When we lose our sport sometimes it can feel like we are losing our life. We train for many hours and our childhood is filled with our sport, and when we end, it can feel like a divorce or even a death.
When we are athletes we are told what to do, how to do it, why to do it, and when to do it. We are told how many to do, how to make it better, stronger, faster, and higher. We live on a strict schedule: we eat, sleep, and breathe our sport
When it is over, We can even go through the same grieving process that a person does with divorce or death. We can feel anger, depression, bargaining, denial, and acceptance. We can feel lost, helpless, and hopeless.
Our childhood is filled with structure. We know every day where we’re going, what we’re doing, and how we are going to do it. Then one day, it is over and were left on our own. We have to make our own decisions and plan our own path with no guidelines, no coaches, and sometimes no hope, plan, or idea on how to get there.
In the article below, Amanda Castillo painted a perfect picture of her experience after she retired from gymnastics. She explains her emotions, confusion, and struggles. The most interesting point, is that she is not alone.
Many athletes feel the same kind of emotions after they quit sports. The Canadian Olympic committee just put together a program to help athletes transfer from sports into regular life. And it is about time that we do the same.
For years I have been trying to put together a gymnastics athletes association. The intention of the association is to keep our athletes connected to other athletes. To keep them in the gymnastics family and continue to feel wanted, needed, loved, and valued. I want to create a community where we can keep connected, share experiences, and be a support system for other gymnasts. One aspect of the athletes association would be to create a program to help Athletes Transitions to Life After Sport (ATLAS).
After reading story after story about athletes feeling the same way, I think it is time that we finally make our athletes association a reality.
Once a gymnast, always a gymnast.
My life as I knew it was over: Retiring from the sport that many defined me with and moving on.
By Amanda Castillo.
I was trying to think of a way to describe how I felt when it was finally all over. The first thing that came to my mind was a “bad break up”. “No…no that wasn’t it” I thought to myself contemplating….then it hit me. It was as if someone I cared and loved for so deeply had […]