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Episode #91

"30 Days with Chari"

with Chari Hawkins

21 Oct, 2022 · Heptathlon

Chari Hawkins, the 2022 US Indoor Champion in the Heptathlon, and creator of the “30 Days with Chari” program, talks about mental health and the importance of her program for young athletes in the VIS community. 

Voice In Sport
Episode 91. Chari Hawkins
00:00 | 00:00


[00:00:00] Stef: Today we are talking to Chari Hawkins, the 2022 USA Indoor Champion in the Heptathlon, who has also represented the US on several occasions and is currently ranked sixth in the world. Chari has been a guest on the Voice and Sport podcast before in episode 75, where she talked about her mental training and creating your own story.

Today we are diving deeper into mental health and discussing char's new "30 day with Chari" program. Her new program is a 30 day mental and physical strengthening program. Each day, participants will accomplish three tasks. Listening to a podcast hosted by Shari complete a fundamental challenge and then crush a workout.

Today, Shari describes three out of the 30 days in the program, starting with day one, accountability.

[00:00:50] Chari: I talk about within the accountability day, how important it is to know that you are in charge.

[00:00:57] Stef: Then she goes over day number two, dreaming.

[00:01:01] Chari: Dreams are your essence of like who you wanna be when you grow up.

[00:01:05] Stef: And finally talking about the importance of purposeful rest on day number 19.

[00:01:11] Chari: your brain wants to work hard, and when it's getting overworked, it's starting to attach your sport into something negative.

[00:01:18] Stef: I'm excited about the focus of this program as it compliments so much of what we are advocating for and doing here at Voice and Sport.

Chari is giving all voice and sport community members a special discount code.

Use Code "VIS" for 33% off the cost of the program at

Before we get started, if you love this podcast, please leave us a rating and review on Apple Podcast and Spotify. Chari, welcome to the Voice and Sport Podcast.

[00:01:47] Chari: Yes, it was so much fun last time we had to do it again, so I'm really happy to be here.

[00:01:51] Stef: Absolutely. Well, you were on episode number 75 at Voice and Sport and you talked a lot about mental training and also just the struggles that you had in your journey and you were really real and honest and raw about it and, and so I'm really excited to see this incredible program that you've created to help other athletes with some of the struggles that you went through.

So, you know, I know you've been very outspoken about your challenges along the way, especially panic attacks and major anxiety. So let's really start off this podcast really talking about why you created the 30 Days with Shari program.

[00:02:24] Chari: Yeah, I mean, well first of all, congratulations on episode number 75. That's really amazing. Super incredible feat. I think that one of the biggest things that a lot of us forget is how important consistency is. And so like, you're here episode 75, like that's pretty amazing. So yeah. Congratulations, first of all.

That's so cool. When it comes to like mental training, like. I don't know. I think that there was this big difference. You know, there's like people who say that 5% of people do 95% of the winning. You know, and I think that the people who end up winning, it's not because, and sometimes it is that they're just like this insanely gifted people who are like, are just like better than everybody else.

That that can be true. Like every once in a while, I think that there are definitely anomalies in this planet, but, . I think a lot of people who win and who. Like get their goals and who follow through. They have, you know, a little bit of a secret sauce and I think it's that they have a little bit more control over their mind, especially within their sport.

And I just was never one of those people until I learned how to be and. I don't think it needed to be that difficult, but it's just hard to know where to start, and so that's why I created 30 days with Shari.

I have my bachelor's and my master in education, and so I just figured, I mean, I love coaching. I love teaching. It's something that I literal. Went to school for. So I thought this would be just such a great opportunity for me to show people that they can mentally train too. And not only can they do that, but here's literally a step by step guide over 30 days on how you can do it yourself.

[00:04:09] Stef: Well, I love the premise of the program cuz it compliments what we're doing here at Viz. Really thinking holistically right about your mental health and how it's connected to your physical health, but also just not doing it alone and having time, you know, to reflect upon the things that you're really trying to focus on.

So, I love how your program really has participants receive a really, like a mini morning podcast, a mental health trick or tip and a workout and, and you do this over 30 days. So I know this is something that you do yourself, but why 30 days? What is it about 30 days that made you kind of land on that as the program for these young women?

[00:04:45] Chari: You know, I've just heard a lot of times that , it takes 21 days to really like get a habit. And so, but I, I don't think I wanted to stop at 21 days. I think that it was just like, you know, going for nine more days that's really just gonna like, solidify it for me. And 30 was just kind of like a rounded off number.

