Our awesome Ambassador Bron has written about how much having an injury sucks. Some of us know this feeling some lucky members of our Glimmer Family don’t. Bron, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you for sharing this and we KNOW you will be back out there at full capacity asap. We do 100% know that you have the best team behind you that anyone can have and we are proud to be here to support you through it all!
Injury really sucks, and it can be really hard to stay positive in the face of adversity when told you can’t train, or do the things you want to do. I’m definitely no stranger to injury, but every time something new happens, it feels like a massive kick in the guts.
I have hyper mobility syndrome, which during our stretching sessions earns me lots of comments like “Wow! That’s freaky!” and “Holy moly you’re flexible!”, because I am super, super flexible. But it also means I’m really prone to injury – when ligaments and small muscle groups don’t cooperate, it gets left to the big muscles to do all the work. That creates problems…
But this isn’t new information for me. I’ve known for ages that I’m hyper mobile, and I’ve known that the only way to ‘treat’ the condition is by ensuring that all those small muscle groups maintain their strength, and activate when needed. This means lots of core strength classes, trying to get those lazy muscle groups working. So that was my plan, build strength in those key areas and remain injury free in the lead up to my first World Championship qualifier in October.
But right now? Things are not going to plan. The past few months I’ve had a niggling pain in my left quad. Best way to describe it is that someone is stabbing a sharp knife directly into the middle of the muscle. Not fun. It started as I was doing our regular sprint session on the treadmill, attempting to build some speed. So it was off to the physio for me, and Felicity at Inspire Health Services in West End is the one to see. She identified that the problem in my quad is actually arising from my glute and back. Basically, they are both super weak and not doing their jobs, which means my quad has to take over and do triple the work, resulting in over-use stress pain. Nothing actually wrong with the quad, it’s just tired. But my glute and back, they were a mess…
So Felicity did some needling, I screamed in pain, she gave me some exercises to do that would isolate those muscles, and recommended I take the Pilates reformer classes they hold at Inspire Health. Yay, problem solved! Pilates is amazing, it really isolates those small muscle groups so they have no choice but to work! And I could definitely feel it working. But I was still getting that pain in my quad when doing the sprint sessions on the treadmill, and then last week, it started hurting on the wind trainer as well. Not good, problem not solved. My coaches laid down the law – no training until I saw Felicity again.
The earliest I could get in to see her was a week and a half later, and during that time, I could feel my back, and my quad, getting worse and worse, to the point where it was painful to stand, sit, lie down, walk, bend over, or anything really… But I was still optimistic that when I saw Felicity last night, she would fix me up and I’d be on my way back to training.
But again, that didn’t go exactly to plan. It had gotten so much worse that by last night I couldn’t bend more than about 30 degrees, and that’s coming from someone who usually can put her elbows on the floor… The discs in my back are really, really inflamed, which is not only causing pain there, but also down my glute, and the usual quad pain. After the usual needling and massage, it was obvious that it is going to take a lot longer to heal than I thought, and that the injury was a lot worse than I thought. And the killer… No training. No running, no riding, no Pilates or core even, no walking the dog. All I can do is swim with a pull buoy… Great. I don’t even like swimming that much.
As expected, I was pretty upset, and my mind went into that catastrophizing downward spiral that it does so frequently. How was I going to improve my running before my race in Yarrawonga? How was I going to learn to draft if I can’t ride? How was I going to function without being able to do the one thing I really love doing?
For me, it really does seem like it is one thing after another. Last year I had dreams of qualifying for the 2017 World Championships, but then I tore two ligaments in my ankle and was out for 9 months. So that didn’t happen. And then now, I’ve got that dream back for the 2018 World Champs, but this happens? How do I get past that and remain positive?
I’m really, really lucky to have such great coaches and team mates at SBR Triathlon. Michelle Cooper is amazing – honestly. She sat me down, we talked it through, she was honest and said yep, it sucks, but we can get through it. We talked about how we have a great team at Inspire Health to work with, and I know that they’re the ones who will get me on the road to recovery. We talked about different strategies of what I can do instead. Focusing on the can instead of the can’t.
So this is what I can do. I can swim. And Yarrawonga had better look out, because by the time 21st of October rolls around, I’m going to be a shit hot swimmer.
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