David Gillick on his love-hate relationship with running

Irish Olympian David Gillick has spoken about falling in love with running again after going through a dark period in his life where he suffered from severe anxiety and panic attacks.

One of Ireland’s most accomplished athletes (39), he was a two-time European Athletics Champion and had his sights set on the 2012 London Olympics before a calf injury forced his retirement.

The RTÉ commentator was forced to retire from competition in 2014 at the age of just 30, leaving him in limbo physically and mentally.

“It was toward the end of my competitive years. I had a couple of injuries and couldn’t run or compete, and that has some knock-on effects when you’re at that elite level with funding issues and sponsorship issues,” he said.

“So in my situation I had to worry about the future. What should I do and who was I? I’m no longer “the runner,” so it was that kind of identity issue. Losing that sense of purpose was something I struggled with as I retired.

“I know 30 is a young age, but I’ve been running for a long time. So you get to a point where you just don’t know what’s coming next. So from a mental health perspective, it’s been a struggle.

“I hated athletics and I hated running because I wasn’t in a good place. I resented my athletics for putting me in this position. It took me a while to understand who I was, my identity, what I wanted to do after that.”

The news that his wife Charlotte was expecting their first child, Oscar, now six years old, was a huge catalyst for him to seek help to cope with his mental health struggles.

The couple also now have Louis (15 months) and Oliva (3) and he turned to counseling to help him navigate his new life after retiring from athletics.

“I didn’t know what I wanted to do. So there was an after-effect of anxiety and worry and a little bit of overwhelm and I didn’t want to exercise.

“I was lethargic and grumpy and couldn’t sleep, and that’s when things really started to unravel. My mental health took a big hit in the two years after I retired aged 30-32,” he said.

There was a time when the celebrity master chef The winner expected to look forward to his future after just marrying another runner, but he was “stuck in a place I didn’t know about”.

“I almost idolized my past. I kept looking in that rearview mirror and I said, ‘I just want things to go back to how they were when I ran.’ That’s when I realized something wasn’t right here.

“Charlotte was expecting our first child and I was struggling with anxiety and panic attacks. I look back when Oscar was out and that was a catalyst for me to be like, ‘Right, I need help,'” he said.

He began seeking counseling to discuss some of his issues and eventually found solace in the same thing that had brought him to this dark place – running.

“I’ve been running since I was seven when I came to Dundrum in south Dublin. I really enjoyed that, it was a big part of me and when I stopped there was a huge emptiness. My athletics got a point where it was my job it was always competitive and always pushing towards the next big championship,” he said.

“It took me about two years (after retirement) before I did my local park run. And I’ll never forget going to Marlay Park and saying to someone, ‘David, you should win this.’ I remember thinking, ‘Wait, this is just fun.’

“What I found was when I finished it, I really enjoyed it. I haven’t been in a good place mentally, and I’ve benefited a lot from just being outdoors. It kickstarted my weekend, I felt good, I felt energized just to be out and about.”

As an ambassador for Vhi, which supports parkrun, he said he will “run for the rest of my life.”

“I’m just like that. I love the fact that when you go out and run or walk you get that sense of clarity in your head. I just like the way it makes me feel,” he said.

He teamed up with champion jockey Nina Carberry and exercise physiologist Dr. Brian Caron to launch Vhi’s “More than Runing” campaign. He calls on people to get involved in their local park run in the summer as they walk, jog or run the 5km route.

dr Held in over 100 locations across the country, Carson said even minor changes to your routine can have positive effects on your mental and physical health.

https://www.independent.ie/life/health-wellbeing/david-gillick-on-his-lovehate-relationship-with-running-41837995.html David Gillick on his love-hate relationship with running

Fry Electronics Team

Fry Electronics.com is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – admin@fry-electronics.com. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button