It just really spoke to me when I wanted to do it. And I will say that I could have easily made this like 50 days with Shari. Because the way that I created it basically is I took every single tip that I've learned from all of my coaches. From, I mean, I've been in the track and field world for 15 years, so just all of my personal experiences as a Team USA athlete, and then just working with sports psychologists, reading sports psychology books and, you know, taking all of those lessons and writing down, you know, like what I needed to talk about and having to narrow it down just to 30 was tough.

And I don't think I could have done it to 21 because there were just too many really good, important.

[00:05:42] Stef: I love it. So is the idea that you do it for 30 days and then you kind of go back and, you know, take a break maybe, and then come back to it again and do it another 30 days.

[00:05:51] Chari: Yeah, I mean, I, I do this myself, like I do my own program myself. Like I now do my entire 30 days with Shari. Like I wake up and I listen to myself do a podcast and it is actually really interesting to like listen to your own voice and be like, Oh, but sometimes when I'm listening to it myself, I. Genius.

You know, I, I even like, I created it and sometimes I even get new things out of it, or it applies differently to my days now than it did before. And so honestly let's say that one of the days we talk about positive self talk, we talk about the importance of it and how to do it accurately. You can do that for one full day and you can be like, Yes.

Like that was super, super helpful. Really, really great. But then let's say that you do 30 days with Char again and you get another dose of learning about positive self-talk. I wanna say that it's day six that we talk about it, and this time you're like, Oh my goodness, I remember how much I liked that the first.

now I'm gonna really like, try to like, keep it within me, keep holding onto it. And then maybe instead of just one day, you start talking to yourself positively for two weeks and you're like, Wow. Like holy cow, that changed my life. But it's hard, it's hard to remember all the things over 30 days. And so honestly, the more you do it the better it gets.

And it's honestly really fun. It's not like a really tedious experience , like the podcasts are very digestible. They're between seven, 10 minutes at the very most the challenges every day. They're really just really fun ways for you to practice the tool that I teach you. And then the workouts, it's five minutes. Just really quick. Get your heart rate up, practice that mental tool while you're working out your body, while you're also, I mean, all of these exercises are things that my physical therapists have me do. We do stability, mobility, strength. Stamina, all of the good stuff and we cover it.

And so you just get a little bit of dose of, you know what I do in physical therapy after my practices every day too. So it's really cool. I mean, at the end of the day, it's a really fun program that just kind of like lightens your mood at the very least and at the most, it can really make you a lot mentally tougher.

[00:08:00] Stef: I love that. I don't know how you listen to yourself on the podcast though. I think for me, I'm like, I ever hear my voice. I'm like, No,

[00:08:07] Chari: Never, I made sure that we had the ability to be able to like 1.25, the, the speed. And so every like, so if I 1.25 it, I can still hear everything I'm saying, but it almost sounds like a different person. So that helps me personally. If you wanna go ahead and get

[00:08:24] Stef: Good to know. Good trick. Good trick. Okay. So we're gonna go through like three different days of the program. Well, I absolutely love that when you log in for the first time as a participant in your program, that the first thing you see on the dashboard is a quote from you that says, Sometimes I get excited about how my journey is unfolding.

Other times I get really stressed out about it both times. I choose to trust that it's happening in the best possible way, always. So I love the emphasis on choosing trust here. Just like, you know, you choose to do your program or at VIS when you sign up for a session with a mentor or an expert, you're really showing up to, to trust the process.

And tell us a little bit about like why that was such an important quote that you wanted to put there front and center for everybody who participate.

[00:09:11] Chari: Well, the thing that's super fun is you don't actually have to pay for the program to get that dashboard. And every day a new quote's gonna pop up from me. And that quote is, I'm so glad you picked that quote cuz this is really, really fun one. Because there are times. Things are not gonna go well for us.

And there are times that things are gonna be going amazingly well. And I think as human beings, I, we know better than to expect life to go perfect all the time. But we just, we hold ourselves to such insane standards that we expect that life should be going fabulous all the time, even though we know that's not the case.

And if we can switch our mindset knowing that there will be times that are really amazing and times that are really rough, that's gonna be next level because then no matter what comes our way, we're expecting it, we can make a plan for it, and then we can remember our goals and know that this was part of the plan all along, is that there's always ups.

