Individual sports (track, gymnastics, swimming, etc) offer an interesting experience for the participant. You train with a team, your efforts may support your team in term of points earned, but the competition itself can be a lonely affair. You stand alone, waiting for the signal to begin. The weight and pressure of the moment is borne alone, and as the crowd is silenced in preparation for the start, that moment can feel overwhelming. This is when the bonds of team are crucial. This is when you must remember, you are NOT alone.
At a time when things are difficult and frightening, isolating from friends can get overwhelming quickly. It is easy to focus on what is different, what is wrong, what is missing, and go down the rabbit hole, alone with the awfulness in your head. Catch yourself, and turn to your team. You are NOT intruding by reaching out, your friends are in this too. Reach out, check in, send a funny GIF, or even better, call and talk. Hear each others’ voices. Laugh. Write an actual letter and send it via snail mail!
Never forget, you have a team. There are more people than you realize rooting for you, praying for you, and wishing you well. You are NOT alone on that starting block; this is merely a temporary isolation. Look to your (metaphorical) left and right, and see your friends. Look around a little farther and see your wider team, your coaches, your parents, grandparents, and their friends. See your community. We are all invested in YOU, just as you are invested in us.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE. As always, I am here if you need me.