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  • Sara Root, 23 Years Old

As athletes, our whole livelihood depends on striving for perfection...

I’ve been thinking about this a lot. I was so lucky to have a strong support system to keep me afloat during my collegiate career. But I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that the external and internal pressures got to me. As athletes, our whole livelihood depends on striving for perfection. As women, that ideation of ‘being perfect’ can consume you. And as we are all well aware, it can kill you too.

Being a Division l athlete is hard enough. Maintaining good grades, studying, clubs, 6 am workouts, a full day of classes, afternoon practices, traveling for games, church, trying to foster new friendships, staying in touch with family & friends, eating on a consistent schedule, getting enough sleep, strengthening your relationship with Jesus, being sore & tired. All. The. Time. There is barely enough time to breathe.

Being a woman is even harder. Cue the self-esteem & body image issues, hormone fluctuations, comparison, depression, anxiety.

I can honestly say that I wouldn’t have survived without my faith, my family, my teammates, my teammates’ parents, my coaches, my mentors, and my friends. They were my strength when I didn’t have any. All I can say is find your people, and lean on them when you need to.

There is a fine line between pushing your limits for the betterment of yourself and pushing your limits to the point where you break. Be cognizant of that. Your worth is not based on your performance, and your strength is not questioned when you ask for help. Mental health needs to be talked about more as a whole and we need to shatter the stigma that athletes are too strong or stubborn to acknowledge when we are struggling.

I’ll leave ya’ll with this: Find your people. Be quick to listen, and slow to judge. Be intentional with your time, words, and actions. Your mental health is your physical health. Take care of yourself.


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