[00:10:10] Stef: Yeah, I love that. I mean, that's a big part. We talk a lot about it at VIS and just pretty much every podcast or every single conversation on the platform is like, it's okay to say, you know, you're not having a good day, or it's okay to understand that like part of getting there and part of the journey is actually struggling through some things, but you don't have to do it alone, , and you don't have to quote.

Push through it, if you will. And that's like a big shift we're trying to make with, with these young women that come to vis, and then I see it in your program as well. And I think it's, it's really, really important to make sure that like young women today know that they don't have to be, you know, it's not just one thing or the other.

And they don't have to be struggling through things alone. They can, they can join a community, they can join programs like this and really try to figure out a new way forward. And this is something. Now you found, I mean, I'm, I'm assuming this wasn't like 30 days was Shari when you were like 18 or 19

[00:11:04] Chari: No . Well, you know, it's so funny because there are some of my workouts are some of workouts. That I learned when I was actually really young that I loved so much, that even now as a professional athlete, I still do them. But it's so fun because I get to talk about that kind of stuff and be like, Oh my goodness, this is like such a tried and true workout that I've been doing since I was in college and I still love it.

But when it comes to like the lessons and experiences, it's so crazy because. Like I even look back at how I could have applied 30 days of Shari to myself when I was younger and I'm like, Oh, like that would've been such a good lesson to learn. And I kind of had to learn it the hard way. And that's why I also wanted to create 30 Days of Shari to kind of show people like the way without having to spend 10 years as a professional struggling through learning new lessons the hard way.

Like, learn this lesson now practice it now you're going to improve so much more.

[00:11:59] Zosia: Thank you for listening to the voice in support podcast. My name is Zosia Bulhak and I am the producer of this voice and support podcast episode. I run track and cross country at the university of Houston. I love working with voice and support in order to empower young girls and women in sports. And I would love it if you would join us in trying to make it to.

Go follow us on Instagram tick-tock and Twitter at voices, port for more amazing content, you can also sign up for free and join our community of female athletes. Uh, voice in for mentorship, sports, content and inspiration. Thanks

[00:12:35] Stef: love it. Well, we're gonna break down some of those lessons. I mean, you have 30, and we're not gonna do it all today on the podcast, but we're gonna start with the day number one, which is accountability. So the program. Theme for each day of the 30 days, and I wanna talk about three of them today to give, you know, the girls at Viz and the community a sneak peek of what they can experience with you.

So the first day is all about accountability. So why did you choose accountability for your first day and how can girls learn to be more accountable themselves?

[00:13:03] Chari: Yeah. So I was really, really intentional when I was creating 30 days with Shari, and I wanted to make sure that you learned that you needed to walk before you could run. I mean, we go all the way into depth on how to get into the zone when you're competing, right? But we can't talk about that in day one, two, or three because you have to learn a lot of stuff before you can get. Place. And I thought that the the first day being accountability was gonna be huge because, I mean, 30 days is a big commitment, right? Following your dreams chasing your goals. Those are all really big commitments and being like better self progression and continuous self progression like that.

Important and you need to take accountability for it. And I also, you know, I talk about within the accountability day, how important it is to know that you are in charge. Because I think a lot of us I used to love sports growing up I played basketball, volleyball, I did gymnastics. Pretty much anything that you could get me into, I was gonna do and I, low key.

Team sports because it was easy to blame other people for not winning. Like if we didn't win, I mean, I had a good game, but I don't know what everybody else was doing kind of a thing. And I used to always tell people like, Oh, this is why I like track because I can just be in charge, but I'm not gonna lie track gave me anxiety, because there was nobody to blame but me. And so I talk about this. I would try to blame other things. I would try to blame the weather, what I ate that day, pretty much anything other than me. . And so once I figured out that it was my fault, I mean, it's not very fun to think that things are your fault.

But once you kind of figure it out that you are the reason everything's going south in your life, that's the moment that you can also switch and say, Because of that, that means it's me. I have the power, and so I can actually make things happen. In my life. And I think that that mindset shift is huge.

And I also do a really fun multiple step process. Like I don't just try to tell you like a mindset shift, but I kind of. Throughout 30 days with Shari, I try to tell you how you can shift your mindset as well. So I talk about making a plan with self-accountability. And it's really important to name your plan, know what it is, decide that you're going to make this plan, but then I also have you list out any hurdles that are gonna get in your way.

