Getting to know your inner you

I wrote this on my way from Spain to Doha to compete in the IAAF World Championships. I have a whole row to myself and I’m watching Avengers Endgame – it’s the best way to spend a flight, catching up on up on all the movies I did not get a chance to see. 

I’m getting back to feeling like myself. The last couple of days I’ve felt down, more like a mental wellness issue not a mental health issue. From time change, to feeling trapped in a hotel, to lack of alone time, and just generally feeling unproductive I have really just not felt like myself.

Calling my sports psychologist, Dr. Beth McCharles, she reminded me I’m an extrovert-introvert. I am comfortable, and in fact thrive, on a stage in front of an audience, or put me in an intimate setting with my favourite people and again I’m in a joyful, energetic place. Put me in a room with strangers, put me on a schedule and it saps all my energy.

I know I need alone time to recharge. I need to go to a place where I can read and do some work, which is where my batteries get a chance to recharge. But it has to be in a place where I by myself – not sitting in a cafe, not in the lobby, I need a space where I can go to find quiet to just be alone. 

I would not have figured that out on my own. Thankfully I am surrounded by people I trust and who know me well. Dr. McCharles is trained in this, I am not. She has been a trusted ally, and while I don’t always agree with what she has to say at first, I know she’s right; her external view of me, and most importantly, her love towards me, lets me know she always has my best interest at heart. 

In the days leading up to this race I’m going to try and find some space to be alone. I’m going to continue to check in with Dr. McCharles, and continue to follow the sleeping plan from Dr. Bender – because, yes, the jet lag probably too has something to do with it. 

Find a team you trust. Know they have your best interests. Listen to their wisdom. And don’t ever be afraid to do what works for you.