The dynamic of retirement, transitions and change for athletes is rightly receiving much greater attention as athletes speak up and openly about their experiences – none more so this episode’s guest Lizzie Simmonds. Former international backstroker, two time Olympian, European champion – Lizzie has taken it upon herself to write and speak about her experiences since her retirement in 2018 and now mentoring others.
Her blog, her speeches are some of the most candid, open, articulations of what it feels like, how she’s responded, the noise in her head, the loss of identity, the polarised reactions of excitement but being daunted, open to possibilities but feeling like an imposter.
Lizzie’s communications are not some sort of ‘woe is me’ plea for attention – these are balanced, considerate, heartfelt, humble and honest accounts – that have rightly been lauded for expressing what many feel but have found too overwhelming or chaotic to be able to capture. Not everybody can do what Lizzie has done, but I think that anybody experiencing a change can certainly benefit from Lizzie has given a voice to.
Rediscovering exercise after retirement
Lizzie’s viral tweet and Piers Morgan and the dangers of social media
Openness and engagement
Blogging about retirement and transitioning
The challenges of retirement, the guilt, feeling disconnected and being honest about feeling a little lost
Preparing for retirement and the thought process involved ahead of time
Athletes who have amore balance lifestyle tend to do better at retirement
Defining yourself by your sport and the consequences of that single identity
Support networks the difficulty in diverting resources from performance aims to support retirement in order to help them transition successfully.
What compelled Lizzie to write her blog about transitioning.
What does Lizzie miss, and not miss, about swimming
Specific memories from Lizzie’s swimming career Rockstar in goggles
Confidence and association with identity
Future life – enjoying experiences and staying away from the rat race
If you’d like to follow Lizzie then you can do so on Twitter https://twitter.com/LizzieSimmonds1
and on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/simmo1234/
To find out more from Lizzie’s website including her blog go to https://lizziesimmonds.com/
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