Let's say that you wanna wake. Really, really early, and you're not a morning person. You are probably gonna say that one of your hurdles is that you're not gonna wanna wake up. Maybe it's cold that day and you don't wanna get outta your warm bed. Maybe you didn't get the sleep that you wanted to get before maybe you were, because it's really easy to be like, I'm going to get up in the morning.

You had a little bit of a restless night, and then as soon as your alarm goes off, you're like, You know what? I had a restless night. I'm not gonna wake up early. It's super easy. So, but you gotta plan on that. You gotta figure out what your hurdles are gonna be, and then you have to make a plan on how you're gonna get through those hurdles.

When you feel like you don't wanna wake up, what are you going to do instead? Are you gonna get up, make sure your feet are touching the ground and go get a drink of water? Or are you gonna go. Sleep and being able to make that plan is huge for making sure that not only you're changing your mindset when it comes to self accountability, but you're changing your actions as well.

And this is kind of a very typical game plan for how 30 days with Shari is laid out is, I don't wanna just tell you a big aha moment, but I wanna show you how to make sure the aha moment can get followed.

[00:16:45] Stef: Well, I love this idea of sort of like owning what you can control, but we also talk a lot about, with so many athletes at viz about like, you know, it's also on a mindset of like control the controllables. So how do you like balance that? Like, I can control my destiny and be accountable versus like controlling things that really you can't control and letting go of some of those things.

Like how do you balance both of.

[00:17:08] Chari: Yeah, and I think I, a big one is awareness on what is controllable and what isn't. Because I think knowing that you did everything possible, but there was nothing you could do about the situation, like. That's pretty much the same thing as knowing there's gonna be good and knowing there's gonna be bad.

Just being aware that there are things that you can't control beforehand, because I think if we get blindsided by things we can't control it hurts us a lot more because, you know, we weren't expecting that. But understanding that in life, like actively, proactively saying there are going to be things in life that we can't control, I mean, There were a lot of things.

It's so interesting. There was a lot of things that happened and I didn't end up making outdoor worlds this year, but it was genuinely nothing that I did wrong. It was just something that no e everybody told me like, Wow, I, I cannot believe that happened. That was a freak situation. Like, Wow. And the thing, normally I think I would be very, Distraught about that.

And it was so interesting because the, my first thought was, this is so wild that I have to believe that everything happens for a reason. And it was so crazy because the next day I got a phone call from World Athletics and they asked me to host the show the championship show. And I was like, See, that was the reason.

And we ended up having like an amazing time. I was able to talk to all of the incredible athletes and be able to see it from an outside perspective instead of being in the championships. And would I have loved to compete? Of course. Like of course I would've. But at the end of the day, like I actually knew that there was nothing I could do about that circumstance.

And had I not really had this moment of clarity of like, there's nothing I can do that would've, I think that would've crushed me way more than I think I thought it would've.

[00:19:04] Stef: Yeah. So it's like this balance, right, of knowing like where, where and what you can control and like holding yourself accountable to that, which it sounds like that's the exercise you go through in this day one. But then also just having that mindset and awareness that you can't control everything. So don't let every little thing, you know, throw you off.

I have to know though, what, what was it, what was the thing that that happened to you?

[00:19:25] Chari: Oh, I mean I was just within the rankings and so it was super easy. I was gonna go, I was gonna head to world championships and then so many girls dropped out that there was a previous girl who was, was not in the rankings and she went fell up in the rankings and went over me. I was so happy for her.

So it was not a bad thing at all. She earned it too. It was just like a, I genuinely, the day before the finals, I was like, I'm going to Worlds, and then I wasn't going to worlds, so it was totally fine. Like there was no anything, like anybody maliciously was doing. And I'm so happy for the girl that went.

She's such a sweetheart. So it was all, all good. No, No issues,

[00:20:04] Stef: Okay. Well, day number two. So the second day of the program is, Out dreaming big. So why did you choose dreaming big for your second day?

[00:20:14] Chari: That's a good question. I think it's because within 30 days with Shari, I wanted to I wanted, even if somebody wasn't actively competing right now I wanted to create something that was a self progression, like at. Worse. Like you're self progressing at best. You're learning how to win, right? But I wanted everybody to kind of shed the layers of expectations they've had for themselves, because a lot of us have impossible expectations for ourselves when it comes to like our.

the way that life goes. Like, it's so interesting cuz we expect to have a good day every day or like to compete perfectly, but at the same time, we all have such low expectations of ourselves because we see all the people around us and we put ourselves in categories and usually we put ourselves in lower categories.

