Mal O’Brien Shares How She’s Improved Her Mental Health Over Past Year

Mal O’Brien stepped away from competitive CrossFit right before Semifinals last year. Since that time, O’Brien has stayed rather active on social media along with creating a YouTube channel. She also moved to Hawaii, competed in a HYROX event and ran a half marathon.

Last week, O’Brien penned an article on the GOWOD website. Titled “Working Towards Balance”, O’Brien shared the strategies she has utilized over the past year to bring balance towards her life.

GOWOD Mobility Hero The following is an excerpt from Mal’s post:

Any person, pro athlete or not, goes through ups and downs when it comes to their mental health. A lot of you know that I took a step away from CrossFit to focus on my own. It’s a forever work in progress, but these are the strategies that have helped me the most this past year.

Part of being a professional athlete is following a very rigorous training schedule that doesn’t allow for much variety or experimentation. This year, I have tried new exercise classes and sports that sound interesting to me. Catch me on the pickleball court, bodyboarding, and running outside. I have really enjoyed trying group fitness classes that have nothing to do with CrossFit, such as Barre and spin.

I am learning to listen to what I want to try, what I really crave, without judgment. But this hasn’t been easy. After 8 years of training for performance and to achieve big goals, shifting to working out for my health has been challenging but rewarding. I am still learning and know that will never end.

Read Mal’s post in its entirety on

YouTube video

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