Reflecting allows us the opportunity to remember the good, have gratitude for the present, and project our dreams into the future.
This past weekend, I went back to my alma mater, Rhode Island College (RIC) to celebrate sports and fierce athletes. I sat among incredible athletes to honor RIC’s 40th Anniversary in Women’s Athletics and to be inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame. Reflecting on the journey was written in the air, on the hearts, and in the speeches of the night.
I graduated from RIC in 2001, a time in my life when I was fiercely shy in every day life, but a fierce competitor on the track. Fear, anxiety, and excitement were some of the feelings I felt leading up to RIC’s event. To return to a place where the faculty, staff, and my fellow athletes knew me as person who hadn’t really grown up yet was overwhelming. Nonetheless, I felt a great sense of accomplishment to receive such an award. The room was filled with such stellar athletes and athletic faculty, that it made for quite a humbling night. Reflecting on my journey thus far allowed me the ability to accept this incredible honor.
The week prior to my induction, I was preparing letters to the seniors whom I coach at PWS. I reflected on our journey as athlete and coach as they prepared for their Senior Solo Sit. This reflection opened up the energy to reflect on my journey. This colorful, open energy gave me the ability to write my speech for the event. I couldn’t get there before, but being open got me there.
Reflecting is an experience. It’s its own journey. We all face times that we’d rather not go back to and times that we wish we could live again. There are impactful moments in both and are all worth the reflection.
Go back there! Go back to those times.
I relived awkward moments, brave moments, painful moments, and joyous moments. College is a time that I often don’t put on my personal highlights reel. However, after reflecting it’s now at the top of favorites list. Great professors, awesome races and times with teammates, and moments where I really had to push through my comfort zones were all a part of my college experience. No one should ever push away or hide from the moments where maybe your light was dim or dark, but instead let those moments propel you.
For years, I used a moment in our Athletic Directors office as a means to grow. For one moment, back 15 years ago, I used it to to hurt my self-esteem. I had been shy and anxious. I wished that I had been confident and cheerful. For one moment I let myself soak in my own disappointment. Then, I decided to use the moment to learn and grow.
Visit the past as a person who’s becoming rather than as who you were or who you feel like you should be.
Visiting my past was one of the best gifts that I could receive or give myself. Reconnecting with old teammates, students, and athletic staff were full of moments that filled my soul. I wanted to sit and talk to everyone. I wanted to offer support to some and cheer to others. My alma mater is full of beautiful people doing extraordinary work in the world and for each other.
Reflecting on the journey is the only way that I can understand personal growth. We reflect to learn about ourselves, understand patterns and behaviors, and to carve our path ahead. Don’t be afraid to go there. Go there. Live it. Learn from it. Grow to be more. My dreams are fuller and clearer through this journey of reflection. Where will your reflection take you?