And that's what makes us all feel like imposters. All of us. We all just feel like imposters when in reality we all have to look around us and say like, Holy moly, like we're all human beings here doing our best.

Like, that's what it is. Like nobody was just like born into like being better than everybody else. But I think like a lot of. We put ourselves in perfectionist categories in some areas, and we hold ourselves back in other areas. And so when it comes to our dreams, I think that's one area that a lot of us hold ourselves back.

But I also wanted to make sure that people weren't associating their dreams with their goals. I think that a lot of Olympians even assume that their dream is to be an omp. And then when they go to the Olympics and the Olympics is over, it was an amazing experience, but now it's just in the past and their dream is completely dead.

What they didn't realize, probably, and that's why they're feeling so depressed at the moment, is that that was a goal, an incredible goal, a really hard goal that they did, and they should be so excited about it. But their dream might not, or should not probably be the Olympics because. Don't end, they don't have an end goal.

Dreams are your essence of like who you wanna be when you grow up. We're always improving, we're always adapting. And goals are super important. We actually talk about goals in day three. But before we talked about those goals and the importance of making them, I wanted to make sure that people weren't attaching their identity to their goals. So that's why we talked about.

[00:22:41] Stef: I love that. I love that you make a good, real distinction between the two. And visualization can be you know, an interesting bridge between dreams and goals. It's almost like, you know, by consciously dreaming about your goal, you are helping it come true. What , what role does visualization play in your sports program and in your athletic career?

[00:23:00] Chari: Yeah, so we talk about visualization a lot. I wanna say it's, it's 20. I wanna say it's like 20 days, 27. We talk about visualization and how it's important, but it is like super important. I teach you more. The way that I teach you about visualization is how to literally like close your eyes and visualize you know, your performances or your goal or your dream or whatever it is.

And I think it's like really, really important because if you can think it, you can be it kind of a thing. As long as you. So visualization is a really big point in helping you turn that distinction from thinking you can do it to believing you can do it, and I think that's a huge, huge deal.

[00:23:42] Stef: Yeah, I love that. Okay, well the third one we're gonna kind of unpack is day number 19 in the program, which is purposeful Rest. And I think, you know, as you know on the VIS platform, we talk a lot about the importance of rest, recovery, sleep. We have some of the best sleep experts on vi really trying to.

You know, unpack why sleep is so important to your performance, and rest is one of those things that I certainly did not think about when I was in high school or college. So, you know, we have a lot of great articles that girls can learn from and incredible experts that they can come and chat with. So I'm really excited that you have this in your program as well.

So what aspects of rest did you choose to focus on for day number 19?

[00:24:25] Chari: Yeah, so when I did day 19 Russ is such an important part of my career. I mean, so I take. Wednesdays and Sundays completely off, completely, completely off. And then on Saturdays I have like an hour lift, and that is it for the entire day. And every day, every other day is so intense that I need those rest days.

So purposeful rest. I call it purposeful rest for two reasons. They have two different meanings. The first reason is that it's important to rest on purpose. so I don't just. Go until I'm completely dead and then I'm like, Oh, I need to rest. And mostly that's because of two reasons. Number one, I'm probably gonna get a little burnt out and I'm not going to want to start up again when you rest because you've run yourself into the ground and then now you're resting.

Like, how excited are you gonna be to go back to work when you know you're about to just run yourself into the ground again? It's just not. It's just not good . And so the first, I like to make sure that when I'm doing my program or when I'm making a goal, whether your goal is your sport or whether your goal is just like everyday fitness, it's important to make sure that you're putting in rest days within those that are on purpose because.

When I'm working really hard, Monday, Tuesday, I know that Wednesday is off and then as soon as Wednesday's done, I know Thursday and Friday is off. So my body is expecting it. I have no problem resting. I feel really good about resting cuz this is part of it, it's on purpose. . And then, The second one I wanna make sure to highlight when it comes to purpose is that I'm resting with purpose.

