Over the Christmas break, I went swimming. I had a crazy experience with jumping into the pool.
I stood on the deck and was just about ready to plunge in when a voice in the back of my head suddenly told me to freeze. I wouldn't jump in feet first.
My heart started to pound and I became really anxious and frustrated. It was almost an instant negative reaction and it made me really upset. I wondered if this was a sign of things to come.
If I am not able to jump into a pool of water feet first then how in the world am I going to be able to do a double twisting double layout off of the highbar and absorb the landing? How am I going to be able to do a whip back, punch into a 2 and a half twist and then punch again into another bounding element? How am I going to run down the vault runway at full speed and slam into the beat board and flip over the table?
I started to have nightmares. I dreamt about doing a dismount off of rings and then thinking of the landing and bailing out halfway through and landing on my head.
Apparently I have some issues that I need to deal with. I know that the only way that I can overcome these negative thoughts is to start landing again, but I am unfortunately not there yet.
Yesterday in the gym I did small jumps off of a box and landed on the floor. My right knee and leg are feeling pretty strong, but my left side is still weak and I don't trust it. I hate having these feelings at a time like this because I can't just go into the gym and prove to myself that it's all in my head. Because it's not. It's more than just a mental block...it's physical too and it is still going to take time and much work to overcome. Who would have thought that 8 months before the Olympic Games I would be having a hard time doing things you learn in kindergym?
I guess what I have to do is just continue to strengthen and to keep on jumping from small heights. The confidence will come, I know it will, but how fast is the question. I hope faster than I feel it will because I would really like to see a breakthrough soon.
ps- On the bright side, after having an internal argument with myself that I am sure was most embarrassing from the outside, I jumped into that water. I did overcome my fear, but man, did it ever take some convincing.