We all have athletes, footballers, musicians and/or politicians we admire so much. The young generation of today envies most accomplished persons either because of their skill and their achievements. The internet and TV worsen the situation by showing how they are living large.
David Boudia is one of those accomplished athletes who won a diving gold medal in the 2012 London Olympics. Boudia watched his first Olympic Games when he was seven years and a gymnast at the time. After this, he started dreaming of competing globally.
Before long, he transitioned into diving, a sports that took him to the 2012 London Olympics from where he garnered a gold medal. Was he ready for what followed? Read on.
They say to reach your full capacity, you have to dream big. Well, that’s what young David Boudia did after watching his first Olympic Games at seven years.
At the time, he was doing gymnastics and after watching the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, they struck a chord in him. He knew he would one day compete on the world stage, talk of dreaming big.
He was later to move from gymnastics to diving. He perfected this skill because, to perform globally, you must have the skill.
At 11 years of age, his dreams began to shape out as he worked hard at his diving skill that would take him to the Olympics. He was staying in Indianapolis at the time with his parents who both supported him into nurturing his ambition.
David Boudia was privileged to have both parents that supported his dream. It’s said his father would ensure Boudia’s pre-training breakfast is ready by 6 am. After taking his breakfast, his mother would then drive him to the swimming pool for practice.
His parents saw the determination to succeed in their young child and did what every parent would do-support their child in every way possible.
Obsessed with Success
David Boudia became so obsessed with success that he would be thinking about how he would achieve this dream. In 2008, when he represented the United States in the Beijing Olympic Games, his dream was drawing nearer. Instead of seeing it this way, instead this affected him negatively.
Remember how he had dreamed of competing on the world stage? When he finally did, the experiences and effects were instead devastating.
The 19 year-old Boudia perceived it as a roller coaster which made him experience the highs and lows of competing with the world’s top athletes. Did he anticipate this would be part of the journey? Definitely not. He thought it would be a smooth sail, which should be a lesson to the young people out there.
Every public person we love to admire and look up to has weathered storms to get where they are. It is never and probably will never be a smooth sail to success.
Depression Sets In
This roller coaster experience at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games led him into a low mood he had not anticipated. The highs of competing with the top-notch athletes contrasted with his low days.
As much as to the public he was this diving star who ‘had it all’, on the inside, he was battling the onset of depression. He channeled all his efforts on winning the medal which was also damaging him mentally.
Time for School and Depression Worsens
Before he began his sophomore year at Purdue University, depression worsened during that summer before school. Weeks before that, he had been at the Olympics rubbing shoulders with the exclusive U.S team and now he would be like everyone else in school.
On many days, he struggled getting out bed, talking to anyone, going to class and even going for practice. He says on some days he just wanted be in bed not doing or thinking anything. At some point he contemplated suicide and this is when he knew he needed help.
Journey to Success Begins
Boudia started by opening up to his coach Adam Soldati and his present wife Sonnie Brand. This was the first step towards coming back to the Olympics. He was open and honest with them about his depression battles. The first step to recovery from depression is finding someone you confide in and be brutally honest with them.
What He Learnt
Step by step he was on the right track to recovery. He learnt that success is not about the end point (the medal) but enjoying the journey. After all, it is the journey that takes you there. Also, his advice is to enjoy the process/ journey and stop worrying about what you have no control over.
We learn from David Boudia that if we get so obsessed with success it can be detrimental to our health. Success is a collective effort of the journey and the prize. You can enjoy both, work hard and stop worrying about what you cannot control. And in case depression sets in, seek help. Confide in someone and be honest with them.