So when I'm actually resting, I make sure that I'm actually resting, I'm doing the things that's going to completely help me recover. I'm not gonna fill my days with crazy amounts of tasks and things that are gonna put my body into a space where it's not actually getting the rest that it needs. So let's say that you are an athlete and you've decided that, you know, you're not practicing on Wednesday.

Because your body needs rest, but then you go on like a 14 mile hike, like that's not probably gonna be like a good. Day for of rest for you. Or like even like, Oh, well we're going to Disneyland. Like that is super great and you should absolutely go to Disneyland, but maybe not on your rest days.

Like, we should probably wait until we've got, you know, maybe do that on Saturday and then you've got a whole rest day on Sunday. You know what I mean? Like, plan it out so that you're resting not just on purpose, but with purpose as well. So I I kind of just like go through steps of like how to make sure that you're.

Your rest, you're doing it on purpose and the steps that you can take to make sure that that's happening, and then the steps that you can take to make sure that you're also practicing with purpose.

[00:27:13] Stef: I love that. Well, as a mom with two kids who has been to Disneyland, I can say that is definitely not a rest day. It's more like a workout day mentally and physically. So I wanna talk about the difference between the two a little bit, because resting our bodies can sometimes simply mean like, you know, slowing down your workout routine, like physically resting, getting more sleep, et cetera.

But how do. How do you encourage and teach the girls to rest their minds, which is like equally important and.

[00:27:41] Chari: So important. I mean, my sports psychologist, because I was just thinking about things so much and I was getting so stressed about everything I was thinking about, and he was like, Look, life is too important to take too seriously. . And that was like huge for me because it, it's so true and I think that we can overwork our minds and overthink and overthinking and over trying.

I do actually talk about that in my program a little bit, but it's so important to make sure that you are holding onto something tightly, but you don't squeeze it to death, like your goals and your dreams. I mean, they're really. And so if you squeeze onto them too tightly, they're gonna crack. And I think that you don't wanna hold onto them too loosely because they'll fall out of your hand and they'll break.

But you have to find that balance. And I know that that's like kind of an analogy, visual, whatever. But it's the same thing with your mind. I mean, when you are doing your rest days do something that makes you feel really good, that has nothing to do with your sport. Talk to your friends. Go watch a movie that you love.

Like, just write a letter to your, to like your grandparents, Like whatever that is like, that could like, make you feel just like a little bit better. That has absolutely nothing to do with your sport. I mean, that's always super, super important to just have your brain just like detached for a moment.

And the reason why is it's not because you don't care about your goal, it's because. , your brain wants to want to work hard, and when it's getting overworked, it's starting to attach like your sport into something negative. And I've done that before where I burn myself out mentally and physically I'm taking my rest days and everything, but I burn myself out mentally so that when I come back to practice, I literally feel tears just right here.

Every time my coach asks me to do anything, I just don't wanna do it. My body feels great, but my mind is just not there. And guess what? The practice did not go well. A lot of times. Most of my injuries come from mental exhaustion, not physical exhaustion.

[00:29:47] Stef Strack : That's right. That's why it's so important to be taking care of both, right? I think it's often sometimes hard because you're not always on like the program. For yourself, right? Like you might be part of a team or you're at a division one school athletic program or you're in a, a run club or something, and like that, that program is built for like the collective and not necessarily for you directly.

So how do you like these young women that are involved in these programs? You know, especially within running, like make sure that they're watching out for themselves and take register of, how their bodies and minds are doing, but then not disappoint, I guess the coach and the plan and everything that's sort of set out for them as part of the program they're in.

[00:30:27] Chari: Yeah. Well, I mean, the first thing that I have to say is Talking to your coach? Most I would say most coaches really do care about their athletes . And so I know that it's scary to talk to your coach, but if you really, genuinely are feeling exhausted or whatever, I would say write down for just one week.

Just write down how you feel mentally and write down how you feel physically after every workout. And then bring that to your coach and say like, I'm noticing that maybe after Tuesday's workouts, like when Wednesday comes, if we're still working out on Wednesdays, let's say you're working out six days a week and you're noticing like, can I, like, I'm noticing that on Wednesday I'm just like so completely tired and I'm starting to get like really burnt out and then by Thursday, and so I'm finding myself dreading practice on Monday.

And the thing is, is like usually your coach will say like, Okay, how do you propose we fix this? I think it would be great to be like, Maybe can I go on the bike on Wednesdays, I'll do a workout and then that can be just like all I do on Wednesdays. And if your coach is really like, just adamantly like, I don't care.

