Last time I wrote (click here), I announced that I would be taking a year from elite triathlon due to the injuries sustained in a bike crash in the New Year and the length of the rehabilitation processes. This decision has meant that while I am taking a break from triathlon - and while I don't to be based in Loughborough for training, I've popped down to the South Coast - to start my lifes calling as a professional beach bum. So, once again its a new home (prev. Kent, Bristol, Mendips, Lake District, Bristol, Bath, Loughborough...!), which after so many moves is something you learn to embrace rather than fret over.
I am working a few hours a week as a gym instructor and PT in a local gym to me, but quickly building up a list of private personal training clients and opportunities, and my new career is taking off far sooner that I had expected which having taken a rather large leap into the unknown, is quite a relief. I get such a buzz from the PT - and while I'm on a break from putting all my experiences and knowledge to use by developing myself as an athlete, I can now direct it towards helping someone else, which is actually really really rewarding. For regular readers of my blog - you'll know I'm a strong believer of everything happens for a reason - which is why I find strength in getting up after being knocked back. Therefore I see the positive in this is that everything ive done until now, was building up for this opportunity to help others get fit and find a love for themselves and exercise, to help them feel better and more energised to get out and enjoy life.
On the not-so-funky side of life are the repercussions of the crash, aside from still experiencing the after effects of banging my head off concrete at 40kph. There have also been some muscular and structural changes. I visited a chiropractor this week, who concluded that from the crash my whole body has twisted left - as the muscles in the right hand side (of which my head and elbow hit the road) have gone into shock and recoiled inwards, causing a twist in my pelvis, growth in my left calf muscle due to the increase in weight baring on my left side and severe tightness next to my spine from the muscular imbalances. Thankfully a course of chiropractic treatment and rehabilitative work will correct this over time. Character building stuff eh?
Getting back in the pool a fortnight ago was one of the best things and worst. When I started training with the squad in Loughborough over a year ago, I was just cutting 6 minutes for 400m and was more than aware that I had a long road ahead of me. The image of exiting the water last was pressure I put on myself to train, and train hard. Consistent 35/40km weeks in the pool and swimming up to three times a day was what was required to bring my time down to an eventual 4.53 400m just before the 2014 season begun. I didn't want to just get into elite races, I wanted to be in the race, at the front of the race. This work more than paid off when it saw me out onto the bike course first in three out of four Elite Superseries races and lead out chase packs on the European circuit. The crash has put me back to this square one, and I'm back swimming a very slow (almost double digit) 400m which is just gutting. Its also a challenge, and one that I will most definitely embrace when the time is right.
I have always had (and will probably always!) have a tendency to go full pelt at most situations which most of the time is great... however I've quickly learnt that rehabilitation is not a situation in which this trait should be applied. I was trying to get back in the pool, and on the bike, but have realised that trying to build up strength on body alignment that basically means I'm facing the wrong way - (!).. isn't smart. I miss my training, because I miss being an athlete. I miss the lifestyle, the discipline, the hard sessions and the slow.
On my little 'athlete vacation' I'm trying to make the most of a 'civilian' lifestyle and embrace it. Every day I'm trying to do something new and speak to someone new. Take care y'all...always cycle with a helmet and watch out for erratically driven vans. If you forget to do this and come off bad - get up, dust yourself off and get back at it. Smile, because this is life - and you want to look back and smile, knowing you lived it. X