During Qualifying for the Season 2 opener in NEOM, Christine GZ suffered injuries from a serious crash on her debut for Veloce Racing.
Looking back to the Desert X Prix in NEOM, how were you feeling at your first race with a new team?
When you knew you were injured and would need medical treatment, how did that affect you?
“When the race was moved, I had more time to recover but the objective was the same. I never told my physio that my race was postponed so that they’d still let me train so much. Every day except Sundays, because they don't let me in. I was doing between five and six hours of rehab.”
What treatment did you receive in your recovery, especially around your mental health?
GZ: “I started having dreams about the accident happening over and over again. I talk about these things with our mental coach, and he helps me to understand what's going on and how we can take all this to make it positive.
“My friends were impressed that I was actually talking about it. Normally I would be like oh everything is fine, which I think is what most athletes do. We hide the fact that we are not feeling good.”
So, as part of your rehabilitation, you’ve been receiving neuro training. What exactly does that entail?
GZ: “I have been working on that since last year and I think I feel that has been a great improvement for me. In neuro, he works with your fatigue, nerves, stress, reaction and all this together, he tries to bring it to another level.
“Normally during my daily life, because it's so busy with training and racing and so on, he’s never gone too hard on me. You can’t start your day and feel already dead before going to training. What we’ve done now that I'm at home is to train at our maximum level so that you see the consequences of how you can train at that high performance and experience how that affects the rest of the day.”
Breaking the stigmatism around mental health, would you recommend neuro training to other athletes?
GZ: “Every athlete should have a mental trainer. People get a little bit scared when you say psychologist, but all this time has given me a chance to think and see how to get better in a different way.
“We kind of drive away from this mental health story because we’re drivers and athletes, we are strong and put in 150% for everything we do. I think we have to see it in a different way.
“It’s crazy because I thought okay, this is my limit. Then when I do neuro and I think that I can’t go over this and can’t do more, I see that my limit is actually so much higher.”
It sounds like, despite the hardships you’ve been through, you’re going to come back stronger than ever before.
GZ: My head right now is 100%. I’m ready to get back in the car. Maybe in another situation I wouldn’t be like that. But with all this help, I’m on it! I’m ready to get back and smash it in Sardinia.
Adam has been a race fan since the first time he went through the tunnel under the Daytona International Speedway more than 30 years ago. He has had the privilege of traveling to races all across the state of Florida (as well as one race in Ohio), watching nearly everything with a motor compete for fame and glory, as well as participating in various racing schools to get the feel of what racecar drivers go through every week.
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