From Athlete to “Now What”?

 

Tennis was my first love. It came naturally for me & I enjoyed every second playing in high school and junior college.

The feeling of being on a women’s tennis team provided so much more than just a sport. It was a support system. It was a release of aggression. It was a moment to think of nothing but gliding along the baseline and making contact with a tennis ball. My inner child was in pure bliss.

It wasn’t until my junior year of college where I decided I needed to “grow up” and get serious about school/getting a job. I resorted to fear and took the more practical way…

Transitioning out of my sport was tough (to say the least). I felt a loss of identity. I had known myself as an athlete all my life and now…well, I didn’t know who I was or who I wanted to be. I lost my desire to workout. It became an emotional experience because it reminded me of tennis and I didn’t see the point to workout anymore if I couldn’t play.

Fast forward to last year when I found Tone It Up (TIU). TIU makes me feel like an athlete again! Being a part of a team is where I thrive and it allows me to have a positive association with the concept of working out.

I finally found my team but it took years. Being around athletes my entire life and maintaining those relationships allowed me to hear and learn their stories. I found there are lots of similarities in our stories. A lot of them went through the same experience as me and some were worse, they couldn’t play sports due to injury. There needs to be more conversation about this transition. From athlete to “Now What”?

Sure enough, I found an organization, Sidelined USA, that is talking about this. They help highlight the gap in our society between the temporary life of a competitive athlete and the new identity they must build afterwards. They help reunite sidelined athletes with their passions and inspire them to find a meaningful way forward through resources, connection and mentorships.

I’m excited to start my partnership with them with my first article: Retaining Physicality. Go check it out where I highlight how to have a healthy adjustment to career ending injury or health conditions!

 

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