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Do you know when to pull out...

Categories: Exercise, Injury

Have you been as engrossed in the Olympics as me this week?

I love watching them; it’s a great chance to see so many sports that aren’t normally in the spotlight. My favourites so far have been the BMX, Skateboarding and of course Tom Daley Diving. I can’t believe Beth Shriever had to crowdfund her own journey to the Olympics and all that hard work and determination paid off when she won Gold.

What about whose dreams who didn’t come true, either from injury or mental health issues, and they decided to withdraw?

Do you think there is a difference between a physical or mental injury?

Simone Biles made headlines with her decision to withdraw from the Gymnastics Team event citing mental health issues.

Watching her from my perspective in the qualifiers I could see something wasn’t right. She’s normally so crisp and precise with her movement and this wasn’t the case in her first few events. When it came to the finals she performed one vault and pulled out, which caused shockwaves in the media. Lots of people voiced their opinions on Facebook and Twitter, both in support and against her decision; everybody seemed to have an opinion on what she should have done.

Simone must have such a strong character, owning her own mental health, and listening to her instincts. Her knowing that her physical and mental abilities weren’t aligned at the most important time of her career was crucial to her own safety. Imagine if she had gone ahead and severely injured herself. As it was, she came back and proved all the nay-sayers wrong and won an OLYMPIC BRONZE MEDAL.

Aligning your physical and mental abilities is something I work on with my clients. From the minute you step into the studio, we are working on your mental aptitude to get you race-ready, as well as your strength. To me your physical and mental abilities are just as important to seeing you succeed.

One of my biggest mental challenges on a course is quite literally an obstacle, the dragons back. Who in their right mind would want to leap from one platform to another 8 foot in the air? How do I get over that and make the leap? How do my clients get over the same obstacle and make that leap?

We focus on that moment and break it down into small manageable pieces that we know we can achieve. For example, on this obstacle, I imagine what I’d do if it wasn’t as high up. I take a big breath and simply step forwards.

If I wasn’t prepared mentally and was standing in the same position I know I’d probably take the same stance as Simone. I would walk away, with my head held high knowing I would come back stronger another day and triumph.