#107 Sport – ‘Pointless Anxiety’

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When I was younger my mum would put me in every club, team and sport going. If you ever needed me, you could find me at the local community centre doing karate, tae kwon do, cubs, scouts, then there was the cricket, the ice skating, the football teams and the rugby teams. I also dabbled in a little boxing, which for a geeky skinny kid with glasses was just not the sport.

I never stuck at any of the sports for more than a few months but one can only imagine what kind of man I would have been if I did. A figure skating, karate, championship tae kwon do boxer who loved camping, helping old men cross the road, and could tie a good knot, one would assume.

I’d always have the same problem when competing though; anxiety. The anticipation and the suspense was enormous. The Golden Gate bridge has rule over me, I couldn’t handle it. The pressure. I would genuinely be crippled by it, and at that time, I didn’t know what it was so I’d make all manner of excuses not to take part. I’d always forget my kit, or turn up late. Anything to avoid playing or competing.

OK, so I wasn’t the model athlete. Turns out I’m not a great fan either, the anxiety surrounding sports is just too overwhelming, and I don’t say that lightly. It is a genuine affliction. I’ve stopped watching almost all sports, unless it is entirely neutral and I don’t have an opinion either way. Given my previously massive interest in sports, that pretty much only leaves me with destruction derby and curling*.

As far as negative effects of mental health go, not watching sport is pretty low down the list of ailments. It places somewhere between going slightly silent for brief moments during the day and wearing the same underwear two days running.

It was however, the reason for my late post tonight. I was crippled with anxiety for about 2 hours as Anthony Joshua beat Wladimir Klitschko in the game of boxing. I wasn’t actually watching the fight, obviously, but just knowing it was on resigned me to some deep breathing, Clair De Lune*, and a lie on the couch.

I should also point out that the result doesn’t affect my mood or my mental health, it is the suspense or the anticipation or the something, that really gets me. Once I know the result, I will watch anything, although that does not include the U.S Presidential Election news coverage.

The solutions are not presenting themselves anymore, I’ve stopped playing sport and I have stopped watching sport, but anxiety still follows me around like Snowy the dog. The only option left is to bunker myself in like John Goodman in Cloverfield Lane, cut the internet and phone lines, and just hope for the best. Until I find some ants who look like they might be in a race… you can do it little buddy!

Mindfump.

*If you’re wondering Canada won the gold at this years world championships in Beijing.

*It is my calming song.

 

 

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30 Comments

  1. S. Hansen

    I played pretty much every sport going, but I always felt it was an inconvenience to my mother… she did not take me to any clubs and would be a bit miffed when I was late home from school because I had a sports match. Dinner apparently couldn’t wait.
    My own anxiety with sport now lies in my social anxiety. I haven’t joined a team in any sport since I left school because I don’t like meeting new people, this left me rather unfit and now I figure I’d be bloody useless and no team would want me, more anxiety.
    It’s a real shame you can’t watch sport. I don’t often but that Olympic gold ladies hockey match had me gripped.
    The good news is you’re probably never going to annoy the gf when football season starts.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Mindfump

      Haha I don’t think my mum was ever that bothered. They would just forget I was playing and turn up at the end or not at all. The gf is happy, I just need to get a Gossip Girl anxiety and I’ll be happy.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. thetruthaboutmentalhealth

    Did you get the opportunity to explore non-competitive exercise in school? I used to love outdoor education: trekking, walking, rock climbing, white water rafting, long distance running for charity events where winning is not the purpose etc.. It’s a shame schools are so focused on competition. True education would inspire all children to get in the zone and thrive in their uniqueness. Best wishes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mindfump

      I have, I rock climbed for about 8 years and I do miss it. I had to stop through injury. Then did the whole marathons and triathlon thing. They’re good but my biggest problem is avoiding anxiety even when I’m not watching or playing sport, it’s so strange that I still feel anxious about it.

      Like

  3. Small Island Thinker

    Having played nearly every sport I could at school (even trampolining if that’s considered a sport?) the only activity I partake in now is running. Socially I get anxious in big groups of people so running allows me to enjoy the solitude, forget about having to be a team player and it gets me out of the house.
    The only decision I have to make is whether to go left or right at a junction

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mindfump

      Running is definitely the sport for clarity of though, I just get injured too much and currently have two stress fractures in my shins. I really miss running and it’s simplicity. Although running hates me.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. riyasharmaviews

    This is literally the most relatable post I have ever read!! I can never watch or play sports because anxiety kills me. So instead whenever we have to play, I just act goofy and make everyone laugh with my hellish skills. I end up never being on the team and still everyone loves me. I wish I could control my anxiety so I could actually play.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mindfump

      Yes exactly! I make sure I’m stupid and goofy as well. Anything to avoid the harsh reality of crushing anxiety. Now I just avoid everything. Wouldn’t take long for an expert to see I exert signs of avoidance behaviour would it? Haha

      Liked by 1 person

  5. TradeRoutz livingStyle

    There’s a saying ‘there’s nothing to fear but fear itself ‘. I’m guessing you know this saying. However, have you ever really thought about what this means? Take a moment or two, and stop the chatter in your mind, by ignoring it, and focus on this Truth.

