Like true love in relationships, love for sports also takes work and commitment. Without a doubt in both of them you will continue to go through many painful moments. You know the moments when you feel like throwing in the towel, feeling like you’ve tried everything, given your all and cant push any harder or longer.
THOSE are the moments I’m trying to remind myself of : its hard, but that’s one of the reasons I love it. Overcoming challenges and exceeding my own limits is in the core of my love for sport especially running. At times it hurts like crazy, but feeling that true, fulfilling love is worth the pain.
Being injured feels like a part of you has been ripped away, it’s so frustrating and it’s so hard to not feel like quitting. Im trying to remind myself of “the why”. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason but hell, it would be so much easier if people spoke about their injuries and you didn’t feel totally alone. So if my speaking out can inspire or give just one person hope and strength to continue their journey and not give up then I’m happy.
As a runner, given the diagnosis of a “stress fracture” is a disheartening moment, because you know it means a huge shift in that seasons training and goals. Races and dreams have to be put on hold.
After my disastrous race at the Two Oceans ultra marathon where I pushed my body beyond its limit, collapsing on the road and spending hours in an ambulance. I was determined to make it right, to prove how fit I actually was, how hard I had been training but sadly it was a downhill spiral from there. I was so sick for two weeks after that race and really battled to shake that viral infection. Once I could actually train again It was a constant fight against my body, there were many niggles trying to protect the bone (which we understand now but didn’t then) , I couldn’t find my usual rhythm and everything was so hard. I was desperate to run free like I always had, to get myself back into it and to focus on the next goal.
“When one dream fails, dream bigger”and thats exactly what I was trying to do.
Eventually my body just said NO. I felt like it had let me down again, I felt like the world around had come crashing down on me and my dreams this year had been shattered. I felt like I had let everyone in my team down, all my friends, my coach and my husband who supported me endlessly, making this journey possible and that really crushed me.
I am now on crutches and in a moon boot. I cant put any weight on my leg and as a mom of three little girls, a busy freak of note, let alone an elite athlete you can imagine just how hard it is. BUT it is what it isand as a very good friend of mind always says “this too shall pass”.
There is very little I can manage on my own now but im trying to remain positive and focus on what I can do, with the help of my amazing team. Their belief in me gives me the hope and belief in myself and keeps the fire burning bright. Im training around this injury and loving the incredible experience of Cryotherapy. Im already seeing results in this and I’m super excited to be able share it with more runners.
In the last few years I’ve seen many incredible athletes such as Kara Goucher (2007 World Outdoor 10000 m bronze medalist), Camille Heron (2017 Comrades marathon Champion), Emma Coburn(2017 IAAF World Champs steeple chase gold medalist), Emily Infeld (IAAF World champs bronze medalist) overcome stress fractures and go on to achieve their goals and this gives me hope. (Yes, I am mentioning international athletes because SA ones don’t usually speak about their injuries, for some reason its seen as weakness and nobody wants to show any weekness, understandable so.)
Im not giving up, I’m not done yet, I’m born to run and I have dreams I still need to go after.
It will be hard, it will take time, I will be super frustrated…I am human BUT I WILL BE BACK and I will be stronger than before. I encourage you to find you “why,” keep at it, keep positive, believe and never ever give up. Be kind to yourself and breath, before you know it you will be back doing what you love and this will be a distant memory that’s only made you stronger.
Thank you to my team at Prime (and Wayne in NZ), my coach Ernie Gruhn, my club KPMG, adidas, 32Gi’s Mark Wolff and to my incredible husband for keeping me going strong.
“The greater the obstacle the more glory in overcoming it.” – Molie’re