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April 18, 2017

Khan Porter Opens Up About Anxiety, Competing & More

Written by William Imbo

Three time CrossFit Games athlete Khan Porter took to Instagram this week to open up about a slew of issues he faces on a daily basis including anxiety, panic attacks, bipolar disorder and more. To say it took the 27-year-old Aussie a decent amount of courage to post this latest entry would likely be an understatement. Read the full post below.

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@iamkhanporter #RealTalk
I don’t enjoy competing. I don’t mind it physically, I like the outcome and sense of achievement I get from it, but the process is a nightmare for me. I suffer severely from anxiety disorder. I’ve been diagnosed with both it and bipolar and these things combined with the pressure (which probably only exists in my anxious mind) make the process of preparing to compete torturous at times.

Instagram is a highlight reel of an athlete’s journey. What goes on for me between PR posts and #AlwaysTryNewBeers is manic episodes, panic attacks, sleepless nights, breakdowns, days I can’t even get out of bed let alone into the gym, wild mood swings and worst of all is the constant anxious voice in my head which plays on loop, telling me all the worst possible outcomes for everything I do and all the reasons I’m not good enough and shouldn’t compete.

Unfortunately the medications I’ve tried mess with my energy levels and so I don’t take them during the season.

Towards the end of the open I began to question if I wanted to endure another year of this and if so why?

I have a thriving business, am enjoying my studies immensely and have made the Games three times now. Competing again will likely have no effect on my life for better or worse and takes considerable time away from my work, study and social life.
So why put myself through the process?

The answer seems pretty clear cut, don’t.

However despite trying to talk myself out of it I can’t muster up the courage to pull out and have spent the last couple of weeks trying to figure out why.

Then it struck me. For me competing is one way of telling that anxious voice in my head that it doesn’t have complete control over me or my life just yet and win or lose that’s a massive victory to me every year I take the regionals floor.

By facing my own demons maybe one day I’ll better be able to help others face theirs, which is exactly why I chose to go back at school and study psychology.

So this year when I compete I am competing for anyone, anywhere who shares the same voices in their head as I do. That tells them over and over all the reasons – rational or irrational – that they can’t, shouldn’t, won’t or aren’t good enough.

Follow Porter on Instagram @iamkhanporter as he navigates through the rest of the CrossFit season on his way to a forth CrossFit Games.

Photo credit: Khan Porter Instagram Page

About William Imbo

William Imbo is an Associate Editor at BoxLife magazine, CrossFit Level 1 Trainer and holds an MPS in Sports Industry Management from Georgetown University. He is an avid CrossFitter and loves film, music and travel, thanks to having grown up across Europe. A fan of the New Orleans Saints and Newcastle United, Will's favorite CrossFit girl is Helen-least favorite being Isabel.

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