A year ago or so the following image circulated around the athletics community on twitter:
“Imagine this. You are standing outside in the winter cold for three to four days of your week. It is your free time youre giving up, you don’t get these hours back. The bitter cold is making it difficult to hold and press down on a stopwatch. You watch people circle laps for 2 hours. You hear complains all the time. You struggle to talk over the voices of young gossiping teenagers. They ask you the same, repetitive questions, day after day. You should over and over again. You go home late in the evening, tired, hungry. And after all this, you get no payments in return. The medals which the athletes earn go to them, not you. Their bonus money is earned by them, not you. But you keep going, because despite how horrible it sounds, you’re strangely in love with it all. The happiness of the athletes is enough to keep you going. To be this kind of person requires superhuman will. It requires someone who is one of a kind”
Injuries are never fun, prolonged injuries even less so. However, most people/athletes who participate within a sport get injured at some point. It’s rubbish. It plants innumerable seeds of doubt in your head, builds frustration and also often confusion as you try and get as many opinions as possible to fix yourself quicker. Oh how I know about this having suffered now for almost a year (yes, no indoor or outdoor athletics season) with what has been diagnosed as plantar fasciitis. Fun times. Seriously though, I’d like to focus on the positives of being injured. Perhaps bizarre and slightly ironic given the title and opening, but let’s go with it.
With the Olympics over and the Paralympics pending it got me thinking about the influence Sport has on our everyday lives. One may not be a sportsman/woman themselves, yet still find themselves engrossed in the excitement of the action. Perhaps due to patriotism or a love of spectatorship – to watch athletes perform at what usually is the pinnacle of their career after years of hard work. Alternatively, there are also those who participate within sports themselves and can only begin to imagine the experience they (Team GB) have had in Rio de Janeiro, which serves as one of the biggest motivations of all time.