If you follow me on social media, or Strava, you may have guessed from my lack of activity, and my sometimes cryptic, sometimes less cryptic comments, that I am injured, or to be more correct, now returning from injury.
I’m not going to sugar coat it, it sucks. As triathletes we’re obsessive, exercise addicted creatures. Take away the exercise, the satisfaction of training hard, the sense of achievement of improving and working towards goals, and the associated endorphins, not to mention the social aspect of training, you end up with a lost and blubbering mess.
I’ve been injured once before, and not having dealt with it particularly well that time, this time around I decided I was going to be more positive about it. To accept it, not beat myself up about the fact I got injured, and focus on what I could do not what I couldn’t.
That worked for a week.
Then I realised that it was going to take more than a week, or even a month; it was going to be a long hard slog, and the longer it had been, the harder it felt. I missed training, and I felt left out while my squad mates were busy slogging away climbing the endless hills of the beautiful sunshine coast hinterland; my favourite kind of training when the pressure is off, you just relish in the challenge, and can see yourself getting fitter almost every day.
While it does suck, to be cliched, “every cloud has a silver lining”.
If nothing else, I’ve gained a new-found appreciation for the quote
“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”
(or whichever of the plethora of variants you like)
Ha! I’ve needed to remind myself once or twice of late that falling (or getting injured) is part of the game and doesn’t make me a failure.
We all love working on the things we are good at, because we’re good at them! It’s less easy, often hard, and sometimes uncomfortable or even scary, to work on the things we are not good at!
Avoidance and denial are my two middle names, so this injury has been a blessing in disguise for me, even if I’m still struggling to convince myself of that! It’s forced me to stop. It’s highlighted with a big, fat, fluro pink marker, several weaknesses that need to be addressed. It’s given me the opportunity to work on aspects of my physical health and mental wellbeing that were all too easy to sweep under the rug when things were going well but which ultimately resulted in the injury.
As I’ve learned over the years of being a triathlete, you need to relish in the journey just as much as the successes. Even in the most successful career, wins can be few and far between. I am now beginning to understand that relishing in the journey is more than just enjoying the process of training, of challenging one’s self day in day out. It is also acknowledging hardships will come, in fact I think to reach one’s potential they need to come, and that is when you learn the most about yourself. It is relishing in those hardships too. It is also relishing in the different kind of wins that come with a return from injury; the first walk, the first glute bridge without pain, running again.
For those of you curious, of which I am sure there are a few, my injury was a stress reaction in my ischial tuberosity (sit bone) where my hamstring tendons attach, coupled with hamstring tendinopathy. I did a silly and trained through the pain for a while thinking it was just tendinopathy until I had a scan…
I’m well along my way returning to a full training load but am not yet putting any expectations on my return to racing. The year is long, my career longer, and it’s more important to fix this and address those aforementioned weaknesses, than to rush back before I’m ready.
Lastly before I go, one of the areas I have identified I need to work on is vulnerability. I love my little circle of confidence but that is not where the magic happens (enough with the clichés!) My computer is full of half-written, unpublished blogs which the perfectionist in me has gotten cold feet over because I couldn’t quite find the right words, or I was afraid of sharing. So to stop me backing out, here is my promise to you, out there in the cyberworld, that I will be writing and pressing publish, to share my stories and my learnings with you all. Keep your eyes peeled!
Here’s to a happier, healthier, stronger, more robust and resilient G 3.0!