Before reading this, please understand I did this for own healing adventure, not to upset anyone. It truly was something I felt I needed to do and up until now only a handful of people knew I did it.
I remember it like yesterday, it was September 7, 2010. I woke up and meditated as per usual. Meditation and mindfulness had been a familiar practise for me since I went to my first 10-Day Silent Meditation Retreat in December 2008.
Whilst I was meditating, I saw clearly that it was time to release my trophies (over 200). I had already come to the realisation that I was something else other than an athlete, so it felt like an easy thing to do. Subsequently, I showered got the trophies down from the cupboard, pulled the name plates off them and rang a few places to see if they wanted them, so they could be recycled. However, I couldn’t find anyone, so I disposed of them in the garbage.
Releasing Some of Societies Pressures…
The experience was very freeing and healing. That day, I felt I was releasing a number of societal pressures I had experienced as a young person growing up as an athlete. For example –
- what other people said I “should” have done in my tennis career is more important than what I did,
- that my achievements and number of wins I had as an athlete defined who I was/am as a human being,
- other people were better than me because they achieved more and won more/bigger tournaments,
- my trophies / possessions, defined who I was/am.
When I told a few of my inner circle – I experienced a variety of responses. And needless to say, some were not very happy. However, as I said at the start of this post, I did this this for me and my own healing. Being a professional athlete is not what most people see in the media. Like most things in life, it needs to be experienced in order to have a deeper appreciation of it.
What I Started to Reclaim that Day…
There are many things that I started to reclaim and continue to reclaim since that day. Some of them include –
- a deeper sense of acceptance and appreciation for myself and who I truly am,
- gratitude for the experiences and people I met whilst I was an athlete (yes they are in my heart and I do not need the possessions to define them),
- a greater depth of confidence and trust in my true Self, and
- deeper sense of connection with my heart and what’s truly important to me.
“It is only when we have the courage to face things exactly as they are, without any self-deception or illusion, that a light will develop out of events, by which the path to success may be recognized.” ~ I Ching (p.25).