As I picked up Dame Kelly Holme’s autobiography, sometime in 2010, I expected to read about her rise to the top of her game and learn about the lady who I’d seen cross the finish line to bring home gold, not once, but twice.
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I didn’t expect the monumental shift in mindset which came from reading the book.
There I was, reading about this accomplished athlete, the one I’d seen bring home gold, not once, but twice. The one I revered but still, didn’t feel I had anything in common with.
For at the time, my depression was bad. I was crippled by it and frightened of my own shadow. Too painful to look backwards yet no point in looking forwards either. In limbo.
When I came across the pages where Kelly (it’s totally okay to call her just “Kelly” now…right?!) started talking about her own personal struggles with depression. I was flabbergasted.
Kelly really seemed as though she’d got her sh*t together.
A double frikkin’ Olympian, no less.
She seemed so strong and comfortable in her own skin.
Came across so eloquently and self-assured in interviews.
Had a sparkle in her eye and a cheeky sense of humour.
And there she was putting into words, the very struggles I was facing.
Blow me down!
It was surprising.
It was enlightening.
It was comforting.
It was reassuring.
It was freeing.
It was a “knowing nod”.
It also planted a seed of hope in my head. If Kelly could, you know…maybe…maybe I could dust off my dreams and aspirations too.
It truly changed my life.
I didn’t feel so alone in all the odd stuff I was dealing with.
I didn’t feel so hopeless.
I started to feel a little braver.
I started making steps to being unashamedly me.
I stopped telling little white lies about what I was going through.
Little white lies which had got me into trouble on many occasions as I had tied myself up in knots with them.
Little white lies which had compounded until I was no longer sure of where my truth began and ended.
I started contemplating the possibilities ahead of me.
I knew I wanted to recover.