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"It’s all in my head!"

Photo Courtesy of nixxphotography @ freedigitalphotos.net

You know that song ” Cause it’s all in my head, I think about it over and over again…” That was me today!

This morning I played tennis for the first time in a long time. I decided that it was time for me to get back on the horse after an almost two year hiatus. I was excited and nervous, I almost wanted to call and cancel with the excuse that I was not feeling well and that I was too tired. However, I thought, I signed up, people were counting on me to be there and why miss out on the fun just because I was nervous.

We split up into pair and head to our respective courts. It’s a round robin and I had the fun of starting at the bottom. OK, I thought, at least there is no pressure to keep my spot at the top. This gives me time to warm up and get a few rounds in. 
I thought that would be enough to calm my nerves, it wasn’t. I was tight and tense and I could feel the ball hit my racket like hitting a rock with the back of a metal shovel. It was anything but effortless. I struggled the first 24 games. It was a round robin that we played to eight and then moved up or down. I could not go further as I was at the bottom to begin with. 
My head was racing, what is the matter with me? Why is this so hard? Why does it feel like I am exerting so much effort? My reaction time was off, I was late, my racket face was opening. The “that’s OK you will get it next time, from my doubles partner was drowned out by, how could you have missed that? I couldn’t shake it. I was over thinking everything and it was getting in my way.

On my way back to the service line for my serve, I shook my head and said “What would you tell your yoga students to do, if they were in this situation?” Breathe! “Take a nice deep breath and shake it off.” “Focus on the present, be in the moment.”

It was at that moment that I knew I was putting to much pressure on myself. I felt a weight fall off my shoulder and I just took my time sent the ball in the air and BAM just like that my serve came back. I chipped bit by bit at my negative self talk until it was gone and I was playing relatively consistently. Ground strokes were precise and placed. Serves were in and I was acing my overheads. I started having FUN. I stopped thinking about being perfect and I just started doing. The less I thought the more I got out of each point.

By the end of the two hours, I was exhausted but exhilarated. I felt so amazing and at the same time I made friends and had so much fun!

What did this whole experience teach me:
1. Be patient with myself
2. Perfection is progress, be gentle
3. Breathe!
4. Have fun
5. Let go of Ego
6. Be present

Author:

Owner of Yoga Fusion Fitness Certified Personal Trainer and Yoga Teacher

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