Will you send him to me or her to me? Go ahead. Give them my information. Send them to like, DM me, give me their information. I will have a chat. Okay. So those are the two things. So first of all, come to them like genuinely and do your own homework and everything. And then if that's not an issue, give me their information.

Cuz I have, I have a word

[00:32:01] Stef: I love that. Well, I love that. I like what you said to kind of. Prepared, and it doesn't have to be some like, Hey, for a month I tracked myself. But you know, cuz you might not even really know the answer, but you might just, at least if you go in with like, like you said, a week of like, here's how I'm feeling mentally, physically, on each day, you know, and present it as like, Hey, I'm trying to figure this out, but I'm struggling and I have.

Some suggestions, but you know, I think that's a great way to approach it. And at the end of the day, like they're gonna have to answer to you or to anybody at vis, so don't, they're that.

[00:32:36] Chari: Yep. Yeah. Honestly when I was I remember I moved to Bath in 2018 and I had kind of figured out my schedule, what I needed. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday off. We used to do Wednesday waits only. But I realized like Wednesday off was gonna be best for me. Thursday, Friday, Saturday waits only.

And then Sunday off, and I remember my coach, it was six days. When he got there, and I mean, I'm like, I'm, I'm a visitor, right? So I was like, whew. Like, I don't know. But finally I was like, Listen, Colin, like I, it's been four weeks and I've really, really, really like, Loved the program that we're doing, but I'm, I can feel my body and I'm starting to get burnt out and we haven't even come close to competition season yet.

And I wanna get you a lot of points and that's not gonna happen if my body doesn't recover. And he was like, Okay, what do you need? And I literally was like, I need to take Wednesdays off, like completely off. I'll do like yoga or whatever you need me to do, like mobility stuff. But like, I need Wednesdays completely off.

And you know what, like that was so huge for me. Poor kids. Like I would go, I would still go to practice, I would cheer everybody on, and they were all like, I want Wednesdays off. And I'd be like, Talk to Colin. And they were just too, they were too scared, but I was like, He cares. But it was so interesting to see the differences between my injuries and the other athlete's injuries. Just by being able to take the purposeful rest that I needed. And at the end of the day, an injured. Is going to be a lot worse off than an athlete who worked out one day less a.

[00:34:11] Stef: Absolutely. Oh, it's just so powerful. I think, I mean, look, you're at the highest level, you know, on Team usa and that is what you are doing to make sure that you have a successful career. So I think it's just such great advice for all these younger, younger women who might just feel the pressure or they might not feel like they have a safe space to like speak up and use their voice in that matter.

But I think hearing your story will hopefully inspire so many other young girls to, to stick up for themselves.

[00:34:38] Chari: My best, my best friend was a professional hep athlete as well. And I talked to her, I mean, I talked to her almost every day, but she retired in 2018 as well. When I went to England, she was like, I'm done now. And her and I were talking the other day and she told me straight up, she was like, I would still be doing track if I did your, did your.

Schedule, but I was so burnt out, I couldn't do six days a week anymore. She's like, and even on Sundays we were required to do like a two or two to three mile run and she was a he athlete and so she straight up told me like, I would still be doing track if I had your rest schedule. So that's how important.

[00:35:19] Stef: absolutely. Well, I'm glad we hit on that, and those are just three of the 30 days in the program. So I'm so excited to kind of d dive deeper into them, but I have to know, what is your favorite day and your favorite topic out of the 30 days?

[00:35:32] Chari: That's a really good question. I would say that my favorite day is probably, I think it's day 25. It might be, it might be day 25. But it's getting into the flow. Now before we get into the flow state, I teach you the difference between your thinking brain and your feeling brain which is like another day earlier.

And then we also talk about, you know we talk about a ton of different things that gets you into the space of being into the flow state. But we always talk about the flow state, right? Where You basically, the flow state to me is, we talked about this on the last one when I a asked you to get out and write your signature That is being in the flow state.

You've written your signature so many times, you know exactly how to do it, and now you're just letting your body do it. And as an athlete, that is so important to be able to take all of the things you already know how to do and then just let them be. But I. There is a way that you can actually tap into that flow state over and over and over again.

