Is it an Olympic Gold? A personal best? Or simply overcoming hurdles along their journey?
Is it accomplishing something new? Or the evolution of their perseverance throughout their career?
Most often times, we unknowingly and automatically place those we see as ‘successful’ on a pedestal and isolate them from what we consider to be average or common. But why?
Did they just get lucky? Were they just born to be exceptional? Did anyone really accomplish something that is truly not attainable for you? No.
I believe it is the ‘unknown’ that allows us to so easily separate those we admire into a different category and perceive their accomplishments as somehow different than our own. More often than not, we do not know their story entirely. We do not know the struggles they endured; the internal conflicts that are battled as well as the external circumstances or adversities that are experienced.
More often than not, this is because they are never really shared. It is absolutely terrifying to be vulnerable! However, it is imperative that we normalize the conversation as well as recognize that many of us have battled SOMETHING and that it is ok.
While it does appear that our culture may be evolving in the sense that we are beginning to be more open and receptive to topics that were once considered ‘taboo’, there is so much more work to be done and it will only be achieved through awareness. And the awareness will only be achieved by education, honesty, and vulnerability.
While everyone's experience is different, maybe it is the commonality of perseverance through adversity that really unites all of our individual passions for sport.
Whether it’s overcoming performance anxiety, limited access to resources, family illness, a negative mindset, injury, an unhealthy sport culture or just the stress of balancing life, it is important.
Your story is important and we are here to share it.
Pictured: University of Toronto Varsity Blues Figure Skating Team