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  • Brandon Lamphier-Shaffer

7 Stories in 7 Days: Day 3 - Finding Reliance, Micky Thompson's Story

Since I can remember, I was always going to the park and playing baseball with my friends. Whether it be messing around in the park, or playing competitive games, I have always had a baseball in my hand. Baseball started when I was finally able tohold a bat and I got onto my first competitive club team when I was eleven. Following the switch from school ball to joining that first club team, baseball changed from just having fun two days a week, to expecting a championship at every weekend tournament and weekday game. It taught me competitiveness as well as what it felt like to win. As a kid, I was never one to get performance anxiety or depression as I was normally one of the top performers on those teams and even if I personally had a bad day, we still found a way to win a majority of the time.

Away from baseball, I have always been an extremely caring person. From buying flowers for friends who might be having a bad day, to staying up until late hours talking to close people in my life through their problems, I never had an issue putting other people’s problems before myself. I never found the need to talk to anyone if I had things going on because my stress relief came from practice and games. This all changed in college for me. In my freshman year of college, I played Division 1 baseball at Washington State University. I was excited for the new challenges that would come my way despite the coaches I got recruited with being fired. Before I could even touch the field in 2020, covid hit and shut the world down.

With baseball and working out being my only forms of peace for a long time, I was extremely excited that seven months later I was able to step back on campus to get on track. Coming back from such a long break away from competition left me with extreme performance anxiety and self-esteem issues. When my sophomore year didn’t go as planned in my athletic or personal life, I turned to weight lifting more consistently.

Throughout high school and college, I have been a part of the team-lifting atmosphere. It always has felt great to lift heavy weights and have a fun competition with my boys. This past year, however, weight lifting turned into a form of healing for me.

When I was going through some very serious personal issues along with feeling the heartbreak of losing so many student-athletes to suicide the past two years, one of my closest friends told me to try weight lifting as my therapy. From that day, I started using weight lifting as a way to heal my heart. To me, weight lifting has changed from something I do for fun to something I do for my mental health and well-being. I am constantly amazed at how good hitting a new personal best feels as well as how much pressure gets lifted off of my body and mind when I get a good workout in. I have found that it brings me back to baseline in the sense that I continue to have my friendly and sympathetic personality while also being able to better enjoy my life. Uncontrollables in my life don’t tend to stress me out as bad as before and my performance anxiety has shrunk dramatically ever since I looked to weight lifting for my peace.

No matter what you find yourself going through, find something to fall back on. Whether it be a greater power, belief, sport, or activity, it is always comforting to be able to rely on something that brings you peace, love, and balance.

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