It’s been a long time since I last posted. I’ve spent most of the time since then being an emotional wreck and losing my mind (or so I felt). To make a long story short, I had to decide whether I wanted to resign from my current job as a Pre-K teacher or stick with it. I had a bunch of reasons to stay, and a bunch of reasons to go. This made me extremely anxious, as I debated endlessly in my head about what to do, what to do. I had to decide by the last day of May.
The need to make a decision was on my mind constantly, and it kept me worried and distracted from everything that was going on around me. For instance, wrapping up the school year and preparing for my first fight. I also attended a couple of graduations in the family and found it incredibly difficult to step outside of my own world to celebrate their accomplishments with them. The problem ate up every area of my life, but what it screwed up the most was my boxing training.
When this problem first blew up (on April 26th), I spent half a day crying over it. Later that day, thinking I had pulled myself together, I went to the gym fully intending to beat the stuffing out of anything I could. You know, stress relief. Right? Wrong.
First of all, my trainer could tell that something was wrong the minute I walked in. She asked if I was okay, and of course my feelings rose to the surface and overflowed in tears again. I explained what had happened that day, and she said: “Today’s not a good day for sparring, then.” I was disappointed, because I love sparring, but I knew she was right. We agreed that I’d work the heavy bags that day. I proceeded to cry (quietly) through my whole time at the gym.
It didn’t stop there. For the next couple of weeks or so after that, I couldn’t focus on boxing at all. Work and obsessing over the problem of What To Do took all my energy. I still showed up at the gym every day, but I didn’t do well. I got frustrated when working the pads because I couldn’t get the combinations right. I felt like I was wasting time on the heavy bags. When I was allowed to spar again, I just felt like I got beat up, reminding me of the very first few times I sparred. I wasn’t having a lick of fun.
One good thing that came of all this is that I realized I have a stronger support network than I realized. Up until I joined the gym (and got a great roommate), I didn’t have much of a social life. I went to work, and then I went home where I lived by myself. That was it. Now, I regularly interact with some people who have shown that they care about me. After my (rather public) first melt-down at the gym, I got a couple of concerned phone calls. People would ask me how I was, listen to me and give me their thoughts. If this had happened last semester, I would’ve felt alone and helpless. Now, I felt overwhelmed by how much support I was given. It really touched me… so thank you, boxing chicks!
It wasn’t until the end of last week that I began to come out of my miserable haze. At my roommate’s suggestion, I did a little thought experiment. One day I woke up and pretended that I had decided to quit my job. I lived that day as if I knew I wasn’t staying in Pre-K, and thought positive thoughts about it. The next day, I woke up and pretended that I was definitely going to keep my job. I lived that day loving Pre-K and believing that my second year would be better than my first. After those two days, I came to the conclusion that I’d survive either alternative. I didn’t make a final decision right then, but I did decide not to worry about it.
Just like that, I stopped worrying. Magic. I continued to think about what I would do with my life, but I was able to keep it in perspective. (I did finally come to a decision, and that brought more peace. I’m not giving up: I’m coming back to Pre-K next year and I’m going to do everything it takes to improve because I love teaching.)
This past Monday, I went to the gym with a completely new attitude. It was such a relief to feel good! I put all my effort and energy into boxing, and I walked out feeling like I was on top of the world. Did I do everything perfectly that day? Heck, no. But I was focused on getting better, and I had fun.
It’s amazing how important one’s mental game is. I’m now re-focused on preparing for my fight. It’s less than three weeks away, and I’m getting more and more excited! I’m back and ready to take on the challenge.