Pressure and the Facade

AVP, Beach Volleyball, Rileys Thoughts, Volleyball -

Pressure and the Facade

It’s been a good amount of time since my last post. Over a month now (I just checked). It’s not that I just checked out or lost interest, but I realized I’ve developed this tendency, subconsciously or not, to push myself to outdo my last piece of work.  

When the AVP announced the 2020 schedule two months back, the pressure to get back in playing shape coupled with the ever-compounding pressure I irrationally add each week in producing another YouTube video finally cracked me. It was the first time in three years where I felt that the once-abundant well of ideas was broken; not dried up but rather the mechanism was torched and I could no longer access any sort of creativity whatsoever. At the time it made sense to just shut it all down and focus solely on volleyball.

Last night I hopped in bed early tired from a double-day of practice and lifting, excited to dive back into my book and out of the real world when my girlfriend asked me, “Do you think you might be depressed, maybe, like a little?” It was the first time I had been asked that delicate question. And I know that in the past I would have most certainly responded with a quick and curt, NO, without any sort of self-evaluating. Because I’m a happy guy. Period… Shit. Something is wrong. She knew something was off. I knew it it too, “Ya…I think so…” The creative process, spanning from the brainstorm seshes with Maddison to the long hours in the editing bay, all of it, is what I truly love to do and has now become part of what defines me. And I stripped that from myself. With the intention of alleviating some pressure and freeing up some energy to focus on the already abbreviated season, it had almost the complete opposite effect.

I felt drained, lacking purpose, my favorite part of the day was getting horizontal in my bed and opening my book. Creating brings me life and excitement; there is an energy-breeding thrill in solving the ever-changing puzzle of video production. I think the purpose of sharing this was to attempt to tear down some of the facade I sometimes find myself hiding behind, and share how unlocking it can be to be truly vulnerable…even if it’s your first time doing so.