Zbigniew Czyż: What is your current situation?
Patrycja Wyciszkiewicz-Zawadzka: I am rehabilitating and exercising, I am firmly convinced that I will be back on the treadmill. For now I can’t do it because I’m less than two months after my third surgery. I think it’s a matter of about four weeks to see what will be said next. Still, I see progress. It is better than it was after the previous two treatments. I believe it will only get better. If not, I still have some strength to continue the fight to return to the sport.
Who are you currently training with?
– When I found out I wasn’t going to the Tokyo Olympics, I knew I had to change my life a lot if I wanted to stay in the sport. I felt like I had to do something to keep him happy, to keep hoping. I was just tired of it all. I also changed my coach, Iwona Baumgart, to Jacek Kostrzeb. I cannot say that the cooperation with the coach was not fruitful. On the contrary, I learned a lot from her. I think he is a very good trainer. I just needed an internal change, I had to start over to find strength, willingness and motivation to work.
How do you deal with this situation mentally?
– There are better and worse moments. Sometimes I have no other motivation than to rehabilitate. Fortunately, there are fewer than more such days, they are less frequent. I had a really big crisis in early July and August last year, when I had surgery for the first time. I was devastated then. Not only did I end up in a wheelchair and became disabled, but at the same time my friends were fighting for medals in the Olympics. On the one hand I was very happy with their success, but on the other I felt that I was missing something, that I had to be there too.
Need help from a psychologist? Are you working with him now?
– I worked with a sports psychologist for this whole situation, then also during and after surgery. Maybe I haven’t passed everything yet, probably specialists can judge whether I’ve already done something or not. Now I don’t feel such an internal need to work with a psychologist.
Do you receive financial support from the Athletics Association or the Ministry of Sport?
– We have a certain law in Poland which is sanctioned by different laws. In order to be eligible for a scholarship, certain conditions must be met according to the ministerial law. I am not fulfilling them now. The external funds that I have been receiving for a while have already run out.
– But that’s not the main thing. It would be a shame if I said I can’t afford rehab. I can still afford it, but only because I had set aside a certain amount for the rainy day. I’ve earned them a lot in sports, but I think I need to use them in a different way than paying for my treatment now.
– However, this is not the main message. I would like to hear that I am damn sorry that if such a situation arises with younger players who are at the beginning of their career and not yet making money from sports, or those who are in old age, she is already achieving something have and still have a lot to give of themselves is that if they don’t have the resources to undertake rehabilitation, these careers can end too soon.
– The sad thing is that at some point you will be alone with everything and have to make decisions on your own. I can still afford the rehab, because my husband also works, we can still afford it. But my point is that if there are random situations like mine, when a certain person has already achieved some successes, declares himself willing to continue working and is a prediction of good results for the future, it is worth helping him . It is sad when someone is left alone in such a situation.
Do you give yourself some time to decide what to do with your career if your rehab and return to the treadmill took too long?
– No, life verifies everything. There will probably come a time when these final decisions have to be made, but I don’t think I have to make a decision to end my career. I won’t let it happen at all. I truly believe that I will get back on the treadmill and celebrate the successes. It’s certainly not like I’m giving myself a month, two, a year, or a year and a half to get the last one. I still dream of winning the Olympic medal. This is my goal and I hope to achieve it.
Interviewed by Zbigniew Czyż