to give her what she “needs” and always shows up in the nick of time to save her from herself.

Then there is Jacob, her best friend, the reliable, stable, protective friend she has known forever, who falls madly in love with her.  He is always there, and the comfort she feels when she is with him is just on that line of friendship love and passionate love.

Lastly, there is Bella.  Bella feels a companionship and has so much trust in Jacob- she cares deeply for him, even trying to love him like she loved Edward, but to no avail.  He is the guy we all wish she would love but we know, deep down that she can’t because of her feelings for Edward. For whatever reason, Edward has her heart and she becomes super dramatic and obsessed with her relationship with him.

So, here’s my theory…  Men are either Edwards or Jacobs.  And women hate the idea that they may be a Bella… but are we?

In my 30 years, I have seen a lot of relationships.  I actually have very few married girlfriends, though a couple of my best friends are.  Most of my friends have played pro sports, and have led unique and exciting lives which include dating lives that are filled with adventure and drama.  To be frank, they date Edwards.  The guy that they are completely invested in right off the bat, intrigues them, is mysterious and perhaps unpredictable.  There is something about that which draws them in, no matter what his actions are.  And he is unforgettable.  When he leaves (which he inevitably does), there is always a place for him if he ever returned, having matured and become responsible, where they would probably give him a second shot.  That’s what Edward did to Bella.  AND, in my opinion, that’s where the fiction is different than reality.  Edward did become that guy in Twilight, but real-life Edwards do not.

But what I am noticing now, is that most of my friends are now in relationships and those guys sure aren’t Edwards.  They are stable, dependable, not the best looking  guy in the room (they are now a combo of smart, good looking, and funny!).  These guys are some of my closest friends.  They are Jacob.  And my friends aren’t settling… Jacob is great and we’ve all been secretly hoping they’d ditch Edward and find themselves a great Jacob all along.  Jacob is good for THEM, but why doesn’t the same theory apply for US?

For all of the single ladies out there the question is… when will we ditch the Edwards and find ourselves a Jacob?  And do we really want that, even though we know it’s good for us?  Are we addicted to the highs and the lows that we get when we are caught in a whirlwind and feel a little out of control.  Maybe it’s the only time we allow ourselves to be taken on that kind of a ride, so if we can find a way to do that in other areas of life (travelling, self expression, adventures, jobs) then we would be willing to spare our heart the pain of what inevitably will come.  We will avoid being Bellas…

I know I’m feeling over it.  At least in theory.  Dating Edwards does not help create my 2010 mantra of Bold. Beautiful. Brave.  I usually feel insecure, untrusting, confused, slightly obsessive and not in control.  It does not lend itself to who I am, and takes me down roads that I end up spending twice the amount of time trying to find my way back from.  Recovering from.  In training, what I’ve noticed is that PREHAB is the best REHAB.  If I spend a small amount of time and energy preventing injuries, then my season is pain free and afterwards I can focus on taking my training and conditioning to the next level.  If I just go hard, with no consideration of the consequences of not treating my body well, I spend 6 months fixing what is broken and I have so little time to get stronger and better.  My next season will already start at a deficit. 

Ladies, is this what we are doing in our relationships? 

So here’s my proposal…. that tonight, we go out with a Jacob –  And guys, at the end of the day, I don’t think you want a Bella 🙂


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