I moved to Nottingham to join the GB short track speed skating team in June. At training camp in August I had a fall. A 'nothing' fall; I was more worried that I had hit my head and concussed myself again than anything else. Turns out my brain was fine but something in my leg not so much. I kept training thinking it would heal up and it got worse. By September I was off the ice and I've been off and on all season.
For a full time athlete I don't know if there is anything more frustrating than being injured. Suddenly I wasn't able to do what I had moved across the world to do, I wasn't able to do my job. I love skating but sitting on a spin bike at the side of the rink to keep my fitness up? Yeah, that I don't love so much. Being injured is boring, it's depressing, and it's isolating. I can go days in which I barely talk to another member of the team and then I go home and make these sweeping statements about how motivated I am on social media (because fake it 'til you make it right?). Weirdly enough being injured is motivating for me. I think it's just stubbornness but as soon as someone tells me that I can't skate I want to do everything I can to get back on the ice.
I've never had a season like this, never had a season where I wasn't able to train fully for so long; so whenever I went to race I always felt like I was a step behind. How was I supposed to race better than I ever had if I was training less than I had in years?
On the plus side I'm now in a unique position (for me) where now at the end of the season instead of feeling run-down and tired and in desperate need of a break I'm in a headspace where I can and want to keep training so that hopefully I can be strong and ready to go for next season.
|in my injured natural habitat: on the bike|