Stay in the Boat: Focus on the Positive in Life

I had this crazy dream yesterday that I have to share with you all. I guess my sport and my research (i.e., in bullying, body image, and resilience) are invading my sub-conscious. I must point out that the dream was totally fictional, as I did not know any of the athletes or coaches in the dream.

(c) Arianna's Random Thoughts
(c) Arianna's Random Thoughts

The dream starts out with a University Crew Women’s Eight at the starting line competing in a 6k race against three other boats.  The boat begins the course with eight rowers and one coxie.

At the starting gate, one of the athletes focused on how she was treated rudely by one coach and overlooked by the others because of her abilities. Suddenly, she - including her seat and her oar -disappeared from the boat!

The other athletes decide they would continue the race without her, since they had worked so hard during the season.  The race started off really well. Then at the the 5,900 metre mark, there is an equipment failure where one of the oarlocks breaks.  The athlete who’s oarlock broke doesn’t know what to do, and stops rowing. Then “poof”, the second athlete disappears.

With two athletes and seats out of the boat, the crew continues as if there is a whole team.  They keep going and the coxie asks for a Power Ten.  At the 5,500 metre mark, one of the athletes notices the earrings of the athlete in the seat in front.  She is reminded of several comments that she heard;  “Women shouldn’t be playing sports” and “Women aren’t as strong and powerful as Men.” As soon as she focuses on that, she too disappears from the boat!

The boat keeps going. The remaining crew decide to push even harder with their legs.  When the crew reaches the 4,000 metre mark, two of the athletes become out of breath and disappear from the boat, too.

Halfway through the race, there were only three rowers and the coxie left in the boat.  At that point, one of the athletes exclaim “Great, I’m stuck with these three! We are NEVER going to win. I give up.”  The teammates on the boat were criticizing the other’s abilities and then the athlete who gave up disappeared from the boat.

With two thousand meters left in the race, one of the two remaining rowers thought the pressure was too intense and jumped out of the boat.

Finally, the rower and the coxie realized that there was a huge gap between them and the other teams, and they were not going to win.  The school logo disappears from their oars and their clothing.

The coxie and the last rower continue until the 500 metre mark where they pass the viewers’ gallery and hear negative comments from the fans.  The athletes and the boat then disappear from the race.

At this point, I woke up. The moral which I took from this dream is: there will always be setbacks and negative things that happen when you are competing.  Don’t let these things prevent you from staying in the race.  Use them to empower you to become a stronger person and athlete. This pertains to sport, and life.

As Tommy Spaulding wrote, “I can’t prevent a trusted mentor or friend or family member from letting me down, but I can control my attitude about that person.”

Thank you for reading and your presence at this beach retreat. You Rock! I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts in the comment section below.

See you at the beach!