Lessons from 2022 (and what I’m looking forward to in 2023)
Win or lose, after every match I play, I like to go back over the game and see what I can (or did) learn from it. So I figured I’d take advantage of the downtime between Christmas and New Year’s to do the same for the year gone by… but also, to reflect on what I’m excited about in 2023. Shall we?
3 things I learned this year
To make friends with so-called ‘bad luck.’ Sometimes an event that seems like bad luck at first turns out to be good luck later on. Case in point: my injury. 2022 began as one of my most promising years performance-wise, and just like that, I got hurt. Then I bounced back strong… only to injure myself once again. At first, it felt like a curse. But then, my wife Elina found out she was expecting our first child—and thanks to my injury, I got to be there for her and spend more time with our daughter Skaï than would have ever been possible. On top of that, I suddenly had space to start dreaming up all kinds of new projects, from my vlog, to my LinkedIn posts, to a podcast I’m working on with people who inspire me. All projects that might open the door to a totally new opportunity someday. In short, my ‘curse’ turned out to be a major blessing.
Sometimes, motivation comes second. As an athlete, you get used to losing. A lot. I get asked a lot how I bounce back from disappointments and failures; how I muster up the motivation to get back into the game. This year in particular, having faced my biggest setback yet, I can finally tell you my secret: I don’t. Sure, some days you feel fired up, super motivated. But most days you don’t. Instead, you just get up and do something—anything. Put on your coat. Lace up your shoes. Step out the door. As we say in French, sometimes the appetite comes when you start eating. Don’t wait for the spirit to move you. Sometimes, the motivation comes after you start.
The people you love are your strength. More than just being a support system when things get tough, I’ve realized this year with the birth of my daughter how keeping the people you love in mind when pursuing a goal can add extra fuel to your fire. Yes, I want to get back on the court out of my own love of the game, out of my own ambitions as an athlete. But with the birth of Skaï, I realized how incredibly compelling it is to have a ‘why’ that’s not centered on yourself, but on someone you love. Now, I also want to get back into the game so Skaï has someone to look up to, so she can be proud of me and develop her own resilience role model.
And now, three things I’m looking forward to in 2023
Obvious one: getting back on the court. Look out for me this February with my first indoor matches in Europe. 🙂
Next obvious one: my first full year of being a dad. I know I keep talking about my daughter. But I’m obsessed with her, you guys. I can’t wait to see her in the stands watching me play for the first time! (Yet another huge reason to look forward to coming back.)
Diving deeper into side projects. It might not be easy to find tons of free time between my tennis comeback and spending time with my family, but I’m determined to keep up with my vlogs, my posts here, and all the other creative projects I’d like to explore this year. That said, getting back into playing will be a great opportunity to take you behind the scenes of the world of pro tennis, which I’m sure you’ll enjoy (maybe even more than hearing about my daughter and love of comic collecting? Hahaha.)
Alright, your turn. What have you learned this year? Let me know below.
Until next time,