Isac is 29 years old. He's an elite cyclist who has been to the pinnacle of his profession. Riding a bike for as long as he can remember, and making a living from it for most of his adult life, it's all he's ever really known. Training, being fit and healthy and at the top of his game.
It didn't take long for him to reach the highest level in Sweden, before getting out into Europe and conquering the European Tour. Until a couple of years ago, he was competing at the highest level and had being doing so, full time, for several years.
Isac is a man with motivation; to compete, to keep strong, to be the best. Even when his team lost their sponsorship and couldn't continue, Isac wasn't deterred. He found a different path and channelled his energy into his studies and subsequently his work, as an IT Developer. It started as a 'back-up plan', but as with most things in his life, he's made it a success.
“In hindsight, with Covid and everything, it was a good move. Everything just shut down and I wouldn't have had any other education, I would have just been sitting there with nothing”.
Covid has affected many things over the past couple of years and has been catastrophic for many people. Lost livelihoods, lost loved ones and lasting health problems. Even with the foresight to plan for his future career, Isac couldn't be prepared for the devastating effect that Covid was to have on his physical and mental health.
“I got Covid in October 2020, in the second wave, and I got it quite bad. I was sick for maybe two or three weeks, I lost my smell and taste and had a bad fever”.
“Then I got well and started training maybe a month later. But I started noticing that I got quite tired and my body was behaving quite strangely. I had a really hard time getting back. Every time I started to train my body said 'don't do it'”.
The long term effects of Covid had taken its toll on Isac's body. His immune system became affected and he developed 'canker sores' in his mouth; small ulcer-like lesions that can be very painful and make eating, and even talking, difficult.
“It was a reaction in my body and I got them all the time. I couldn't eat or anything because I had these things on my lips and on my gums. It was something I built up in my head, that when I have these I can't train, I can't do anything. It was really blocking me. When I started to get going again, I got these sores in my mouth and I went downhill again. I couldn't start anywhere, I was just back to square one all the time”.
He was exhausted. His normally fit and healthy body refused to work for him. And without the ability to train - his usual escape route - it began to affect his mental health too. It was a dark period, and it impacted every aspect of his life. Everyone close to Isac knew he was going through a difficult time, but they didn't know how to help. All of his relationships suffered. With his girlfriend, his family and his friends.
Although Isac knew he had to get better, he didn't know how. He went to the doctor countless times. Back and forth, telling the same story. Many cries for help met with the same response; 'there's nothing we can do'. There was no offer of therapy, no treatment, no glimmer of hope.
That was until a mutual family connection brought Isac and My-E-Health together and he was introduced to Clive (founder of My-E-Health). Clive explained the My-E-Health ecosystem and how it worked, from the online assessments, to the floating tanks, and the opportunity to connect with a therapist in a safe and private environment.
From the very first session with Clive, Isac's healing journey began. He completed the assessments and they highlighted what he already knew - he was depressed, stressed and anxious.
“We started with a plan. We met maybe two or three times a week in the beginning. I would do a one hour floating session and then we talked for about an hour. The floating really helped. It's a place where you can just relax, and don't think about anything. Just disconnect”.
Although his first time doing anything like this and having any sort of therapy or counselling, Isac embraced it. He began to see improvements almost immediately.
“These things started to disappear quite soon after we got together and just talk about it. In the floating sessions, my body could cool down and get the stress levels down and it was uphill from there. It was a big relief. I'd finally found someone who listened and took my health seriously”.
Isac continues to take the assessments periodically and check in with where he's at and how he's feeling. He would advise anyone going through a similar thing to just find the right person to talk to and get to the root of the problem.
“A lot of people go to the hospital or the doctor because they have all this weird stuff going on in their body, but perhaps it's just something they have built up in their mind and it's very difficult to treat with pills. So find someone who is interested in you and can take the time, like Clive did for me. I would say that was a good starting point”.
As well as helping him to get better and be able to face life again, the tools and mental coaching that Isac has been given through My-E-Health has been a huge boost, both in his day job and his competitive cycling. He's started to believe in himself again.
“I could actually do some competitions last year and it was a big thing for me. A big victory just to be on the starting line. Not to finish, just to get there, that was really nice. This year the goal is to get back to the level I was before and start to win again”.
Isac has subsequently won his last two races. Go Isac!