After my post touching on my concerns for the emotional well-being of cyclists last week, a few people contacted me: some sharing their own experiences of how they used training and competition to numb feelings or deal with distress; others questioned if it really was as bad as I saw it. I was particularly grateful for getting to know about this write up in The Washington Post: It details the heart breaking story of Kelly Caitlin, a young American cyclist who won multiple world track team pursuit titles and the silver medal at the 2016 Olympics.
I’ve little more to add this week. I read the article at a time I was already in touch with a deep sadness: client stories, and my own experiences with close friends and family have me thinking about our mortality, the fragility of life. It can lead to despondency, or as a client recently asked me “what’s the point?”. I totally get this position – yet when I read words like in Kelly Caitlin’s suicide letter, I fully understand how important it is to do what I can to support others in their pain…
“I cry,” Kelly wrote, “because I only ever truly desired Love. Kindness. Understanding. Warmth. Touch. And these things shall be denied, for eternity.”
…this gives ME a point, a purpose. But that doesn’t make it easy to bear sometimes.