Harbouring Dreams

I have always identified as an athlete. Not a professional, not even close, but someone who worked hard, put in the required amount of time in the gym, and had some decent success at a local or amateur level. Like most young people I harboured dreams of pursuing sporting greatness and whilst these were never anything more than dreams, they instilled in me a work ethic that enabled a belief that I was someone who could do whatever it was that I put my mind to. This mindset has transcended sport and enabled me to achieve things in my life that I never thought would be possible.

As you get older however you can no longer physically do what you once did. Sure, you can still train, keep fit, play sport and use exercise as a release from everyday stress, but the physical toll of pushing your body starts to present itself through injury. When you can physically no longer do what you once did there becomes moments in time when your identity is questioned. What you thought you knew about yourself is challenged. Grounding yourself in a more fluid notion of identity based on more enduring qualities takes some serious work.

I am sure at some point I will be able to look back more objectively, but setting yourself personal goals and falling short due to your body not having the same strength as your mind is deflating. The challenge is to overcome your self-definition of what you once did. There is freedom in this. Letting go of who you thought you were enables a more flexible understanding of who you were, are and might be in the future.

Thankfully I am making peace with this new reality. However, I still harbour dreams…

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