WEEK 8: RACHÈLE MARSHALL
Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
Growing up, I was small and clumsy, so even though I loved playing sports I never made any varsity teams in school. I have always been really competitive and love to challenge myself to learn and grow through sport. My mum always encouraged us to stay active so I really focussed on Cross Country and Tae Kwon Do as a kid. Nowadays, I am focused on having fun through multiple sports, I compete in recreational squash and ultimate frisbee leagues, Crossfit competitions, and running in at least a race a year.
Please share a story about an internal or external barrier you have faced. How did you overcome that barrier?
One of the biggest barriers I have faced was getting through my first year of graduate school. I experienced a perfect storm of transitional issues. I felt lost academically, was experiencing grief from the loss of my grandfather, and was struggling coming to terms with my queer identity and keeping it secret. My mental health really suffered during this time and I developed depression and anxiety. I also had a lot of help overcoming these barriers. I had some very caring friends who noticed that I wasn’t acting like myself, and they encouraged me to see a counsellor. Counselling played a huge role in helping me develop strategies to pull myself out of a very dark place, and manage my mindset when my mental health has suffered since.
What skills did you develop in sport to help you overcome your barrier?
Sports have always been an outlet for my personal stress, and my experience with setbacks in sport really helped me learn to build my personal resilience. I tend to withdraw when I’m burnt out or feeling low, and it always makes me feel worse if I let it get to the point of not leaving home or doing nothing all day. For me, sports act as a great reset button for my mental health because it gets me out of the house to focus on having fun for a while.