“How CrossFit Helps Me Combat Anxiety Disorder and Bipolar”

Honest words from this top level Aussie Athlete.

“I don’t enjoy competing. I don’t mind it physically, I like the outcome and sense of achievement I get from it, but the process is a nightmare for me. I suffer severely from anxiety disorder. I’ve been diagnosed with both it and bipolar and these things combined with the pressure (which probably only exists in my anxious mind) make the process of preparing to compete torturous at times.

Instagram is a highlight reel of an athlete’s journey. What goes on for me between PR posts and #AlwaysTryNewBeers is manic episodes, panic attacks, sleepless nights, breakdowns, days I can’t even get out of bed let alone into the gym, wild mood swings and worst of all is the constant anxious voice in my head which plays on loop, telling me all the worst possible outcomes for everything I do and all the reasons I’m not good enough and shouldn’t compete.

Unfortunately the medications I’ve tried mess with my energy levels and so I don’t take them during the season.Towards the end of the open I began to question if I wanted to endure another year of this and if so why?

I have a thriving business, am enjoying my studies immensely and have made the Games three times now. Competing again will likely have no effect on my life for better or worse and takes considerable time away from my work, study and social life.

So why put myself through the process?

The answer seems pretty clear cut, don’t.

However despite trying to talk myself out of it I can’t muster up the courage to pull out and have spent the last couple of weeks trying to figure out why. Then it struck me. For me competing is one way of telling that anxious voice in my head that it doesn’t have complete control over me or my life just yet and win or lose that’s a massive victory to me every year I take the regionals floor.

By facing my own demons maybe one day I’ll better be able to help others face theirs, which is exactly why I chose to go back at school and study psychology.

So this year when I compete I am competing for anyone, anywhere who shares the same voices in their head as I do. That tells them over and over all the reasons – rational or irrational – that they can’t, shouldn’t, won’t or aren’t good enough.”

Khan Porter

 

#RealTalk I don’t enjoy competing. I don’t mind it physically, I like the outcome and sense of achievement I get from it, but the process is a nightmare for me. I suffer severely from anxiety disorder. I’ve been diagnosed with both it and bipolar and these things combined with the pressure (which probably only exists in my anxious mind) make the process of preparing to compete torturous at times. Instagram is a highlight reel of an athlete’s journey. What goes on for me between PR posts and #AlwaysTryNewBeers is manic episodes, panic attacks, sleepless nights, breakdowns, days I can’t even get out of bed let alone into the gym, wild mood swings and worst of all is the constant anxious voice in my head which plays on loop, telling me all the worst possible outcomes for everything I do and all the reasons I’m not good enough and shouldn’t compete. Unfortunately the medications I’ve tried mess with my energy levels and so I don’t take them during the season. Towards the end of the open I began to question if I wanted to endure another year of this and if so why? I have a thriving business, am enjoying my studies immensely and have made the Games three times now. Competing again will likely have no effect on my life for better or worse and takes considerable time away from my work, study and social life. So why put myself through the process? The answer seems pretty clear cut, don’t. However despite trying to talk myself out of it I can’t muster up the courage to pull out and have spent the last couple of weeks trying to figure out why. Then it struck me. For me competing is one way of telling that anxious voice in my head that it doesn’t have complete control over me or my life just yet and win or lose that’s a massive victory to me every year I take the regionals floor. By facing my own demons maybe one day I’ll better be able to help others face theirs, which is exactly why I chose to go back at school and study psychology. So this year when I compete I am competing for anyone, anywhere who shares the same voices in their head as I do. That tells them over and over all the reasons – rational or irrational – that they can’t, shouldn’t, won’t or aren’t good enough.

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About The Author

Editor-In-Chief at BOXROX. I come from a background of rugby and weightlifting. Growing up in the English Lake District, I spent a great deal of time swimming in its stunning lakes and rivers. In 2015 my brothers and I became the first people to swim the 145km length of the River Eden, from source to mouth, in 9 days. We also swam the Corryvreckan whirlpool, the third largest in the world, and Crossfit is a huge part of my training for these events.

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