Light in The Dark: 10 Lessons I’ve Learnt From Injury

They say everything happens for a reason, I am not 100% sure what the reason was that I got injured, nor am I 100% recovered yet. But the moonboot is off, there’s light at the end of the tunnel in terms of a return to training, and I have had a chance to reflect on the last 3 months. These are some of the things I have learnt whilst being sidelined from running, riding and racing…

Gratitude is the best attitude. Whilst it would be easy to have a pity party when you’re injured, and I wont lie there’s been a few times I put my pity pants on and sat in the pit of misery over the last few weeks… But that didn’t solve anything and just made me feel worse about myself. Instead, I have been writing down one thing I am grateful for at the end of each day. Looking back over the entries it warms my heart and makes me feel so lucky for all the wonderful people in my life. Try it out for a couple of weeks even if you aren’t injured, I bet you will love it.

Listen to your body. Seek help when something is not quite right. I tried to ignore my sore foot for a few weeks, and ran through the pain. Definitely not a smart idea, niggles are usually a sign there’s something wrong. Rest or seek medical attention, better to be safe than sorry, it’s not always beneficial to play the tough cookie… I have learnt that the hard way.

Team entries in triathlons are great. Until this year I hadn’t ever entered a triathlon as a team, now I have done three and loved each of them. There’s something really exciting about competing with your buddies, running into transition and tagging the next person to go is my favourite part. Competing in a team means there’s less pressure, more fun and once you’ve done your leg you can cheer on everyone else racing.

Hangovers are awful. Whilst this wasn’t news to me, it had been a while since I had experienced one. My Sundays are usually spent riding for hours, so Saturday nights I’m preparing bottles of energy drinks, tucked in bed by 8.30 and up at 4.30am riding. Instead we found ourselves getting home at 4.30am and probably in need of those hydration drinks, but for all the wrong reasons. Whilst I have had fun rediscovering the party animal in me, give me a six hour ride on Sunday instead of a hangover anytime!

Walking is enjoyable. I was told maybe to go walking if I couldn’t run, discover some new places around the beautiful Sunshine Coast. Walking!? Who walks? Well me now apparently! I have run through the National Park dozens of times over the last few years, but walking was a different experience, and not just because I could have a chin wag with my friend along the way. Without earphones or heart rate monitors, counting cadence or watching your run pace, you can listen to the bird calls, see insects and animals foraging, marvel at the humongous trees and really just appreciate the eco system and surroundings. I would highly recommend putting a walk into your schedule every so often, and even better drag a friend along and explore new places at the same time.

My friends are amazing. Instead of allowing me wallow in pity they have joined me to explore, walk, swim, party, breakfast and just sit on the balcony for hours chatting and laughing. Most Sunday afternoons do involve a bit of pining for our ‘normal’ weekends back… The satisfying feeling of finishing a long ride and run off the bike, sweaty body, aching legs, tired all over and endorphin levels high is what I really crave. But I will be forever grateful and cherish the last couple of months of Sunday memories. It wont be long and we will be wishing for these glorious lazy Sundays back!

Not training = bulk spare time. When you’re not training heaps, or getting ready for training, or travelling to/from training, or recovering from training or so damn exhausted from training there’s actually a lot of spare time in the day. Plenty of time to research races and plan when you can return to training 😉 Just kidding, but I have had time lately to brush my hair in the mornings and not fly into work at the last minute looking disheveled and feeling starving, which I am sure the boss is happy about.

Deep water running isn’t that bad… with friends! I have water ran a considerable amount over the last 3 months, most people yawn or cringe at the thought of treading up and back the lane I know. But trust me when I say it isn’t that bad, time flies and is and much more enjoyable with a buddy. We have solved the problems of the world whilst water running over the last few months.

Lots of people care. My family, friends, squadies, coach, physio, colleagues, customers, even people I don’t know very well. It’s humbled me to experience how many beautiful people there are who are genuinely willing to help, offer advice, listen and just care. The big bad world isn’t really as big and bad as we think it is, there’s lots of wonderful people out there. So thank you.

I really love triathlons. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, that it does. I have missed running and riding so much and I can not wait to get back into it. Here’s to a happy and safe last few weeks of 2016, then bring on 2017- you’re going to be the best year yet.

Until next time remember: We need the dark to appreciate the light, and the light always returns.

Chloe x