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If You Don’t Believe In Yourself, No One Else Will…

The Match That Changed My Life

When I was 11 years old, people said I would never be able to win a Junior National Tennis Championship in Canada, I won 2. At the age of 17 I was told I was too small to get a tennis scholarship to a Division 1 University, I was offered 6, and last year at the age of 32 I was told I was too old and slow to ever get my ATP point that would make me a professional tennis player, In the fall of 2012 I got my ATP point. Why was there such a gap between going to university and finally reaching my life long dream of becoming a Pro Tennis player you may be asking? The answer to that question would be the toughest battle i’ve encountered to date in my life, and that was the battle with mental health. For 6 years I was diagnosed with having Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Panic Disorder, two mental health problems that can sideline you from not only your sport, but all aspects of life including the most important, your family. My fears related to health and society kept me from living a fulfilling life, and in fact would lead me to the emergency room over and over again. It consumes you, it overrides your dreams and goals and it feeds off of the mental and physical stimulation that my feared thoughts and anxious reactions would give it, Simply put, it likes to have you all for itself and demands your attention fully and consistently, but deep down I stopped looking for external help to cope such as pills and miracle tecnniques, and got to the root of the problem of how I was feeding the adrenaline that was running through my body, how I was feeding the fear and what was keeping this debilitating anxiety and my panic attacks alive, so I came up with a self made strategy to change the meaning of the things I feared, did it take some time? Sort of, was it easy? Not really, but just as a forehand needs fine tuning to become a weapon, so did the reconditioning process of my conscious and subconscious mind, but in the end it was definately game set and match for me! 

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