Its been a challenging few months. Following the knee operation in November, the rehab was way more debilitating than I ever expected. I never thought I would actually MISS running.
When I was told I have a grade 4 tear in the cartilage, and it was not 100% repairable, I thought my life was over. Well, not quite as melodramatic, but I definitely thought my triathlon career was over. I was making plans to sort out what sport I might switch to and what my new goals might be. I was even sorting out my exit strategy.
Then coach came along and put me straight. I needed to NLP myself!! I was looking at the big goal, and not the small steps.
Emma began to put little comments into the coaching plan (like ‘wohoo, look at you, 30 whole minutes running!’) which made me look at the small steps. I started out by running to the end of the road. Literally 20 seconds. I made a joke of it, for the next few weeks, saying that I could now run to the end of the road AND BACK! Then I got to the end of the estate, then the end of the park, and more recently I almost got to town and back! (still only a 30 minute run, but I could see the progress!)
For a good while I didn’t take the GARMIN out with me, the pace would be too depressing. I turned it on last week for the first time in 3.5 months. I disregarded the pace, and simply looked at the heart rate and difference in pace, from easy to harder efforts. I could see I was actually faster. It didn’t matter that this ‘faster’ was still way off the usual pace.
The whole time Emma has been working me like a Trojan in the pool. I have never worked so hard in my life. I couldn’t understand this imbalance, till she pointed out that an athlete needs to maximise their strengths. The cycling is getting there too, its progress has been gradual too, and knee dependent of course.
I began to see a light at the end of the tunnel. Perhaps I can still ‘rock till I drop’ in triathlon terms, like I always said I would. I admire the age group athletes that are still competing in the 80+ age group. I want to be just like them. This pesky knee will NOT stop me. I will just get a new one, and carry on!
Many people, friends, family and age group team athletes have said that they are proud of me for how I have handled the recovery, the news regards the knee, and its long term prognosis. There have been dark times, of course there have. But I am on the up, I am still making small steps, and all those small steps will lead to the end goal, when I and the knee are both ready.