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This book is written with honest and brave contributions from some of Australia's best female athletes.
World Champion : Jade Edmistone
Fish Out Of Water is a fantastically raw account of the struggles and difficulties faced by athletes as they transition from a world of eilitism into a 'normal' existence.
Written by : Jade Edmistone
About Jade : Fish Out Of Water is the first book written by Jade Edmistone that delves into her personal experience as she transitioned from a life as an elite athlete into that of a 'normal' person. After a successful career in the pool which saw Jade claim three World Titles and break five World Records, she faced some difficult moments as she struggled to find her feet in her new life post swimming. With motherhood, relationship changes and mental health issues at the forefront, Jade's brave openess brings to light what is a common fight for many athletes as they transition from an elite sporting life into that of a normal existence.While Jade's story is compelling and heartfelt, it is boosted with contribution from twelve other former Australian female swimmers who have also opened up in talking about their experiences and struggles. Jade reflects the stories of the other girls in a way that truly highlights the importance of the issue at large and brings to light a greater awareness of transition and all that it carries.
What people are saying about Fish Out Of Water
“Having worked as a General Practitioner in mental health, I found Fish Out Of Water extremely relevant. So many of my patients struggle with the same issues as Jade and the other elite swimmers described. Jade’s advice to plan for transitions, work on sense-of-self and utilise support networks is relevant to everyone, not just elite athletes. Whether you are leaving school, planning parenthood, changing jobs, about to retire from sport or work, questioning gender or sexual identity, or just struggling to find your place in life, reading Fish Out Of Water could help with all of life’s transitions.”Dr Sascha Saharov (MBBS, FRAGP)
“Fish Out Of Water is a wonderful companion for athletes, and in particular swimmers, who are venturing into the uncharted waters of sports retirement. Jade has gently and honestly provided readers with a window into her post-sport journey, and some preventative measures to contemplate. A gifted story-teller, Jade depicts the old landscape of retirement, the new landscape of retirement, and the ongoing, ever-present challenge that all athletes face when closing a significant chapter of their life.”Georgia Ridler (MAPS), Sport Psychologist
Transition is the elephant in the room. It is the inevitable event that everyone goes through, but no one wants to talk about. The problem being, it is a huge issue that more often than not brings with it many difficulties. It’s my personal struggles with transition that has led to the writing of this book.Like a lot of elite athletes, I had a retirement plan, but plans don’t always work out the way you want them to. After years in the sport that I loved, swimming, my time came to an end. In the years that followed I made a number of transitions, each of which brought their own difficulties. My first was from elite athlete to a new mother.Being a mum was worlds apart from being an elite athlete. Not saying that I am a selfish human being, but as an athlete, there is a certain amount of selfishness that comes with the territory. When you are an athlete, everything is about you; your training, your recovery, your nutrition, your competition, your goals. To get to the top of any sport, you have to be the main focus the majority of the time. When you are a mum, the main focus is your children. So this was a tough transition to make and one that I most certainly struggled with.
Three years after leaving the sport, I was diagnosed with bipolar II disorder. Being bipolar II, my lows were by far more prevalent than my highs, and it is for this reason that it went undiagnosed for so long. While I didn’t know I was suffering from bipolar, I did know that I had been struggling with depression consistently since I was sixteen. I hid this as best I could, as I didn’t feel I could talk to anyone about it or that anyone else would understand.
What I now recognise is that throwing myself into sport and the training it required masked the symptoms of my bipolar for years, and it wasn’t until I stopped that it was able to be picked up. What followed were numerous medication changes, hospital admissions, psychotherapy and even electroconvulsive therapy. It continues to be a rough ride and an incessant learning curve but with my partner, my children, and my family by my side I am making it through.
Making any transition in life is difficult and coming from elite sport is no different. It requires a lot of work, self-reflection, and adjustments as you transfer from a goal-driven life filled with constant feedback to that of a ‘normal’ person where the feedback is limited to your own self-talk and self-belief. In this book, some of Australia’s best female swimmers have reflected on their own experiences. What worked, what didn’t work, what helped and what hindered as they transitioned from a life in the fast lane to a life like everyone else.
It is my hope that this book will bring to light a greater understanding of the transition experience - not only in the negative but also in a positive way. I would like to express my genuine appreciation to all the athletes for their honest and brave contribution to the development of this book. And to Lana McCloughan who so generously contributed by authoring the summarising final chapter in a professional and yet personal manner. Lana’s compelling words round out the book perfectly, bringing the perspective of an experienced psychologist, former elite athlete and more importantly, a friend.
I do hope this book will increase the awareness of all who are closely involved with athletes. An awareness, which may lead to the enhancement of athletes’ well being throughout, as well as after their active involvement in their athletic career.
~ Jade Edmistone
"The process or period of changing from one state or condition to another.""A movement, development or evolution from one form, stage or style to another."It's not something you tend to give much thought to. It just happens and you deal with it as it comes. Whether it's going from finishing school and moving into the work force. From working nine-to-five into being a stay at home mum. From a corporate job into retirement. Sometimes it's a smooth ride and other times it can be a tumultuous journey. But how are you supposed to cope when it all goes pear shaped? Who do you turn to? What help is out there? Contained within the pages of this book, some of the best female swimmers Australia has seen have shared their experiences of how they managed to cope through their transition.An informative read for everyone, Fish Out Of Water will give you an insight into the personal struggles and victories associated with the transition from elite athlete into 'normal' adult life.
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Website : https://www.jadeedmistone.com/home
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