Diary of a cyclist-how does crying in sport translate into life

 In Anxiety & Nerves, Coaches, Emotion, Professional & Olympic Athletes

G: Wow..that was perceptive. I never thought of it that way. Why I used to cry that is. Yes that is it. I felt if I spoke up and said what I really felt….well I would cause a major fight! Or arguement. I still do this with my husband but he is not like my dad!! I mean that sometimes when I am frustrated I would rather cry than let it all out since I don’t want to start a huge fight over something that may not be worth the fight. BUt I have tried this year unknowingly that this and crying were related…to express my thoughts more verbally to him. It works but I just find it hard. I guess it helps that he does not seem to get upset when I express them, I just need to practise more? And feel comfortable that the response is not harsh?

How does this relate to my cycling crying? Wow…I am not sure. When I cry at cycling it is not because I have not placed well, it is ” because I have not given my BEST effort” that is what makes me so dissappointed. I usually expect a lot and then underperform or make a mistake that I should not have but thought too much.
I often cry when things are not going my way (outside of cycling). I am NOT AT ALL a spoiled type, but it is more that let’s say, my plane is late..I need to be at a race on a certain day…the plans are behind..I start to get anxious…anxiety I can not control..I cry.
Sometimes..at nationals..I am so nervous, if someone starts to talk to me about the event right before I am so fragile and anxious I could cry.
If I am upset and someone brings it up. I could cry.
I cry when I am put in the center of attention not by choice..I don’t like to be embarassed.
What about my dad. I guess I don’t get angry much and maybe this is how it comes out, crying. I have never been an angry person. Although I am very sensitive to others and am emotional..I don’t express in words that well when I am angry unless it has nothing to do with the person in front of me.
I can talk about anger towards someone else, but if I was angry with you it would be hard for me to tell you.
I have troubles seeing the sadness I feel with cycling. Maybe that I put so much into it and when I don’t succeed as far as performance not placing..I ask why am I doing this? I feel a bit sad and question if I am crazy to think I will succeed more?
I will think about this more. It is a tough one. Good point on the control and crying. I never thought of it.
Appreciate your time.

Dr. Michelle: WOW! It sounds like you have been doing a lot of thinking! Isn’t it great to be thinking and making connections? I am very impressed!

It sounds to me that your cycling, your Dad, & your husband are very similar situations: you don’t feel good enough or heard or aren’t feeling in control enough to be comfortable and it makes you sad (or angry). It also sounds like you may feel a bit guilty on all accounts for not giving your best effort (whatever that means for you)…and with things like your plane being late, it might not be that you get upset because things aren’t going your way it may be another example of not being able to have control and it upsets you. How do you react with other situations where your feel totally helpless?

With your crying I wonder if on all accounts if it would help to find another way to communicate?

In your life with your Dad, cyling and your husband maybe think about what IS in your control and then see if in some small ways whether or not you can take further control.

I am sure you worry about the repurcussions in all of these situations but you DO NOT have control over most of that (e.g. people’s response, anger or harshness). You have control over your actions. When people are reacting and responding in a way that is angery and harsh it’s their stuff. [End]

Happy Weekend!

Dr. Michelle

Photo credit: proteus.brown.edu

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