As a triathlete, an injury can feel like the end of the world. For those of us who live and breathe TA, our training is so much more than, just training. It is our social outlet, essential for our mental health and, of course, it keeps us fit and ready for our next looming race.
After an incredible Hell Week at the end of 2019, where I attended every session and got stronger and fitter each day, I came out of that week feeling like I had nailed it, and that I had set up perfectly for the second half of the 2XU series and was just going to go from strength to strength.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
What I wanted, and what my body threw at me, were completely opposing. The first two weeks of January a bout of gastro knocked me around and while I participated in Race 3 at St Kilda, it was a poor choice and the slowest 5km I’ve ever run in my life. A lesson learnt that it’s OK to not participate and that it actually feels worse to participate so poorly than to just support your friends racing.
One week back into the swing of things and this time my back decided to flare up. I’ve had a bulging disc for over 5 years and a flare up every 18 months or so can occur. However, the injury never fails to shock me every time it occurs, the complete inability to do all the things you love or even to be able to walk, breaks me mentally and this flare up took a good 14 days before even the slightest of improvements.
What I had not counted on, was the unexpected benefits of a forced month of rest, a month that I would never have taken off by choice.
My body without doubt needed a break, it needed some sleep ins and it needed some down time with friends.
My first week back to proper training was last week and after each session I was beaming from ear to ear and I threw my arms around Ollie for a huge hug at the end of my first Tuesday morning run session. The joy of being able to move again and the rush of endorphins that I had missed, oh so much, was spectacular.
I am right at this moment the most motivated I’ve felt in six months. I have fallen even more in love with the sport I adore and have set myself a goal that I never would have dreamed of, if I had not had the forced time in January to rest.
No matter how bad something can appear when it first happens, sometimes these things simply happen for a reason and the best could be yet to come.