Mardy Fish was a top 10 professional tennis player. That is saying something. His career would be judged exceptional, accomplished, and successful by any reasonable standard. What he didn't have in his "drive" to be his best, was perspective. This is a courageous "sharing" by Mardy about Mardy and his being overwhelmed by anxiety at seemingly the least probable time. When we are driven, deep into a highly competitive winner-take-all mentality, it is extremely difficult to step outside and smell our personal roses. Mardy's is a classic case of putting blinders on and focusing intently on a goal (to be the best tennis player he could possibly be). In his moments of accruing success, higher standards (and deeper demons) manifested. Finding, or maintaining perspective was not a priority. Kudo's to Mr. Fish for having shared his experience.
I am hours away from playing in the biggest tennis match of my life: the fourth round of the U.S. Open … on Labor Day … on my dad’s birthday … on Arthur Ashe … on CBS … against Roger Federer. I am hours away from playing the greatest player of all time, for a chance at my best-ever result, in my favorite tournament in the world. I am hours away from playing the match that you work for, that you sacrifice for, for an entire career.
And I can’t do it. I literally can’t do it.
In fact I’m writing this, in a lot of ways, for the express purpose of showing weakness. I’m writing this to tell people that weakness is okay. I’m here to tell people that it’s normal.
And that strength, ultimately, comes in all sorts of forms.
Addressing your mental health is strength. Talking about your mental health is strength. Seeking information, and help, and treatment, is strength.
Read the full article by Mardy Fish on The Players Tribune