This week the team got to team up with an incredible woman who has her eye on the ball when it comes to crucial topics: both on and off the court.
Meet Tèmítọ́pẹ́ Fágbénlé (Tèmí), a professional basketball player currently representing team Great Britain in the FIBA Women’s Eurobasket Qualifiers.
Tèmí and BeYou
We got to sit down with Tèmí a little earlier in the year, to discuss all the incredibly important things going on in her life and what has brought her to BeYou!
It’s a really crazy time in the world right now - how has the COVID-19 pandemic changed things for you?
Tèmí: Earlier during the pandemic in March, life really seemed to have been turned upside down.
I was in the middle of a professional basketball season in Spain which was abruptly cancelled and I ended up staying in Spain for about a couple months after, during which I think I caught the virus.
We weren't allowed to leave our homes to go to the hospital and get tested though (I experienced a fever, weakness and the loss of smell and taste, which are said to be typical COVID symptoms), but thankfully, my immune system was able to fight the illness.
Though things are still very strange, I am enjoying the slower pace of life.
You’ve achieved so much in a short space of time but what challenges have you faced as an athlete during your career?
Tèmí: I've faced chronic and short-term injuries, tests of confidence, trying coaches and teammates, and other life hardships such as deaths of loved ones and ended relationships.
I have been able to take all these experiences in my stride and overcome them the best way I have learned how: with a relentless positive mindset and willingness to learn and be compassionate.
Being selected for the London 2012 Olympics squad when you were just 19 must have been amazing - how did it feel?
Tèmí: I remember the feeling of making the final roster. I was over the moon and jumping on my bed. All my hard work, all the pain from my chronic tendinopathy became worth it in that moment.
Competing in the Olympics at such a young age was quite the learning experience to say the least! I really soaked it all in and enjoyed every moment.
It is a once in a lifetime chance to compete at the Olympics in your home city, so I felt immensely blessed to be able to do that.
What would you say is the main driving force behind your ambition?
Tèmí: My family and my competitiveness. I am blessed to come from a loving, caring family who support me. Their love buoys me. In addition, I love to be uncomfortable, I love to fight and I love to win.
Whatever I am doing in life, I aim to do it to the best of my ability, because, why not?
You never know when life is going to end, so I aim to be myself and be great in every moment!
Bringing periods onto the playing field
In your own words, your period has meant ‘enduring crippling pain and throwing up’ - how has this affected your sports career? Have you felt you haven’t been able to talk openly about your period pain to your colleagues?
Tèmí: When I first started my period around age 13, the pain was unbearable. I remember going to basketball practices in pain and just praying it would disappear. I think it helped that I played sports, though, because the pain seemed to lessen slightly when I exercised. However, when I wasn't playing sports, the pain was relentless and I'd be bedridden and sometimes vomiting.
The solution my doctor had for this was the birth control pill. It worked to drastically diminish the period pain, but I remember looking forward to when my period would arrive so I'd finally have a week without any pills - the extra hormones and unknown chemicals made me very uncomfortable.
I was on the pill for 10 years until I decided to stop it. The first couple of periods afterwards were bearable, but then the pain returned with a vengeance.
Thankfully, it was around then that I stumbled upon BeYou. I've been very open with my colleagues about my period - there's nothing to be ashamed of - and I've introduced them to the BeYou patches which are my go-to!
It’s incredible hearing that the Monthly Patches have made a difference for you! For someone considering trying them for the first time, how would you describe their cooling magic?
I wear the patches on my abdomen and lower back, so their action feels like a big cooling and soothing sensation. I literally feel the pain about to come on, but the cooling sensation massages the muscles into submission. They are simply divine.
How do you spend your well-deserved me-time?
Tèmí: I love a relaxing bath with a good book or just my thoughts! I also do my hair myself. It can take hours at a time and it is a sort of therapy for me.
Sit me down in the sun with my hair products and a great book or movie and I'm good to go!
What’s next for you?
Tèmí: I am in Venice, Italy playing professional basketball! The weather here is everything I need and I'm loving the culture and food. I'm also running a business and pursuing modelling and acting opportunities. I've got my hands full, for sure!
Tèmí has since travelled to Turkey and is currently on the way to play for Great Britain in the FIBA Women's EuroBasket 2021 Qualifiers competition this weekend!
This Saturday, 14 November 2020, Tèmí and the Great Britain team are playing in a match against Poland, and hope to secure their spot for 2021.
We always love catching up with Tèmí to hear about what’s been going on in her world: both on and off the court!
Since then we have had another chance to sit with her and dive a little deeper into what makes up such a powerhouse woman! We can’t wait to share more, but until then, we’re wishing you all the best for your upcoming game, Tèmí!