Confidence on Ice

It hasn’t been my most favourite winter even though I usually love winter and I usually love hockey. This winter felt tough. Maybe it was tough. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference when something is truly tough or just feels tough. Hockey felt tough for much of the season for me this year. I know it did, because now, it doesn’t feel tough anymore. It’s fun. It’s fluid. It’s the game that I know and love so much.

So what changed? Good question…I ask myself the same. What changed…a month or so I hit a very low spot. I left one game in tears because I felt so frustrated with myself and how I was playing. I had no energy. I was clumsy on the ice. My on-ice fitness didn’t seem to be progressing. I was missing passes. I wasn’t playing well…at least to me…I felt so bad for my teammates-like I was letting them down with every missed pass or dropped puck. It wasn’t much fun to play and I kept hoping something would shift.

I call that night driving home in tears “a meltdown”…and it began the change…first, I told some folks of the struggle I had been feeling. Their empathy and feedback helped me see that some of it was just in my mind-that in their eyes, I was playing fine-they hadn’t perceived anything different and they still very much enjoying playing with me. What a relief that was. Second, I saw my doc and got checked out to make sure their wasn’t any underlying reason for the fatigue that I was feeling on the ice and other places. Third, I saw some of my alternative health providers and got some support for my mind and body through supplements and remedies. Fourth, I opted to adopt compassion rather than continuing to give myself such a hard time. I dropped the story line about how poorly I was playing and kept repeating what Russ and Michelle had said (they liked playing with me). I also noticed how many times I players I admired and thought were playing so well missed/muffed/messed up during play…finally, I made sure I was getting plenty of sleep and healthy food into me…

And voila, four weeks later, I love the game again. I just had the best game of the season. It was fun, it was fast. I loved moving over the ice, catching passes, and feeling like I had my game back. I had my confidence back and looking at my play through that lens, made all the difference. It’s a potent lesson for me and one that I’ll keep reminding myself of…because I can be plagued by avalanches of doubt, I can pick up a figurative stick and beat myself silly with it instead of extending to myself, the compassion I always offer to others…and this winter gave me a lived experience, once again, of how the stick is never really helpful. I’m glad for the meltdown for it brought change rather than spinning myself deeper into the hole.

I’ve been reading quite a few climbing books of late and one author, in particular, has discussed confidence. He said it ranks right up there with fitness and motivation for high altitude success. I know that sometimes illness early in expeditions has dealt my confidence a blow…so I’ll take this life lesson from the hockey ice onto the glacier and mountain ice I will be challenged by next. This new understanding of confidence will be icing on the cake and I now am very sad that I only have one week left in this hockey season…

This entry was posted in Everest 3.0, Life, Mera & Island and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Confidence on Ice

  1. Hello would you mind stating which blog platform you’re working with? I’m going to start my own blog in the near future but I’m having a difficult time choosing between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your layout seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for
    something unique. P.S My apologies for being
    off-topic but I had to ask!

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