Today a month ago I arrived in Zurich again after being in Beijing at the Olympics for an entire month. I am forever grateful to have been a candidate for the IOC Athletes’ Commission but also to have been able to support the Swiss Olympic team and see the Olympics from a different perspective.

Although I was not elected to the commission (I was missing 75 votes), this trip turned out to be the highlight in my past 3 years because of a completely unexpected reason.

 

From the day of the departure in Zurich, my feet were hurting in our team shoes. As more days passed, the pain got worse, to the point where even at night I could not sleep as the feet on the mattress would hurt me badly. I was patiently waiting for a Swiss Doc to arrive at the village so I could get my feet checked out. As soon as Dr. Lukas Weisskopf arrived, I went to see him and he told me the diagnosis, gave me medication and some Flectoparin to put on my heels overnight. A couple of days later, my feet were better but still hurting. So I spontaneously decided to go to the polyclinic in the village and see if I can get treatment there or maybe insoles or just something that would help.

Upon looking at my feet, the Chinese doctor, Dr. Lee, made the same diagnosis then the swiss doc, so I immediately trusted him. He offered me medication, which I declined as I had already taken some. Then he suggested a cream, which I didn’t want on my feet. So lastly he suggested doing acupuncture.

Traditional Chinese Medicine

I agreed to acupuncture. I have done that previously in Switzerland but never felt any effect so I no longer went. So here I was; in China, about to get acupuncture. I laid down on my stomach with my pants pulled up to the knees. I was expecting him to put some needles around my feet and then leave them in for 30 minutes or so – that’s what I was used to from Switzerland.

Little did I know, after going through quite a painful acupuncture, I was done in less than 5 minutes and Dr. Lee told me to get up and walk around and let him know how it feels. I was so surprised; the pain was gone! I was able to walk around the clinic and it didn’t hurt.

Dr. Lee told me to come back again in 5 days, so I did and after that again in 5 days. The pain never came back, I was really happy. On my 3rd visit, I decided that I would share my fractured vertebrae story and the pain that I still had with Dr. Lee.

He smiled – although I could not see his mouth, I saw it in his eyes. He said that he will look at it and treat it as well. So he grabbed and squeezed my scare and the skin around my throat. It was very painful and uncomfortable. He then asked me whether I had eaten lunch before coming here. I said yes, not understanding why he was asking me that. Dr. Lee proceeded, took a needle, poked it into my throat, and at this moment I knew why he asked me about lunch. The pain was horrible, I was about to faint. I have no idea what exactly he did, I had tears running down my cheeks, I don’t know if I ever felt such pain before.

He was in there for what felt like an eternity. At one point he hit a muscle that released a spasm right away and said: “Bingo”, as he removed the needle. He grabbed the same skin again, pulled it and that did not curt anymore. It was unreal.

He then went to my neck and there is this one spot that is not good at all. Not even I can touch it, let alone my therapists. He was slowly approaching that spot and I tensed up. I was not sure if I should let him continue or if I should call it a day. I thought of what he did with my feet and my throat though and quickly decided to go all in and fully trust him. As soon as he touched that spot, I squeaked and tensed up even more. Again he took a needle and went right in there. The pain I experienced minutes before on my throat was harmless to the pain that I had on my neck. This time, I was crying and about to faint when the muscle spasmed again and I heard him say “bingo” as he remove the needle.

Unless like the other times, this did not feel good at all. I was sure that this was not coming back anymore to see him. What was I thinking?

Before I was leaving, he told me that I should go sleep now, that I will get really tired fast. So I did. I did not feel good. Once I woke up again, I was not better. I felt like a bobblehead.

I was wondering when this feeling will disappear and my regular state would come back. It was then it hit me. I had tears running down my cheeks again… this feeling, that bobblehead feeling, it was the feeling of being PAIN-FREE! I had not felt like that in 3 years! I could not believe it!

Of course, I went back to see Dr. Lee again after 5 days and again after 5 days. How did I just get so lucky? My neck pain was gone, after 3 years, while being in China? Who would have thought? Not me, not my therapists! Now, a month later, I am still pain-free and I don’t want to have it any other way. Being pain-free is the best feeling.

