Waiting – an experience we have all come to know and not love during these challenging times. We wait for the day we can return to visit loved ones and reunite with friends. We wait to feel a sense of safety, security, and health again. And not only is waiting NOT easy, it can be scary, maddening, and disorienting.
Waiting is not a new concept to us. It is a universal experience that is both trying and necessary. There is much waiting for athletes with eating disorders – deciding to enter treatment, moving through the various stages of recovery, allowing time for our minds and bodies to heal, restoring relationships with ourselves and others, and waiting to live life beyond the eating disorder and trust it was all worth it.
We know that it can be frightening for an athlete to take time off from their sport, to seek treatment. Rest and reduced training hours can be startling to athletes that are accustomed to demanding and time-consuming training plans…and it can feel like an eternity as they wait to get the green light to retrain, compete, and thrive back in their sport environments. Not only this, but also the unknown of when athletic endeavors will resume in the current global climate may be anxiety provoking.
We understand how distressing, waiting, can be. Honestly, as difficult as it currently feels, we can assure you that instant gratification never produces the results we are striving for. While taking intentional time to foster patience, acceptance, and the ability to reconnect with our values, things will more genuinely fall into place.
We like to use this metaphor inspired by a wise athlete:
Trying to rush the process is like attempting to jam puzzle pieces together where they don’t fit; trying to reshape each piece to make a shortcut for ourselves. It just doesn’t work, and in the process, we break the pieces. It’s when we truly take the time and really think about where the pieces go, the whole puzzle comes together!
Therefore, waiting is actually the faster track than cycling through the comfort of quick-fixes. Waiting is a teacher. Waiting is growth. Waiting is strength. Waiting illuminates the path in the dark.
Waiting gives us the opportunity to:
- structure a stronger foundation to for us to build upon
- sit and get to know the discomfort
- allow for uncertainty
- practice flexibility!
- release attachment to narrow outcomes
- focus on the present
…and foster overall well-being while balancing the unknowns.
Waiting is NOT easy!
As professionals we get the honor of holding the vision of the starry night when our patients feel stuck waiting in the dark.
Be the light.