Added: Horace Surles - Date: 27.10.2021 15:23 - Views: 17051 - Clicks: 1541
Two days before the AVP Chicago qualifier. Per usual, our discussion turns to movies. Never seen Rounders, I tell him. Adam finds this unacceptable. When we get back to The Drake hotel, he pulls up Rounders on his tablet, plugs in his headphones, and hands it to me.
This is not an optional asment.
Matt Damon plays a hot shot young poker player. Cleaned up all the smaller players. A rising star on the underground New York City poker circuit. He he to the top table, where Teddy KGB sits. Where Teddy KGB never loses. He does this in spite of his mentor, Joey Knish, telling him not to. Keep working the smaller tables. The tables where you can win. Has a nice stack of chips. A great hand. He wants to drag Teddy through the hand, take him all the way home. So he plays his man perfect. Knowing Teddy was the one playing him. He had trip aces. He has the hand. And then Damon watches as Teddy happily, greedily rakes every last chip he has, every last dollar to his name.
Damon went all in, and he lost. He went all in on a good hand, a hand he played well. I worked with coaches. In past seasons, I cobbled together my own weight training program, just sort of guessing my way through exercises and reps and sets and routines. He put together an off-season program, a pre-season program, and various in-season programs for me. I had a partner. A real partner. We were a team.
Beginning in early January, as we prepped for the Doha one-star, Adam and I went all in, and before I go any further, I must say: I could not have gone all in without Adam Roberts. He made this season possible. We played great in Doha. I no longer popped four Ibuprofen before every practice.
I was making dynamic moves, both with my feet and my hands. We won our opening match over Poland largely because of that blocking. On offense, I was siding out at a percent clip, a world-class threshold to hit. We take fifth in Doha, losing a good match to a good Russian team. We open our first with a win over a French team that has won two gold medals. We smoke them, control the entire match. Good team. After we had beat one of the best teams in the tournament.
Playing excellent. And then we winhanging on to beat Chaim Schalk and Theo Brunnerin the third set. That win has all the power of a religious conversion: Maybe I can do this. We lose a close one to an Argentinian team who will become Olympians. We lose the next week in the finals of a Bulgarian National Tour event. We lose in the quarterfinals of Waupaca, then the quarterfinals again in Belgium.
We melt down in Atlantic City, taking a third set lead over Lev Priima and Jake Landel only to lose,finishing with a 13th. We are hardly competitive. We head to Seaside and lose in the finalswhiffing on a main-draw bid to Chicago. Four days later, we push on. We win our first two matches in Manhattan then blow another to Landel and Priima in the third set of the final round.
The season begins to have a Sisyphean feel to it: We are forever rolling that boulder up the mountain, perpetually on the cusp of breakthrough — only to have that boulder begin rolling back down, flattening us, over and over and over again. Scores blend together like jumbled phone s. The world smears into one forgettable hotel room. All this losing, of the big win and medals and main draws being dangled like a carrot, begins to take an unexpected toll.
I always thought the most difficult task of competing full-time as a professional, of traveling the world, of training and competing and abusing your body to no end, would be physical, maintaining strength, keeping my knees and shoulder healthy. Knees are good — good enough, anyway. Always on my way. I open my Bible to 2 Peter. So focused was I on my physical health, on beach volleyball, on eating right, on lifting and exercising and anything else that could possibly aid me — me me me — in winning just one more beach volleyball match that all else around me became disregarded, unimportant.
Since when was winning beach volleyball matches more important than, say, being a good husband to the wife I love so much but so rarely see? When did winning become higher on the life hierarchy than simply being a good human? Or doing the thing I love most: Telling the rich and wonderful stories of the players around me? Or training and learning and growing and evolving? For years now, winning beach volleyball matches has just been a bonus. A lovely bonus. Suddenly it was central to my existence: Win and be happy, lose and be miserable. Mental health among athletes fortunate enough to do what we do for a living is a strange topic to discuss.
But our mental health is really no different than that of the physical. For me, the healthiest inputs are journaling, reading, meditating, praying, sleeping, spending time in nature and with Delaney — preferably both — taking Sundays totally off from volleyball. On the road, however, this proves difficult. Six straight weeks of traveling and competing takes dynamite to any routine you have, blows it to bits.
I read less and scroll Instagram more. I walk less and sit more. My precious mind-wandering time, the time where most of my best writing and clearest thinking is done, is reduced to nil. I see Delaney for no more than two weeks in a few months.
I struggle to focus in practice, which makes me frustrated and angry, which in turn causes me to play worse. This, of course, only adds to the frustration, and so the cycle perpetuates itself. The worse I play, the more I push; the more I push, the worse I play. Gone, then, is the ineffable joy every time I step on the sand, replaced instead by the dull monotony of work work work.
Somewhere along the lines, beach volleyball, a source of constant fulfillment, happiness, joy, became a job, a mission, a task to be achieved, a box to check. This happened slowly, surreptitiously, without my realizing it. Snuck up on me. This is not uncommon among athletes. This has been successful and spectacularly unhealthy… It is this appetite to prove — to attack and to dominate and to win — that killed him.
He lost, and simply gave away his rackets to a homeless man in New York City. These stories, though, leave me with a question: How do I change the narrative? How do I reverse this little funk? I needed it so bad I was ignoring everything else around me, and my foundation was crumbling because of it. I was self-aware enough to feel it, to know something was off. I knew what a blessed life I was living: Traveling the world, playing beach volleyball, forging wonderful relationships all over the globe, piling up unbelievable experiences. The problems I had were not anything close to resembling a real problem.
I understand the value of the process, of enjoying the process, of loving the process. Focus would be more fun to me than laughing. Respect that focus. Respect all that work that it takes to be great, and enjoy that. Yet so discouraged had I become throughout all this losing that I also lost focus. I was no longer locked in and dialed in practice; I was zombie-walking through the motions. We were regressing. No longer did I walk onto the court brimming with confidence, as I did in Doha, in Bulgaria, in Sochi, but instead with an impending sense of dread: How were we going to lose this time?
But we do go, even if it might be against our better judgement. For this season, anyway. Adam and I lost both matches in Italy. But still: I enjoyed it. Adam and I did this at sunset, and I felt almost giddy about this sport again: Here I was, improving, growing, learning, fixing something in the midst of a stunning sunset next to the Adriatic Sea. I enjoyed fine-tuning my blocking against Italians Andrea Abbiati and Tiziano Andreatta, making better moves, stronger moves, more dynamic moves that built us a few le. And because I enjoyed the growth, the focus, the crystal clear lens through which I viewed this journey again, I found myself enjoying everything that came with it, too.
I enjoyed the gelato, the pizza, the piadinas. He happened to be back in Remini, his hometown, when he saw my name on the entry list. I love the long walk down the river with Molly and Terese, getting to know them on a deeper level. I love road dogging with Will and Jake, splitting a single full bed with Will, a 7-foot bear of a man, and waking up a few hours later.
I love exploring Amsterdam with my Canadian buds, walking through the Red Light District, taking a canal ride, being tourists. I love the train we take, the card games we play. I love the lighthearted and goofy practice Tim and I have with Argentina and France. I do not love losing, no. Nor will I, or should I, ever. And I especially do not love losing my final match of the year, in the final round of the qualifier, for the fifth time in a single season. I do not love being the sole reason for this loss, and I am, absolutely, unequivocally, the sole reason for it.
Yet the sting fades.Sexy women Atlantic Beach
email: [email protected] - phone:(318) 454-9198 x 6033
Verify your identity