 

I learned to live with the pain the limitation of the neck rotation. I was perfectly fine with it. But now, actually being pain-free, remembering what it felt like before the skiing accident, it gave me back so much quality of life. I have so much more energy, more will to do stuff, more of everything! I got a pain-free life!

Sharing this story with you, as I am beyond happy and excited about the new quality of life that I have back. But also to make you think about the pain that you might experience in your body and what that can do to you and your mind. Take care of yourself and do not let pain dictate your life. Western medicine is great, but there are so many other ways to try as well. Take a chance!

 

 

 

The Victim of Life

Commitment vs Trying

In hockey, comparison to one another is huge. The older you grow, the more data is collected from on- and off-ice testing, in-game statistics, player tracking, and advanced analytics.

Imagine growing up and you keep hearing the following:

  • Improve your hockey sense, your teammates are all smarter than you.
  • You’re so slow; can’t you go faster?
  • You are breathing heavily; you should be fitter.

It is frustrating, you start doubting and questioning yourself, why can’t I be smarter, faster, and fitter?

One day, the coaches take you aside and tell you that you have to work on these things to stay on the team. You did everything in your power, but no improvement. There was no understanding from your side and you blamed the coaches.

Different teams, different coaches, different programs. Yet, no improvement. You’ve heard it a million times, you’re not fast, smart, and fit enough.

You are a victim of life.

Deep down, you started to believe that this is simply who you are and nothing will change that.

People compare others and themselves to others. So, every person on this planet creates a world around their beliefs of what a person should be and should not be. However, if for 1 second, you remove everyone’s comparison, judgment, and opinion about you, what are you left with?

Think of a specific task in your life that you just can’t seem to achieve. Now answer these questions:

  • What is the reason for your failure?
  • What is it that you keep doing that you are failing at?
  • What do you feel like when you fail?

Now, take the answers from the questions above, and let’s dig deeper:

  • Is this really true what you answered above or is this what others told you?
  • If not true, what is your truth?
  • If true, what causes you to do / not do this over and over again?

At this very moment, when aiming to succeed this time around:

  • What can you do differently?
  • What are you believing about yourself?
  • What are you really committed to?

Are you 100% committed to this task or is there something else that you are more committed to?

Try not. Do… or do not. There is no try. – Yoda, Stars Wars

By understanding your underlying beliefs and taking control of them, you have the power to change them. When you are not committed, you are not progressing. Everything you do is a commitment. Watching Netflix? Working out? Sleeping? Eating junk food? All commitments. The golden question thus is – what are you more committed to? Netflix or the task that you are trying to achieve?

The irony of commitment is that it’s deeply liberating — in work, in play, in love. – Anne Morriss

Only once you understand your underlying beliefs,  the choices of commitment are in your hands and you are no longer the victim of your life.

Commitment builds your confidence and self-trust.

Commitment is taking action and action is what produces results.

Action vs Delay

Have you ever been in a situation where you told yourself, “I’ll do it tomorrow.”, and then tomorrow comes around, and you’re saying again, “Tomorrow, I’ll do it.” A couple of days pass, a week passes, and you still have not done it? Sounds familiar? Or “I’ll start on Monday.”, and Monday comes around, and it’s all forgotten already until you think about it again mid-week and tell yourself once more, “Alright, this time I’ll really start on Monday.”?

In November last year, I was invited to have a TEDx Talk at the HWZ in Zurich. In “Behind the Mask”, I spoke about the importance of having big dreams, as they guide your everyday life.

These dreams are your purpose, the reason why you get up in the morning. I wanted to win an Olympic Medal. A big dream, a huge goal. I had to break this dream down into smaller goals and create a plan on how to achieve this. The Olympic Medal, in the end, would then be the accumulation of the smaller goals that I have achieved along the way. This process was fundamental to win the bronze medal. The smaller actions I took were where I was growing, learning, building my self-esteem and confidence.

I broke down this dream of winning an Olympic Medal into a yearly, monthly, weekly, daily, hourly plan. My days were planned out to the last minute, if there was any conflict along the way, I immediately searched for possible solutions.

