…Or at least trying to. Returning from injury, regardless of the time you have had away from the sport, be it a couple of weeks or a couple of years is equally as daunting and difficult. In the time you have spent away you subconsciously begin to trust your body less and your belief in a strong return often seems unrealistic. This is because you know you need to let your body run through the motions of competing and in my case, attempting to travel at some speed before you can expect too much. I would argue that the longer you spend away from the sport, the harder it is to make a strong comeback, as your muscle memory has more than likely begun to fade.
In my current experience, it seems to be something which is incredibly long, dull and disappointing. It is absolutely gutting when you compete and are only matching that which you could have easily achieved in training when you were fifteen years old. I kid you not, my Personal Bests (PBs) are from 2013 and I’m nowhere near them right now. Granted, I had a solid two years away from competition and solid training, but it doesn’t make it any less frustrating. Especially now I see how far the girls have come that I used to be competitive with; gaining sponsorships, GB selection, and medals consistently. All of which I yearn for. Of course, I am sure that there are things they themselves are unhappy within training and competition, however where they are now seems almost unattainable for me at the moment.
Kent Indoor Championships, March 2018
Yes, I am incredibly impatient and am perhaps expecting my body to work miracles and smash all of my old PBs, but in my head it still seems to be something very achievable. I think that my determination and want to succeed predominantly drives this, however I find myself disappointed when I do not achieve these high standards I have set for myself. At the beginnig of May I competed at the BUCS ( British Universities and Colleges Sports) outdoor athletics championships. My coach and I decided that it would be best for me to focus on the 200m this season so that we could solely work on regaining my speed. Ergo that is what I entered at BUCS. I felt relatively confident that I would at least make the semi-finals if not the final (if I was incredibly lucky). So true to my expectations I sorted some accommodation out for myself since the semis and the finals were on the following day. Although in my previous two 200ms (one indoors and one out) were still quite a way off of my PB, I was convinced that a combination of good quality competition, good conditions and attacking the race would allow for me to get my Seasons Best (SB) at least a little lower. Oh, how wrong I was. Despite the conditions being near to perfect and the quality of competition being good, my race fell apart. From the B of the bang, I fell out of the blocks and it just went downhill from there. I spent the rest of the race trying to play catch up, which resulted in me being incredibly tense and alas not being where I wanted to be. Despite this being incredibly annoying, I cannot make any excuses. It just simply was not my race, and the other girls were better on the day. Even though I was incredibly disappointed in my performance, the slightly more rational side of me doesn’t hesitate to point out that it was only my third 200m of the season, and my second fastest time (of the season) too, after just a few months previously being limited to sessions on the grass.
Inter-counties representing Kent, June 2018
This competition taught me that I need to be patient with myself and not expect too much, too quickly. I have now brought my season to a close and whilst it has been slightly frustrating in terms of my times, I know that it will make me a much better athlete in the long run. I just have to remember that this is only temporary and something that I need to go through in order to progress. As they say, you have to grow through what you go through.