NATALIE BURTON OLY
The dust has settled a little as we all get used to our lives in isolation. Our morning rituals are solidified and help set us up for our day as we head into the routine we have become fairly comfortable with. We’ve put in the extra effort to connect with our friends and come up with fun ways to replicate the social interactions we miss most; hanging out online with friends on the weekends, virtual game nights, team workouts.
By now we all know what we are supposed to be doing to look after ourselves and each other. Stay home, stay connected to friends, stay active, spend time in nature when you can, don’t read too much news, have a routine.
But four weeks in and the novelty is kind of starting to wear off. Each day slowly bleeds into the next one, and I find myself forgetting what a weekend even is anymore. Yes, I could go on Zoom and talk with a friend as we sit in our own living rooms, and spend most of the chat looking at myself in my own video, fascinated by the way the camera angle makes it look like I have multiple chins instead of just the one. I could organise that team bingo night we were going to have over Zoom. But I could just as easily not bother and choose to hideaway and do my own thing.
As I contemplated this disheartening change in my attitude, I realised that the first few weeks was the easy part. Don’t get me wrong, it was hard having to scramble to adjust to the abrupt changes in our lives as we knew them. But we found our way through it, and for the most part we have comfortably settled in to our socially distant lives.
So, as we acknowledge and accept that we could be in isolation for weeks or months to come, it has become apparent that this is a marathon, not a sprint. We now face an even harder test as complacency creeps in and we let the things that we know are best for our mental and physical wellbeing start to slide. It becomes easier to not reach out to connect with our friends. It becomes easier to binge watch Netflix. And it is so much harder to find the will to make the extra effort required to do that workout.
So how do we fight this threat of complacency? How do we push through this next challenge?
This right here, right now, is when you play your resilience card. The resilience that you have practiced and honed over your professional sporting career, or the resilience learnt studying day in and day out to get that grade to get into the university you want. The resilience to do extra workouts to make that state team, the resilience to work long hours so you can provide the best service you can to your clients.
As this situation progresses and changes, we have to make sure we keep doing the things that we know will help us in the long run, even though it may seem like the hardest thing to do right now. Just like doing all your mandatory team trainings is the easy part, and doing your own extra workouts is the hard part. Just like merely going through the motions and doing the drill the coach asks you to do is the easy part, but putting that extra bit of effort in and pushing yourself to make the drill as game-like as possible is the challenge.
The thing is, it’s these extra workouts you do and that extra effort you put in during the hardest times that will have the most impact on your development. Those times when you were struggling but still kept on pushing through, they were the times you came out the other end, looked back, and realised why you had that exact experience. You see that it was indeed worth that extra effort, because you learned about yourself through the fight. Maybe you learned that you’re tough, that you don’t give up. Maybe you realised what matters to you most in your life, or you discovered what you’re willing to sacrifice in the pursuit of your goals and dreams. Heck, maybe you realised what you thought you wanted in life isn’t actually important to you anymore. Whatever you learn and however you grow along the way will make the fight worthwhile.
As my coach Rick Morcom would say, “The third quarter is the championship quarter”. The hardest part of a game isn’t the beginning or the end, it’s the grind of the third quarter. It’s when your body is starting to deeply feel the fatigue and you’re in a constant battle with your mind as it contemplates the tough half of a game still left to play. It’s no surprise then that it’s also the most important part of the game and has the most impact on the outcome.
This right here is our third quarter.