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Health aspects of a Cross-Country skier | FIS Cross Country

Health aspects of a Cross-Country skier | FIS Cross Country


I’ve been doing this for a very long time, for me one of the most important thing it to make sure I’m healthy, so that I can have a really long career. In order to do that you have to take care of yourself. Right now I’m really confortable with who I am, where I am and how my body is, but it took a long time to get there. I’ve shared publicly that when I was 18-19 years old I struggled with an eating disorder. It was quite serious, I had to go into treatment to get help. What I didn’t know at the time is that eating disorder are a form of mental illness. So it’s just your mental health. Like if you’re depressed, or you have anxiety, it’s not your fault, but you also might need help to get better. For me it was really hard because when I was 18 I thought: “OK, I’m an endurance athlete, I just have to be skinny and then I’ll be really fast.” But that’s not always the case. So I had to decide between letting my eating disorder go or continuing my sport, and I chose sport. When I was trying to train and race with my eating disorder, I was slow, I was tired all the time, and literally the year that I started to get healthy, and started to fuel myself, see food as something that can help make me fast… I won Nationals, I made the World Championships, I suddenly boomed, my career took off. I needed to talk about it, because I know that there are a lot of young athletes who are maybe unfortunately in the place I was. They feel that they can’t ask for help, they can’t tell anyone, I don’t want to admit to myself that I might have a struggle with food, the way I look. I just want them to know that the way forward in sports, and in life to be happy, to be able to find joy in skiing, just to be able to find joy in your life is to get help and to get better. I just want young athletes to know that if you have an eating disorder, or you think you might have one, it’s ok to talk to a coach, it’s not shameful, it’s not bad, it doesn’t make you a bad person. I had one and I think I’m a pretty good person! It’s okay… I think it would be crazy to say that there is no pressure. Especially in sports. I mean we’re racing out there in fabrics that is as thin as your underwear, in front of the entire world, that’s a lot! Everyone sees your body, and they see what it looks like, that can be very scary, can make you feel a lot of pressure. The sooner you start to ask for help, then maybe you can get better sooner without needing to go to a full treatment center, and if you do that’s ok. I think if people have the fear that it will stop their training, it doesn’t have to. But you do need to ask for help right away because it will eventually stop your training and it might stop your life, if you don’t get help and ask somebody.

4 thoughts on “Health aspects of a Cross-Country skier | FIS Cross Country”

  1. Thank you Jessica for your advise!
    How does your daily diet looks like? What do you usually eat in order to stay strong and healthy?

  2. After reading endless translated articles, I still have no idea what was/is wrong with Frida Karlsson. SWEXC refuses to say anything and neither does she. Can anyone explain please what exactly being ‘banned from competing due to health reasons’ actually means??!

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