Thursday, July 8, 2010

A Triumph In Life

         30 seconds of paralysis is all it took. After sliding into third base during my senior year of varsity high school baseball, I lay on the field motionless, face down, and scared. Incapable of moving, my mind was flooded with thoughts of permanent paralysis and a lifetime without sports, or even being able to walk. Soon after, however, I slowly regained mobility in my fingers and toes, still waiting for an ambulance to come take me off the field in case of a spinal injury. I was subsequently diagnosed with a cervical sprain and a broken nose, as a result, unwittingly introduced to the field of Sport Psychology.

        Pitching senior year varsity baseball after the injury         

         Rehabilitation was arduous both physically and psychologically. During this time, I became intimately familiar with the physical and psychological rigors of healing and the anticipatory anxiety of resuming an activity of which I had so much passion and love for. Triumphant over the complications associated with my own injury, I developed a general interest in how other athletes and individuals rebound from such tribulations and stressful life events. Specifically, however, the debilitating effect anxiety can have on an individuals existence.

         As an outgrowth of passion for sports and psychology, I attended the University of Rhode Island the following fall and majored in Kinesiology and Psychology. While my body may have physically healed sufficiently to begin Division I athletics, I required additional treatment. At that time, I began seeing a therapist to help me develop the necessary skill set and knowledge base to manage my anxiety  more effectively. The result of this integrative treatment plan propelled me into a successful academic career at the University of Rhode Island, while a compilation of injuries mired my athletic endeavors.

         In May 2010 I graduated from Boston University's Master's program in Sport Psychology and Counseling, providing not only myself the integral mental skills needed for life, but the ability to pass them on to you.

My two sisters, Whitney (left) and Lindsay (right), smiling and happy at my graduation

         While other individuals stories may not follow the same suit as mine did, there are incredible amounts of similarity. Amongst these include, how the manifestation of anxiety, worry, stress, and doubt can incredibly effect every aspect of an individual's life, how to effectively manage complicated and transitional stages in your life (entering adulthood, new career, lost job, new relationship), being involuntarily sidelined from the things you love to do most, and above all, how the feeling of triumph and accomplishment can facilitate such a highly rewarding life.

         This post is to inform all of you that no matter the circumstance, adversity, or stress of a situation (or simply life), there is ALWAYS something to learn and be triumphant over. Life is not black and white, but always shades of gray, and those transitional moments that seem impossible are where you reap the most benefits in life.

         If you sometimes have trouble seeing where you can benefit in a situation that may seem insurmountable, I can be your eyes. Transition and adaptation is what life is all about, while developing the appropriate amount of confidence, focus, and intrinsic motivation, will assist you in such amazing ways that will allow you to succeed in ANY part of life.


Lindsay Wolf said...

I really love this Jon - well written and honest!

Unknown said...

Encouraging words and well written post :)

Myra Wolf said...

Not only do I remember the pitching photo and all the years of sports you were apart of: soccer, karate, gymnastics, ice hockey, baseball and napping :). You were a top athlete and shined in all of your sports.
I also remember the ER, right after your injury and your determination to continue baseball.

I am so very proud of you and have been your whole life. I love your blog and what a super writer you are and "life coach" that you have been to many people long before you ever thought of college and what life path you would take. People are so blessed to have you in their lives.

forever and ever, xo

Unknown said...

It's awesome how you found your calling. You have a great attitude. So glad you started your blog.