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"It’s all in my head!"

Photo Courtesy of nixxphotography @

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


Owner of Yoga Fusion Fitness Certified Personal Trainer and Yoga Teacher

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