On the edge: training keeps me sane!


header 2Its safe to say I have had a pretty rough year. It is also safe to say I almost gave up sport at the same time. It is also worth pointing out that my Mum (R.I.P) and my husband have both recently reminded me that I can in fact reinvent myself and I can do whatever I want to do. I was right on the edge, of a breakdown.

I have talked a lot in the past about how running is something that I find therapeutic. recently though, I almost lost my mojo completely. Within 4 days of leaving the UK for good, my mum was diagnosed with cancer. She chose to to tell me for 6 weeks. She died two weeks later. My plane didn’t land back in the UK in time. I never saw her again alive after I waved her goodbye quite innocently in April, promising to return for a holiday next summer.

I have to say I hit rock bottom, and I can sincerely say I know that is where I was. I struggled to see the days through, I struggled to focus, and I didn’t know what I was going to do next. I wasn’t sure how I could carry on.

Of course I had the support of my family, however that didn’t always help me fight the demons in my mind. There were a lot of people that I knew that were very worried about me. Nothing prepares you for what it’s like to lose your mum.

I didn’t do any exercise anything like the 12+ hours a week that I had become accustomed to since I first joined team GB in 2009, but I did take my running shoes with me to the UK when I went back, originally to visit her, but actually, to attend her funeral. Running along the sea wall, stopping to cry, to look at the sea, the birds, try and remember that I should be thankful because at least I am still alive, running saved me. Running is still saving me now.

Running is actually my nemesis. I am sporting a knee injury that will eventually result in major surgery. Running hurts me. But still, whatever type of crisis you are having, wherever you are in the world, running is something that you can always do, as long as you have a pair of shoes.

No matter how low I got, I still took myself out to run. To cycle round a track (when I was able). Just you and the road, nothing else matters.

Exercise has saved me a few times in recent years. It is saving me again.

I will be back, small steps, but I WILL be back.

2 thoughts on “On the edge: training keeps me sane!

  1. Oh Melanie, I totally understand. I have also had the worst year of my life for other (also family) reasons and had to stop rowing for four months when things were at their worst. Now back on the river and it helps so much. The rhythm and focus always help my state of mind.

  2. Hi Mel- My mum has been very poorly since Xmas & we lost my Auntie in May. I battled on & didnt realise how much I had been affected until after the Europeans when I just burst into tears. I literally sobbed in the middle of the hotel swimming pool! It was relief. Relief that all the upset hadn’t stopped me training & racing & I knew that my Mum & my Auntie Ivy would be soooo proud of me & so pleased that they hadn’t stopped me living my dreams. You have taken on an awful lot this year & you need to be patient & kind to yourself. Heal fully & then come back- it will be even more rewarding for you & Mark.
    Best Wishes, Rach x

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