I had to build myself a solid base, because I knew deep down that I would crumble due to a sense of missing out on life, in general, if I’d pursued those early athletic careers. Some of it was due to timidity, but a large part of it was choice. I chose to move. I chose not to train with an Olympic team. I chose to get to know myself, to learn what was out in the world and what people were like. I have a huge appetite for knowledge, and that was what I wanted to feed, not a desire to merely be very very good at something. My mind is attached to my heart, and I observe everything with severe intensity. I can’t let myself become heavier with one thing, because I detect the imbalance. I want love, and truth and authenticity- and I have the patience and diligence required to obtain it.
If I’d gone with those early offerings, I’d essentially have taken an instant-gratification route on life, seeking validation from others. I know myself, and that’s a slippery slope. I’ve always been concerned with what other people think of me, and learned when playing tennis that losing a competition put me in a very angry place. I know that being competitive and wanting to be seen and congratulated by others is still an inherent part of my nature, but now I know how to handle failure in the times that I don’t succeed. In a way that is positive and doesn’t result in self-destruction. I would hit myself. When I’m at my most manic, I punch my thighs and hit my face and my arms to try and get my frustration out. I would think and sometimes say how I hated myself and I was terrible. I was shit. Fuck me. This is the place I wanted to avoid. This is what I intrinsically knew would await me had I accepted the Olympic training offer. Had I dropped out of school to pursue snowboarding and a life that would hinge on others’ opinions of my performance ability. I was strong, but I didn’t know how to manage my weakness. Now I am stronger, I know myself and know how to construct a lifestyle that protects my weaknesses. I see it, and I know what it is.