Elise Christie: British quick observe pace skater finds positives in adversity

Elise Christie: British quick observe pace skater finds positives in adversity

Christie took a break from social media earlier this year to help with her mental health
Christie has spoken beforehand about her struggles with melancholy and self-harm

“I am in a very excellent place and I need to go and race.”

The coronavirus pandemic has affected everyone in numerous methods. For former quick observe pace skating world champion Elise Christie, it has been an opportunity to “reset” from a “unfavorable spiral”.

There stays one frustration – an absence of aggressive motion – however a constructive mindset has helped the 30-year-old by way of this most testing of years.

Nationwide lockdown? It helped her nervousness.

Having to spend lockdown with an ex-boyfriend? It was good to have the corporate.

Ice rinks closed? She received even fitter at house.

All competitors this yr cancelled? It might give her a bonus over her rivals.

That has not at all times been the sort of outlook Britain’s greatest quick observe pace skater has had – or been capable of have.

Her struggles with psychological well being and self-harm have been well-documented because the 2018 Winter Olympics, the place for the second successive Video games her quest for an elusive medal led to tears.

Nowadays, although, it will seem Christie is taking regardless of the world has to throw at her in her stride.

“Lockdown gave me a while to essentially reset as a result of issues hadn’t gone very nicely because the Olympics,” the Scot advised BBC Sport.

“If something, it is good for my nervousness as a result of typically it is higher for me to not be round individuals as a lot.”

Even a nightmare situation for a lot of – having to spend lockdown with a former associate – was welcome reduction.

“That made the information in a wierd means,” she laughed. “A minimum of I had somebody there, and we do get alongside, so I used to be sort of grateful I did not must spend the entire thing alone.

“The one factor that pissed off me was not with the ability to skate and get entry to gyms.

“However mentally it was actually good for me. I would had such a horrible season final yr and I would ended up depressed once more.

“I would received into such a unfavorable spiral and I simply might have accomplished with a reset – which I would not have taken except it was enforced.”

Mid-lockdown, former GB quick observe skater Richard Shoebridge took over as Christie’s coach, and she or he credit his “affected person and constructive” strategy with serving to her give attention to regaining her health.

With ice rinks closed from March till September, she needed to arrange a house fitness center and get inline skates and even her mum’s outdated watt bike with the intention to obtain that from house.

She says her health now could be “increased than regular” and even higher than within the interval going into the 2018 Video games.

“I am way more strong than I’ve ever been most likely,” she says.

“It is simply the skating ability that is gone down a bit and that is received to come back again up.”

With all quick observe World Cups for the remainder of the yr cancelled, Christie should rectify that in her coaching group in Nottingham.

“It is irritating as a result of final yr I received to the purpose bodily and mentally the place I did not actually need to race and now I am in a very excellent place and I need to go and race – and I can not,” she stated.

“We need to exit and do the Worlds particularly. I am actually hoping they’ll run the Europeans because it prices much less and is less complicated to get everybody collectively.”

Christie now faces the prospect of solely finishing one full season between the 2018 and 2022 Winter Video games.

“In 2019 I had a while out, final yr I had main surgical procedure once I had my appendix out, and this season there’s been the pandemic,” she stated.

“I believed it is perhaps full-on and possibly I would be sick of it by the point I received to the Video games.

“I suppose the one constructive is I’ve not been over-pushed; my physique’s contemporary and in place to coach.

“The opposition have not seen me so they do not know how I am skating and what I am engaged on.

“Hopefully I will be a little bit of a shock to everybody. I am excited.”

However might this constructive mindset result in constructive outcomes for Christie at Beijing 2022?

“I am going to really feel like I will win a medal as a result of I at all times have accomplished,” she stated.

“And I ought to have medals by now and I consider I can – I’ve not misplaced that skill.

“Nevertheless it’s not nearly that now.

“It is about truly going on the market and having fun with an Olympics. And selling individuals not to surrender.”

Should you’ve been affected by self-harm or emotional misery, assist and help is offered through the BBC Motion Line.

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