Ep57 RACHEL HAINES Forgiving

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This week's episode is skyrocketing to the top of all-time listens, so definitely make sure to check out what all the excitement is about.

Rachel was a two-time member of the US Women’s Gymnastics team, two-time National Champion, and Division 1 college gymnast at University of Minnesota where she studied child psychology and earned a master’s degree in family social science. She is also Survivor 195 in the Larry Nassar case.

Tomorrow, her excellent memoir comes out!
In Abused: Surviving Sexual Assault and a Toxic Gymnastics Culture she writes in detail about breaking her back in three places and everything she did to stay in the sport after that day. But, mostly Rachel uses the lens of her psychology training to dissect her time in the sport. She focuses on the culture of gymnastics, being a driven teenager, her own process of healing, forgiving, moving on, and creating a great life after sport.

Rachel’s goal is to inspire just one person with what she’s written.

Competing versus training is a favorite topic of this podcast, so talking to Rachel about the complex relationship between competition, having fun, developing into a better person, safety, and respect for sport has me still thinking. She asks important questions like what is the aim of college sports. This discussion is timely given the recent college application scandal (which I’ve been obsessing about). And yet, making it only about fun and games takes away so much of what sport is about.

This weekend I’m running in a 5K. Even at this mini level, I’m reminded of how racing differs from training. I’ve enjoyed and hated getting ready for an actual event with a timer. While figuring out pacing and pushing myself to run a bit faster feels like an accomplishment, there’s no doubt that I’m paying a price for adding even this small amount of speed work with increased stress on my still struggling knees.

Thinking back to Rachel – how DO you balance the dueling requests sports make? She’s coaching now and has successfully implemented some of her ideas. Tune in to hear what she said.