There is nothing like the thrill of speed!
I'm talking about the fast kind not the drug! I love the feeling of running fast, perhaps my love affair with this is what made me such a successful sprinter. Being lost in the moment. Moving my legs and arms as quickly as they will take me. Relaxing my body into the rhythm and pace. Feeling the coolness of the wind speeding past my cheeks. My hair fly’s behind me and my face is cold. All I can think about is what I can do to go faster. My arms glide back and forth and my legs follow stretching out. My feet gracefully take the weight of my floating body, impacting on the firm surface.
Suddenly, tension increases and I try to continue gracefully left, right, left. My muscles seize. The movements are no longer graceful and the surface seems harder and the load, heavier. My foot strikes the surface to take the weight, but not this time. In a split second I feel a sudden thump come from below. BANG!
My heel falls away to the ground, it falls off, leaving my leg behind. This feeling is like nothing else, intense and entirely unbearable for a moment in time. Confusion clouds the rhythmic pace as I plant my left foot. At this speed there is no other option. I have no choice but to take the next stride. Unable to stop my floating foot hits next with no ability to control. Everything collapses beneath me. My body hits the ground hard, folding on top of itself. My mind a flurry as the grace eludes me.
8 years on and I still remember like it was yesterday.
Collapsed in a pile in the middle of Olympic Park running track, I immediately knew there was something seriously wrong. Running was my favourite thing in the world. Considering this, I was surprised at my calm reaction. I didn’t cry from the physical pain, nor did I break down from the emotional pain. Instead my mind started to dissect the past few moments.
Standing up was difficult. My foot dangled in the air as though it didn’t belong to the rest body. I knew immediately this was a major injury, despite what onlookers had to say, perhaps due to my 'non reactive' state. Deep down inside I knew what had happened, Id ruptured my achilles tendon. Yet I wouldn’t allow my mind to believe this until it was proven.
The doctor proved this in about 3 seconds the following day. The news flicked a switch inside me, turning on the emotional response. Tears welled up in my eyes instantly. I bit firmly on the inside of my left cheek hoping this would stop them in a fight to 'hold it together'.
I learnt the ramifications and rehabilitation time frames later that week. 12 months for a full recovery is normal, sometimes 24, but potentially 6 if you’re really lucky. I don’t think there could have been an injury with a longer rehabilitation process. The damage was done and to my surprise I pushed my feelings of despair aside, to solider on. Surgery was booked for the following week. I would miss a season of racing and this time next year I would start again.
In an instant my passion had been pulled out from underneath me, my rock (running) turned into quicksand. The road to recovery was along and tedious and painful. Rupturing my Achilles was the catalyst for my blog eight years ago. Over the coming months Ill be sharing these posts with you.
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