Ups and Downs: Recovery After Not Reaching a Goal

My lacrosse team, the Ladner Pioneers, was eliminated from the playoffs on Thursday and our season was over.  Not a great start to the August long weekend.  We played well but just didn’t capitalize on the mistakes the Tri City Bandits made, and the Bandits capitalized on all of ours… in the end the most deserving team won.  It is tough when you spend 6months of the year working towards a goal, winning a national championship, and you come up short, a lot shorter than you expected.  This happens to athletes every year, but this feeling isn’t exclusive to athletes it happens to everyone.  You put in a tremendous effort just to fall short and it doesn’t feel good.  You deserve to be upset, but you can’t stay down for long.

I spent most of Friday slothing around with little motivation to do anything, I was still devastated.  As the day passed and the sun shone brightly I knew I couldn’t resist the call of the beach, so I met with some great friends to celebrate a birthday.  It was nothing fancy just spending a few hours at the beach with a BBQ, a stereo, and a cooler.  Not a bad way to spend a Friday evening in Vancouver and at the end of the evening lacrosse was the farthest thing from my mind.  Whenever you are attempting to reach a goal having a support network (friends, family, coworkers, teammates, etc) is absolutely essential to helping you reach your goals and just as important when you fall short.  No matter what your goal is (fat release, correct posture, pain reduction) you need to find at least one person to keep you on track and to get you back on track when you lose sight of the final destination.

I woke up Saturday morning not wanting to do anything but sleep.  Might have overindulged a little Friday or it might have been the toll a lacrosse season takes on your body or it might have been a bit of both, either way Robyn made me get up and head out for the day.  So we went for breakfast, hung out at the beach, had dinner at a friend’s and walked to the English Bay to watch the fireworks.  I kept busy throughout the day, and only had a few free moments to think about what I could have done different.  By the time the last firework had exploded I felt like I had come around full circle and was ready to start preparing for my next goal, without the help of my support network and some time to reflect on what could have been done different I might have been stuck in a rut for a while.  This reminds me of one of my favourite sayings “If nothing changes, nothing changes.”  Obviously something has to change during the next lacrosse season or I will be back in the same predicament next summer, so if this sounds familiar to you remember the above quote and figure out what needs to change if you actually want to change!

When Sunday arrived I was ready to move and be active again.  After lunch myself and 3 friends went to a park to throw a Frisbee around.  We spent 30minutes whipping the Frisbee around and getting warmed up, this warmup culminated with a game of “500”.  Do you remember this game?  Do you remember the last time you played?  I played this game tons as a kid and have actually played it quite a few times as an adult.  It is very simple to play you gather a group of participants at one end and have a thrower at the other end, the single thrower throws an object (Frisbee, football, baseball) and calls out a number between 1 and 500.  The participant that catches the object gets the points and the first participant to reach 500 points becomes the new thrower.  After a few matches we were ready to play a modified version of Ultimate (luckily Robyn showed up to give us another body) so we played 3 on 2 ultimate with 1 person always being on offense.  We switched teams around often to keep the games interesting and after an hour of running, changing pace/direction, jumping and throwing we were all spent.  The spent feeling didn’t last long as a couple hours after that we went down to the beach and played some pepper with a volleyball.  The running commentary of the day was that we were all “staying fit anywhere” with the amount of activity we were getting done (Robyn did the Grouse Grind in the AM and another friend played squash earlier) and it just goes to show that a gym is not necessary to stay fit, all you need is some friends, some space, and some imagination!

The weekend was full of ups and downs but being surrounded by good friends, sunshine, and fun gave me the opportunity to battle through a momentary setback to one of my lifelong goals.  I will always have the goal of winning a National Box Lacrosse Championship but for now I am looking for a new goal for the next 3-6months, got any ideas?  Share them with me, I am always up for something new.

Live to Move, Move to Live,

Josh Neumann, BHK, PTS, TSCC-1

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