This week was mental Health awareness day on Wednesday 10th October. So I wanted to write about how important it is for people to train when they have mental health issues.
In July 2015 I lost my dad. His illness was quick and for so many friends and family, it came as quite a shock. I still can’t believe now that he’s gone, but around that time it was so difficult to get on with life as normal.
I took around 6 days off training, but I had to push myself to get on with it, get some normality in my life.
My friend Mark who I was training with at the time had lost his daughter a few months before, so we were both hurting and feeling the pain of loss. Mark trained and pushed through the grief and he was an inspiration to me and helped me push through too.
Those who have read my previous blog post will know that I had to deal with some mental abuse and domestic violence from my last relationship.
Throughout the relationship, I had nights off of training to keep the peace, but after being mentally abused, I just didn’t have the energy to go and train.
Thankfully I stopped the relationship and things took a turn for the worse for me. My mental health was in a state, perhaps from the shock and trauma that came after the events.
I had a competition in Barcelona to compete in just a week after I got him arrested and I knew from the moment I got to the venue, I wasn’t in the frame of mind to give my opponent the best fight I could.
When I returned, I knew that I had to do something about my mind and get me out of this slump. So I booked in with the mind coach I used for sports psychology on the lead up to previous competitions.
Airing your thoughts and talking to people is a huge weight off of your shoulders. I speak about my dad all the time, and even though I’m sure some people found it uncomfortable when I spoke of him in the early days after his death, it gave me a sense of relief to share my stories about him.
Bit by bit I started speaking to more people about the traumatic events, and the pressure eased off.
The nights when I lay on my sofa, procrastinating on why I shouldn’t train, and what better things I have to do at home. I see this barrier in front of me, but it’s really weak and can easily be broken. I push through and go train.
Months down the line from the traumatic event of 29th April, I still get nights where I don’t want to do any training, or I don’t want to clean the house or any other bit of DIY or chores that are calling my name.
I have my down time, but I make sure I go training. The endorphins that the brain feels after training is joy. During training we shut off from the world, our problems and fears. We live in the moment and that’s pure joy and why everyone should push through that barrier that is so weak and easy to break, and go train.