I joined the Pro Tour in 1990 at age 17, determined and hungry to clinch my first title. But five years later, I came close to falling apart.
My gruelling regime had taken its toll on me – I had completely abused my body, and the cracks were beginning to show. The harder I worked, the more fatigued I became, to the point where my body completely shut down. I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, and my life went into a tailspin. I was physically, mentally and emotionally broken, and found myself in a dark, debilitating headspace.
While this was a bleak period in my life, it also taught me some important lessons. I learned how to communicate with my body and developed the courage I needed to reach out for help.
In 1997, I took part in a rebirthing breathing session to help uncover and process my subconscious fear. I wasn’t ready for so much emotion to come bubbling up to the surface – when I found just how much fear I had built up over the years, I began sobbing uncontrollably.
I realised I was scared of my own success. In my eyes, I saw winners as arrogant and obnoxious – and that was the last thing I wanted to be. I was afraid of becoming the very thing I denounced.
Once I contextualised these emotions, I rewrote the narrative and began healing. I eventually adopted a love-based mindset, which led me to win my first world title in 1998.