And so I go into it in a little bit more detail and it's kind of the biggest deal to me as an athlete being able to recreate good performances. So that's my favorite day, I would say mostly because of how much it's helped me, but I will say, as I recorded all of these days, because I would go into a studio and I would record a few podcasts at a time, and I would go in and we'd go to the next one.

I'd be like, Oh, this is the best one. And then the next one I'd be like, Oh, this is so good. So I will be honest, like if I went down the curriculum line, I would probably just start naming off days because I genuinely, every single one of them, there's another one that has helped me within my own performance anxiety, and especially when it was like hard workout days when I would get like really, really anxious.

It's like helped me a lot. And I've also said like taken the lesson to a lot of girls too. And they've been like, Oh my goodness, like this is so good. That's just like allows you to kind of just like release and trust that you can do something day. , I'm, I could probably talk about all 30 of the days right now Day five is the the day that I wrote when I was on my way to indoor national championships. And I was really nervous and there was this cognitive dissonance in me that was just like, I don't know if I can do this kind of a thing. And when I, I was just writing down the day, planning the curriculum, planning what we were gonna do for it.

And I just got so lit up and by the time I was on the airplane on the way, and by the time I had landed, I met my parents at the hotel and they were like, Hey, how are you? And I was like, I'm. . And that was so, that's so not my personality. Like I'm definitely always been like trying to stay like as humble as possible.

So I don't like tell people I'm gonna win and then I lose kind of a thing. That's always been me, Like, I've always just wanted to be like, Oh, well, we'll see, we'll see. And it took me from like a, oh we'll see, to like, I've got this, like, I'm definitely gonna win. And I would walk into the stadium and I'd be like, This is my stadium.

Like, it's so interesting. So Yeah, there's so many days that like lit me up and took me to the next level, literally as a professional athlete. Like just like putting this together. So I'm really excited for people to try it out and see it for themselves cuz it's really, really amazing.

[00:38:54] Stef: Well, it's really exciting and congratulations cuz it's always hard to create something from scratch and then pull it together. And I love lifting up any women who are creating companies or amazing things like this that actually are really trying to help a lot of athletes. So who is your target athlete or you know, person that you hope goes through this program?

[00:39:15] Chari: To be honest, like I really hope that all my young athletes go through this program because it really, especially if you're somebody who gets super nervous or is really hard on yourself or you wanna win, but you maybe don't believe you deserve to win or anything like that, that's really something that I think is gonna help you with so much.

But I also like send this to my friends and my family. I think that anybody with a goal who really, really keeps their mind wide open to this process can learn from it. And even when I'm in my off season listening to this kind of stuff, like, and doing personal development, like it really brings me so much like light and energy.

So like, yes, I want my athletes to do this because I want them to be in love with the sport that they love instead of hate their sport that they love. You know what I mean? But really, like, I just genuinely hope. It just brings so much light and joy to everyone who wants a goal and wants self progression and all that stuff.

[00:40:14] Stef: I love that. Well, I'm so excited for you and congratulations, Shari. We're excited to see what you do next, and it's gonna be such incredible, you know, experience for the girls that go through the program. So, congratulations and looking forward to talking to you again soon.

[00:40:30] Chari: Yes. Thanks so much. Step.

[00:40:33] Stef: .This week's episode was produced and edited by VIS creator and lead podcast producer, Zosia Bulhak, a track and cross country runner at the University of Houston. We're so excited to share the "30 Days with Chari" program with the Voice in sport community. Mental health is so important to our sports and also in our daily lives, and we love that Chari is stepping up and creating a program that will help strengthen it.

You can follow Chari on Instagram at underscore Shari Hawkins, and you can find Shari's program at Head to the feed on Voice and Sport and filtered by journey or by advocacy, and spend some time diving into the incredible free resources we have here at Voice and Sport.

If you are interested in mental health, check out one of the amazing articles we have on our platform, like "The Power of Community", or "How Visualization can help improve your game". You can also take a look at the sessions page and filter by collegiate or mindset and sign up for one of the free or paid sessions with the Voice in Sport League and the voice in sport experts.

Please click on the share button of this episode and send it to another athlete that you think might enjoy the conversation. If you're interested in Chari's mental health story, check out episode number 75 where she talks about her journey in sport with mental health, and see you next week on the Voice and Sport Podcast.

Chari Hawkins, the 2022 US Indoor Champion in the Heptathlon, and creator of the “30 Days with Chari” program, talks about mental health and the importance of her program for young athletes in the VIS community.