What's the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word "role model?" For most people, either it's a guardian or a renowned personality. But for Aly Raisman, it's someone who shows his true self in both good and bad times.
While speaking with Shape magazine recently, Aly Raisman opened up about her latest collaboration with Aerie and how it helped her connect with people. She even shed light on how athletes have evolved and learned to take a stand for themselves.
Here's a peek inside her candid interview.
"An incredible experience"
Raisman, who has been quite vocal about self-care and mental health during the past years, lately featured on Aerie's new initiative, #AerieREAL Voices, with many familiar faces. She teamed up with actress Antonia Gentry, TikTok favorites the NaeNae Twins, country singer Kelsea Ballerini, and the inspiring wheelchair dance team, the Rollettes.
When asked what working with these powerful women was like, the three-time Olympic gold medalist said it was an incredible experience. Each teammate had a unique story, and just hearing them out felt like a life-changing experience.
Not only was Raisman all praises for her Aerie teammates and her fellow athletes who’ve been vocalizing wrong practices in the sports industry. She said it's very nice to see athletes standing up for mental health, pay parity, and all the wrong traditions the world has been following for a long time. Recalling her old days, she said when she started competing, athletes thought twice before sharing their problems. But that has normalized to a large extent now. Although we still have a long way to go, this is a good start.
Speaking about facing challenges, she said that she has always relied on her inner circle for support. The 27-year-old stated that whenever she gets stuck or feels confused, she turns towards her friends. The fact that more people in the field are facing the same issues has helped her deal with the complications. Raisman continued that when people assure you that they have your back, it makes you more confident and fearless.
Though she’s more confident now, there was a time when she hesitated about asking for help. She revealed that when her friends asked her to contact them, she always struggled. But eventually, she learned the art of asking for help and being there for people in need.
How does Raisman take care of her mental well-being?
Despite having some amazing friends, Raisman prefers exploring places and enjoying the little moments in life to keep herself sane. Sometimes she's hugging her dog Mylo, and sometimes she's hanging around nature. She says being close to greenery helps her heal better and appreciate the things she's blessed with. Moreover, it keeps her more humble and connected to her roots.