Carly reflects on quitting Gymnastics

Once upon a time, I was a gymnast.

It was the only thing I knew, and the only thing I loved about myself.

I never had the opportunity or wherewithal to develop interests outside of my sport, and became dependant on it for validation in many ways. It was the common bond between my mother, my sisters (who also did gymnastics),and I.

It was the one arena where I, a quiet, shy introvert could stand out and showcase a special talent.

It was my only source of socialization or meaningful connection. And, like many high-level athletes across various sports, it became my identity. …

Today Carly promotes discussion on mental health. Her own and others.

Quitting Gymnastics can be traumatic. Like a divorce.

But there are many upsides, as well. The best I’ve seen on this topic is from a Freakonomics podcast — The Upside of Quitting

Once upon a time I was a Gymnast: Why Quitting is Sometimes the Best Thing

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“A recent supervisor of mine told me I’m obsessed and love stories. And she’s right, I do. Because everyone has one and I want to hear it.”- me lol • LOL not to toot my own horn or anything (I feel like Michael Scott), but this quote kinda sums me up in a nutshell. I LOVE stories. I could sit down all day and listen to where everyone has come from and what makes them who they are today. • I’ve struggled a SHIT ton in the past with telling mine. I found myself constantly minimizing my eating disorder, and anxiety because “other people have it worse off”. Like clearly if I was still doing really well in school and still had friends i was fine right? • WRONG!!!! One of the first things my fabulous therapist ever told me (GO TO THERAPY EVERYONE it is life changing), was that I needed to stop acting like my story wasn’t “enough” to talk about. HA i used to think it wasn’t even terrible enough to go to therapy over! I thought I would get there and that she would laugh in my face and tell me I was “fine” and needed to toughen up ( first of all they never do that, YOU are paying them. Second of all, why was I so afraid…. Perhaps the stigma of therapy in the first place hmmm). • Anyways, my “break thru moment” was when she validated all my pain and told me that just because I “looked” like I had it all on the outside, did NOT mean that on the inside I wasn’t a mess and that my story was not authentic or “easier” than anyone else's. She was one of the first people to believe me, the first person I truthfully confided in, and the first person who reminded me that I was NOT ALONE. • God what an indescribably powerful feeling. The power in knowing you are not alone. That others, SO many others struggle with the same things you do, and that quite frankly, you’re NOT crazy. So whether it is depression, bipolar disorder, or ANYTHING that causes you mental anguish or takes an emotional toll on your happiness, know that you are not alone. • I hear you. • And I am listening. • And I want to tell you, that your story is valid. No matter how much you may downplay it, it is VALID.

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Rick Mc

Career gymnastics coach who loves the outdoors, and the internet.

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