This article was last updated on May 23, 2023
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Lieke Klaver Feels Stronger Than Ever After Recovering From Overstimulation
Gold Medal Winner in 4×400 Meters Reveals Mental Struggles After Success at European Indoor Championships
24-year-old Dutch athlete Lieke Klaver recently opened up about her struggles with overstimulation after winning gold in the 4×400 meters at the European Indoor Championships in Istanbul. Klaver also won her first individual European Championship medal with a silver in the 400 meters. However, instead of feeling euphoric about her achievements, Klaver felt an overwhelming need to cry. She was later diagnosed with overstimulation and it was found that she needed to learn to take proper rest for the first time in her career.
Overstimulation Diagnosis and Recovery
After training at the top sports center Papendal for about a week post the European Championship, Klaver started to feel strange, which led to her diagnosis of overstimulation. As a result of her condition, Klaver had to learn to rest properly and cut back on her training. She noted that she was so used to being busy all day that sitting down was a hard challenge. Her breathing was also found to have been too high. She declared that she had to pay close attention to her breathing now during press tours as it could trigger memories of previous overstimulation events leading to anxiety.
Klaver’s Recovery Progress
After several months of rest and training less, Klaver feels stronger than ever before as she has learned to appreciate the value of a good rest. “Because I very consciously take a rest, I have energy left. I’m not used to that. The crux is to keep that energy and not to do all kinds of things again. And that works out nicely. It was a scary and interesting process, But now I know myself much better.”
Plans for the Future
Klaver is aiming to participate in the World Championships in Budapest in August, which is the highlight of this year for her. She says she now feels like she is “in better shape now than ever.” Before that, she will compete in the 200 meters on August 4 at the FBK Games in Hengelo, picking it over the 400 meters because it suits her schedule better. Meanwhile, Femke Bol, who recently won the 400 meters hurdles after setting a National Record, will compete in the same event in Florence, followed by the 400 meters in Hengelo, meaning there will not be a showdown between Klaver and Bol.
Lieke Klaver’s story serves as a reminder that taking a proper break and holding back may sometimes be necessary for success. Every person has a unique response to stress and overload, but more importantly, we must be patient and understanding with ourselves in such moments. Klaver’s positive approach, which involved recognizing her weaknesses and dealing with them systematically, resulted in her achieving greater strength and vitality with confidence in her ability to perform optimally.
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