Sunday, October 02, 2011

Kenrick Monk

"It's preparation now, you're leading up to the Olympics. It's not the brightest thing to be on a skateboard."
He broke down as he said he had made up the accident tale because it sounded "elaborate".
"It just kept snowballing and snowballing and more and more and more came out and it just got too much for me," he said.

I wouldn't normally say anything about someone like Kenrick Monk  who is a Commonwealth Gold winner, a well credentialled swimmer and 23. When I saw the original interview I thought he had been less hurt than I thought he would be if a car drove at him but he looked such a mess and wasn't talking particularly well. So now we find out he had actually had a skateboard accident. If you read the article I have linked to he sounds like a young boy. He doesn't sound like he is 23. His whole way of dealing with this, and what he did in the first place, sounds like a young boy. It is not making sense. You cannot get as far as he has and done as well as he has without a total commitment to swimming, fitness, the team and a sense of responsibility that you will always be there training, training ,training and representing your country. The London Olympics are next year and he is supposed to be swimming in them. We are supposed to be more aware of mental health issues. He sounds like he has been unable to cope with this emotionally. He sounds like he  just went skateboarding - why? It wasn't swimming. It was normal kid activity. It was being as free as the wind.In all of that he knew he was doing something wrong because he is currently a chattel of the Olympics team. He has actually been very self destructive and that is not someone who has achieved what he has. While they are busy disciplining him I hope they are busy looking at his mental health too because it looks like he has hit the wall. Is he normally a rebel? Is he normally defiant? Is he normally like this? I watched the Commonwealth games. I didn't get the impression he was reckless or irresponsible. But when he says, in this article,

"I didn't know what to do ... I panicked, I freaked ... basically to know that I've just fallen off a skateboard, something that a 10-year-old can ride," 

you have to  remind yourself this is a 23 year old Commonwealth Gold holder. He will know why he did all of this but the self destructiveness of it is the thing which concerns me the most. If others were caught up in it then it's because we do respect our sports people and we do respond to what is happening to them. I wonder if we'll deal with the emotional aspect of this as well as we have dealt with it as a physical injury. A 23 year old man can't say he is cracking up and not coping , can he?  You know the cry for help stuff? That's how I read this. I could be quite wrong, but why else would I bother blogging about it? I have nothing but admiration for how our swimming team sets such a good example to us of how to cope and get on with life. I hope they will help Kenrick and sort this out.

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