Taken from my own journal written the night before facing the Black Ferns in the Women's Rugby World Cup Final 2017.
I keep a journal to capture my minds ramblings. I write what I am grateful for, what has been on my mind, and what I might be struggling with. I am a work in progress and I find a journal helps me see the whole picture, which can be really important when I start to feel stuck. Going into the World Cup I was learning to accept and diffuse from the anxious thoughts I get when competing, I was also learning about what really matters to me, what I want to stand for and my core values. I wrote this entry the night before we played in the final as a cumulation of so many lessons. The World Cup journey for me had been particularly rewarding but also challenging, and this final game was our last as a team after a gruelling two weeks playing three pool games, and a physical semi-final against France. We had also found out that there wasn't going to be 15s contracts for the women's side (this has since changed!) I was experiencing my usual and very familiar 'monster thoughts' of self-doubt and not feeling good enough. Writing my thoughts really helped me see that going out on the pitch and being the brave version of myself is what really matters to me, I had to hold the hand of my 'monster thoughts' and run out onto the pitch, feeling the most vulnerable and the most alive at the same time.
‘It would be easy to just sit back and become a passenger. Moan about the small unfair things and the politics but that never makes change. That never inspires, makes movement, causes things to move forward. I have an opportunity to inspire the muddy, tree climbing, wild girls like me out there want to be themselves, embrace challenges, enjoy pushing themselves physically and mentally.
I want to show that strength doesn’t need to be aggressive, physical or force. Strength is persistence, it’s reflecting and learning, it’s building a team and asking for help, it’s trying again, it’s believing in yourself, it’s having faith in your spirit, it’s allowing pain to hurt but not to define you, it’s holding the people up around you, it’s passion, love & family, it’s calm, it’s ready, it’s turning up when needed and rising, it’s accepting not everything is perfect (that’s life), it’s seeing the amazing people around you, it’s searching for your purpose, it’s embracing the journey, it’s saying thank you.
I am strength.’
Lydia Thompson x
Dedicated to my Mom and Aunt x