Bonnie D Stroir gives a great pep talk. So does this guy [sort of] who studies happiness and says, “See what we’re finding is it’s not necessarily the reality that shapes us, but the lens through which your brain views the world that shapes your reality. And if we can change the lens, … we change your happiness“
Progress is success.
It’s super hard to remember this. Especially as a roller derby player. The women I have skated with never seem to realize how awesome they are. When you tell them they did a great job, they often shrug it off. Bonnie talks a lot about this too (sorry, but this is a very Bonnie-inspired post).
At a tournament I went to a few weeks ago I saw a jammer slide right through a pack of six blockers — and only two were on her team. She came in for a second pass and picked up a couple points, but not all four — overall, adding to her team’s score. But the girl tugged the jammer panty off her helmet and started berating herself at her teammates. In my head I was yelling, “You got lead jammer and scored two points with only two of your own blockers in the pack, that’s fantastic.” But I could hear her saying she got only two points and she sucked. Did this “I suck” attitude help her play the next 45 minutes of the game? Did it make her want to excel and help her teammates and believe in herself to score more points next time? Probs not. She was scolding herself for success.
And we do it all the time. This happened to me yesterday. It was my second transfer skater tryout day for my new league. I won Most Valuable Player for my team in the scrimmage. The way this league works is that I prove myself in two days and then they tell me my placement, which determines which teams I can tryout for (if any). When I came home and told my girlfriend I won MVP she said congratulations. I said, “Thanks. We’ll see if it counts for anything.”
Oh, Dash. Was MVP not good enough for you? On your SECOND day of practice? I too need to learn to celebrate my small victories. Because happiness is something we practice. And it’s a weak spot of mine right now. I see my goals: make the best placement, make the travel team this year, make it to nationals next year, make it to Team USA after that. But if I can’t be happy about allllll those billion things along the way, what makes me think I’ll be happy if I ever do wear a Team USA jersey? Just like my jamming and blocking and endurance, I need to practice being proud of myself and happy where I am now.
SO, as a staple on this blog I will have at the end of each post: one thing I’m proud of and three things I’m grateful for.
Today it’s these: I am proud of myself for winning MVP of the scrimmage yesterday. I am grateful for my girlfriend who supports me. I am grateful for my healthy body that allows me to skate. I am grateful for this team for allowing me to come into their family as a transfer.