I've written a number of times about my experiences with injury and the recovery process. However, aside from actual race reports and reviewing hikes I have done, I’ve written much less about my experiences since fully recovering.
The thing about setbacks is they certainly do put you back in certain aspects of your life but they can often have the effect of sharpening your focus and desire to achieve certain goals. Remembering the advertisers’ favourite caveat that individual results may vary, I thought I would share a little more of my experiences to illustrate this.
Two years ago I was in a leg brace 24/7 worrying that I might have missed my chance to achieve everything I could with my life. I was pretty sure I would walk again, but wasn’t confident I would regain the level of fitness I had previously. Thankfully, my recovery went very well.
As a strategy for keeping positive, I decided to document my progress so that in the weeks I felt I wasn't getting anywhere, I could look back and remind myself I really was getting better.
One year later and a little over a year ago- after a lot of very boring rehab exercises and hard work in training- I nervously ran my first post-injury marathon at Ross. It wasn’t quick but wasn’t as slow as I expected either.
Fast forward another 12 months to last week, when I ran my fastest ever time with the added honour of being picked to represent Tasmania in the Sydney Marathon. Even before I injured myself, I would never have dreamed of running that time and I suspect that without that setback, maybe I never would have.
I'm proud to say that my recovery over the last 2 years wasn't easy. I have had to be willing to work hard and give up some things. I've also had to get better at being selfish in certain contexts and keeping my goals in mind. And I've had to open myself to the possibilities that I can achieve more than I realise and I've had to open myself to the possibility of failure.
So apart from patting myself on the back - something I'm happy to do as I don't think we do it enough anyway- what's my point?
My point is that a lot can happen in a year if you keep your goals in mind and don't succumb to negativity.
Most setbacks are often temporary and can, in fact, be a blessing in disguise.
I wish you all the best of luck in overcoming whatever setbacks you encounter in the future.