I am the first to admit that 2015 for me was a bit of a disappointment. From battling through my last year at University to breaking my collarbone and niggles during the season. However, what last year did bring was understanding that with a little bit of perspective, patience and adjustment everything passes and from whatever situation that has occurred something can be gained. And hey I have comeback from worst situations, so time to pull up my socks and put my head back down.
While planning my 2016 season the events of last year were right at the back at my mind and I was more determined than ever to prove turning down an office and tax legislations for chlorine, bikes and trainers was the right decision. Not to mention I wanted to see how much stronger, faster and fitter I could become as a triathlete, while realising my goal of racing alongside the worlds best as a Professional.
Coming into the New Year, everything seemed to be finally falling back into place and I was feeling confident that the changes that needed to be made at the end of last season, were paying off for the better. Bring it!
However, at the beginning of February just before leaving for Lanzarote with Mark (Coach) and the gang things were definitely not quite right following two falls onto my left hip. As I wrote in my blog at the time, we changed up the aims of the camp and I can say it was a different 10 days but worth it.
Following Lanzarote, I started back on the bike feeling strong and enjoying some new found strength in the pool (thanks Mark). Ok I wasn’t back running quite yet but I was confident the short leg rest would pay dividends for my running come race season. After three weeks of prodding, poking and head scratching, thanks to my amazing team things were better but still not quite perfect. So we decided to go for the MRI just to see if anything subtle was causing this lingering stiffness, especially with race season now just being round the corner.
Last Thursday, after 40 minutes of staring at the safety notice in the scanner (think I perfected my French and Italian pronunciation for lazer beam safety – what did I say about always gaining something?!) I was told I had “definite signs of a stress reaction of the left ala of sacrum with marked osseous oedema” – sounds intriguing…?! After a few searching questions to the radiologist he translated this to be either the first signs of a stress fracture or signs of a healing stress fracture, that both would explain the agony I was in when it first happened and the ongoing stiffness. Ok that was shock, and pretty unexpected but I was sure it can’t be that bad especially it was healing following four weeks of just cycling and swimming.
On Monday my very unqualified, not so Sports Doctor self was soon told by the very qualified and Sports Doctor himself that a very different action plan was needed to ensure full recovery and the ability to come back stronger due to its position in my hip and my past.
“Right… So you really want me to take four weeks completely off, everything. So no swimming?… even just arms?… what about easy spins on the turbo?… core?…yoga?…breathing?… anything?!” It was clear from his facial expressions that everything apart from existing was not advised – didn’t even get a maybe.
Of course, when you are told everything you do not want to hear you just ask someone else to confirm it just in case, hope right?! The next day I saw Pete and… exactly the same – four weeks off it is then of… nothing!
To anyone who cares about anything, of course for the first few days it was hard to digest when I was told something I didn’t want to hear and so unexpected. So many questions – what will I do for four weeks? what about racing? fitness?
But like other situations I have gone through, both positive and negative, something can be gained and as long as I remained positive I know that I can comeback stronger both mentally and physically. This may be the opportunity my body needs to recover from everything I have put it through and heal my current injury. I know that thanks to my amazing support network and much appreciated advice, my goals and aims in the sport will still be achieved and boy will it be sweeter when they are – I thank you all.
I will be posting a blog soon in regards to my plans for the next few weeks and going forward. I will also comment on ideas for coping, finding distractions and gaining a positive, constructive mindset for any hard situation. As whatever you may be struggling with mentally or physically, this can be overcome and just never forget that time, by definition, passes.
Stay strong and good luck to those who are racing soon or already are #gosmashit!
Lots of Love,