Falling in love, again.
reconnecting with something that I used to love
My obsession with looking back at things becomes more significant as I age. I often catch myself analyzing the many phases and versions of myself I embraced up until now. This overthinking fascination got an extra push after my niece was born two years ago.
I had never experienced someone growing so close to me, as I am the youngest of three siblings, but now I have her. Besides babies being "raw" and ready to write their own story, since her birth, I could already spot a particularly strong personality born in such a small person, which made me wonder if people had that same feeling with me.
Who was I as a baby? — besides crying.
Did I change too much?
How happy was I in the past?
All these questions stuck with me every time I looked at my niece. And as my time in Brazil is mostly at my parent's place, reconnecting with younger versions of me is more manageable once I return to my old room.
I found and read all my diaries from pre-teen to my teenage years, discovered that I used to watch one film a day during my summer holidays, learned the exact dates I watched for the first time Cruel Intentions, 10 things I hate about you, How to lose a guy in 10 days and much more. And realized I was happy enough, making today's Marina very proud.
One thing that caught my attention was the fewer comments about boys than I expected and the more focus on myself, my crazy/funny goals, and the million activities I did. Points to young Marina! As I returned to Sweden, my journey to the past continued in my head, trying to connect the dots of the past with my present and walking to the gym one day, I had a breakthrough.
The one thing that made me survive my emotional avalanche in the last two years was; sports. My dad's passion for every kind of sport pushed everyone in my house to be very active and passionate since we were super young. I believe one of his dreams was that one of us would become a professional athlete, although we all took very different paths. But at what point in life did I lose my passion for sports?
I used to be the girl who practiced every day in my teen years and was the most excited about the school championship. My friends and I were good, especially in volleyball. The feeling of competition and rivalry against the older teams was our most significant fuel to want to win even more. We always entered to win, not just to play. The competitive feeling is still present in many forms in my life, yet, more mature. I love to win, but I learned to lose.
Sport is practice, practice is about commitment, and my commitment to sports was gone once I moved out to go to university. I started to think I was way too cool to play anything. And in my spare time from studies, I wouldn't waste on practicing once I could explore this new city and life.
The most considerable hiatus lasted ten years, from eighteen to twenty-eight. During this time, I even missed the Olympics in Brazil (and I LOVE the Olympics!). Also, I have never been so sedentary in my life. My life was study, work, and party. However, sometimes you need to go away to rediscover your love for something.
At 28, I started practicing muay thai with a PT, it was wildly trending at the time in Brazil. My focus was on losing weight rather than on sports—I failed. My teacher was lazy and often canceled our lessons as it was at 7 am. He was not a great example of commitment either. Although, it was enough for me to remember the sensation of exercising, feeling tired, the pain afterward, and the foolish decision to want to feel it all over again.
This step forward in reconnecting with an old passion made the following years full of ups and downs, trying new exercise types but still no commitment to anything because my goal towards it was wrong. My passion for sports was always about competitiveness, feeling strong, and the evolution of practicing—the opposite of body aesthetics.
The breakthrough came on my walk to the gym because I did not want to go that day, but I did. And why did I go? Why do I keep showing more and more to my gym classes, playing tennis, learning badminton and beach tennis, or playing beach volleyball as much as I have been these past two years? It's because I stopped reconciling sport with body image and restored my connection to the core of it.
My gym classes are my community. The rewarding feeling of my body evolution after going to the gym four to five times a week for two straight years. My competition is with myself. I feel stronger than ever. To keep going is my commitment. And commitment requires practice.
It was a strange but pleasant long trip to my past. One of my first passions in life was sports and I am happy to be falling in love all over again, one day at a time.
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To write about your history, your childhood, your background, your agonies, your excitations, to write about all of them, makes you human, and also helps you to understand more about yourself.