Three-time Olympian Suzy Favor Hamilton's glorified career was replaced with a much more destructive rush in late 2011 when she began working as a high-priced Vegas escort.
American former middle distance runner's memoir 'Fast Girl' is out Monday where the former track champion talks to People about what led her down that path: a then-undiagnosed bipolar disorder.
"My bipolar was driven toward sex," the 47-year-old explains. "It could have been driven towards drugs and alcohol, or gambling," reports msn.com.
The runner — who competed in the 1992, 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games — said she first started having suicidal thoughts in 2005.
Hamilton said her mental health issues led her to work as an escort — and her 2012 outing drove her to contemplate suicide.
Her first experience with an escort was on the occasion of her 20th anniversary; she suggested that she and her husband, Mark, spice things up by traveling from Wisconsin to Vegas and having a threesome. In an excerpt of her memoir published in Sports Illustrated, Favor Hamilton recounts their night with Pearl.
She writes, "Pearl had flipped a switch inside me, awakening a certainty that I could please clients even more than she'd pleased me."
She says that over a six-month period she convinced Mark to let her become an escort named "Kelly," telling him, "It would be just one or two times with their top clients."
In 'Fast Girl', she recounts leaving "one of the fanciest hotel suites in Las Vegas" having just made $1,200.
"This is way better than winning a race, I thought. This is better than competing in the Olympics."
She says that once the rush of pushing sexual boundaries started to fade, she began telling some clients her true identity.
In December 2012, the Smoking Gun exposed her double life. A month later, her bipolar disorder was diagnosed.
The expose humiliated the athlete.
But the rock-bottom moment forced her to seek help she said. She started seeing medical health experts and taking medication for bipolar disorder.
Her husband, Mark, stuck by her side the whole time.
The couple splits their time between Madison, Wisconsin, and Malibu, California. Their daughter, Kylie, is 10 years old.