I had it all figured out, or hadn’t I?

I wish…

I knew exactly what I had to do, I planned it all. However, doing what I had planned was a whole different story and is exactly what prevents most people from accomplishing their goals.

Often, I didn’t do what I planned, so I started planning more, trying to optimize my schedule and the things I had to do. I was too focused on winning an Olympic Medal, on the things I could do or should do. I forgot that I had to work for it – NOW!

 

I was procrastinating. But why? Why do you procrastinate?

It is essential to understand that action is what creates your dreams, hopes, and desires. Without the action, you are left with a wish list.

Taking action is a certainty. Delaying a task means fear, worry, stress, and uncertainty. Procrastination is a force that pulls you back, slows you down, and keeps you stuck. Taking action is what moves and pulls you forward, it’s the catalyst to create change.

It is crucial that you appreciate all actions you take, no matter how small or big they are and whether they are immediately visible or not. Just start doing.

Next time you find yourself in a state of procrastination, ask yourself some of these questions to get you going and to understand why you are pushing off the task:

  • What is the worst that could happen if I don’t take any action towards my dream?
  • What is holding me back?
  • What am I worrying about that prevents me from doing this task?
  • What can I do today to start this task?
  • What do I feel like when I procrastinate on this task?

“Whatever you think you can do or believe you can do, begin it. Action has magic, grace, and power in it.” – Goethe

Like this article? Check out “The Negative Spiral” as well.

The Negative Spiral

Reframing your perspective.

Fifty minutes of this intense game were played, the score was 2:1 for us and we desperately needed to keep the lead and win this one.

In this game Oliver, a former teammate of mine was benched for the last 10 minutes of the game. He didn’t know why he was sat, what he did wrong, or what he should have done differently to avoid that. All he knew was that others on the team played worse and they got to play the full game. He felt mistreated and angry at the coach.

We ended up winning and the mood in the locker room was good. We were smiling, laughing, and just enjoying the victory. Everyone but Oliver. He couldn’t get out of there fast enough.

The rest of us knew why he was in a hurry, yet we felt like the victory should be above the individual’s player performance. Some guys started chirping him for being selfish – making the situation worse. Furious, Oliver stormed out of the room.

Years before, Oliver was rated as a highly talented player with a bright future in hockey until the previous season where he had a new coach. This new coach focused on other player’s development, as he didn’t have to worry about Oliver – he was by far the best on the team anyways.

Little by little, Oliver felt that he was not appreciated and lost motivation, his performance declining rapidly. Only then, the coach started caring about him, giving him feedback, and supported his development as he did with the others. However, it was too late. Oliver was not having it anymore, he was easily irritated and when spoken to, everything was bad.

Being benched and chirped by the boys, made matters worse and tipped Oliver off to a point of no return – he quit.

What would you have done in Oliver’s situation? Have you ever found yourself in a similar situation where you felt unappreciated, irritated, unmotivated, and angry?

It’s like wearing yellow-tinted glasses. When putting these glasses on, you see the world with a yellow tint. Over time, you keep seeing the world through those yellow-tinted glasses and start believing that the world has a yellow gaze to it.

“We do not see things as they are. We see them as we are.” – Talmud

When you find yourself in a situation where circumstances are not going your way, instead of going down that negative spiral, there are some questions that you can ask yourself to change your perspective.

For example:
  • What is my goal?
  • What are the priorities to achieve this goal?
  • What if I tell them that I feel unappreciated?
  • What kind of person/teammate do I want to be?
  • What could I do to help others become better?

By asking questions like this, you can take control of what you can control. You take charge of who you want to be, and where you want to go. Such experiences empower and energize you as you take control of how you want to deal with the situation and decide how it affects you.

Need support?
Contact me via e-mail (florence.schelling@olympian.org) for a coaching discovery call.

 

Fractured Spine and Much More

“Life is like a roller coaster. It has its ups and downs. But it’s your choice to scream or enjoy the ride.”

