It was 2 weeks before I was due to compete at the Munster Open, I was feeling AMAZING, I was Snatching better than ever, my bodyweight was down and ALL my lifts were up. I just bought my brand new Nike singlet and I was buzzing for competition day when BOOM my back decided to blow up!
It got worse – and then worse – and then I LITERALLY couldn’t tie my shoelaces without turning into a blubbering mess and it was then I knew that The Munster Open wasn’t the only thing I’d be missing out on and yes I’d actually hurt myself.
It’s been nearly 6 weeks as I write this and whilst my back is slowly starting to heal I won’t be anywhere near a barbell for a while and actually I haven’t trained at all as the littlest thing can spark a relapse and muscle spasm. I’m waiting on an MRI and a rehab plan and I FULLY expect myself to fall to pieces because I quite literally feel like every time I drive past the gym or leave it unable to do anything a tiny piece of me is being chipped away…
So now what?
Well I haven’t fallen to pieces yet so that’s a good start! In fact right now I’m feeling really positive and greatful and relaxed and Im really chilled out and enjoying life – most of the time! There has been and will be I’m sure those days were I just sit there a blubbering mess because it hurts and well “there are handstand push-ups and Snatch’s programmed and they are my favourite” but overall Im feeling good…why? Well it occured to me as I sat on my balcony, in the sun with my new little puppy at my feet that actually Ive been given this amazing opportunity to really re-focus and re-prioritise and that is having a profound impact on my life!
I’ve learnt nothing is final, time and circumstance don’t stand still and this period will pass. I will be able to train again. I’ve suddenly started noticing things like the news report on the professional rugby player who’s career ended early due to injury and I’m realising that the impact this is having on my life right now is minimal v others out there. Matt Fraser broke his back – he won The CrossFit Games last year – if ever I needed motivation this was it! I do believe in living in the moment but for this Ive found telling Myself Im unable to train ‘right now’ is much better self talk than ‘I cant do anything’ – that’s too final and it’s not correct. A bit of perspective goes a very long way!
You know my life for the last few years has been dictated by training. When I’m training, how I’m training, why I’m training. Always training first. I also held alot of my self-worth on how training was going. This is the first time I’ve been flat out unable to do any form of exercise – hence thinking I’d fall to pieces. I haven’t. I thought long and hard about this, I do still love training and I can’t wait to get back on the platform so why am I so ‘ok’ most of the time?
Well…and here’s the big thing….training is no longer my escape.
Why? I don’t want to escape – I love my life, I love my family, my friendships, my new puppy! Training is now a PART of my life rather than being my whole life.
This is a really good feeling! I wish I had realised this some time ago but in fact it’s the biggest breakthrough I’ve had in a number of years. Really understanding how much of my self-worth I placed on my ability to perform movements in the gym is actually quite scary looking back! Things have obviously improved so much but now – well now I just want to train because I miss that bar in my hands – not to feel better about myself. And for that alone I’m greatful that this injury has happened (that kinda sounds weird I know!)
Training will always be my go-to for stress relief, fun, excitement and bonding with my teammates and of course competing is what I love most so yeah I’ll be back but the inability to train right now has opened my eyes to a whole world of things I have taken for granted without even realising…like yesterday running round the garden with my boyfriends parents chasing our new puppy and eating bars of chocolate with a good old fashioned pot of Tay! One of the things that filled me up as much a PR in the gym could – but I never even knew coz I would never previously of given it a chance!
I ask you, what would you do if you couldn’t train? If that thought fills you with fear or dread I would take some time out to re-prioritise, allow other things aswell as training to fill you with joy, self belief and love – as a Coach I also believe this will have a positive impact on your training as it becomes ONE OF life’s joys rather than the only thing that can make you happy – the flip side being not doing it or not doing it well could tear you apart.
As always – thanks for listening.