Curing Those Homesick Blues

by Matt Cleaver

The past couple of months have consisted of many struggles, as well as a bit of tranquility.  This is the first time I have experienced the infamous disease of homesickness, and it has been taking a significant impact not only on my performance and mentality as an athlete, but as a person.  Socializing was seemingly impossible because I couldn’t get good ‘ol Hotlanta off my mind.  Luckily this was not a chronic “illness.”  My parents drove 6.5 hours from Atlanta to Jacksonville last weekend to watch me compete in what I’d like to call a “death march.”  Steve boldly put me into a 15km road race, and anything on the road, let alone over 5km, is simply madness, especially with how impatient I am.

Despite having a not-so-good race, I was able to finally spend time with my parents.  To make matters even better, my college coach was able to rendezvous with us; the fellowship seemed timeless as we reminisced about the glory days of college and sipped on beer and margaritas.  Times were good.   This was quite therapeutic to my homesickness.

Matt 2Back row: Two guys in hats.  Front row from left to right: Beer, Margarita.

Not only has missing home impacted my mentality, but also my loss of routine in reading my daily devotions and being in The Word has had a significant negative influence on me.  My confidence was slipping, thus my athletic performance was not up to par. I don’t know if the lack of reading and pursuing my relationship with Christ influenced the homesickness, or if the homesickness negatively impacted my routine, but the good news is, I have recently gotten back into my routine; although I’m not quite 100% back on track, I can already see the impact it is having on my day-to-day life.

Moving away from the battles I have been dealing with, life has blessed me with numerous successes.  Arguably the most note worthy one being this past weekend when Steve and I were asked to attend a biomechanical clinic at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California.  It was surreal that I was one of the two athletes in the U.S. that was selected to attend this clinic in a world-class facility.  It consisted of hurdling mechanics, functional movement and corrective exercises, and sports psychology.  Each session I attended enhanced my athleticism and gave me a new set of skills that I can apply to my training. The amount of wisdom I gained about my event, and even myself as person and athlete, was priceless.  My mentality as an athlete took a significant turn in the right direction, and it made me realize how good of an athlete I can be; it was arguably the most important weekend thus far in my professional career and it has made me anxious to begin this new stage of training.  I feel renewed, and with outdoor season right around the corner, I am faithful I am in for a heck of a season. Look for those results.

Matt 1East Side Track in Austin, looking toward downtown

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Posted on March 24, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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