The doctors are happy with the progress I am making day in and day out, however, there are unfortunately still a lot of ups and downs. Last Tuesday I went to Chur for another check-up and x-rays and my fractured spine looks just as it should.

If it was just for the spine injury, I would be back to 100% already. However, such an injury comes with a lot more than just the fracture. The more I try to do, the more I realize where my limit is and all the issues I have.

My neck muscles aren’t strong enough yet, after a while of being up and active, I can’t hold my head straight anymore and my head tilts to the back which is extremely painful. The mobility is not good enough, especially when I don’t look straight (when sitting in the tram/car and looking outside for example), I will directly get dizzy and extremely uncomfortable within seconds. My concentration span is incredibly short and results in blurry vision and major headaches. Waking up every night because I put my head in an unfortunate position that hurts, feeling nausea of the pain and much much more.

Difficult and unknown situations to deal with for me. Those are things I was just easily able to do without even thinking before and now I struggle daily with these simple actions.

Quite the roller coaster ride… I’m still enjoying it though because I was so lucky that I only fractured my spine with these little consequences. With that being said, I am unfortunately not in the right shape to run at the Greifensee ZüriLaufCup today. Wishing all the runners good luck and lots of fun!:)

Xo

Florence

A month ago I have received the new Acer Swift 5 laptop in the mail and I have been testing this product ever since with the work that I can currently do. I have used this laptop for a couple of different things such as on- and off-ice hockey training preparation and daily reflections that I started to write after my accident. I am no IT / Tech person, but I use my laptop almost daily for basic things. So here’s my review of this laptop:

When I picked up the package from the mail I thought they forgot to ship the laptop with it. I knew this laptop was going to be light, however I was quite surprised once I unpacked the box to find the Acer Swift 5 in there. It weighs only 970g, it’s sooo light! The weight has been a big plus for me since I’ve been travelling to Slovakia, Canada and lots within Switzerland. Additional to the weight, the size of the product was another big plus, it fit perfectly into my backpack without any struggle and the screen size was just about what I needed for comfortable working, not too big and not too small. I’ve gotten used to screens being touchscreen, so when I used this laptop the first time, I didn’t even think that it could not have a touch screen. So far, this laptop definitely exceeded my expectation. And you know what? It looks good, I love the dark blue color of the laptop with the touch of bronze in the Acer logo!

The keyboard is quite pleasant, typing in a 10-finger system is very smooth and I have a feeling that I’m able to type faster than with other laptops. Also, when typing in the dark, the keyboard illuminates, which supports any late-night work. Right next to the keyboard there’s a fingerprint sensor that has been working extremely well when I have used it, also very useful for me since I keep forgetting all my different passwords! 😊

Especially when I was travelling and having limited access to outlets the Acer Swift 5 did not let me down once. Its battery life lasts up to 8 hours! It never gave me the feeling of “I can’t do that unless I have an outlet nearby because otherwise I’ll run out of battery.” Especially when travelling and having all needed documents on your laptop, it is a very relaxing to know that you don’t have to worry about the laptop battery.

Since everything’s been positive about this laptop so far, there are three unfavorable things I noticed. First one being that there is an incredible reflection on the screen. I caught myself a couple of times moving my laptop into a different light, so I wouldn’t see my reflection in the screen or the reflection of the surroundings I was in. Further, the ventilation of the Acer Swift 5 is very loud. I might currently be hypersensitive to noise due to my concussion, however especially when watching movies or listening to music, the ventilation noise is bothersome to me. Lastly, this laptop has no tablet function, which I have gotten very used to with my previous laptops. Morning rituals like reading the newspaper with the tablet function of my laptop have become habit. Or writing notes on the tablet with a compatible pen have simplified my work immensely. Switching to a laptop that does not have this feature that you have gotten used to previously, is quite the change again.

Overall, the Acer Swift 5 has been a great laptop for the work I needed it for and especially for travelling. I love the weight, the size and the color of it! Also when working on it, it has been very pleasant and easy. Although there are some downsides to this laptop, overall I think it’s a great laptop and I really enjoyed working with it!

