Yesterday marked a year since I raced at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. This also marks a year since my injury. When I reflect on the time, what was initially a period filled with disappointment, has now become something I reflect upon with positivity. At the time, I didn’t think what had happened could be positive, but it is only now that I see it was. I hear you asking, why? Well, here’s why.
Learned so many lessons.
Prior to my injury, I didn’t think I needed to learn many lessons. I thought I was doing most of what I needed to be doing . However, I didn’t realise that life is a constant learning process. We learn new things every single day, even when we don’t think we are. When I became injured, I realised that perhaps I hadn’t been doing things exactly as I needed to, and my injury was my body telling me this. Sometimes our minds can’t see circumstances completely clearly, but my body could, and it was telling me that I needed to learn from what had happened. I took on board so many new lessons over my injury, and I continue to learn every single day!
Made positive changes.
Once I had been able to overcome the initial emotions and reflect on what had happened, I was able to identify where I went wrong. My injury also allowed me to start back from scratch and implement some things I hadn’t found the right time to bring in. One of these key things was strength and conditioning. I had never really had a structured S&C plan. I did the same very basic S&C programme three times a week, and had been doing that for about 5 years! Essentially, it wasn’t benefiting me in any way anymore. On my return, I was able to make S&C a staple part of my weekly training routine from the get go. Therefore I was able to slowly build it up as I built up my running volume, so the two progressed naturally together without hindering my running. S&C is something I actually love and I already have a lot to thank my S&C coach for on the return.
Dealing with problems when they arise.
I was a bit sucker for ignoring warning signs prior to my injury. If something didn’t feel quite right, I would ignore it until it became too much to ignore. I wouldn’t speak about it and would just plough on. This helps no one. I now address anything out of the ordinary as soon as it arises and notify my coach of it so he is aware of any slight sensation, no matter how small it is. This means we can address problems whilst they are small, so they do not then progress into something bigger.
Mentally and physically stronger than ever before.
I have never been one to fear the possibility of things going wrong. I love it when plans go exactly as they should, but I also thrive off them not going to plan. This has always boosted me and motivated me so much afterwards. The post-commonwealth games feeling was pretty tough and the injury process was very long winded. I thought I’d lost all I had worked for at the time.
However, I’ve actually come back from my injury so much stronger and I know this will benefit me massively into the future. It showed me that I can overcome a lot, and therefore when it comes to running, I don’t have much to fear. As a result, I feel a lot more mentally stable and strong, but also more mature. I feel I am a lot more rational when it comes to training, and able to see what is best for me, as opposed to focusing on what I ‘should’ be doing.
Trust the process.
I believe, to some extent, everything happens for a reason, and what happens might not be exactly what you want, but it’s what you need at that moment. I have come to find joy in the process so much more than I did this time last year. I have found myself no longer constantly reaching for the end goal, but instead enjoying where I am each day. Whatever will happen will happen, so as long as I work my hardest consistently, I will get to wherever I’m able to get.
I am able to accept when I need to back off, listen to what my body is telling me, take it super easy when I need to, push hard at the right times, and ride the ups and downs without getting too up or down.
I hope this blog shows that injuries or setbacks in life aren’t all bad, and they actually teach as so many valuable lessons. Mostly the lessons we didn't know we needed to learn.
I love to run and I love to write, so I write about running!