Patience has never been my strong point. I’m more of an efficient kind of girl. And I don’ think that’s a bad thing. But recently I’ve made an effort to work on my patience.
Since March, the world has been forced to slow down. My life is usually very fast-paced – especially this time of the year. Normally I’d be traveling across the country and around the world, from training to competition and back again. It’s been a strange feeling having that routine stripped away. In one way, slowing down has allowed me to grow in other areas of my life, but in another, it has been a painful process waiting for things to go back to ‘normal’.
It reminds me of the old phrase ‘it’s about the journey, not the destination’, and sometimes I’m too consumed by the destination, that I run as fast as I can to get there. That’s a bit of my competitive nature and a bit of my genetics I think. I’ve always been efficient when it comes to completing a task. At school I was always the first to finish a worksheet or a test, I’m pretty quick at decision making and problem-solving, and at training, I am often the first to finish my program.
Everyone is wired differently. I don’t like to waste any time, so the quicker I can do something, the faster I can move on to the next thing. At training, I’ve never been one to hang around once I am finished my session, especially when I am home in Melbourne. I think it stems a little bit from not being home much, so racing out of the pool to enjoy time at home or catching up with friends and family has always contributed to that urgency to get my work done quickly. I also just simply enjoy training at a fast pace.
But right now, there is no rush. Home isn’t going anywhere and with the current circumstances, there is not much else I can be doing. So I have set myself a challenge to slow down, stay present, and work on my patience. This also relates to getting back into training and having to start with basics again. I look forward to doing my harder and more complex dives, but I am trying to focus on being more present whilst I am doing my basic technique work, rather than speeding towards the more challenging skills. Because that way, once I do get back to full training, I would have hopefully made some positive technical changes that will ultimately improve my diving. It also forces me to be more purposeful at training, rather than just going through the motions.
Today, with so much uncertainty floating around, I have found myself giving too much energy to the search for answers. But the reality is, no one has the answers right now. Whether that be about when the virus will settle down, when a vaccine will be made, or whether or not the Olympics are guaranteed to happen. Instead, I need to flip my focus to patience, and believe that things will sort themselves out, and in the meantime, we just have to ride the wave. This shift in focus will allow me to enjoy the present, without over analysing the future, and that already makes me feel more at ease. And we always need a reminder about the things is our lives we have to be grateful for, even in the midst of a storm!
If anyone else is struggling with patience right now, you are not alone! It’s a daily work in progress for me, but even having an awareness of something you’d like to work on, is a positive start. I don’t think anyone can rush the journey to becoming our best selves, because that one is never-ending!
Til next week, Belle
"Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet." - Aristotle.