If you’re interested, please follow this link: http://bit.ly/MakeYourMarkBrack and use this code: ACER1MYM to get discounts for the following Acer products:

–             200 CHF discount on the Swift 7
–             150 CHF discount on the Swift 5
–             150 CHF discount on the Spin 5

Enjoy!

Xo Florence

 

 

Head Coach U18 WNT

Media release from Swiss Ice Hockey

The former national goalkeeper Florence Schelling is now head coach of the Swiss U18 women’s national team. She succeeds Steve Huard, who resigned at the end of last season.

Since the beginning of the 2018/19 season, Florence Schelling has been an assistant coach for the U18 women’s national team. Since then, she has continued to develop her coaching skills and intensified her commitment to recruiting. Now Florence Schelling takes over the position as head coach of the U18 national team with immediate effect. She succeeds Steve Huard, who resigned at the end of last season.

Florence Schelling’s Palmarès is long. At only 14, she made her debut at the Senior Women’s World Championship. In 2008 she moved to the American college system NCAA, where she played four seasons for Northeastern University. She competed in a total of eleven World Championships and four Olympic Winter Games. In 2012 she won the bronze medal at the World Championships and was awarded best goalkeeper of the tournament. In 2014, Olympic bronze followed in Sochi and the awards for the best goalkeeper and most valuable player. With Linköping, she twice became runner-up (2017/18 and 2015/16) in the highest Swedish women’s league and had the highest catch rate throughout the season. 2017/18 she was also awarded “Goalie of the year” in Sweden and celebrated the most shutouts in one season. In summer 2018 she ended her career.

Swiss Ice Hockey is delighted to have won Florence Schelling, a former world-class goalkeeper and a figurehead of Swiss women’s ice hockey, as head coach of the women’s U18 national team. The young players will benefit greatly from her extensive ice hockey know-how and her many years of experience on the international stage.

Florence Schelling, ehemalige Schweizer Eishockey-Nationaltorhueterin, in ihrer neuen Funktion als Assistant Coach beim Spiel der Schweizer Damen U18 Eishockey Nationalmannschaft gegen Russland, aufgenommen am Donnerstag, 23. August 2018, in St. Gallen. (KEYSTONE/Gian Ehrenzeller)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Medienmitteilung von Swiss Ice Hockey

Die ehemalige Nationaltorhüterin Florence Schelling wird per sofort Headcoach der U18 Frauen-Nationalmannschaft von Swiss Ice Hockey. Sie tritt damit die Nachfolge von Steve Huard an, der das Amt per Ende der vergangenen Saison niedergelegt hatte.

Bereits seit Anfang der Saison 2018/19 stand Florence Schelling als Assistenztrainerin an der Bande der U18 Frauen-Nationalmannschaft – seither bildete sie sich im Coaching-Bereich stetig weiter und verstärkte ihr Engagement im Bereich Rekrutierung. Nun übernimmt Florence Schelling per sofort den Posten als Headcoach der U18-Nationalmannschaft. Sie tritt damit die Nachfolge von Steve Huard an, der das Amt Ende der vergangenen Saison abgab.

Das Palmarès von Florence Schelling ist lang. Mit erst 14 Jahren feierte sie bereits ihr Debüt an einer Frauen A-Weltmeisterschaft. 2008 wechselte sie ins amerikanische College-System NCAA, wo sie vier Saisons für die Northeastern University spielte. Mit der Schweizer Frauen-Nati bestritt sie insgesamt elf Weltmeisterschaften und stand an vier Olympischen Winterspielen im Tor. Dabei holte sie 2012 WM-Bronze sowie die Auszeichnung zur besten Torhüterin des Turniers. 2014 folgte in Sotschi Olympia-Bronze und die Auszeichnungen zur besten Torhüterin und wertvollsten Spielerin. Mit Linköping wurde sie zweimal Vizemeister (2017/18 und 2015/16) in der höchsten schwedischen Frauenliga und wies dabei jeweils über die gesamte Saison die höchste Fangquote auf. 2017/18
wurde sie in Schweden ausserdem zum «Goalie of the year» ausgezeichnet und feierte die meisten Shutouts. Im Sommer 2018 beendete sie ihre Karriere.

