Sports play a huge part in our lives. It allows us to connect with one another, work as a team, compete with each other, push ourselves, learn relevant life lessons, and plenty of other things.
Gymnastics has been an important period of my life. I am really grateful for all the opportunities I had as a gymnast whether it was representing my country during international meets, travel around the world, or competing in college gymnastics. It even gave me the opportunity to meet lifelong friends.
Being a high-level student-athlete has taught me so many lessons:
- to be respectful and perseverant,
- to push myself every day,
- failures are part of the process, but you need to learn from them
- team support is key for your team success as well as for individual success
- limitations are only as real as you make them
- giving back to the community is essential
- use your voices to spread messages that matter to you
- don’t pay too much attention on what people think about you = just fully be yourself
But sometimes, being an athlete as well as a full-time student while trying to be a “normal person” can be really difficult and challenging. That is why it can be useful to talk to a counselor. By seeking professional help, you are able to talk about your concerns, and issues in a safe space. For me, it has been the most rewarding step that I’ve taken in my life so far, climbing lots of mountains with an amazing human being.
It’s never an easy decision to make because of the stigma associated with mental health and therapy. While going to therapy every week for more than a year, I was able to unpack my thoughts and I begin the road to recovery from my Eating Disorder (ED). It hasn’t been an easy journey, but I’ve grown so much thanks to all the support I’ve gotten from the amazing people in my life. I’m not always kind with myself, I don’t always make the healthiest decisions, and I don’t always feel good in my own skin, but I try to do my best every day and that’s what important.
Life is messy and that’s why it’s beautiful. We are all different in our own ways. Be kind to yourself and be kind to others. And do more of what makes you happy. Also, I want to tell people that it’s ok not to be ok. Things can get better. Stay hopeful and reach out if you need help.