Lucero Speaks

Confessions Of A Recovering Perfectionist

// Author: Annetta Lucero // 0 Comments

News Clip

World Championship Finals
Scores for Lucero, Annetta USA . . .

10.0   10.0   10.0   10.0   9.9   10.0   9.9   10.0   10.0   9.9   10.0

At first glance one would imagine that scores like these would remain a cherished memory, a morale booster for the rest of my life.
If I were a perfect person I would tell you how proud I was to have accomplished such a feat.  I would thank the people who made this possible and I would be filled with gratitude for having had such an amazing experience.
Instead, I will tell you the truth.
Those fucking 9.9’s haunted me for nearly 3 decades.
Plainly, I am not perfect.

I knew I wasn’t perfect as it happened.
When I touched my baton with my hand after my elbow pop two spin, I took note.
When I misplaced my toss on my double switch leap- inside catch and caught it plain, I winced.
The Horror!
And finally, when after having completed my entire freestyle routine, stacked with more difficulty than fathomable for mere mortals, I dropped my last trick and realized, I am an athletic fraud and a loser.
Waiting for my scores was torturous.  I knew I had blown it.  I knew I had handed the moment to somebody else.
She jumped and screamed with relief when the scores were flashed.
And when the Gold Medal was placed around her neck, she proclaimed . . .
I am NOT worthy.

I’m not sure when I chose to become these two separate people.
The Champion and her Unworthy Twin.
Psychologists may pontificate that it was my traumatic childhood;
the violent family atmosphere, the molestation in a dank basement, the relentless practice schedule, the diseases and disabilities that accompanied me from birth.
Others might add that the competitive arena was too strained. The constant judgment, flashing scores, corrections, criticism, demands, rumors, jealousy, anxiety, the pressure, pressure, pressure!
I’m not sure when it happened, but I do know who caused it.
I did…
and it would follow me like a dark shadow for most of my life.

The Unworthy Twin was comfortable hanging out with The Champion.  She enjoyed the victories, ovations, autographs and adulation.  The Unworthy Twin was furtive, disappearing into the background when the Champion gave encouragement, advice and instruction to others.  She took note of the conversations never once thinking to apply the wisdom to her own distorted perception of self.  After all, she was unworthy of self- acceptance.
In moments of solitude she would seethe through gritted teeth.  You are a LOSER!  I HATE YOU!  YOU DROPPER OF THE LAST TRICK!  UNWORTHY FAILURE!  STUPID, UGLY, PIG!  The Unworthy Twin was so adamant regarding her worthlessness she sought out other people to confirm her opinion. She was actually quite successful in her pursuit of deprecation and catastrophe.

While The Champion set goals and pursued success, the Unworthy Twin would convince her that her accomplishments were never good enough.  Chasing the perfect 10.0 became a constant game of tug-o-war.
The Champion delivered and the Unworthy Twin convinced her time and again that it was less than perfect, thus, invalid.
While The Champion sought out evolved peers, The Unworthy Twin dismissed them and hit the jackpot choosing a sociopathic mate who confirmed her unhealthy perspective.  For ten years she succumbed to his viewpoint, subjecting The Champion to needless ridicule and punishment.
The constant judgment, flashing scores, corrections, criticism, demands, rumors, jealousy, anxiety, the pressure, pressure, pressure!
It was everything the Unworthy Twin was comfortable with.

Somehow, The Champion, though barely able to breathe, made a decision.
I’m not sure when it happened, but I do know who caused it.
I did.

I decided to look in the mirror and say this.  I AM WORTHY.
I accept myself.  I deserve love.  I forgive myself.  I am strong.
In that moment the Unworthy Twin left.  She wanted unattainable perfection and I didn’t need her anymore.  The Champion left as well.  I was very surprised to see myself in the mirror.
Annetta Lucero I accept you.  Thank you for who you are.  I love you.

Scores for Lucero, Annetta USA . . .

I don’t need scores.

I am grateful.  I love my life and my family.  I appreciate my talent and the beauty that I find all around me every day.  I am an artist and I love humanity. Sometimes I make great decisions and sometimes I’m just off.
I now realize that it is acceptable to make mistakes.  After all,

I’m Not Perfect.
Beach Baton



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