I love training and being at the top of my game. When I was a rower, there was nothing more I loved than heading out in my boat at the right time of morning when the layer of fog was just lifting off the water and the sun was rising. I was fit, competing at a high level and in love with my sport. I never thought it would all be taken away from me over the space of a few days.
In 2010 I was set to have another competitive year rowing. I’d been feeling a lot of pressure building up in my back and was feeling sore after each session. As I was young and not really aware of my body, I carried on training and never properly stretched out after sessions. The feeling in my back got worse and to the point of not being able to touch the skin on my lower back, as it would radiate pain. I was seen by a specialist and long story short… 3 stress fractures to my L2/3 (lower back) and being told I most likely couldn’t row again to any level. Rest and physio 3 times a week was my life for the next 6 months. Gutted was an understatement. My dreams of rowing as a career were over and it took a lot to overcome. Rowing was my identity, its who I was, what I talked about and what I wanted to do.
However, I am a big believer in everything happens for a reason. I started university and fell in love with the triathlon team. Im 99% sure my body was put together with spare parts (thanks mum and dad) because soon after starting triathlons, I suffered with bad shin splints. The great thing was, I could still swim and bike – so I would come out of the swim placing quite high and slowly watch the whippet runners overtake me…!
Overcoming injuries have made me a stronger person, it has truly tested what I am made of mentally. I learnt that fighting the injury and ignoring it wasn’t going to work, so I accepted it and challenged my mental strength to overcome it. There will always be athletes in sport that never get injured and seem untouchable. But I think I was given an opportunity to make myself stronger. I learnt that tough times don’t last, but tough people do!
I am currently injury free (yippee) and competing in triathlons as a GB age grouper, testing myself in some elite fields. My long term goal is to be a professional triathlete. I owe a lot of my shin recovery to the Drummond Clinic – Alex was brilliant and helped me get to the root of my problem….R.I.P weak calves!