Unfortunately, for this post I’ll be writing this blog solo as Aust wasn’t able to make the OKC trip. Traveling without Austin was interesting. It was the first time that that’s happened in two seasons. I missed my friend’s fast paced mannerisms; however, I didn’t miss him asking me if I had a room key every time we stepped out the door. Anywho, since you guys are stuck with me this week and instead of interviewing myself like a weirdo I’m going to change it up a bit. Highlights of this week are purple penguins and worry!!!!
What do I worry about? I worry about not giving up soft goals. I worry about overeating. I worry about not eating enough. I worry about being strong/quick enough. I worry about not being good enough. I worry if I’m doing enough to get better. I worry about not getting enough sleep. I worry about not following my routines. I worry about not being a good friend. I worry about not being a good teammate. I worry about not being understood. I worry about not finding a purpose. I worry about letting my family down. I worry about my close-ones. I worry about tsundoku. I worry about genetically enhanced super dinosaurs…. I mean who doesn’t.
Why do I bring this up? When I was reading (big shock there) on the road trip to OKC I started to fixate on that word, WORRY. It frequently came up in the book I was reading. So, I took a brief break, and wrote down all the prospective worries I could think of in a two-minute span. The above list was the result of my two-minute thought experiment. What began as an experiment to find and soothe tension in my head, actually brought out the worst. One led to two, which then led to 15 and probably more if I had given myself more time. The issue is the second I started to bring these negative thoughts into fruition in my head, off-shoots and branches engulfed me in an avalanche of self-doubt.
As the doubt lingered the bus had stopped. We were in OKC. Gut reaction was it was going to be a great time, but I was definitely unsure (always listen to your guts guys). As I walked into the hotel (21C Museum). I saw a five-foot purple penguin plastic sculpture; which duplicates were on sale in the shop around the corner. Of course, I wanted one, as it’s my favorite animal, but let’s just put it this way: lil Sebastian was a little bit out of my price range. So, with my hopes and dreams of owning a gaudy, yet immaculate penguin sculpture squashed by a limited USL salary, I decided to take a stroll through the rest of the museum. Pop art really isn’t my thing, but looking at art is soothing (that’s why I took AP Art History in high school).
One of the books I read on the trip was Ascent of Money. It talks about the Medici family. Well, here’s a member of their clan.
Another book I read was called Shadow, about presidents and the inner turmoil they go through during the job. President Lincoln reflects those feelings here.
The group was stoked to get out on the field; we call that game-day vibes. However, they weren’t excited for the chilly 20-minute walk around grey buildings in the middle of a Midwest thunderstorm. As the black clouds loomed over-head I found solace in a little coffee shop Sam recommended. Okay Yeah Co. was amazing. Great vibes from this place as it wasn’t just a coffee shop, but also doubled as a plant store. Yes, plants. I love plants. I think it’s something I picked up from my father, he has a green thumb. And according to Austin, a recent radiolab podcast suggests that plants can actually learn behavior through Pavlov-esque conditioning without actually having a brain. Ironically, that’s mind boggling. Anyways, as I explored, I saw a lot of familiar vegetation. They had snake plant, Swedish ivy, pathos, aloe, cacti, and zebra plants. The one plant that I couldn’t find was spider plant, my dad has like 12 pots of it our backyard. It was an awesome atmosphere to share coffee with friends, amplified more by great conversation. The coffee shop and I parted ways, and as I walked the two blocks back to the hotel in a slight drizzle, the only thing on my mind being the game.
Best coffee shop so far!
Don’t get me wrong, some people can stir up enough positive motivation to curb self-doubt when it starts, but I’m not a member of that club. Being as introspective as I am, I tend to delve too deep and get stuck in the proverbial quick-sand of negative self-thought. The more I think, the quicker I descend, and the more I get stuck. So, how do I get around this? Well as Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “As a cure for worrying, work is better than whiskey”. Ergo, I go to work. I put my head down and start to toil forgetting about the mental puzzle in my mind. It’s easy to get stuck, and hard to move on, and the only way to do so is by showing myself I have the capacity to out-work my negative thoughts. And if not, I always have secondary, and tertiary options to fall back on. I mean try being in a bad mood while watching the Joy of Painting with Bob Ross. It’s not possible.
Now, I know a lot of people will be asking questions about my mental state heading into the OKC game. It was never an issue. All those worries were extinguished before I got off the bus. It was just a thought experiment, and I’m a pretty smart kid. I understand my emotions well-enough and I have adequate problem-solving skills to address issues as they arise. I am a goalkeeper after all. Through my extensive reading, I’ve learned how to mitigate worry from my mind. I’ll be honest, worry, doubt, fear still have the potential to creep up from time to time, (yes, even in games) I just go through my protocols. In the grand scheme my worries are minute in comparison to others and it does me no good to fixate on them. So, I move on. Speaking of moving on, it was great to leave OKC with three points. I know the On Tour crew loved every single minute of it.
Thanks guys for reading and we can’t wait to put out more content!!!!