In an emotional interview Michael Phelps revealed to Coy Wire, a CNN sports anchor, how he hit rock bottom.
We know him as the most decorated athlete in Olympic history. The man, the myth, the legend, Michael Phelps.
Relinquishing his career wasn’t the most positive decision for his wellbeing. Phelps’ world began to unravel, post retirement, after the 2012 London games. Up until that point swimming was all he’d ever known. Without the rigorous demands of his sport, Phelps lost his grip on being the captain of his own ship.
Phelps was deep into his nose dive when he received his second charge of driving under the influence of alcohol, in September 2014. This led to a six-month suspension by USA Swimming.
Michael revealed to Wire, “Those days when I was sitting in my room, where I didn’t move for four days, I had the support team of my friends and my closest family members and everybody who was there — my house was like a revolving door.
“They were people who matter the most to me and were there because they truly care about me. I was like, ‘That was a really dumb idea, let’s figure this out.'”
Phelps also personified the darkness enveloping him as a “time bomb waiting to go off.” That was “Superman’s” breaking point, he even considered the unthinkable; suicide!
Coy asked him, what has scared you most in your life, he replied: “I would probably say when I didn’t want to be alive anymore. At that point, I thought ‘The best thing to do is just not to be here.’
“I’ve been known to not always make the best decisions. It’s put me into interesting and tough spots at times.”
“I think it took those spots for me to be able to learn exactly what’s going on and what I needed to change. At that time I just knew I needed help and I knew I needed to change something in my life.
“I was kind of in a lost place so we did some research on what we could do and I went to treatment for a couple of weeks and just basically rebuilt myself. They kind of tore me down and built me back up and I went through some things that I never wanted to go through before.”
Some say a man is measured by the legacy he leaves behind him. I say a man is measured by what he does at the point he realizes “it’s time to become a man.” Phelps had accomplished everything imaginable as professional athlete. He crushed every opponent on his way to becoming the most decorated Olympian ever, and still he hadn’t faced his most challenging adversary, himself.