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What is your WHY? Connect the Dots w/ Christina Jax - Podcast

Special guest Matt Birk, who is a former NFL player and Harvard graduate, joins A4 Health's RD Christina this week in her newly launched podcast: Connect the Dots w/ Christina Jax.

They discuss all that it takes to build a successful athlete, whether you are an athlete yourself or you have children that are athletes. Not only that, they dig deep into reminders that must be reinforced in athletes, such as the simple, but loaded question: "What is your why?". Other "salty bites" discussed here include:

  1. The importance of being mentally well as an athlete & as a human

  2. The relationship of America’s mental health crisis and its effect on children

    1. How marketing madness plays a role

  3. Effects of overly processed food on our gut microbiome (aka our second 🧠)!

  4. Modeling behaviors

  5. 5 TIPS to be a SUCCESSFUL athlete from Matt Birk

    1. hint: it has to do with more than just performance!

From the perspective as A4's intern, a previous competitive athlete for over 13 years, and now a soon-to-be Sports RD, this podcast hit really close to home and impacted me (and I am confident will do the same to all listeners) in numerous ways.

It has become incredibly commonplace for athletes, especially at a young age, to be told that the journey to becoming bigger, stronger, faster, and more resilient is steadfast and never-ending. Although grit and resilience are important pieces in become a more competitive athlete, at what moment do you ask yourself the important questions to fuel the bigger picture? How often are you genuinely asked,

"What is your WHY?

Why do you do this sport?

Why do you enjoy it?

Does it light YOU up inside?

Are you doing this because YOU enjoy it?"

Now don't get me wrong, there are always low days or times when it is not all sunshines and rainbows throughout your athletic career. However, having that attached to the road to success is far too normalized in the sports world.

Just because it is accepted as the norm, doesn't mean it is how it SHOULD be. (this goes for many things in the sports/sports nutrition world, but I digress)

That is my point. If you don't ask yourself these tough, important questions, it can make a large impact on your mental health and relationship with your sport. Whether it be cheer, hockey, football, swimming, track, dance, theatre, band, or even in scholastics (the list goes on), *this* question is equally important and applicable to them all.

If I had heard this impactful discussion as a young athlete or as I began pursuing my college degree, I know that my experiences would have been much different. In order to achieve your goals, sometimes you just need to reflect back to your starting point and ask yourself *WHY* you embarked on this journey in the first place.

That being said, this discussion brings some much-needed light to the subject of mental health in athletes, how Matt came to love with sports in a genuine, yet now-untraditional way, how taking care of your mental wellness and nutrition are keys to success, and the power that our surroundings have on shaping our athletic career. Go check out this conversation at this link to gain your own perspective and personal realizations.

Until Next Time,

Your (soon-to-be😉) RD Fuel Good Expert

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