The 22-year-old Haley Adams has just announced her decision to not compete at the 2023 CrossFit Games. Although Haley has achieved great success, she has also faced many difficulties. One of the most difficult ones was her eating disorder, which caused her mental health to deteriorate. Haley opened up about her struggles and the reasons behind her decision to step away from the competition through an Instagram post.
Haley Adams started CrossFit when she was just 14 years old, and it quickly became her everything. She was extremely passionate about the sport and worked extremely hard to become one of the best. However, along the road of chasing her dream so hard, she slowly began to lose herself. The immense pressure she felt started to affect her in negative ways, and she no longer enjoyed the process. Due to her intense focus on achieving high placements, Haley became overly self-critical and began to harshly judge herself for any minor setbacks or inconveniences.
In addition, Haley Adams began to battle with an eating disorder and struggled with her mental health ever since. She suffered in silence, putting on a brave face and keeping a smile on her face to maintain the façade that everything was okay. Haley’s struggle is one that many athletes face, as the pressure to perform at the highest level can take a significant toll on their mental health. It is essential to recognize the importance of mental health in the sport and support athletes who are struggling.
“I’ve battled with an eating disorder, and have struggled with my mental health ever since. I’ve suffered in silence, and because of the pressure to make everything seem “okay”, I kept a smile on my face. It’s been a hard few years, when every single day is a battle.
But now, it’s time to put me first. I will be stepping away from competing this season, and as sad and difficult as it is to make this decision, I’m equally excited to find who Haley is again. I will be using this time to work on myself, as much mentally as physically, so that I’m no longer holding myself back.”
Despite her very young age, Haley Adams has taken part in seven CrossFit Games across her teenage and adult career. She was a vice-champion in the teenage girl’s divisions in 2016 and 2017, finally managing to win the division in 2018. She then moved up to the open age class and took part in four CrossFit Games editions, with the fourth place finish in 2020 marking her greatest placing. She followed that up with a fifth place finish in 2021, while she dropped down to ninth in the most recent 2022 CrossFit Games.
This is not the end for Haley Adams, as the impressive athlete still wants to come back even stronger and better in 2024. Referring to this journey as a “new book” and not just a new chapter, Haley obviously understands what the path to recovery will need to be. She also concluded the announcement with a message for anyone struggling with mental health or eating disorders, explaining that the most courageous thing you can ever do is ask for help.