Running makes me feel alive, free and happy. I went for many years without running after high school, despite always yearning for it. When I finally made the decision to take action to return to the sport I was met with devastation. A sports doctor said that due to the arthritic presentation of my ankle he suggested I didn’t pursue running again at all, EVER. A lower impact sport such as cycling was suggested. I was horrified and cried for days. The doctor could see that I was distraught and said I could get a second opinion from my surgeon.
My surgeon was optimistic that he could improve my ankle and also knee issues to enable me to pursue the sport I love again. I didn’t want to rush into surgery before at least trying out some other sports. I gave kayaking a go, once and crossed that off the list very fast haha! I then pursued time trial cycling for a number of months, spending 20+ hours per week on the bike. I won my first race but soon after I knew that all I wanted was to be able to run. So I booked in for surgery.
It was a long road to be able to run post surgery and it took 8 months before I could even jog without pain. I was so frustrated. Over a year later I was able to begin some sprint sessions on the track but I constantly had issues and was re-injured every 6 months. Despite this I was determined to keep trying. I used each injury as a learning and growth opportunity for the body and the mind.
It took almost 5 years to be ready to compete in a 400m race again. But it was so worth it! Training and competing in such a physically demanding sport with my physical ailments has taught me many lessons. I now have much more patience, resilience and a much deeper understanding of how my body works. This gives me the strength and courage to continue striving to be a better athlete. I learnt an important lesson from that sports doctor back in 2011, to always ask “How can I?” and not accept “I can’t”.
Check out my current goals here.