If someone told me I’d be turning down brunch with my girls every Sunday for 4 years, I would’ve said, “no. freaking. way.”
Yes, this actually happened.
Before you say “what the heck, Erica,” hear me out: I love writing. And I will evade partying like a rockstar on the weekends to swirl around in my prose, click publish, and inspire others.
Blogging, to that end, has been a genuine pursuit of passion for me. And oddly enough, a simple passion turned into a series of incredible new adventures.
Getting to such a high level of performance, whether this is in sport, academic, career or creative pursuits, takes some degree of sacrifice and a tremendous amount of tenacity. There’s no shortcut, quick fix, or magic pill to get to the next level. And that’s the honest truth.
For one, you have to be willing to say “no” to friends on the weekends, and be totally okay with being a part-time recluse who hides under a blanket.
You have to be okay with saying, “sorry, I have soccer” to your girlfriends who want to go to the mall and browse Forever 21 on a Saturday.
You have to be okay with turning down happy hour with friends to pursue your phD research.
You have to be okay with waking up at 6am to get in a workout before you are slammed at your 9-to-5 job.
Admittedly, if it weren’t for a plethora of sacrifices, I wouldn’t have been able to lock myself in my room and bang out 2,000-word articles in an average time of 30 minutes. For 4 years.
More paramount, however, my ability to lean into the process and stay humble has kept me afloat even in times of gut wrenching resistance.
Rarely, did I expect to be featured in other publications, or on other studs’ blogs. Rarely, did I expect soccer clubs and coaches to be knocking on my door. Rarely, did I expect to train hundreds of athletes or humans in a high performance setting both in-person and online.
I just wrote on soccer and strength training for myself, embraced a one-day-at-a-time attitude, and allowed the rest to unfold. Somehow, this all boded well for me and led to incredible opportunities. My writing to that end, was a consistent effort for 4 years. There never was a time I felt like I was in a creative lull. Nor was there ever a time I had writer’s block. Nor was there ever a time I uttered, “to hell with this!”
As cliche as this sounds, consistency has been king. Looking at the online space today, everyone is trying to be heard amongst the fluff, and my ability to commit to 3-4 articles a week for 4 years served me well. Admittedly, I don’t take you seriously if you publish one article a month.
With that said, it’s comical when people ask me, “Erica, how do I get to your level and gain readers?”
Of course, they know subconsciously it takes consistency, but they don’t want to hear the unsexy advice.
Well, I hit them with it anyway: “be f*cking consistent.”
Too, it’s worth mentioning that you need to see the process as the pleasure.
Take the above photo, for example: it was taken after I got rejected from a high-end freelance writing job. In fact, it was the first time no one wanted my work.
As much as I could’ve been infuriated during this moment, I repeated to myself, “the process is the pleasure.” I later on published my application article on my own website and it went viral. The beauty of the process is that you can always pivot and take yourself in a new, empowered direction.
A failure like getting rejected is a natural part of the process of growth. Moreover, it’s ephemeral. Just like success, it lasts for a finite moment in time and vanishes with the bat of an eyelash.
Even Anson Dorrance says after winning so many NCAA championships, the elation glittered for a split second, and then fizzled into nothing. This is why he instills in his women’s team that the process to get there is the most fulfilling piece to achievement, infused with the fondest memories of hard work, team bonding, and tiny wins along the way to get to the top.
So repeat after me again: the process is the pleasure.
Wait, I didn’t hear you: THE PROCESS IS THE PLEASURE.
Here’s what kills me about the world today: every human wants the end result without the ups and downs it takes to get there.
Personally, I love the ride. I love failure. I love getting triggered. I love dealing with crappy people.
Why? Because not only do I see failure as an impetus for growth, but I see it as a natural part of becoming the best version of myself.
Admittedly, I fail every week. My athletes fail every week. My friends and family fail every week.
But it’s the messy stuff that propels us to new heights, allows our relationships to grow, our character to blossom, and our authentic self to shine.
I wrote about this in my My Life Isn’t Perfect article. Talk about being vulnerable and allowing life to come my way – good and bad – and sometimes, slap me across the freaking face.
Failures, hardships, and setbacks also extend into athletic development – a process near and dear to my heart, as I help kids become their best selves for a living.
Too often, I hear parents wanting their child to improve their speed, get recruited by a D1 school, or earn a starting spot on a club team. Overnight.
My response: “buckle up. Your kids are stuck with me for a while.”
True high performance and athletic development is a process.
Want to hear a mind f*ck? My longest athletes have been with me for 7 years. And it wasn’t until year 3 I started to see them grow physically and mentally.
Just like learning an instrument, math, or the ins and outs of Fortnite, athletic development takes time. The process, again, is the pleasure.
Do you really think my female athlete Brenna could’ve gotten a 25-pound weighted chin-up in her first month? First year?
It took 2 years of consistent training to get to this point.
Or how about my middle school boys finally demonstrating explosive footwork?
It took 10 months of coordination and mechanics training to get to this point.
Or how about my high school girls who never strength trained once to be able to endure Tabata conditioning like champs?
It took 4 months to get to this point.
Or how about my college girls being able to take a basic Pallof Press and withstand external load from a lacrosse bro?
It took over 1 year to get to this point.
So this bears repeating: the process is the pleasure.
And as a strength and conditioning coach, I’m not thinking what’s going to happen a week from now, a month from now, nor am I concerned what’s going to happen a year from now.
I’m thinking LONG FREAKING TERM. Like 2+ years long-term. Honestly, I’d be doing my athletes a disservice if I thought too far in advance and rushed such a gradual and meticulous process.
And if you have a strength coach who promises overnight results, run for the hills.
Taking the conversation back to my blogging pursuits, it’s been a 4-year process of showing up daily. Never did I get too ahead of myself and wonder what would come of this. Rather, I chipped away at my craft every day because I loved it. I feel so immersed in the present moment when I spew out tantalizing diction and captivate my readers with my storytelling.
Not to sound pompous, but I love what I do.
In fact, so much that I am not caught up in where my career, or tapping away at my keyboard for that matter, will take me one day. And if someone asks me one more time, “Erica, do you want to train the pros?” I swear I’ll slap them across the face.
Truthfully, I’m just trying to get youth athletes better, improve as a human, inspire others with my content, write with passion, and have fun along the way. I have no desire to coach college or professionally. I’m here to helps kids, boost their development in sports and beyond, marvel at the process of life, and simply, do work greater than myself.
The process, for me, has always been the pleasure. Failures and all, I’m here to lean into the fullness of being a human on this planet.
I mean come ON.
500 articles later, and I feel I’m just gaining momentum.