FROM THE BLOG: Harriet Brown // Resilience in the face of crisis 💪

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Written by the magical Harriet Brown ✨

Sporting competitions are cancelled all around Australia. I am sad, and you are allowed to be too. Amongst the chaos and uncertainty, I am staying positive. As Serena Williams once said… "I really think a champion is defined not by their wins but by how they can recover when they fall."

With all the devastation unfolding in many parts of the world at the moment, sporting events are the first to go. The spread of COVID-19 through the sporting field, swimming pool and spectators at big events is too high a risk and us athletes understand this. We understand the huge implications this may have on jobs, schools, careers and the economy. However, we have lost our purpose and that is something many of us have never experienced before. 

We are currently living in the unknown; training, racing, work and school. The unknown is scary but I am trying to see this as an opportunity. Resilience comes from the choices we make and how we respond during the tough times. I believe that resilience can be learnt. We generally learn the most about ourselves when faced with adversity.  

With every situation we are faced with, we will have two choices to make; to feel sorry for ourselves and give in to the frustration, or to acknowledge our disappointment and try to make the most of our situation. The latter, the more challenging road is always the most difficult. By doing little things each day we can learn coping strategies and skills that will build our resilience. 

Not being able to pursue your sporting goal has impacted your life right now. It's okay to allow yourself to feel sad that the one event you were training so hard for is no longer your number one goal. It's okay to feel let down when your main purpose is no longer motivating you to get out of bed. It's okay to feel frustrated when your training is cancelled and you're freaking out about missing sessions and getting unfit. You are not the only one. Athletes around the world feel your pain, and I do too.

In this time of global crisis, it's natural to feel a bit guilty for experiencing all of these emotions and a sense of loss. For me, not being able to do what I love and what I have spent the past few months training for is bitterly disappointing. However, I understand my situation isn't so bad compared to what so many others around the world are facing. I am fit, healthy and young and that is important to keep in perspective. In my world, over this last week I have allowed myself to be sad for a moment as the State, Australian and World Championships are cancelled or postponed. I can't even imagine how the Olympic hopefuls are feeling. By feeling these emotions, it has helped me accept the situation move on and focus on the positives and distract myself with hobbies and activities.

Just because your event is cancelled, the gyms are closing and swimming training is on hold indefinitely, this doesn't mean we have to feel sorry for ourselves and turn into couch potatoes watching Netflix all day.

Through these small positive practices, you will learn the skills and resilience that will make you a better athlete and better person. Whilst your friends might be sitting on the couch watching Netflix while scrolling on their phones eating chips for the next few weeks, you have a choice now to make the most of a pretty tough situation.

And please remember you are not alone, even when you are alone. We are all going through this together, even when we are apart.


See more from Harriet at or @harrietbrown

1 comment

  • Posted on by Keiran McAuley

    Harriet is one of the most resilient people I know. You live the words you have written. Rest, recover and restart when it’s time.

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