Editor's Note: Sometimes we forget that professional athletes have feelings too. When they perform poorly on the field, reporters gash them. Every move an athlete makes, on the field and off, is up for criticism. Norris explains what it's like for an athlete to put on a function and the feelings after the criticism.
What Happens When You Stop Being Strong?
November has been one of the most challenging months for me this year. It seemed as if every card in my deck was against me.
First, the month started off with me feeling a tad bit of knee pain, which should be common after the surgery I got, but I’ve been finding it very hard to stay positive and continue to believe that I can still make an Olympic Team. Now, I am very confident in what I do for a living, but sometimes I just need a reality check.
Second, I host an annual Parent Appreciation Day for Childhaven each November, something that I’ve done for three years now to be specific. This year by far was the most frustrating; it was very tough to communicate with the people that had been helping me with the event in years prior. Also, I had never been so let down and disappointed in peoples’ behavior at an event where everything is free for them, while it cost me over $300 dollars to put on the event. During the luncheon I was hearing people complaining about not getting enough food, that the gifts weren’t good enough, or why couldn’t they have more of this and more of that. It was very tough for me to look in the mirror the rest of that day because I felt that I had let those 80 people down. I tried to do something nice for people that are having a tough time in their lives, like we all do at times, and I felt that it completely backfired on me.
I’ve always been able to put on a happy face to keep the people around me strong and to keep you guys encouraged to reach for the stars and go after your goals, but sometimes I am so tired of having to be the strong one pushing everyone else. I often forget that I need someone to be that person for me.
As a professional athlete I’m taught to be tough, to be strong, and to always fight, but understand that with title “athlete”, I am still a person with feelings, emotions, and goals just like everyone else. I hope you guys don’t mind me being so honest; I really needed to get that off my chest.