Swiss Ice Hockey freut sich, mit Florence Schelling eine ehemalige Weltklasse-Torhüterin und ein Aushängeschild des Schweizer Frauen-Eishockeys als Headcoach der Frauen U18-Nationalmannschaft gewonnen zu haben. Von ihrem grossen Eishockey-Knowhow und ihrer langjährigen Erfahrung auf internationaler Bühne können die jungen Spielerinnen im höchsten Mass profitieren.

3 Months Check-Up

3 months already, time flies!

About as fast as these past 3 months flew by, was my doctors’ appointment this morning! Took the x-rays and saw the doc and within 45 minutes I was on my way again, with a big happy smile on my face.

The x-rays show no change from the first post-surgery medical check-up, which is perfect! Thus, I was cleared to start with physical therapy and light exercises as of today for the next 3 months! 😀 Woop woop! No playing hockey or any other contact sports yet though!

Additionally, I am fully cleared to be brace-free as well! No more neck brace while sitting in a car and no more brace for sleeping! What a relief! Aaaaand it’s my call now on when I feel ready to drive a car (or my lovely vespa) again!

Pretty good news right?

As for the physical therapy, I will have to start from 0. I’ve lost pretty much all my muscles and I’m already out of breath when walking for a couple minutes at a normal pace… Although I am really excited about getting started, it will be a really tough and probably sometimes also frustrating upcoming 3 months. But who said that it should be easy right? 😊

Next check-up: End of August!

Xo

Florence

X-Ray Side View
X-Ray Front View

Announcement

coming… I have a big announcement coming on May 26th 2019! Until then, I will be posting different pictures with a red sweater that are hinting at what my announcement could be! Make sure to stay tuned and have fun coming up with some wild guesses on these pictures! 😊

I will however keep silent so I don’t spoil the announcement! 😊

Xo Florence

Broken neck, concussion and a torn knee, not the best prerequisite for travelling. 😊

Being able to go to Finland for the Coaching Symposium and the Women’s World was my goal from the beginning of my injury. I wanted to be in fit enough shape so I could travel there and stay for a couple of days. As time approached and I felt better and better, I decided that before Finland, I would go to Sweden to visit my friends. And then spontaneously I stayed in Finland even longer and even went to Estonia.

As the departure day came closer, I became really scared. Mostly from the take off and landing in the airplane and having to carry my luggage. Since my accident I was only allowed to lift 2kg max at all times and this only with both hands. Of course my suitcase was heavier than 2kg! 😊 Everything else, I knew I would be able to handle and if I would get really tired, I would be able to lay down at my friends apartment or at the hotel.

As it turned out, I was worried for nothing, take off and landing was absolutely no problem! I guess there is not much that could happen with that kind of neck brace that I was wearing, since it wouldn’t allow me to move my head at all anyways. The people at the airport in Zurich were extremely helpful with my suitcase so it felt like I was travelling like I always did, I almost forgot that I needed help…

If it wasn’t for all the looks I would get from people when they see my neck brace, I think I would have easily forgotten about my injury a month ago! 🙂

People were extremely helpful, no matter where I went, I received help when I asked for it. Until my flight from Stockholm to Helsinki with SAS when I asked a flight attendant for help with my carry on and I was denied because I did not request assistance online. I was shocked! I wonder if people who are too short to reach the overhead bin have to ask for assistance online as well or if a flight attendant would help? Anyways I was super happy when a passenger got up and helped me put my stuff into the overhead bin and helped me without asking again once we landed in Helsinki! I wish I would have had some Swiss chocolate for him in my backpack to thank him…

Overall the trip exceeded my expectation of easiness of travelling with a limitation. People were incredibly helpful which made it so easy for me, thus more energy to actually be up all day and soak it all in.

Today is my first day that I’m allowed to take off my neck brace! It feels great, although I keep having to put my neck brace back on because I get tired really fast, it feels great! The next two weeks is all about adapting to not wearing a neck brace anymore (it’s a must when sitting in the car though!) and being able to turn my head again!

Wish me luck!

Xo

Florence