When i was at the training center through all my struggles that i'd been through over the year i found out i developed severe anxiety and depression. i'd been to a doctor and she gave me anti anxiety meds and told me to take it at night before bed. well, you're not supposed to take it if you drink and well i cant pretend to say i wasnt self medicating a little at the time with alcohol (for some reason now in real life time it disgusts me and i stay as far from it as possible) so i decided it wasnt important to take it.
i went on with my daily schedule: 7am warming working with Z, snack, nap, 10am practice with the team, lunch, nap, sports med, 4pm practice, dinner, bed.
i kept finding myself getting chest pain and having a hard time breathing all the time for stupid things like walking in the caf and realizing Jake and his entire team was having lunch too and they're all stairing right at me like im target practice and they're all holding their hunger games bow and arrows. Then i'd get dizzy if i thought about a hard practice i knew i was going to have later in the week. so dizzy i'd think i could pass out. here i am walking down the stairs to sports med and boom... i passed out from dizzyness hit my head on the cement stairs bled out alone and died. when i realized it was a serious problem was one day in the gym i was doing some heavy cleans and if yall have ever watched me lift cleans are pretty much the bow to the te in tebow. anyways, i was cleaning and i missed a 90kg clean which at the time my best clean was like 105kg. i started balling my eyes out i couldnt figure out what my problem was i was a wreck. my body didn't hurt, i slept decent for me the night before, i did my recovery shiz.. so, what the hizzo?! so i'm sitting in my chair next to my platform crying like some sort of newborn baby with a heart murmer and i was even turning blue (it was on grey's anatomy and if you dont already know that we're fighting) when i started hyperventilating. no reason, nothing real happened i just all the sudden couldn't breathe at all. Zygmunt was out of town for that workout and the very inspirational (check out his wrist injury vid) Zach Krych was coaching us. He had no flipping idea what to do and neither did i. i needed to do something to fix whatever was wrong with me because it was obvious i had some weird disease that was going to kill me instantly if someone sneezed too loud.
i started talking about my anxiety to some of my friends at the OTC to see if i was crazy. sometimes when you say it outloud you can hear how rediculous you're being and can fix your own problems or if you're like me you just like to talk regardless of the subject. what i found when i was making my friends ears bleed besides the fact that i lost my voice was that anxiety is more common than i thought.
I know a handful of other Olympians, and World Team member athletes in all different sports struggling with anxiety on a daily basis. Anxiety is a fight in itself throw the stresses of being an elite athlete and its almost impossible to deal with. The women i know that have it are my inspiration. They're so brave and they give me hope.
The key is to understand whats happening with your body and to find a coach who understands and can work with you. now i get them in the gym and Greg will crack some joke like you cant die before Americans or i'll kill you. (cuz it really feels like your dying of a heart attack and or a brain tumor) Sometimes that works sometimes it doesnt but he always is there for me and helps me through. I'll go outside for a minute and remember what its like to be a normal human being lifter and try to calm down. my team also knows i have it and they can all usually tell when one starts to come on & they all have my back in whatever way i need it. if you dont have a support team thats ok too just know you'll live. if i may quote those annoying target live. laugh. love. crap sayings and say: just breathe.