Paralyzed by Fear

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Bell Let’s Talk is back. And it could not have come at a better time. Why is that? I have been suffering big time mentally lately, and it is progressively getting worse.

It started in the summer of 2018. I had reoccurring dreams several times a night. The dream was I fell on the ice and I was in so much pain I couldn’t get up.

I searched endlessly with a good friend of mine and basically I came to the realization that I needed to find a piece of a puzzle.

What I did not expect was for this dream to come true and to become the cause of my biggest nightmare.

It was in October. I was still recovering from a long-term injury that happened in   February of 2018.

The competition was in Magog, Quebec. I was going through medical symptoms related to the previous injury. And since I did not have a coach for this competition I decided to take a close friend of mine.

Since I was injured, I decided I wanted to try Solo Ice Dance (Adult Bronze Level).

The dances were Ten Fox and Willow Waltz which are two dances I have passed easily years ago.

The practice leading up to this competition was very questionable. The symptoms of the injury were progressing worse and there was times within 6 mins of being on the ice I would have to get off.

So without doing even a full run-through I still got up early and headed to the competition.

The warmup off the ice was good and even though I still never did any patterns full patterns (since over 4 years ago). I was ready to go.

My name was called.

My warmup was ALONE!!!

I got on the ice and skated around. I stood by the blue line for Willow. I did the intro steps- 3-turn (front to back)…and that was it.

I remember being up in the air and falling extremely hard.

My shoulder blades hit first and then my head.

I was down for what felt like an eternity.

I was telling myself, “Wiggle left foot.” okay good. “Wiggle Right foot.” Okay good. “Wiggle shoulders?” Painful but doable.

I sat up. I was alone one the ice. The panel was on their feet and everyone was looking closely.

I got on my knees. The entire ice was spinning. I have studied concussion protocol and this was one of the moments I should have stayed lying down. But I tried to get up.

But I couldn’t. The muscles in my legs were gone. I just kept falling over. I gave up and tried to push myself closer to the boards.

The person at the boards realized I couldn’t move. He sent on three kids to help me up and off the ice.

I stood there. Mortified? no. I was actually not. I was more winded and dizzy.

It was a short discussion but I withdrew immediately. I got off the ice. The stands were spinning.

This was the first competition I went too that didn’t have any medical personnel but luckily I knew how to monitor myself.

I sat in the dressing room with my friend. I waited for the symptoms to subside. When the dizziness stopped we left as I knew there would be more issues when the adrenaline wore off.

My friend doesn’t have a license so I endured the one hour car ride stopping midway for a break and for some food.

The day after my spine was killing me. I could not bend down to tie my shoes. I could not touch my toes. I could not even sit comfortably in bed.

I saw my chiropractor and by Friday, the day my next competition should have been but I withdrew. I was still in severe pain.

Now coming forward and it being 4 months later I am still paralyzed by the fear.

Practices are usually okay. Some symptoms happen. But the most paralyzing is every time I hit the ice in front of the judges. Even if I slide, I freeze and my body flares and my results suffer.

Now, I have never skated for medals. I never skated to beat anyone. I always skated for adrenaline. I always skated to beat my own personal best. 47113515_1959916010792283_8746879607598219264_n

But the weekend of January 25th-27th I skated at Nepean in Ottawa. I wanted to do well and I did. But my warmup I froze. I couldn’t spin. I couldn’t jump. I just skated around. I was cooling off.

My skate went okay. I had a few downgraded elements and a missed one but for the first time this season doing a routine in front of judges I felt comfortable.

I still have a lot to work on, but it will be one step at a time.

Fear paralyzes. The one way to overcome it, is to break it down into small goals and get there. There are a lot of rollercoasters and ups and downs. But eventually it will all be worth it. And this is the one issue I have trouble with.

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