Top 10 Series: Part 3 | Challenge Yourself

3 | CHALLENGE YOURSELF

You’re not afraid of hard work. If you were, you wouldn’t be a college athlete.

Sports are all about challenging yourself. Becoming a better version of yourself than the day or year before.

You’ve done it most of your life. Your goal was always to win the game and ultimately win the championship at the end of the season. That’s what you worked your ass off for – day in and day out.  It was hard, and it was rough, and you were sore, and you might’ve been injured along the way, but you came back, and you fought because you’re not afraid of hard work. You were up for the challenge!

It didn’t matter how exhausted you were each day, or even after every season, you still put in the daily and off-season work and came back ready to play harder than before because you knew what you were working for and what it would mean.

There’s a desire and drive that makes you want to continue no matter how difficult it gets— no matter how much you can’t raise your arms above your waist or how it’s easier to fall onto the toilet instead of using your quads to sit down.

You not only like it, but you also need it to continually grow. To break your own records and crush your own limits. You love the thrill of the accomplishment because it means you’ve won a personal battle.

You’ll always need to challenge yourself to become the best version of yourself in everything you do.

It might seem difficult at the moment, but you’ll need to find something to do that lights an inner fire, inspires you and makes you want to push forward no matter how rough the going gets. Because it’s already tough and it may get tougher, we don’t know.

But we already know you’re not afraid of putting in the work! Repeat after me, “I can do hard things!” Now say it again and actually believe it.

Because if we’re being honest, sometimes all you’ll want to do is give up or run and hide. To take cover and believe it’s better to forget it than face it.

But you’ve made it this far.

Through all of the ups and downs, the unexpected turns, curveballs, injuries, and all the things you didn’t plan on — like your final season being cut short.

You’ve already proven it to yourself time and time again that you’re capable of overcoming obstacles because you wouldn’t have gotten to where you are otherwise.

There is a drive and a fire inside of you that motivates you to reach your goal, and as shitty as it might be, your timeline and expectations may need to be adjusted.

This kind of pandemic has obviously never happened before. Still, it honestly might not be the hardest thing you’ve gone through in life, either. It’s a giant detour and a significant disappointment, but you have so much promise and so much to accomplish ahead of you!

Once the shock has worn off a bit, figure out your ultimate “why,” what your end goal is now, and what you need to do to get there. You can literally draw yourself a roadmap with your goal at the end and break down action steps you’ll need to get there along the way.

There’s a lot more that gets wrapped into this, but if you end up no longer being in competitive sports, you’re gonna need to find a way to continually challenge yourself.

Whether mentally or physically (preferably both), but you’ve got to do something. You’re wired for it, and the lack of it will eventually drive you crazy.

Over the past few years, I’ve stopped drinking Dr. Pepper (my 3-4x/day daily vice — and it’s been seven years without it!), did a 40-day eating challenge, rode a bike 30 miles down the hilly and steep Central California coast for charity, and trained to run a half marathon (entirely more mental for me than physical!). And each time I was proud of myself for accomplishing something I thought I couldn’t!

This won’t last forever, and it’ll help immensely when you’re already prepared for your next steps.

Keep challenging yourself as you go– little by little and day by day. The more you do, the more confidence you’ll gain to take on new things. You’ll see the results over time!

Stay strong and take care!

– Lori


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