Written by Amanda Magadan
With the Fall 2020 season quickly approaching, it feels as if we’ve flown through a time machine. A new normal where public gatherings are limited, face masks are the norm, and personal space standing in line is a common courtesy. Although seven months have passed since the start of the global pandemic, it’s as if we’ve come so far, yet gone nowhere at all. Probably because that’s been the case. Restaurants were closed, sports were cancelled, travel was restricted, mandatory quarantine was implemented, and more. Time, for various reasons, became common for most. It did for me, and this time I used to think, reflect, process, and challenge myself. Time to write a new story.
Prior to the global pandemic, a lot had unfolded. We didn’t qualify for the 2020 Olympics back in November 2019, had a huge team and staff transition, were in the process of relocating facilities, and faced the tragedy of our beloved assistant coach turned team manager passing away. With so many emotions to unpack and the 2020 Pro League season underway, naturally you did your best to shove your emotions to the side and move on. That is until COVID-19 shut down the world. With lots of time to think, quarantine became a time period of self-reflection. A time to rehash the past, anticipate the future, and heal in the present. I was fortunate to be quarantined at the beach and spent most of my time on the first floor porch looking over the bay thinking about the past and practicing my mindfulness most mornings. The extra time I finally had become an opportunity for me to make my individual growth and healing a priority.
Quarantine wasn’t all “soul searching” so to speak. It was also valuable time spent with family— morning runs, night time bike rides, game nights, and Netflix shows. It was a time I launched a business with my teammates turned best friends Ashley Hoffman and Lauren Moyer called Become Uncommon Co. It was a time I was able to give back to the Lafayette College Field Hockey Team by joining them as a guest speaker. It was a time I sold my house in Lancaster, Pa. It was a time I learned how to cut hair, make new recipes, and enjoy new things. But most of all, it was a time when I closed a chapter and started a new one.
New beginnings don’t always mean we know what’s to come. In fact, we’re all venturing into a new beginning together. A re-entry into everyday life. As the Fall approaches, we’re still burdened by the uncertain of tomorrow. The unknown might bring individually angry, frustration, sadness, and/or anxiety. But as we approach the Fall and head into a hopeful Fall season, we can practice these 5 tips to help us no matter what gets thrown our way.
1. Give Yourself Grace: Practice kindness with yourself. You’re going to make mistakes. You’re going to get upset, angry, anxious, and/or frustrated. Give yourself kindness and empathy in those moments.
2. Be Smart & Safe: Be smart. Wear your mask and follow protocols the best you can.
3. Be Flexible: As athletes, this one isn’t new to you. You’re always adapting on the field to different circumstances and this is no different. Things will be different than previous seasons— we know that and that’s okay. You’ve been flexible in the past and you’ll do it again. Not only will your flexible attitude be greatly appreciated by those around you, but it will set you up to have a more pleasant experience and tackle any obstacles you may face. It will help you be resilient.
4. Be Present: Take everything day-by-day. I’m a huge proponent of mindfulness and if there is one thing almost everyone can learn from the global pandemic, its take it day-by-day, moment-by-moment. Reliving the past or anticipating the future is wasting away the present. Be in the here and now. You’re at practice with your teammates, enjoy it.
5. Practice Gratitude: In the beginning of the year, at some point, you probably felt like you were too tired to go to practice or you didn’t want to do that one drill or play in that position on the field. Practice gratitude for what you are allowed to do. You’re allowed to practice in small groups? Great, be thankful and enjoy the moment. Don’t be wishing you were playing full field games. Don’t wish you were anywhere else. Remain in the moment and be thankful for it. Practice thankfulness and you’ll be happy and more present.