I’ve given and heard my fair share of pregame locker room talks as an overseas basketball player and coach.
The goal is to win against Coronavirus. To compete our hearts out. To leave it all on the line. But beating the Coronavirus isn’t a sport even if it takes teamwork and everyone doing their job.
The problem with this pandemic is questions not only how well we work together, but how well we take care of ourselves — both strangers and loved ones alike.
Let explain why this matters — in pro sports terms.
First off, as your coach, if you were in my locker room prepping for the game, I’d say, “Let’s take this game moment by moment. Quarter by quarter. Let’s look at where we are at and stay connected — our actions, thoughts, behaviors, effort levels, and habits we choose today.”
If we control what we can control when we step on the court, the outcome will take care of itself. If we play smart and work together and communicate without taking it personally, the result will take care of itself.
And I guarantee, if we all do our job, we will win.
So breathe. Be here. All together. Everything that happens after we do that isn’t up to us. If Coronavirus outplays us, and we did everything we could, we can hold our heads high.
But this starts with you. With your mindset. With being safe, and mindful, and caring about a healthy COVID-19 practice.
Coronavirus is beatable if we are one team.
Other societies have beaten it.
We can too.
We will win.
Beating the Coronavirus Starts with the Team
Now let’s talk about what the medical world isn’t saying much of–what are you doing to be your best self? What are you doing to create positive physical and mental health habits and routines every day? How are you boosting your immune system through food and nutrition?
This comes down to answering a simple question: are you taking time for yourself?
If not, why? No time? Bull hockey!
I can’t stand that answer. I won’t take that answer. Let’s find a way to not believe that answer. Let’s not listen to the excuses we make internally.
If you can’t find 30–45 minutes to sweat, or make a healthy routine for yourself — while your kids sleep, or while your bread bakes, or before your family wakes or after they go to bed — then don’t tell me your effort to be your best self.
Without your best self, we can’t win.
Are you prioritizing your family, your career, everyone else before yourself?
You know how the flight attendants tell us, “in case of an emergency…” they tell you to put oxygen on yourself first because you aren’t any good to anyone if you are the one that needs help.
This is a lot of society.
We don’t care about taking care of ourselves first.
The number one problem with our society is we don’t take care of ourselves first, and everything else, second.
I’m open to hearing what you have to say. But why don’t we juggle around time to make our health a priority? Shame? Guilt? Lack of time? Motivation? (Yes, this is one for me). Poor planning? No joy?
If you don’t take care of yourself, you are not helping the team, you’re hurting them.
Yet, if we don’t practice self-care, does that mean we are practicing self-neglect?
Is there anything in between?
There isn’t a gray area here. You are either practicing self-care, or you aren’t. You are putting the effort to be a better player every day or you aren’t. You are either trying to communicate or you aren’t.
Stop neglecting yourself for the sake of being a martyr for your family, or bad habits, or friends.
Focus on yourself (for once).
You can ask for 30–45 minutes. If you wrote down a daily journal of habits, time consumed, would any be spent on Facebook, Instagram, or the endless digital distractions we face?
Yes, those hundreds of thousands of software engineers and marketing geniuses are trying to keep you sedentary. From our very nature. They are working against millions of years of DNA, and our prefrontal cortex, which helps us focus, connect with nature, our bodies, and movement.
Can you can ask your partner for help? Can you can go to bed 45 minutes earlier to find the time the next morning? Or you can let go of social media? Of watching my amazing basketball coaching videos Facebook? Of Insta. Of Snapchat and TikTok (you savages, you).
We, me, our American society doesn’t want to sweat because we are distracted by the wall of digital consumption we eat every day.
Are some of the 70 percent of us that use medication because we have forgot how to take care of ourselves?
Because society taught us we must speed forward into the rat race work fray?
Yet, not taking care of yourself is the easy path. It’s the path of least resistance. I’m no doctor, but the truth of the matter is, we know we are lying to ourselves if don’t think the brain fog and anxiety we feel is because technology has changed the way we live, communicate, and stay healthy.
The Obstacle is the Way in sports, but is it our lives?
This is just one way we can beat Coronavirus together.
Living lies create dissonance. Self-lies are the worst kind because they create anxiety, depression, and negativity inside me.
I slide backward without taking care of myself.
Once we allow our behavior to reinforce these lies, we go down the rabbit hole of making them our identity. As James Clear says, “Every action is a vote for who we want to become.” If your action doesn’t align with whom you want to become, dissonance happens.
Once we are in that rabbit hole for long enough, we scream for help. We take whatever we can. I know because I did the same thing.
What would I tell you at half-time if we were getting our butts kicked?
How do we respond to a global pandemic threatening our way of life, health, and family?
If you get knocked down seven times, get up eight.
If you miss a chance to sweat today, name your when and where tomorrow and get back on the horse.
Many of us feel knocked down in the COVID-19 pandemic, self-isolation, and social distancing.
I feel knocked down.
The one thing I can control in the Coronavirus pandemic?
If I run. If I eat to support my immune system. If I play with my dog. If connect with my friends. If sweat. If I help others learn the game of basketball. If I help coach those in need.
The only way to respond is to get up– and keep getting up and until the battle is won.
This is as simple putting one foot in front of the other.
Coronavirus is a serious adversary. It takes lives. It takes health. And it definitely takes our practicing being our best self without an attachment to being the best.
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