Work Hard, Play Hard: Being An Anxious Female Athlete

I am an athlete. I’ve played in four world championships, won two medals and captained twice. (Alas, with no overlap.) I have a shitton of medals, including three golds from the Australian National Championships.

Tbf, this is in ultimate frisbee, so take it with a grain of salt.

Yet even with a resume I feel ridiculous sharing...I feel nervous on the field. I feel nervous in the gym. The season leading up to US Nationals was, like, the most stressful, draining, frustrating thing I’ve ever done.

I need a ridiculous amount of empathy and emotional comfort to play well. This pisses me off. I’m an athlete. I don’t need that shit.

But. I apparently do.

Just in case you brain is dumb like mine, listen up, friend! Hooray!

  • You are amazing and loved and supported.
  • Your team trusts and loves you.
  • You are goddamn strong. Lift heavier weights. Yes. Do it. It’s awesome. Love your body. It’s badass.
  • Be your fastest. Don’t hold back. Be YOUR best.
  • You’re gonna get injured. That’s okay. You’re not letting your team (or yourself) down. Find what’s wrong and work on it. Everyone gets injuries, even if it doesn’t seem like it.
  • When you’re injured, it’s okay to be unbearably sad. You just lost a major source of comfort, achievement, endorphins, friends, and busy-ness. Give yourself a hug. Make sure you recognize and process your grieving, even if it feels dumb and weak. Find new sources of comfort.
  • You have incredible worth whether or not you’re playing. You have incredible worth whether or not you’re an athlete. You are more than your body.
  • I think you’re great.
  • You do some things well, some things poorly, some things averagely. Cool. You’re great and you have things to learn. Always.
  • Lift the weights. Get dirty. Play hard. Trust yourself. Get the ball/frisbee/goal. Don’t wait for permission. Dominate.

Credit to UltiPhotos. That’s me coaching! ☺ In the mood for a quieter, quirkier story?

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Enjoy this moment, you wonderful person, you.