“ATHLETE IDENTITY PROBLEMS, A HEALTHY PASTA ALTERNATIVE & HELP WOMEN FEEL SAFER ON THE STREETS…”
Personal Reflection: Post-Athlete Identity
These last months have been crazy busy (more on that later), and one thing that I am still working through is; who do I want to be post-retirement and what is my brand. Being a professional athlete is what taught me life lessons, hard work, discipline and what it means to chase your dreams but at the same time I am more than an athlete and that isn’t what defines me.
“Surround yourself with friends and family that were there through it all - the good, the bad and everything in-between because their love for you was never defined by wins and losses”
A lot of athletes: professionals, juniors or at the collegiate level, have identity problems once they retire, whether through choice or circumstances out of their control. Personally, I am really at peace with my decision and genuinely feel that it was the right time for me to hang up my rackets with zero regrets. However, I can completely understand why some people feel ‘lost’, after days filled with plans, parameters of what to do and what not to do, working towards a constant goal and surrounded by a team. Everyone will deal with their situation in their own way, but I believe the following can definitely help:
- Keeping a routine, even if you don’t know what you want to do personally or professionally, set yourself tasks every day.
- Staying in shape and keeping your body moving because just as going from doing nothing to working out every day, is a shock to the body, the inverse is as well.
- THE MOST IMPERATIVE is to surround yourself with friends and family that were there through it all - the good, the bad and everything in-between because their love for you was never defined by wins and losses and the fact you were a professional athlete. To my support bubble I am Julia Goerges the human, the daughter, the sister, the friend and not Julia Goerges the professional tennis player, and to them I am forever grateful.
You may ask…Jule what have you been doing…you have retired you should be relaxing…you have been so quiet on social media so what could possibly be keeping you busy…Well I moved into my new house and it has been so much fun, decorating, picking furniture and putting my own stamp on “home.”
Finding where home is, seemed like the best first plan of action. As this is was the first time in 16 years where I would not be living out of a suitcase, or living where was best for training purposes, but really where I want to be and settle down. And who could get bored of these great views, I found my HOME:
Health & Mindfulness
From my career I was used to the body being under constant stress and pressure. As I mentioned previously, I believe it is important to keep routine and habits, so I try to keep myself feeling good by working out and putting quality food into my body.
Throughout my career I learnt a lot about healthy food alternatives and different types of diets, but personally “moderation” works best for me. For example, I am not a vegan or vegetarian but choose alternatives to regular milk and also limit my meat consumption.
This month I wanted to share with you one of my current favourite healthy recipes: Buckwheat Noodles (also known as Soba noodles). Buckwheat is a great alternative to regular flour-based pasta/noodles.
Buckwheat is full of great micronutrients, is gluten-free, has less carbohydrates but is high in fibre and protein. Some people even class buckwheat as a superfood because of its beneficial characteristics.
If you would like to read more about the benefits of Buckwheat, here >> is a great read from BBC GoodFood.
Healthy Recipe: Buckwheat Noodles (for 1 person)
What you need
- 1 Wok Pan
- 1 Regular Pot of Boiling Water
- 150g of Buckwheat Noodles
- 10-15 Sugar Snap Peas
- 1/2 Zucchini cut into small pieces
- 2 Small Carrots peeled and chopped
- 1 Medium egg
- 1 Tablespoon of Vegetable Stock
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- 1 Teaspoon of Mixed Herbs Seasoning
- 2-3 Tablespoon of Sweet and Sour Stir Fry Sauce (of your choice)
- Small hand-full of Cashew Nuts
- 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil/Coconut Oil or Butter (personal preference)
- Add Buckwheat noodles to a pot of boiling water and cook for 8-9 minutes until ‘al dente’, or to preferred taste.
- Once the pasta has been cooking for 5 minutes, heat the pan with oil or butter and fry the vegetables on a high heat.
- Add the salt, pepper, seasoning and vegetable broth to the vegetables.
- Once the noodles are ready, drain out the water and add them to the pan.
- Next pour over the Stir Fry Sauce, add the egg and cashew nuts, stir thoroughly and allow to cook for a further 3-4 minutes.
- You are all set to go, serve and enjoy with your friends and family!
P.S. Make sure that your noodles are 100% Buckwheat and not a mix with flour, to get the full benefits.
I really like the Felicia’s Buckwheat noodles here >>. This is not an ad :-)
Women: We are Strong but Help Us Feel Safe
International Women’s Day was this past month, which is a great day on the calendar to celebrate women. As a proud member of the female race, I am proud of the continual progress we are making to equality in the professional world, as well as respecting ourselves and empowering each other.
However, off the back of this day of celebration there was a tragic incident in London involving a young woman called Sarah Everard. There was a lot of relatable content on social media discussing conscious and unconscious actions women take to protect themselves when walking home and some scarily high statistics about how many women don’t feel safe walking down the street - this highlights the there is still a lot of work and education to be done.
One easy resource (if you have iPhone) that got my attention, is the Emergency SOS feature which is both a subtle deterrent and could help anyone in danger, both men and women. If you don’t already have it here is how you set it up:
iPhone Emergency SOS directions:
- Go to settings and select Emergency SOS
- Make sure “Call with Side Button” is turned on
- Click “Set Up Emergency Contacts in Health”
- Click “Edit” top right
- Click “add emergency contact” and select your close family members and friends
- Now from the locked screen you can press the lock button 5 times quickly and your phone will make a siren noise and give you a 3 second countdown before calling the emergency services and notifying your emergency contacts of your location.
(You can click the ‘x’ to cancel if this was a mistake).
Come back next month to read about how my PTGP bubble experience, follow the @PorscheTennis (paid partnership) social media account to stay up to date and more information on how to catch the live action is available here >>.
Phew…that was fun ;) see you next month….