Illness & setbacks
Firstly, I hope you’re all keeping well in this new strange normal we’re all living in.
To give a brief run-down of my life over the last month. I initially took best part of 2 weeks away from full-time training due to being whipped out by a nasty stomach virus called Gastroenteritis. I spent most of the fortnight curled up in a ball in bed trying not to sh*t myself haha! (I laugh now but I honestly wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy). Just as I was returning to life, I get struck down with the next set back. This is of course the dreaded rona. I’m one of the luckier types who’s fortunate enough to be asymptomatic… my house mate on the other hand isn’t. I sit here typing this blog whilst she’s KO’ed on the sofa next to me.
Now, initially this was probably the toughest pill I’d ever had to swallow before. I had just missed 2 weeks of training due to gastro and now the Rona is bending me over as well?? What did I do to deserve this bad luck? And to top it all off aerobic training isn’t an option due to the serious health risks surrounding inflammation around the heart due to the cardiorespiratory nature of the virus. Elite athletes all show strong traits of addictive, habitual personalities, so to be pulled from what is considered the norm can take some time for the athlete to get used to. This led to me sat at home contemplating what to do next?
Initially, I loused around for 2 days feeling sorry myself and hating on everyone/anything for literally no reason. The nature of an elite athlete is to be obsessive and addictive, finding new ways to better themselves. Now I sit back and think… what can I do to be better? I can do S&C, swim conditioning & run drills. Just nothing to elevate the HR. This training is a given, but what else can I do to be quicker, faster & stronger than before? Now I saw a quote online the other day, it said “listen more than you talk, nobody ever learnt anything by hearing themselves speak” so I did some research, I watched documentary’s, listened to podcasts. Reflected on myself and the areas I can improve for when I do get to return to training. I’d never get this amount of free time normally due to big training hours and a university degree, so I have to cease this opportunity and use it as a positive period of reflection. There are huge gains to be made in these areas.
I have a lot of free time at the moment. This goes as an understatement. I could happily put my feet up and get stuck into a Netflix series but in reality, that’s not going to make me a better athlete! I need to use this time wisely and prepare myself for my return to training. I could start this by getting ahead on Uni work, crack on with my dissertation so I’m not short for time when I’m back exercising. Other smaller admin jobs that need to be done such as maintaining equipment, updating sponsors, emails, season planning and literally anything that will keep me busy.
I guess the takeaway message from this BLOG is to stay positive, use your time wisely. Think about what you can do to better yourself in triathlon or whatever your chosen field may be (even with limited resources). Making the most of a bad situation and being grateful for the opportunity you can make of it. At the end of the day everything happens for a reason and tough times will challenge everyone, it’s how you react and behave in these situations that will define who you are as a person/athlete.
I appreciate this is a lengthy one so if you’ve read down this far then thank you! I also want to say a huge thanks to the coaching staff within NTPCW, my good friends & training partners, my family and my girlfriend for being so supportive. I’m extremely grateful for all of you.