3 Lessons From My Wife, Elina

When I started this blog, I said that I’d try not to be a giver of lessons. But I’m definitely a taker of lessons! I think part of what’s gotten me to where I am is the belief that everyone has something to teach me, so I want to share some of things I’ve picked up from people I know or just admire, which in the case of my wife Elina checks both those boxes. 😉

  1. There’s so much value in taking a stance.

It’s tempting to always take the middle ground and stay neutral, not risk offending anyone. And in many cases, that can be the wise thing to do. But sometimes—when it really matters to you—taking a strong position is the most powerful thing you can do, if only for yourself. Standing firm for what you believe definitely opens you up to criticism, but in the end, it gives you a sense of integrity and alignment with oneself. That’s a lesson in courage that I admire so much.

  1. Separate your struggles from your self.

From motherhood, to our respective comebacks, to the pressures of public life, to her deeply personal connection to the situation in Ukraine, Elina’s shown me the art of compartmentalizing without over-identifying. Her ability to keep a clear head in the chaos is amazing. One way I try to apply this to my own life is by not taking anything personally: if someone criticizes my game, or writes something rude about me online, I remind myself it’s not about me. It’s so simple, but it helps take the sting out of a stressful situation.

  1. Responsibility can be as rewarding as risk.

Particularly throughout my recovery period, and the first year with our daughter, Elina has shown me that ‘slowing down’ doesn’t have to mean ‘missing out’. I’ve learned that when you do anything with enough attention—even the seemingly boring, everyday stuff—it becomes something fulfilling. As a player, husband, and father, I’ve come to realize that being responsible is not just important, but actually pretty cool 🙂

Love you, Elina.

Until next time,

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