Its OK Not To Be OK

Sport has always been part of my life and always will be. It’s what has made me happy but also what has nearly destroyed me.

Moving to the French Alps at the age of 7 to a small village called Châtel. Learning how to ski then joining the local freestyle club at the age of 9. I started competing in mogul skiing from the age of 10 and have never looked back since. I’m a proud member of the GB Moguls team and compete on the World Cup circuit.

Sport and in particular mogul skiing is what makes me feel alive but unfortunately for 6 years now I have endured injury after injury.

A broken wrist, 2 ACL surgeries, a shoulder surgery, a broken back, an herniated disc and clavicle surgery. Let’s say I’ve pretty much broken the right side of my body. Fighting to come back again and again, missing my first chance to go to the Olympics and missing out opportunities to compete in World Championships has been nothing short of heartbreaking. People see your broken body but not the mental fight, it’s actually the same when someone is smiling but deep down is in pieces.

Leonie in action

I’m currently recovering from clavicle surgery, I have a plate and 10 screws, no one can see them but I know that they are there. I see my scars everyday and no matter how much my injuries have hurt me they are a part of me and my journey. It’s something I’ve had to learn to accept.

Everyone has their own journey, their own struggles but I believe talking about them helps every single one of us. I’ve kept my struggles to myself for years and I’ve never really spoken to anybody because I didn’t want to show any weakness. I was also ashamed to show my tears. So I started writing about my life, what I’ve been through. I’m hoping to turn it into a book in the future.

If anyone who is currently struggling and is reading this but doesn’t want to speak about it, try writing down how you feel. I remember writing about my first major knee injury and I started to to cry and I carried on crying whilst writing. It may sound stupid but it made me feel so much better afterwards, it may help you.

I am so grateful to have support from my family, friends and team, and to be travelling all around the World while doing what I love.

Remember “It’s ok to not be ok”.

By Leonie Gerken Schofield – Team GB Professional Skier