This week on our podcast, More Than Miles, we had the most incredible interview with a longtime friend and client of mine, Paralympic Bronze medalist, Jarryd Wallace. If you have never listened to the podcast, this might be the episode that hooks you!
Not only does Jarryd have an incredible story, but he is also a great athlete and even better human. Since our interview I have not been able to stop thinking about some of the topics we covered and how important they are.
There is so much pressure in athletics – no matter what level you are at, high school, club, college, amateur or professional. Many of our athletes struggle with the same things as us mere mortals do, but they often aren’t given the tools to take care of their whole health. They are given access to massage therapists, PTs, MDs, chiropractors and if they are lucky some of them even get to speak with a sports psychologist. But they only get pieces – they never truly are given the whole picture.
What good is the idea of meditation if we don’t understand how it impacts our nervous system, our brain, our emotions, and our performance? Everyone knows they need to drink water to stay hydrated, but when coffee tastes so good how do we drive this behavior?
The culture of “just do it,” and “keep pushing.” Is out of date. We need to learn from our mistakes and create better programs so that our athletes have the tools they need to perform well and live well.
In the last two years we have been reminded that professional athletes are people. They struggle with emotions, anxiety, living up to the standards set for them just like everyone else. Stories like those of Jarryd Wallace, gymnast Simone Biles and hockey player Tyler Motte are but a small glimpse into the epidemic behind closed doors.
Many, lesser-known athletes also struggle with the financial burden of working multiple jobs as they train, the pressure of having to perform so they don’t lose their contract- even if they are pregnant or postpartum.
It’s time we give our athletes the permission to speak up and be themselves. To give them a resource so that they can put all the pieces together and build stronger, more stable foundations. The stronger foundations they have, the easier it is for them to perform and do well within their sport. We must remind our athletes that they are so much more than their body or their sport.
I am releasing the first or a series of online courses next week that will help our athletes (as well as professionals, entertainers, and mere mortals like ourselves!) begin to lay the foundation for whole health. To help improve our overall balance and put the pieces together so that we can perform at the highest levels while still being ourselves and feeling good. I would love for you to be part of this new movement!
xo Dr. Kate Mihevc Edwards