Calling foul on "Blue Monday" BS

I get exercised by ropey journalism. OK, so I'm a blogger which means that I'm not even the underclass of a genuine profession but with the greatest respect to the trade, there are some tossers out there giving you boys and girls a bad name!


Anyhoo, the point? Oh yes, "Blue Monday", another tagline grabbing nonsense backed by questionable statistical information for the veneer of authority. this is the sort of stuff which give legitimacy to those who do not need it. It grants an excuse for them to open their fat mouth and whine about things which are within their range to control, with ease. 


I'm not bashing depression for one minute. Far from it. I have had cause to come into contact with it in personal and professional capacities and it is far from funny. Granted, it takes some getting your head around when you're on the outside but it is there true enough. It is insidious, it is debilitating and it needs watching and addressing but not by wallowing. That helps nobody. Describing the circumstance of the "blues" as depressing belittles the travails of those with mental health issues and makes it yet harder for them to be taken seriously. The best I can say for those who have not seen it is that is like the difference between a cold and the flu. Many people have the first and label it as the latter but you bloody know it when you see the real deal.


More than that though, this sort of stuff is the silent hiss that drips poisonous words like honey into the unsuspecting mind. Backed with dubiously manipulated and presented statistics it adds to that background static of doubt which excuses our anchor to the ordinary. Which demands our loyalty to the status quo and we sit still as we quietly trade our drive, ambition and inquisitiveness for the easy life.


Against which background I come to training. And I have to say that it is always a treat to be surprised by your athletes, your students, your team (whatever you may call them). That's the key. Sometimes it is about holding them back, restraining and focussing on basics. Sometimes it is about tearing your hair out as you wrestle with motivation to spur them on to realise their potential. But then it is about giving them the circumstances, the freedom, the chance to surprise you. When you announce one more round, when you see the hearts sink a little, your mind skips ahead and is already seeing how this will play out. So much so that you miss the subtle tightening of the jaw, the controlled inhale.


The focus is a thing of beauty. When you see your lads or lasses shut out everything else but their teammate, their role, their job at hand, little prepares you for it. The lectures, the seminars, the webinars, the research papers, the guidance on prepping a session; none of these things prepare you for that moment. Though you have seen it before, and you hope to see it again, it is beautiful. It is the lone voice in Pandora's box calling foul on all the others which say "you can't"... even your own.


I guess it should not really be a surprise. After all, those who are likely to pull that out of the bag are those that put themselves in harm's way, who do the hard yards and get themselves to training. And that's the signs of class in your performer. The ones who do the dull stuff because it gets them a step closer to where they want to be. Not to wear it on their sleeve like some sort of high school letter but because they know the difference it makes to their own performance.


So thank you lads. The job is far from done but I hope you're feeling a bit proud of yourselves. Remember that feeling, hold it close, and use it. Don't sit back now, it would be easy to rest a bit now but you're not selling yourself short like that. Are you?

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