2x Paralympic medalist and High Fives Athlete #45, Keith Gabel, reminds us that it’s okay not to be okay.
In June of 2005, Keith Gabel was involved in an industrial accident; over 2,000 pounds of hydraulic pressure crushed his left foot. After a series of medical procedures, the decision was made to amputate. Keith is an action sports enthusiast with a background in big mountain and freestyle snowboarding. Just three months after his accident, Keith set his sights on making the 2014 U.S. Paralympic Team and has been a successful Paralympian ever since.
Today, Team USA shared his story to give us all the reassurance that even the most talented people go through the trenches of mental health struggles.
As an athlete, it’s important to be physically, emotionally and mentally ready to compete. When I’m on the snow, I want to give my best on every run.
But when you’re dealing with mental health challenges, it’s hard to get out of bed some days, let alone go for a Paralympic gold medal. Mental health issues aren’t always visible like a knee injury or the flu, but they can set us back all the same.
I struggled to ask for help when I was dealing with depression. Now, I speak openly about my mental health journey, because I know I’m not alone.
I want to bring conversations about mental health out of the shadows so that everyone—especially other members of Team USA—knows that it’s okay to not be okay.
We are proud to share Keith’s vulnerability this month, thanks to Team USA for sharing his story. If you are reading this, we want you to know that High Fives Foundation is made up of humans, just like you, who struggle with mental health hurdles too. We support you, and we see you.
Mental Recovery Resource kindly provided by Dani Trujillo, MSW. – https://highfivesfoundation.org/programs/mental-health/
High Five, and be kind to yourself.