    In your quietness, drink this Truth in, understand it, flavour it, savour it, and most of all, BELIEVE it with your entire Being. Your anxiety will lessen once you’ve fully digested and understood what this means.
    It’ll set you FREE! Xx

    Oh yeah, stay away from TV. Watch interesting documentaries instead. 🌈

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mindfump

      You are right, it should lessen, but I think that is why it is a disorder, because logic and truth don’t seem to matter. I am trying a lot though, as I haven’t owned a TV for 4 years, and I avoid any anxiety inducing nonsense activities. Heres hoping for a bit of sporting anxiety freedom haha.

      Like

        1. Mindfump

          Ohh no, haha I think I have to disagree. The heart is the least reliable of them all. Emotion is beyond illogical, and often wrong. At this point I think all I have left is to live through my left kidney or something.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. TradeRoutz livingStyle

            No,no,no….I suffered from anxiety for years. I’m not only Bipolar, but Borderline too. I know these illnesses well. The only thing that has saved me, is dropping my mind, because the mind tells you that you are anxious, the mind tells you that ‘you can’t ‘ the minds bullshit never stops, so when you learn to ignore it, the angst of the illness lessens. Give it a try. You might be surprised happily! 😊

            Liked by 1 person

  6. Rebecca

    “The only option left is to bunker myself in like John Goodman in Cloverfield Lane, cut the internet and phone lines, and just hope for the best. Until I find some ants who look like they might be in a race… you can do it little buddy!”….. I tried that, it doesn’t work. I am currently living in a small log cabin in the wilderness surrounded by snow…. and the anxiety is still there. See, now it’s the ‘not knowing what the hell is going on in this world I can do nothing to stop it cos I am stuck in an effing log cabin surrounded by snow’ kind of anxiety. Surrounded by ants in the summer that do indeed seem to be in a constant race….

    At least in society you can pretend you can have some kind of influence, no? You can actually do some good, when you are confronted by it. Small good deeds here and there…. still witness the overall goodness of this crazy society. And hear everyone else hate on trump just as much as you do….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mindfump

      Damn well that cuts off that option for me, I was about to move to a cabin in the woods. It is true through being able to have influence is important but in this context I just need to avoid sport haha and some how unrememeber it.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Bless

    I resonate with this in kind of the opposite way, sport was my life and the only reason I haven’t returned to it is the harming I attached to the end. It’s weird I watched the fight yesterday but my anxiety came from social media. I had to throw my phone to the other side of my bed and just watch in order to enjoy it. The minute it was done I disappeared off the world of online people and haven’t returned.

    My football and tennis anxiety behave very different. Tennis I get anxious because you’re actually meant to be quiet and I’m pretty much screaming and pulling faces at my TV screen as if I’m there. Football and athletics just upsets me because I’m forced have flashbacks of times I was at my happiest and my sense of self was sturdy so I’ve had to stop watching the one thing I love because I’ve ruined it for myself
    Sigh

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mindfump

      I think for me with boxing specifically it is the fact the end can come at any moment. In tennis, especially at the majors it can be a relatively slow death but a fairly obvious result when it comes. The tension is too much to bare in boxing. Funnily enough in contrast to you I was on social media instead of watching. I was almost able to handle social media.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. itpainsmeblog

    Gym class was my worst nightmare growing up. I dropped it as soon as possible. I like exercise, just not sports. In fact, I prefer solitary fitness. My mom put me in jazz, ballet, day camp, none of which are sports but all were extremely stressful and magnified my social anxiety tenfold. I was so afraid in ballet that I peed myself rather than ask the teacher if I could go to the bathroom (I was 6!) At day camp, some older girls stole my shoe and threw it in the swamp and I spend the entire day with one shoe. Oh, good times! I just wanted to go to the library and read, man!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mindfump

      Gosh I can’t imagine. Those kind of things sound brutally bltchy. Not to mention the physical exertion. So can people find you in the library these days or do you do ballet occasionally as a reminder of how bad things can be?

      Like

  9. sweethandlettering

    Hey! I struggle with anxiety too so I know exactly what you mean (well..maybe. because everyone is different and percieves different things/feelings). I just want you to know that it is okay to feel this way and that you’re a strong person. Just don’t stop putting yourself out there because isolating yourself can make the anxiety and fears worse, just no matter how scary it might seem..

    Liked by 1 person

  10. sinnamontongueblog

    Yeah I’m like this too, I used to play soccer as a kid and I was usually stuck as defense because I wasn’t competitive enough for outfield. My mom would always tell me to run after the ball, but couch just told me to stay put, I got so anxious over it that I always did nothing. I got hurt every game (nothing too bad), and the only time I really had fun was snack. I tried other sports, but I just got too anxious over the competition, so took dance classes instead.

    Now I have to suffer in Gym Class, I keep reminding myself, “Sports don’t matter in Collage, just pass the class.”

    Like

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