In light of what we are all experiencing today one of my favorite stories from the wise sage Wayne Dyer comes to mind. It’s about an orange.
One time when giving a talk, Wayne Dyer brought an orange with him to the stage and opened a conversation with a young boy who was sitting in the front row.
“If I were to squeeze this orange as hard as I could, what would come out?” Dyer asked.
The boy looked at him like he was crazy and said, “Juice, of course.”
“Do you think apple juice could come out of it?”
‘No!” the boy laughed.
“What about grapefruit juice?”
“What would come out of it?”
“Orange juice, of course.”
“Why? Why, when you squeeze an orange, does orange juice come out?”
“Well, it’s an orange, and that’s what’s inside.”
Dyer nodded and addressed the audience. “Let’s assume that this orange is you. And someone (or some situation) squeezes you, puts pressure on you, says something you don’t like, or offends you. And out of you comes anger, hatred, bitterness, fear. Why?
The answer, as our young friend has told us, is because that’s what’s inside.”
“It’s one of the great lessons of life,” Dyer said. “It doesn’t matter who does the squeezing–your mother, your brother, your children, your boss, the government. If someone says something about you that you don’t like, what comes out of you is what’s inside. And what’s inside is up to you. It’s your choice.”
I think Wayne Dyers story to illustrates what we are observing today as to how we and others are reacting to the ever-changing COVID-19 impacts on our daily lives. Make no mistake, I am deeply concerned, worried, and dealing with the anxiety of unknown BUT I am also not going to let this is situation “squeeze” the worst out of me. We have an opportunity here, when life squeezes us in a way we didn’t expect what do you want to come out? We have a choice here.
Athletes, I know this is tough. I know it sucks and it feels like something was taken from you. However, there is an opportunity to grow stronger, wiser and ADAPT! How we treat this time and what we learn during this time can, and will, be an advantage to when you get back to competing. Your mind is either your weapon or your weakness. As long as we are alive there is always an opportunity to choose.