Dear Self Doubt,
We have been together for a LONG time. I am sorry I do not remember when exactly you came into my life, but in some of my earliest memories, you were ever present. Like that time when I was 5, and my brother said I could make it across the monkey-bars. I started with confidence and then in the middle, I looked down and then looked at the end. I KNEW I couldn't make it. I just KNEW that I was going to fall and hurt myself. Sure enough, I did.
And that time when I was 7 and I was racing the neighborhood boy on my bike down a very steep hill. I was in the lead, I was going soooo fast. I turned and looked back. He was approaching me fast, I turned back and thought, "Oh, no, he is going to win!" Down I went. Pretty hard too. Hard enough that my father refused to let me visit my mother in the hospital because my facial wounds looked way wicked.
With each incident you grew stronger and stronger. You became a regular thought in middle school.... those cruel years. Yeah, I developed faster than most of the other girls and those boys helped you make me feel inferior. Bra snaps, evil eyes (from the girls), and mean comments as I walked by. I think this is exactly when you took up permanent residence.
I entered high school somewhat defeated but as I joined the Cross Country, Basketball and Track teams, you tended to disappear. I was successful, you were almost invisible... and only crept in once in a blue moon. Mostly those moments right before a meet or a game. You didn't stay too long, but long enough to let me know you were around. You remained here pretty much through college.
Motherhood gave you a second wind though. You grew and grew and soon, it was all I could think about. Was I doing this right? Were my children going to starve to death or go to college in their diapers. I am proud that they are independent, bright, and successful. You try to take a hold of them too, but I know your M.0., I circumvent your strategies... so far so good.
But why do you think you need to remain here? I have been successful. I HAVE trained for this Oly. I plan to go in confident and NOT be pushed down by your negativity. I refuse to continue to allow you to be in control. I have confidence now... maybe too much, just shy of arrogance.
And don't let the door hit you on the way out,