Leave it to the one thing you are able to say you leave to bring out the childhood habits you’re not proud of.
There aren’t many things I get upset about to the point that I show anger. I could get fired from my job tomorrow and not so much as to raise my voice. On the other hand, when it comes to some nothing-up-for-grabs practice race I immediately felt like rage quitting after my first loss. I know this is a shallow excuse to get so upset. The reason I know this is because I’ve had to deal with this all my life.
I grew up competitive as a child. None of it was induced by either parent. All of it was brought on in my head. Nobody motivating me to be the best at whatever I was doing but myself. I rage quit a lot. Never did things fester up to temper tantrums. Just a series of emotions in sequential order that I can recite from memory:
- Backing off/ losing focus
Some time after the sadness phase I tend to screw my head back on straight and try to come to terms with myself. This takes the longest amount of time.
Cycling in some strange way has taught me to keep this qualities under control. I guess I haven’t been as competitive as I am capable of (in fear of responding this way.) Now the all-too-familiar feeling returns. Like the former junkie who gets their fix after umpteen years of being clean and sober. A feeling that no matter how pleasurable, an inevitable cloud of guilt follows.
If you know someone who is currently dealing with emotions like this, the best advice I can give is to give that person space. Much like a person suffering from a seizure, no matter how much you want to help that person, a bystander the best thing for the both of you is to keep your distance and let things pass. The last thing we (the sore loser) wants to do is to talk things out. We are in a dark place and need to dig ourselves out of it with no exceptions. No significant other can damped the self loathing until that person is ready. Unless there is an obvious sign (like the person starting the “I want to talk about it” conversation) please keep your distance.
I have learned (just recently) that like all pains, they must be embraced in a mindful way in order for them to pass when the time is right. There is a large part of me that sees the negativities that come with strong attachments and sees the most logical response is to not get that attached in the first place. That being said, the little part that is left still wishes to take that chance. Defeat is harder to deal with when the person does not have the mental or physical tools to be their best. For me, the track racing learning curve is kicking my butt. I can’t seem to find the same level of comfort as I do on the road bike. I’ll try and tinker with a few things to try and get that same feel.