I want to be a writer and I believe today is a great day to start. Hello! My name is Mikaela. I am pursuing my MA in Sport and Exercise Psychology at Minnesota State University, Mankato. I am a passionate individual who believes in the little things making the biggest impacts. As a mental health advocate, female coach/athlete, and scholar I want to write to relate to others, provoke fierce conversations, and challenge ideas. This blog is intended to give insight into my personal observations and my educational journey into the world of sport psychology.
With my continuing education, I find myself continually growing, learning, and experiencing what this world has to offer. As much as I would like this “experiencing the world” to be related to traveling the globe, that is not the case (yet). Nonetheless, my experiences with the personalities this world has to offer have been nothing short of astonishing. I find the way personalities interact, both beautiful and perplexing. As humans, we all appear physically similar but the way we engage, relate, and love one another can be vastly different. With every new encounter, we have the opportunity to learn more about relationships and what makes us human. With these opportunities, I think we often forget the value of an authentic encounter.
I am not an expert by any standard when it comes to forming new relationships, but I have noticed a few keys to a successful encounter.
Recently, I started training for a marathon. Yes, a full marathon, twenty-six point two miles of “Are you crazy?!” But today on my run I realized something. I had been running on a bike path and passed/been passed by a fair number of bikers. I saw the same couple families twice and initially thought things like, “Wow, they must think I am slow” or “I hope I look much better than I feel!” (as sweat and salt built up on my face and dripped into my eyes). It was in that moment I realized how much running can teach us about the relationships and how we approach new people and situations. My take away, everyone is taking their life at their own pace. As outsiders (or a family of bikers), we have no idea what part of the race they are in. They might be on a long run or just starting. A slower pace does not make us less of achievers or go-getters.
I am making this connection not as something I believe will be novel, but just as a simple reminder of the way we should make impressions. We have no idea where someone is at in their race or how hard they have trained to get to where they are. People we meet might be running their PR or they might be beginners looking for a healthy escape. As companions on this journey or life, I think taking a step back and appreciating the effort and the attitude put forth is more important than the placing. Our words and energy can build and individual up or tear them down.
My take-aways from this experience:
- Always approach a new relationship with an open mind.
We do not know where others have been, how far they have gone, or where they are going. I think it is important to treat everyone like they could be your next life-changing relationship. You encounter hundreds (maybe thousands of people) in a day. What beautiful stories could you be missing out on with a closed mind?
- Bring YOUR energy to each new encounter.
The key to a successful relationship often narrows down to being yourself. We are all beautifully made in our own way. Do not hide your uniqueness. Your different aura might be just what someone needed that day. Why be anyone other than your beautiful self? Side note: My motto, if you show them weird right from the start and they stick around you know its real.
- Be respectful.
This is a gold standard, but I like to think of respect is the most important quality of any human interaction. You can have differences ranging across the spectrum, but where there is respect, there is understanding. I think we can all agree, being accepted is one-thing, but being understood is something to be valued.
Again, I am aware these concepts are not new. Maybe, on one of my runs I will find a cure for cancer and you will all be the first to know (this is my encouragement for you to continue following my posts). With this blog, I hope to expand my views (and vocabulary), learn more about myself, and maybe provide a little positive insight you might not have encountered in your day.
Thanks for reading!
“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” — Martin Luther King Jr