He’s the most decorated Olympian of all time, but don’t think for a second that growing up as Michael Phelps was easy.
The 31-year-old swimming superstar —and new father — opened up about his struggles with ADHD in a new video for the Child Mind Institute‘s Speak Up for Kids campaign, explaining that a teacher once predicted that the Baltimore native would never succeed.
“I [saw] kids who, we were all in the same class, and the teachers treated them differently than they would treat me,” he says. “I had a teacher tell me that I would never amount to anything and I would never be successful.”
Phelps, who has earned a whopping 23 gold medals during his Olympic career, said he’s lived with ADHD “my whole entire life, and it’s something I continue to live with. It’s changed my life since the beginning.”
“Growing up, I was someone who was constantly bouncing off the walls — I could never sit still,” he says.
But he has since found a way to cope with his condition.
“I think the biggest thing for me, once I found that it was okay to talk to someone and seek help, I think that’s something that has changed my life forever,” he says. “Now I’m able to live life to its fullest.”