Liv: Did things start to change for you then?
Sarah: She was and continues to be so supportive, but I could not stop spiraling down. One day, I left a ride early, and ended up in tears, fighting with myself, and losing. I decided this was it. I was done. I reached out to a few people, and I felt like no one was there. I wrote a note. I took too many sleeping pills. And then I woke to my dad knocking on my door. Earlier, I had called my life coach, who had apparently called my dad. And there he was. I was relieved to see him, but also ashamed. My family had so many problems already. I was supposed to be the strong one. I felt I’d let him down.
He stayed with me for a long time. At one point, he said, “Sarah, you don’t have to be great at anything. You just have to want something. What is it that you want?” I had to think a long time about that. But then it was simple. “I just want to ride my bike.” And then I shared with him that I was really struggling, and he listened so patiently, and he was so supportive.
Liv: What other support made a difference for you?
Sarah: Once this crisis had passed, I knew I still needed help. My life coach recommended a professional facility. I went willingly, but I resisted the process at first. I didn’t speak to anyone for the first week. But after observing and listening all week, I realized none of us were “crazy.” Most of us were there because of burnout, or trauma, or abuse. I decided to stay a second week, and that’s when the breakthroughs started to happen.
One of my counselors did this exercise with me, where he had me hold my arms out, and when he pushed down on my arms, of course they fell immediately. Then he asked me to think about what it was that I really wanted. I thought, ugh, my dad already asked me this question. But I did it, and I thought about how much I wanted to race, and to be a part of something bigger than myself, and when he tried to push my arms down again, he couldn’t, because I stayed strong, fighting for what I wanted.
And then a day later, on my birthday, I got an email asking me to join Liv Factory Racing.