"What is health without illness? You have to experience each if you are to appreciate the other. There is always going to be suffering. It's how you look at your suffering, how you deal with it, that will define you". Mark Twain
Just under 2 weeks ago I was out running with the pooch and about 2km down a bridleway I rolled by ankle on some uneven ground. The sound it made was pretty horrific and I instantly could not put any weight on it. Fortunately I had my phone with me so my partner could come and help me get back home. I instantly burst into tears - tears as a result of the pain, but also tears as realisation hit - what impact is this going to have...
Following a slightly unsuccessful race at the ITU World Duathlon Championships in Pontevedra in April (I will do a blog post on this one soon) as a result of injury in the lead up to it, my aim for the rest of the 2019 season was to qualify for the 2020 ETU European Standard Distance Triathlon Championships at Brighton Triathlon at the end of September. My swimming and cycling had been going well, and was just building back my running fitness after my time out with shin splints.
So to roll my ankle on an 'easy' run was pretty frustrating to say the least. For the first few days I think I was hoping it was just a mild sprain and I'd be back on my feet (literally) in a few days. However, 10 days passed and I was still hobbling around with a black and blue puffed up ankle and so I finally succumb to friends advice and went to get it checked by my GP. They looked at it and sent me straight for an x-ray. Fortunately, it wasn't broken but when I asked if I'd be racing in a few weeks time they just looked at me... (silly athlete I am sure they were thinking).
Obviously I was immediately disappointed - a natural reaction to adversity I suppose. However, I'm very lucky to have a great support network, so having spoken to a few close friends, rather than mope (which I and many other people could have easily have done, and I have done in the past), I soon realised that you can take a positive out of your 'suffering', and focus on what you can control and do rather than what is out of you hands.
Extra time when I cannot currently train, meant I can finally start this blog! I can still swim (with a pull bouy) so I am going to try get that nailed, and I can also try to improve my core and upper body whilst I am unable to cycle and run.
Ultimately acceptance of what is your situation, no matter how bad, is the first step. Thinking about what you can positively do in your situation and acting on these thoughts is next (easier said than done, I agree). Nothing really can be achieved with the alternative - dwelling negatively on your situation for long periods of time and feeling sorry for yourself can be counterproductive and harmful.
Focus on the controllable.
PS arnica gel works wonders on bruises!!